Aston, PA—Sister Martina Therese Butalla, OSF, 86, died in Assisi House on July 18. She had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 66 years. Sister Martina Therese (Jane Francis Butalla) was born in Enout, Pennsylvania. Prior to her entrance into the congregation in 1944, she was a member of St. Peter Parish in Steelton, Pennsylvania, and a graduate of Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg. She professed her first vows in 1947 and later earned both a B.S. in English from Villanova University and an M.A. in Education from Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island. Sister Martina ministered primarily in elementary education but also served for a time in both healthcare and eldercare.
Sister Martina ministered for 16 years in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. She served as a liturgist at Assisi House in Aston from 1992-1995. She returned there and volunteered as a driver from 2006-2009. From 2000-2006 she volunteered at Immaculate Mary Home in Philadelphia. In 2009 she became a resident of Assisi House and served in prayer ministry there until her death.
Sister Martina Therese’s 20 years of ministry in the Diocese of Trenton included teaching at Immaculate Conception School (1947-1950, 1968-1970) and Holy Angels School (1951-1953). She also taught at St. Rose of Lima School in Freehold (1953-1956, 1972-1981, 1964-1965).
Sister Martina Therese served in the Diocese of Harrisburg for 17 years. She taught at St. Joseph School in Lancaster (1950-1951, 1970-1972, 1981-1986), St. Joseph School in Dallastown (1965-1967), and St. Mary School in York (1967-1968). From 1986-1992 she worked in the lab at St. Joseph Hospital in Lancaster.
Additional ministry experience included teaching at St. Nicholas School in Egg Harbor, New Jersey (1956-1964); St. Joseph School, Holy Trinity, Alabama (1995-1997); and Most Pure Heart of Mary School, Mobile, Alabama (1997-2000).
All services will be held in Our Lady of Angels Convent Chapel, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, July 24. A Christian Wake Service will be held at 10:30 A.M. followed by viewing. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 12 noon. Burial will be in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Aston. Sister Martina is survived by her sister-in-law, nieces, and by her Franciscan family. Donations in her name can be made to the Sisters of St. Francis Foundation, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston, PA 19014.