Aston, PA—Sister Martha Joseph Rooney, died in St. Ann Convent, Tacoma, Washington, on May 2, a few weeks before her 92nd birthday. She had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 73 years. Sister Martha Joseph was born in Charleville, County Cork, Ireland. She entered the congregation in 1938 and professed her first vows in 1941. She earned a B.S. in Nursing from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, in 1948 and an M.A. in Nursing Education from St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1958.
Sister Martha Joseph began her early years in ministry teaching at St. Katharine School in Baltimore, Maryland (1940-1944) before moving into healthcare work. Following her years of study, she ministered at St. Francis Hospital in Trenton, New Jersey, from 1948-1949.
Sister Martha Joseph ministered for 48 years in the Archdiocese of Seattle. She worked at St. Joseph Hospital in Tacoma from 1949-1957 and again from 1958-1976, serving in various positions: supervisor, instructor, assistant administrator, and director of the school of nursing. From 1989-1991 and again from 1994-2008, she worked with the retired sisters at St. Ann Convent in Tacoma, first as coordinator of the health program and later as a volunteer coordinator of nursing service. In 2008 she became a resident of St. Ann Convent and served in prayer ministry until her death.
Sister Martha Joseph’s 15 years of ministry in the Diocese of Baker included working as an assistant administrator at St. Elizabeth/St. Clare Hospital in Baker (1976-1986, 1987-1989, 1991-1994).
All services will be held in St. Ann Convent Chapel, 6602 S. Alaska Street, in Tacoma. The vigil will be held on Thursday, May 8, at 6 P.M. Mass of Christian Burial at will be on Friday, May 9, at 11 A.M. Sister Martha Joseph is survived by her niece, grandnieces, 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.