Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis

Sister Helen Marie Plummer, OSF

I was born in Decatur, Illinois on October 14, 1935 and was blessed with an older sister, Nancy, and loving parents, Chet and Helen (Friel) Plummer. We were members of St. James Parish and my mother often attended daily Mass - returning home to awaken my sister and me for school – and from an early age, I learned about my Catholic faith from my parents and teachers.
I met the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis at a young age when my mother was a patient at St. Mary’s Hospital (Decatur). Sister Alverna impressed me by the way she cared for mother and our family and I believe that the seed of my vocation was planted. After completing high school, I enrolled St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing (Springfield, Illinois) with three friends and after graduation, we worked for six months at St. John’s Hospital. Sister Alverna was now at St. John’s and offered me a job. I really enjoyed my work as a nurse and Sister George invited me to visit the Motherhouse. The beauty and peacefulness of the church, chapel, and property were inspirational and I made the decision to enter the Community on February 11, 1957. I professed First Vows on September 8, 1959 – 58 years ago.

My religious life has provided me with many opportunities for developing my spirituality, knowledge of nursing and healthcare, and appreciation for my Religious Community. I hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Marillac College (St. Louis, Missouri), a master’s degree in nursing from DePaul University (Chicago, Illinois) and served for more than 30 years in nursing, nursing administration, and social services at several of our hospitals in Illinois and Wisconsin. For 13 years, I served as the HSHS Illinois secretary and treasurer for our eight hospitals. My board of directors’ service has included many years in Effingham, Decatur, and currently in Belleville and Greenville – all in Illinois. Most recently, I served as the Community Life Leader from 2004-15 at St. Francis Convent where the love for my Sisters was enriched through the service I was able to provide.

As I reflect on my religious life, I am grateful to God for many blessings. Over the years, my ministry has taken many forms and I’m mindful that the Holy Spirit has guided me along the way. It is my hope to continue to do my part for God each day for the years to come.