Sr. Martha Blessed with Big Family


By God's grace I am what I am. Rule of Benedict

Sister Martha Herzog was a great favorite of St. Mary's Academy girls down in Nauvoo, IL, and everyone who ever met her! This was written before her death.

The one thing young Martha Herzog knew she would aspire to when she grew up was a large family. An only child who had lost her mother as a toddler, Martha craved the companionship and chaos of a large, bustling household.

"I planned to get married and have lots of children," laughs Sr. Martha, who recently celebrated her 70th jubilee as a Sister of St. Benedict. "But God had other plans. Instead, I entered this community, and got lots of mothers and sisters."

Indeed, Sr. Martha got daughters, too, by way of the high school girls who attended St. Mary Academy, the Sisters' college preparatory boarding school, in Nauvoo, Illinois. In the kitchen and dining room, Sr. Martha meted out board jobs while getting to know and love the girls she supervised. Although the school closed in 1997, Sr. Martha still hears from her many "daughters" nearly every day, by phone, mail and visit.

"I went to the doctor recently and was told, 'It's a good thing you entered the monastery, because you couldn't have carried a child,'" Sr. Martha says. "I would have been broken-hearted. But here, I have had a big family. I have the love of those girls, and the love of my Sisters. I have been very, very happy."