Sister Martha Pavelsky
Sister Martha was born in Rochester, New York, and entered the Mission Helpers at the age of 18. She says that she was ready for religious life and saw pictures of Mission Helpers out in the country, having adventures.
“I wanted to go places and do things and not be locked up in a building living a regimented life,” she says. “I looked at the pictures of those Mission Helpers and I said, ‘Yes! I can do that.’”
Much of her ministry focused on catechist formation—training adults to teach religion to children and prepare them for the sacraments. Her ministries have been at the diocesan and archdiocesan levels in North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Vermont and western New York, where she served for 11 years as the Director of Religious Education at St. Patrick’s and Holy Angels parishes.
In recent years Sister Martha has served as Mission Helpers liaison to Mercy Villa, an assisted living facility where elderly Sisters, needing assistance with daily living activities, make their home.
She visits daily; accompanies them on doctors’ visits and other appointments, takes them shopping and on other outings and local events. She is on call 24/7 and responds to any emergency situations that the elderly Sisters encounter.
“This work is gratifying,” she says. “These Sisters are preparing for the last stage of their lives and I can help get them through it and on their way to heaven. They have lived long, fulfilling lives and I help them through the transition.”
Sister Martha holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Loyola University Maryland and a master’s degree in Theology from the University of Dayton.