Louisville, KY – Dominican Sister of Peace Helen Cahill, OP, was honored with the Mary Emil Penet, IHM Award at a gala dinner during the 2019 Religious Formation Conference (RFC) National Congress on October 25, 2019. This award recognizes those who have made a significant contribution to formation ministry, honoring one who demonstrates a substantial commitment to and investment of energy and insight into the formative journey of religious sisters and brothers.
Sister Helen has been engaged in formation ministry for many years. She has shown a particular interest in the professional preparation and supervision of formators and in the area of ongoing formation, offering the RFC’s Orientation to Formation workshop at a number of times.
RFC Executive Director Ellen Dauwer, SC, says, “Helen has given generously and most competently to the RFC for many years. She is a skilled presenter, particularly in our Orientation to Formation workshop. Her advice is frequently sought by both participants and other formators.”
Sr. Helen is also a regular contributor to RFC’s InFormation, NRVC’s Horizon, and the NCR’s Global Sisters Report, writing on topics including vocation discernment, the ministry of religious formation, and the transformation of religious life. She is currently on staff at the Claret Center in Chicago, IL, where she provides spiritual direction to both new and seasoned religious and group supervision for formation ministers.
Sister Helen began her religious life more than sixty years ago as a Dominican of St. Catharine, KY. Initially a teacher, she served in the leadership of her original congregation for some twenty years. Sister Helen earned her Doctor of Ministry degree in Spirituality from Catholic Theological Union (CTU) where she has also served as adjunct faculty in the area of Spirituality.
“Sr. Helen has a knack for spotting potential in others before most people even catch a glimpse of it, and she has the confidence and creativity to call it forth. In true Dominican fashion, she places great emphasis on speaking the truth. Her personal gifts, and love of consecrated life, are soul-sized, and we thank God every day for the way she helps our institutes incorporate our newest members,” says Pat Twohill, OP, Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Peace.
In her current ministry, Sister Helen serves as a member of the staff at the Claret Center in Chicago, IL, where she provides spiritual direction to both new and seasoned religious and group supervision for formation ministers. She is also a presenter in the Catholic Theological Union’s Reframing Retirement for Mission program.