The Sisters of the Redeemer Mourn Sr. Martina Nicklaus, CSR

January 25, 2024

Sister M. Martina M. Nicklaus, CSR, 85, a Sister of the Redeemer who was called by God to be a healing presence in a hurting world, died January 21, 2024 at the Sisters’ Magnificat Center in Huntingdon Valley, Pa., where she resided.

Baptized Blandina Nicklaus in Üchtelhausen, Germany, she was the daughter of the late Martin and Barbara Nicklaus. One of eight children, she is survived by her sisters, Elisabeth Hanatschek and Bernadette Forster, in Germany and nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her siblings, Franziska (Sr. Wilhelma) and Hedwig (Sr. Materna), Irmgard, Klemens, and Jakobus.

As a young girl who witnessed much heartache and suffering in her beloved homeland during World War II, Sr. Martina greatly appreciated the simplicity and natural beauty of her village. In the vast forests surrounding the village, she would seek the first flowers of spring. She saw them as a gift from God and a hope-filled future. She carried this reverence for God’s creation, especially flowers, throughout her entire life.

Sr. Martina was called to religious life at a young age. Following in the footsteps of her two older sisters, Sr. Wilhelma and Sr. Materna, she entered the Sisters of the Redeemer in Würzburg as a candidate in 1952. When she was 23 years old, it was requested she move to the United States, where the Sisters of the Redeemer recently opened Holy Redeemer Hospital.

Sr. Martina was uncertain about the mission and the path ahead of her, so she consulted with Sr. Julitta Ritz, CSR, about whether she would be making the correct choice in serving in the United States. Sr. Julitta told her, “Go to America. If you make one person happy, it is worth it to go.”

Following the advice of Sr. Julitta, Sr. Martina arrived in the United States in 1963. She joyfully lived a dedicated life of loving service to others for many years, primarily in radiology and nuclear medicine at Holy Redeemer Hospital. She was one of the first persons to study the then-emerging field of nuclear medicine and the only woman in her academic program. She was highly respected for her expert skills in radiology and esteemed by the radiologists for her accuracy and precision. She served as supervisor of nuclear medicine from 1965 to 1981. After leaving nuclear medicine, she served on the Sisters’ Province Leadership Team for 20 years, with eight years as Provincial Superior.

As Provincial Superior, Sr. Martina was known for using her gentle, yet confident, voice to speak up for any injustices she witnessed. She wrote many letters to world leaders and other influential people addressing critical issues such as the apartheid in South Africa or Medicare reimbursement rates.

In 2011, she was appointed an inaugural member of the Holy Redeemer Ministries Board, now Redeemer Ministries, paving the way for a new sponsorship model for Redeemer Health. Before her role on the sponsor board, she served for many years on the Holy Redeemer Health System Board as a Sister Trustee.

In recent years, she served as the coordinator of hospitality for the Province, which included, among other things, planning events at the Redeemer Sisters’ Chapel. She especially enjoyed creating beautiful floral arrangements for the Chapel and Sisters’ celebrations.

In 2021, she celebrated her 60th Jubilee of religious profession. In celebrating Sr. Martina, Sr. Ellen Marvel, current Province Leader of the Sisters of the Redeemer said, “The manner in which she responded to her call to religious life has inspired everyone she has encountered over these many decades. Sr. Martina’s simplicity, warmth, genuineness, and childlike spirit have captured the hearts of countless people attracted to her very loving and charismatic way of living the Gospel. With the experience of living as a child through a time of war, she is a living example that suffering can give way to great beauty. The beauty of her soul, the beauty of her spirit, the beauty of her life exemplify this.”

Viewing and visitation will take place on Thursday, January 25, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Redeemer Sisters’ Chapel. A prayer service to celebrate and remember Sr. Martina will begin at 7:30 p.m. Viewing and visitation will also take place from 9 to 10:45 a.m. Friday, January 26 followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

For those unable to attend in person, the Mass will be livestreamed on the Sisters’ Facebook page at www.facebook.com/sistersoftheredeemer and YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/@redeemersisters

Those wishing to make a contribution to the Sisters’ charitable works in memory of Sr. Martina, can do so online or by mail. (Sisters of the Redeemer, Attn. Sr. Ellen Marvel, CSR 1600 Huntingdon Pike, Meadowbrook, Pa. 19046)