Helen Elizabeth Mack
This feisty, determined woman was faith in action all of her life. Helen did not know until 1972 that she was "legally blind"! She laughed as she told her story which began many years ago in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, where she was born. Both she and a brother were born with inherited albinism causing skin and hair colouring to be white and eyesight to be limited. Both grew up to live fruitful lives.
Helen's accomplishments were quite natural for her. She enjoyed Canadian Girls in Training (CGIT), camping, singing, fellowship, learning to become a leader, becoming the "girl God would have (me) her be". Her local church welcomed and knew her and encouraged her all the way. But elsewhere, Helen had to prove herself to others. So she proved herself when she graduated from High School; then from Business College; then she became a teacher, again proving herself. Her dream to become a Deaconess was finally realized after proving herself once more to the church authorities. Helen graduated in 1950 from The United Church Training School -- on probation.
Helen's first Home Mission assignment was to All People's Mission, Sudbury, Ontario, where her efforts resulted in two (!) churches being organized and built; she also worked with the "Women's Federation," a bridge and forerunner to the amalgamation of Women's Auxiliary (WA) and Women's Missionary Society (WMS) to United Church Women (UCW). She proved herself so well that Helen was granted "Full Standing" status, 1952. Following further education at Columbia University, Helen was located to St. Columba House, Montreal, and was there in 1962 when UCW was born. Life continued with educational trips abroad, work at Fred Victor Mission, Toronto, and then to Edmonton to work in Hospital Chaplaincy. Helen received an honorary Doctorate, 1982, St. Stephen's College. She was busy in Robertson-Wesley with senior's work, UCW leadership, and training courses for volunteer hospital visitors.
We celebrated her Fiftieth Anniversary as a Deaconess and Diaconal Minister in 2005. And we celebrate Helen's courageous life and work, her smile, her sometimes acerbic ways, but oh, how she loved her Lord and was happy to be in service "For Jesus' Sake".
Submitted by Donna Krucik, 2012 October