“Your loving presence ignites a blazing desire to enflame hearts of hope ablaze with courage journeying in the warmth of Your Embrace.”

Born in Grand Rapids on May 18, 1935, Sister Helen is the fifth of six children born to Charles and Helena Bueche. She was taught by Grand Rapids Dominican Sisters at St. Alphonsus School, Catholic Central High School, and graduated from Aquinas College. She then taught at Coit Public School in Grand Rapids for three years. On September 8, 1960, she entered the Dominican Congregation and after profession, taught in several suburban schools in Michigan.

Several years ago, Sister Helen Bueche was the coordinator for an after-school program in Saginaw that enriched academic and study skills outside school hours. At the time of her departure the Director wrote: “Sister Helen through the years has been a positive influence and effectively changed the lives of many adults, parents, staff, and those on Workfare assistance. She enriched the lives of people caught in the ghetto and showed there is a different way of life. Sister Helen will be missed… but her expressions of love, creativity, encouragement and belief in the worth of each person will be carried on.”

In 1987 she worked with in the Las Casas Dominican Ministry tutoring Cheyenne and Arapaho students in various public schools in Thomas, Oklahoma.

Her ministries in the lower income area of Saginaw and with the Cheyenne and Arapaho in N.W. Oklahoma can best be expressed with the words “being with” – a ministry of presence. “It was painful to witness such oppressed, impoverished, and wounded people. They were very spiritual people living their daily lives with courage, endurance, and resilience. These two ministries were challenging and rewarding, life-changing experiences,” reflects Sister Helen.

In 1998, Sister Helen had the opportunity to take a sabbatical at Sophia Center, Oakland, CA. The Cosmology courses on the new universe story changed her worldview, and the Creative Enrichment Classes awakened her creativity.

A true Dominican, she lives and moves as simply as the people she served then, and today among her Sisters in community at Marywood. Upon returning to Marywood in June 2011, she volunteered on the Prayer and Listening Line, as a companion with Sisters to doctor appointments, and assisting with mail projects. She enjoys reflective reading, writing poetry, creating mandalas, and pondering the wonder and beauty of God’s Creation.

Sister Helen Bueche shares her smiles and poetry with the world.

Snow Dance

Gentle falling snow adorns all in sight
With a soft white pillowy blanket

The Creator’s unique creation
No two flakes in imitation

Never to be compared one to another
Each snowflake as beautiful as the other

Floating down down down
Uniting in one grand panorama on the ground

The landscape majestically framed
As winter plays her earth-changing game

Helen Bueche OP, 12-01-10a