“For all that has been, Thanks!
For all that will be, Yes!”
Hazel Katherine Jones was born in the “City by the Bay,” San Francisco, to William and Gertrude Jones. Her brother William Jr., and sister Mary were nine and ten years older than she. All of her immediate family is now deceased. On her mother’s side of the family, she is a third generation San Franciscan.
Katherine first met the Presentation Sisters when she attended Epiphany School in the Crocker Amazon district of San Francisco. She recalled, “This event began my life-long love for the Sisters and our beloved foundress, Nano Nagle. I fulfilled my desire to become a Presentation Sister when I finished high school. Becoming a Sister was the only thing I ever wanted to be from the time I was in fourth grade.”
On July 1, 1951, she entered the Sisters of the Presentation Motherhouse at 281 Masonic Avenue. She faced strong opposition from her father when she expressed her desire to enter the convent. However, after much conversation and plenty of tears he finally gave his consent. Sister Katherine said, “As you can imagine, my entrance was very sad as I left my parents sobbing on the front porch.” She received her religious habit and name Sister Mary Martin on December 16,1951, and professed her vows on January 3, 1954.
Although she knew that the primary Presentation ministry was teaching, she didn’t give it much thought until she started teaching 2nd grade girls at St. Anne’s School as a second year novice. For the first twenty years her ministry was in elementary education, including Principal of Cathedral Parish School in San Francisco for five years.
In 1990 Sister Katherine went to Southern California, and she has been there ever since. She first taught at Holy Trinity School in San Pedro for two years and then became the Director of Religious Education (DRE) for Holy Trinity Parish. Sister Katherine received a Master’s Degree in Religious Studies to further her preparation for this new ministry. From Holy Trinity parish, she went two years to Mission San Gabriel as DRE and then to St. Philip the Apostle parish in Pasadena as DRE for almost twenty-three years.
It was at this point that she started a totally new ministry as Religious Services Coordinator for Calvary Catholic Cemetery and Mortuary in East Los Angeles. Sister Katherine remarked, “Of all the ministries I have participated in, this one has captured my heart – serving families at the most difficult time of their lives. I can bring the compassion of Jesus and the loving ministry of Mother Nagle to them.” She has learned so much about giving of herself to these grieving families. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles provided very excellent training programs to help her in this new ministry.
Ministering at Calvary Cemetery has been so rewarding to her spiritually that she finds it difficult to express it in words. However, she does remember her “roots,” so she still loves the beautiful City by the Bay. And she is still an avid Giants, 49ers and Warriors fan! She says, “I thank God for calling me to religious life, keeping me faithful to my vows, and leading into the future, whatever that will be for me as a Presentation Sister.”