Sister Eileen McConomy SNJM (Sister Helen of Mary) was born in Montreal on January 19, 1928, and attended Holy Family and St. Brendan elementary schools. She was a boarder throughout high school at the SNJM Hochelaga Convent and worked in Old Montreal as an income tax assessor for 18 months after graduation.
In the winter of 1946, she entered the Novitiate in Montreal and two years later made first profession on February 5, 1948.
During that period, she taught a combined class of Grade 3 and 4 at St. Lambert Convent for one year. From 1948 to 1955, she taught Grades 6 and 7 at St. Aloysius School. She moved into the public sector from 1956 and taught at Holy Names High School in Rosemont. She taught all subjects except French. McConomy returned to St. Lambert Convent in 1958 and during the next four years taught most of the subjects in a combined class of Grades 8 and 9.
While teaching, she continued her studies to attain 3 degrees, including an M.Sc in Library Science degrees, specializing in school libraries. She left teaching and was hired by the Montreal Catholic School Commission to set up libraries in 63 English-language schools. She learned to drive during this period to facilitate travel to the various schools.
Afterwards, McConomy worked in the SNJM infirmary in Valleyfield for five years, seeing to the non-medical needs of the Sisters. She visited them and really enjoyed listening to their stories.
Since 1991, she has been living at the Congregational House in Longueuil, and working as a written translator, for the General Leadership team.
She has also been a longtime member of the Catholic Women’s League at St. Clare’s Parish in Longueuil. She attends meetings, sews and knits for the annual bazaar.
McConomy is a caring person who is always ready to listen, enjoys a good story, loves to read and has a great sense of gratitude. One of her favourite prayers is “Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in thee.”
(Reprinted with permission from the “Catholic Times” October 2008)