Wall of Fame: Sr. Sara Butler, MSBT

SButlerPicWho is Sr. Sara?

A native of Toledo, Ohio, Sr. Sara entered the Missionary Servants in 1956. After first profession, she was sent on for higher studies and eventually earned a Ph.D. and an S.T.L. in Systematic Theology. After serving in deanery and diocesan offices of Religious Education and on the MSBT General Council, she taught theology at two archdiocesan seminaries, Chicago (Mundelein) and New York (St. Joseph’s). Most of her publications (over 60 scholarly articles and a book, The Catholic Priesthood and Women) address concerns raised in ecumenical dialogue–the roles of women in the Church, authority in the Church, the priesthood, and Mariology. On her retirement, Sr. Sara was named Professor Emerita of Dogmatic Theology at the University of St. Mary of the Lake (Mundelein). She is currently on the staff of the Mother Boniface Spirituality Center in Philadelphia.

Public Recognition

In 2004, Pope St. John Paul II appointed Sr. Sara to the International Theological Commission-one of the first two women members. Pope Benedict XVI appointed her for a second term and also named her a theological expert for two World Synods of Bishops and a consultor for the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. Sister was given an honorary doctorate from Seton Hall University and the Cardinal Wright award for scholarly service to the Church from the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, and she held the Chester and Margaret Paluch Chair in Theology (2010-12). She has been a consultant to the U.S. Bishops’ Doctrine Committee since 2004 and is a past-president of the Academy of Catholic Theology (2015-16).

This is what Missionary Servants do…

… because our vocation commits us “to live and work that God’s name may be hallowed, that his kingdom come, that his holy will be done (Mt 6:9-10).” In the years leading up to and following the Second Vatican Council, the task of preserving the faith has required facing new challenges. The Missionary Servants gave Sr. Sara the spiritual formation and theological education that prepared her to educate future priests and collaborate in the clarification of critical questions that confront the Catholic faithful today.  For more information, see this interview on Salt and Light Media.