Birth: Mar. 25, 1916
Profession: Jul. 31, 1945
Death: Dec. 30, 2011
Helen McHugh, RSCJ, Long-Time Professor of English, Dies at Oakwood
Religious of the Sacred Heart Helen McHugh died December 30, 2011, at Oakwood, the Society of the Sacred Heart’s elder care center in Atherton, California. Her life will be celebrated in a Mass of Resurrection on Thursday, January 5 at the Oakwood Retirement Center, 140 Valparaiso Ave., Atherton CA 94027. Burial will follow immediately in the Oakwood cemetery.
Sister McHugh was born in San Francisco March 25, 1916 to Francis John and Mary Ellen Thurber McHugh, who preceded her in death. Her sister, Religious of the Sacred Heart Frances Marie McHugh, also preceded her in death. Although she had no other siblings her Bispo, McHugh, and Isetta cousins remained very devoted to her.
Sister McHugh entered the Society of the Sacred Heart at the Kenwood Convent in Albany, New York on September 14, 1937. She professed her first vows March 15, 1940 and final vows on July 31, 1956, both at Kenwood.
An alumna of the Convent of the Sacred Heart in San Francisco, Sister McHugh earned a bachelor of arts in English from the San Francisco College for Women. Both her Master of Arts and Ph.D. in English came from Stanford University.
Sister McHugh spent much of four decades at the University of San Diego. She first arrived at the San Diego College for Women in 1965 as a professor of English. Over the next 27 years, she served as the chair of both the English department and the fine arts department. Named professor emerita in 1988, she continued to direct a tutoring program and conduct research until she came to Oakwood in 2003.
Going back to 1940, Sister McHugh also taught at Convent of the Sacred Heart, San Francisco, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Menlo Park, Ca, San Francisco College for Women – Lone Mountain College, Convent of the Sacred Heart, El Cajon, Ca., where she also taught novices, and was three times a visiting professor at Seishin Joshi Daigaku, the University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo, Japan.
As professor emeritus, Sister McHugh continued her research and administered a tutoring program for low-income children. In 1998 she was honored with an International Education Award from the Japan Society of San Diego and Tijuana, which she received “as a member of an international group of educators.” She entered prayer ministry in 2007.