Sister Mary Linus (Martha Emma) Erzer, ASC, 90, of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, Ruma Center, Ruma, Ill., passed away at 9:12 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, at Ruma Center, Ruma, Ill.
She was the fourth of five daughters born to Otto and Anna, nee Ravo, Erzer on Sept. 16, 1926, in Neier, Mo. She made her first vows as an Adorer of the Blood of Christ on July 1, 1945, and perpetual profession on July 1, 1950, and was Adorer of the Blood of Christ for 71 years.
She came from a hard-working farm family where she learned even as a child to do many household chores. Her mother died when she was 16 years old. She attended grades 5 through 8 at the Catholic school in Neier, Mo., where her teacher, Sister Mary Genevieve King, inspired her to be a Sister. She, who said she "always wanted to help people," was also inspired by Sister Georgiana Bolzenius, and her sisters when they came home to visit because "they looked very happy." Within a year after her mother's death, she entered the convent at Ruma, Ill.; following in the footsteps of her beloved mentors.
Sister Mary Linus' many household responsibilities as a child prepared her well to serve many people, especially her sisters in community, as cook, as well as in many other aspects of housekeeping. Most of her service was in Illinois, not far from Ruma Center. Her ministry reached both youth and the aged at Catholic Children's Home in Alton, Ill., St. Ann's Home in Chester, Ill., and St. Henry's Seminary in Belleville, Ill. In addition, she served her Sisters in the convents at Dahlgren, O'Fallon, Murphysboro, East St. Louis, St. Rose, and at the Ruma Center and Clementine Residence in Red Bud, Ill. She also served as cook and baker at De Mattias Hall in St. Louis, Mo. for 11 years. She took delight in preparing good meals and surprises for the Sisters. During those years, she also found time to "get out a bit." She enjoyed travel and visited many different states.
When she moved to the Ruma Center to live mission in later life, Sister Mary (as she was known in her later years) continued to enjoy her hobbies of fishing, doing puzzles, watching TV game shows, and her specialty: making candy. She appreciated having more time for prayer and for spending time with many people who were so much a part of her life, especially her sisters and other relatives. By some standards her life may seem simple and uneventful. However, Sister Mary knew how to turn the ordinary into the extra-ordinary as she slowly wove the beautiful tapestry that was her life.
She was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Walter and Otto, who died in early childhood and infancy; and her sisters and brothers-in-law, Florentine (Albert) Schaefer, Adelle (Lester) Norvell, Marie (John) Beck and Jack Bergjans.
Surviving are her sister Anna Mae Bergjans and many nieces and nephews.
Donations in memory of Sister Mary Linus may be sent to the ASC Retirement Fund, 4233 Sulphur Avenue, St. Louis, Mo. 63109 or online at www.adorers.org, "Support Our Ministries."
Visitation: Friends may visit from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, at Ruma Center Chapel, Ruma, Ill. Wake service will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the chapel.
Funeral: Mass of Christian burial will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 30, 2016, at Ruma Center Chapel with Msgr. Daniel J. Jurek officiating, with reflection given by community leadership. Burial at Convent Cemetery, Ruma, Ill.
WELGE-PECHACEK FUNERAL HOME, Red Bud, Ill.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Sept. 29, 2016