Martha Ann Rinderle, SSJ, had two cousins who were Sisters of St. Joseph: Sister Celine Rinderle and Sister Martha Kuntz. As Sister Martha Ann grew older, she began to confide in Sister Celine, talking to her about her deepest thoughts. And so began her love for the Sisters of St. Joseph. “Each and every nun was different,” she says. “And every nun had that certain aura that I picked up on.”
Sister Martha Ann was born on September 1, 1938 in Erie, Pennsylvania. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from St. Joseph Home in Erie, Pennsylvania on August 29, 1956 and professed her final vows on August 15, 1964.
She graduated from Villa Maria Academy, Erie, 1956, and earned a BS degree in elementary education from Villa Maria College, Erie, 1966, as well as an MS in earth sciences from Edinboro University, 1971.
From 1956-2012, she taught at several Erie Diocesan schools including: Sacred Heart, Blessed Sacrament, Villa Maria Elementary, St. John the Baptist, Our Lady of Peace, St. Joseph, and Villa Maria Academy schools in Erie. She also taught at St. Mary’s, Reynoldsville, PA and St. Bernard, Bradford, PA. She served as principal at St. Joseph School from 1968-1971, and at St. Bernard Grade School, Bradford, Pennsylvania, from 1972-1981. Sister Martha Ann also served as the Diocesan Chaplain for the Divorced and Separated, 1982-1988.
Sister Martha Ann currently ministers wherever she is needed, oftentimes helping in the sisters’ Community Living Center library, in the human resources department, and sewing for many of the sisters. “I plan to do for others in any capacity that I can handle,” she says. “I keep my eyes, heart, and ears open to saying, ‘yes,’ to whatever assignments I have…I’ve never really retired, just recycled!”