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Winter Commencement Set for December 19

Misericordia University Winter Commencement Set for December 19
University to Honor Sister Helen Marie Burns with Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree

Sister Helen Marie Burns

Sister Helen Marie Burns, R.S.M., Ph.D., will be the keynote speaker for Misericordia University's tenth winter commencement on Sunday, December 19 at 2 p.m. in the Anderson Sports and Health Center. Commencement activities will include a baccalaureate Mass at 10:30 a.m. in the Lemmond Theater on the Dallas campus. Tickets are required to attend the commencement ceremony.

During the commencement ceremony, the University will confer degrees on 322 students from 16 states and present Sister Helen Marie with a Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Her remarks will highlight the important role the Sisters of Mercy have played at Misericordia University since its founding in 1924 to the present day. Sister Helen Marie is an experienced speaker for national and international gatherings of religious men and women, institutions of higher education, and not-for-profit organizations.  Presentations primarily addressed religious life and leadership, women’s concerns within Church and society and other justice matters.

Sister Helen Marie has served in a variety of leadership roles with the Sisters of Mercy and their institutions of higher education throughout the U.S. Most recently, Sister Helen Marie served as Vice President of Mission Integration at Mount Aloysius College. Previously, she served as Regional Councilor and Provincial Administrator for the Sisters of Mercy Province of Detroit and as Vice President of the Sisters of Mercy of the Union, the five-member leadership team responsible for the administration of a 8300+ member religious congregation of women ministering in seven countries in the western hemisphere. 

Sister Helen Marie also contributed her expertise on numerous boards and committees in higher education, healthcare institutions and charitable organizations, including presently sitting on the board of trustees at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, the Mercy Hospital of Iowa City board of directors, Mercy Investment Services Board of Trustees and Saint Joseph Hospital and Health Center board of trustees. Sister Burns served as a trustee at Misericordia University from 1987-1996. 

She is the co-author of two books, "Praying with Catherine McAuley," and "Sisters of Mercy," as well as the author of more than a dozen articles including several published by the University of Notre Dame Press. 

Sister Helen Marie’s areas of teaching including American religious history, history of American Catholicism, History of Active Congregations of Women Religious, and history of Catholicism.

The ceremony will be available live on the university’s YouTube channel. For more information Misericordia University's winter commencement events, please visit the commencement section of the university's website: