Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 18, 2005
Sr. Martz dies after 76 years with Sisters of Charity
Special to the WCR
Saint John, N.B.
On Sept. 8, 2003, the feast of the birth of the Virgin Mary, Sister Cecelia Martz, a resident at Ruth Ross Residence, celebrated her 75th anniversary of service as a member of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) community. The anniversary also marked the eve of the SCIC's 150th anniversary.
On Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2005, a funeral Mass was held for Sister Martz at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception here, following her death at her residence, on Feb. 20. She was 94.
Martz was born in Holdfast, Sask., the daughter of the late Frank and Elizabeth Martz, the eldest of seven children.
From a young age, Martz knew she was called to religious life. "One man could never fill my bill in marriage," she said in a 2003 interview.
She was inspired by the spirit of charity, humility and simplicity, and the spirituality of Vincent de Paul shared by the Sisters of Charity.
On Aug. 26, 1928, Sister Martz traveled east by train to Saint John, to join the SCIC. She entered as a novitiate on Sept. 1 and professed her first vows in 1930. In 1933 she professed her final vows in Burnaby, B.C.
Martz served in pastoral work in Wetaskiwin, and helped to establish the sisters' former parish ministry in Hope, B.C. Martz was administrator of Our Lady of Mercy Home for single mothers in Vancouver and the former St. Joseph's Hospital in Radway Alta. In Saskatchewan, she studied art, drew and painted.
Prior to her death, Martz engaged in prayer and telephone ministry, was an avid reader and writer and supported the Canadian Bible Society charismatic renewal. She believed that Prairie life lent "an open spirit" and had offered her contact with people from a variety of traditions, which had led her to a commitment to ecumenism.
Of the seven children in her family, she is survived by one brother and several nieces and nephews.
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