Sr Helen Bergin OP

Being Dominican Helen entered the Dominican Sisters in 1970 after having completed a Masters degree in English at Victoria University of Wellington, and a Secondary Teachers’ Training certificate in Auckland. Helen’s first few years in formation at St Dominic’s Priory Dunedin, beginning in 1970, were unsettled. In the post-Vatican II era, there were many comings and goings within the Novitiate.  However, Helen was very grateful to be able to teach at St Dominic’s College where she enjoyed teaching Religious education, English and French to many lovely young women. A couple of years later, she revelled in the opportunity to learn theology and scripture at Holy Cross College Mosgiel, studying Vatican II documents such as Lumen Gentium andGaudium et Spes, church history and scripture with inspiring teachers such as Fathers Gerry Fitzgerald, John Mackey and Tony Mannix. This extended time of teaching and learning affirmed her identity as a post-Vatican II Christian, where she realized that the gifts of lay people were to be fostered and lived out in local parishes. Study at Holy Cross eventually led to Helen being invited to undertake two periods of theological study at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC, centering finally on the theology of Edward Schillebeeckx OP. While in the USA, she lived at the Dominican House of Studies with inspiring US Dominican women, some of whom have remained firm friends. Helen returned to teach at Holy Cross for six years, and later at the Catholic Institute of Theology in Auckland. She has just
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