Sister Helen Perry, SSJ Oral History

Sister Helen Perry, SSJ, is a Sister of St. Joseph from Springfield, MA. She entered the community 50 years ago in 1964. She focused primarily in the education ministry, and was a elementary level classroom teacher/administrator for 43 years. For the last two and a half years, Sr. Helen has been working in the healthcare field as a patient advocate for sisters who are being cared for at the Nursing care center at Mont Marie, the former SSJ motherhouse. Sr. Helen says “it’s a whole different world” from education and that “no two days are the same.” She currently supports 32 sisters who are at the facility, and deals with non-nursing need (personal, i.e. clothing, correspondence, etc.) as a ‘family member.’

About Maira Pantoja - Kassandra Masilamani

Kassandra Masilamani is a sophomore Nursing major at the College of Our Lady of the Elms in Chicopee, MA, but is originally from Stratford, CT. She is a Resident Advisor for freshman girls, and is an active participant in Campus Ministry and International Club. Kassandra is the President of the class of 2017 through Student Government, and is a member of the Sophomore Leadership Program. She also joined the SSJ Justice and Peace committee in 2013, and works to bring awareness of social justice issues. Kassandra enjoys indulging in her geeky tendencies in her free time, but also volunteers as much as possible in the community at Elms and back home. Maira Pantoja is a junior Secondary Education and Spanish double major at the College of Our Lady of the Elms in Chicopee, MA. She has been the 2016 Class Treasurer for the past three years. She currently holds the position of President of the Student Activities Board, as well as a work study position in the Student Activities office. Maira is an active member of the Spanish club, and is the shooting guard for the Elms College women’s basketball team. She enjoys volunteering through local food pantries and Habitat for Humanity and is originally from Connecticut. During the summer, she works at a summer camp for kids and babysits in her spare time. During the Spring of 2015 they were paired with Sister Helen Perry, SSJ; a Sister of St. Joseph of Springfield.