Sister Helen Plum: Called to Translate God’s Infinite Love as Pantry Volunteer

Hope Center Pantry volunteers make a lasting impact by feeding the hungry in Brown County, Wisconsin. The pantry offers many different ways to volunteer. Here’s the story of volunteering at the food pantry by Sister Helen Plum, SSND (School Sister of Notre Dame).

By Sister Helen Plum, SSND, Hope Center Pantry volunteer
Our constitution (rule of life as sisters) is called “You Are Sent.” As School Sisters of Notre Dame, we are called and sent to make Christ visible by our very being, by sharing our love, faith, and hope by striving to foster unity wherever we are. I was conscious of this as I was sent to teach in various schools for my first 17 years in various cities in Wisconsin.

From Teacher to Translator

Then I was called to another, very different ministry – becoming a German – English translator. Born and living in Milwaukee, I had been raised bilingually by my immigrant parents and had studied German formally. The call to this ministry was a transforming experience. I met so many of our sisters living in other cultures and countries. No matter where we met, we experienced the bond of our SSND community. As we worked, and especially, prayed together, it was a profoundly humbling awareness that I was God’s instrument through which our sisters shared their thoughts and prayers with one another.

Working Among the Poor of our World

Our SSND charism of internationality continues to challenge me to witness to unity, to discover unsuspected ways of sharing the gifts God has given me with those who are among the poor of our world, and to find new channels of service in the universal church.

Church Work in Green Bay, Walsh, Peshtigo

I spent 32 years in various pastoral work at Resurrection Catholic Parish in Green Bay, at Ss. Joseph & Edward Catholic Parish, Walsh, and St. Mary Catholic Parish, Peshtigo.

International Ministry in Austria

Then, I was once again called to international ministry in Eggenburg, Austria, in 2016. My teaching, translating, and pastoral ministry experiences came together as I taught English and German to teenage boys, refugees from Afghanistan, and also presided at liturgical celebrations at the local parish when the pastor was unavailable.

Volunteering at Hope Center Pantry in Green Bay

Once again, back in the USA, I moved to Green Bay and came to volunteer at the food pantry in 2019. I enjoy working with our volunteers and meeting our clients. All these experiences confirm a basic belief for me – we are all called to be translators of God’s infinite love and joy, no matter what we do and where we are sent to be.

Become a Food Pantry Volunteer Today

Volunteers provide an essential community service by feeding the hungry in the Green Bay area of Northeast Wisconsin. Thank you, Sister Helen, and all of the volunteers at Hope Center Pantry. Contact us about volunteer opportunities or to schedule a visit to the pantry to experience volunteerism first-hand. The pantry is open 1-3pm Monday through Thursday at 505 Clinton St. Green Bay. Read the How You Can Help information to learn more.