Servant of Mary, Teacher, or Both?

Inspirational Feature By J1 Reporter Sydney Monahan

Sr. Helen Rau, O.S.M. Photo source:

Sr. Helen Rau, O.S.M. Photo source:

Sister Helen Rau has been a Servant of Mary since she was 17. She made the decision to dedicate her whole life to God and others before she could even vote.

When Sr. Helen joined the sisterhood, teachers were in low supply and high demand. Joining the sisterhood opened many opportunities for her including teaching in New York for six years, Omaha for years, and Arizona for 24 years. She was a counselor at Marian for 13 years, and the Marian community is still grateful for her service to the school. Teaching is her passion and in a time period when opportunities were limited, Sister found her calling by entering the convent.

Sr. Helen grew up in Detroit, Mich. and lived right down the street from a convent. She attended a Catholic high school that was run and taught by the Servants of Mary. She actually never liked the sisters, and would take a longer route to avoid walking by the convent on her way to school every day.

Her interest in becoming a sister was sparked when one of her teachers, also a sister, said of all of her friends that she saw Helen joining the sisterhood. She then kept in contact with this teacher and continued to discuss the idea of becoming a sister, until the day she graduated from high school and moved to Omaha to join the convent.

Sr. Helen, has since retired after more than 50 years of teaching, and moved back to Omaha, and lives in the Servant of Mary convent connected to Marian. She spends her days hanging out with the other sisters, making new friends, and interacting with Marian students.

Sr. Helen Rau

Sr. Helen Rau

“Sr. Helen is truly one of a kind. The light she brings into my world and everyone else’s is truly incredible,” junior Lauren Novacek, and friend of Sr. Helen, said.

Sister Helen’s dedication to student success and the community is inspirational, and her work is still felt by all the communities and people she has impacted. Despite having been to many different schools, and teaching so many students, she still remembers students that she taught at each school and every different level. Her passion for educating and assisting youth is one that many would vote for today.

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