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Beloved Holy Family Sister Eva Regina dies at 74


Sister of the Holy Family Eva Regina Martin died April 7 at Lafon Nursing facility. She was 74. She was a Sister of the Holy Family for 54 years.
She was congregational leader of the Sisters of the Holy Family for 7 1/2 years, until recently, after being hospitalized Feb. 5 with cardiac arrhythmia arrest, said recently named congregational leader Sister Greta Jupiter.

“She brought joy and a sense of spirituality, and she was very loving and open, always available to the sisters in the community,” Sister Greta said. “She had a magnanimous heart.”

Sister Eva Regina accomplished much during her half-century as a nun. She had been a teacher, catechist and principal for more than 30 years in the United States and Belize.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Xavier University of Louisiana. She also had a master’s degree in theology from Xavier; a master’s in education from Incarnate Word University in San Antonio, Texas; and she earned a doctorate in African-American studies from Temple University in Pennsylvania, Sister Greta said.

Two of her most notable works included her efforts as director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University and a pilgrimage to Rome in the fall 2012 to promote the beatification of Mother Henriette Delille, who founded the Sisters of the Holy Family in 1842.

Loved Mother Henriette
“She was an avid promoter for the cause of Henriette Delille’s canonization,” Sister Greta said.

Sister Eva Regina also held positions on various boards, including the American Bishops’ Advisory Board for Black Catholics, Notre Dame Seminary and the Catholic Book Store in New Orleans.

She had received many awards, most notably the Harriett Tubman award presented by the National Black Sisters Conference in 2002.

Sister Eva Regina taught spirituality classes part-time for the archdiocese and also gave numerous workshops and retreats on spirituality and education.

In February 2013, just after Pope Benedict XVI announced he was resigning the papacy, the Sisters of the Holy Family drew the name of a cardinal participating in the conclave in order to pray for him.

Sister Eva Regina pulled the name Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, with whom she was unfamiliar.

She prayed: “I know this one may not make it to the top, but be with him anyway, even though he is unknown.”

After he was elected pope, Sister Eva Regina said: “I am filled with joy as I read words of praise about his humility, his love of service to the vulnerable and the poor, his ‘shoe leather’ evangelization and his widespread capacity for goodness.”

Funeral arrangements were not confirmed as of press time. She is survived by three sisters and one brother.

For details, visit www.sistersoftheholyfamily.com or call the motherhouse at 241-3088.

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