Sr. Helen Ann Collier, CCVI, ’55 - Spiritual Leadership
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That Sr. Helen Ann Collier would be called to a vocation as a religious sister and spiritual director was certainly not an obvious conclusion to anyone witnessing her escapades as a student at IWA. In her sophomore year, she led a group of her peers in persuading a chaperone at the Sophomore Dance that they and their dates were absent from the dance only because they were visiting the graves in the sisters' cemetery. On another occasion, she was allowed back into her English class only after spending a week of class detention in the principal's office. But underneath the face of an imp beat the heart of a spiritual person who, heeding the call to a religious vocation, never looked back. As a student, she recognized that the wonderful women who came into her life at IWA – both students and sisters – were not cookie-cutter duplicates but all unique persons with something distinctive to offer others. And she realized that she was too. After graduating from IWA, Sr. Helen Ann entered the convent of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas, where she continued her lifelong journey of faith. Sr. Helen considers her ministry as a spiritual director a sacred privilege. "Because of this I have been able to journey with priests, religious, and lay people as they seek God in their everyday lives. To be able to converse with others about life in the light of faith has been and will continue to be the experience that brings me face-to-face with the power of grace,” she says. Sister received her undergraduate degree in sociology from Marillac College in St. Louis and her Masters in Religious Studies from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. She has been privileged to continue her studies at many different conferences and venues, including the C.G. Jung Spirituality Conference in Einsidein, Switzerland, the Chicago Theological Union Scripture Study Program and the Sangre de Cristo Renewal Program. In addition to her work as a spiritual director, Sr. Helen served her religious community in a variety of administrative roles, including Provincial Superior of the United States Province and Administrator, Incarnate Generalate in San Antonio. She has volunteered her time as a board member of many organizations, among them the Incarnate Word Foundation, the Christus St.Vincent Health System in Santa Fe, NM, and the Christus Spohn Health System in Corpus Christi, Texas.