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Sr. Martina Lacny died just six days shy of her 85th birthday. The eighth of 10 children, young Josephine Lacny grew up on the South Side of Chicago. The family was active at St. John of God Church and the parish school. After graduation, Josephine attended Holy Family Academy, where she encountered the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth. She entered the community as a postulant during her senior year in high school. In August 1947, she entered the novitiate, receiving the name Martina. She professed her first vows in 1949 and her perpetual vows in August 1955.
Sr. Martina earned theology and teaching certificates from De Lourdes College, Des Plaines, IL; a B.S. from Loyola University, Chicago, and an MS from St. Mary College in Winona, MN. While majoring in biology, Sr. Martina had wide and varied interests, attending educational conferences whose topics ranged from biology to religious education.
She began her teaching ministry in 1949 at St. Hedwig, Chicago. She taught high school biology and religion at Holy Family Academy and St. Ann High School, both in Chicago, for the next 18 years. In 1974, she moved north and west, teaching religious education at St. Patrick Parish in Inver Grove Heights, MN, for a year. Next, she taught elementary school at St. Vincent De Paul in Mott, ND. While in Mott, under the aegis of Minot State University, Sr. Martina was selected to introduce a program for gifted and talented children in the area. She completed the rigorous course of study, was certified to teach the gifted program and implemented it in the area.
In 1980, she returned to the Chicago area, teaching at St. Michael School on the city’s South Side. In 1989, she moved to the Provincialate where she assisted the provincial treasurer for 18 years, becoming familiar with accounting and computers, a new world for her that she mastered well. She was known for her hard work, accuracy and patience in helping local superiors with their quarterly and annual reports.
Sr. Martina was a quiet, private person who valued prayer and the CSFN rule of life. She was a faithful friend, visiting friends in Nazarethville on a daily basis as long as she was able. She enjoyed participating in Elderhostel programs and time with her family.
In 2012, Sr. Martina moved to Nazarethville due to her declining health. To meet her needs, eventually she moved to Presence Villa Franciscan in Joliet.