Nicholas W. Helfenstein and his wife, Rose Mary, are Sisters of Charity supporters and members of the Mother Seton Circle. “Nick,” as most know him, shares a personal connection to the sisters, which many readers can guess by just reading his last name. His aunt, Sr. Karen Helfenstein, is a Sister of Charity and currently Director of Sponsorship Services. Sr. Karen’s brother Robert is Nick’s dad.
Growing up, Nick would often visit the Mount with his family for Sunday dinner and parties. He remembers visiting Sr. Karen in Rosary Hall and the interactions with the other sisters. He recalls that Sr. Peggy McEntee would thrill the children with a tall tale of a dungeon in the Mount’s iconic castle.
After graduating from Boston College in May 2006, Nick landed a job with UBS Financial Services. For the past 11 years, he has worked in capital development and investor relations with Millennium Management, a global investment management firm. He makes his home with his family in Rockville Centre, N.Y.
Nick’s philosophy of giving is summed up in the phrase, “to whom much is given, much is required.” (Luke 12:48). “I earn a decent living and have enough to give back,” says Nick. He gives primarily to local institutions: his local parish, St. Agnes, and its school where his daughters, Julia (6) and Grace (3), attend, and to the sisters. Giving close to home brings him “a reasonable level of comfort knowing that it’s been put to good use.”
Nick hopes his daughters will assume these habits of giving. Every Sunday, he hands Julia and Grace a dollar bill to place in the offering plate. In doing so, he explains, he won’t have to teach them later that it is the right thing to do.