May They Rest in Peace: Sr. Marie Gatza, IHM

Sr. Marie Gatza, IHM, 99, died Tuesday, Aug. 22, at home, the IHM Senior Living Community.

Alice Marie Gatza was the eldest daughter of 12 children born to Stanislaus “Anthony” and Margaret (McAlindon) Gatza of Flint, Michigan. She made her arrival on April 7, 1924, and later attended St. Michael Elementary School and High School, Flint. High school studies continued at St. Mary Academy, Monroe, when she entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1940 and received the religious name, Sister Marie Anthony. High school graduation followed in 1941.

Having earned a bachelor’s degree from Marygrove College and a master’s degree from the University of Detroit, she taught formal education for 23 years at St. Mary, Monroe; Marygrove College, Monroe Campus. Later in her teaching ministry, she served as high school principal of St. Francis de Sales, Detroit; St. John, Benton Harbor; and Immaculate Heart of Mary High School, Westchester, Illinois.

Sr. Marie Gatza, IHM
Sr. Marie Gatza, IHM

In 1966, Sister Marie was elected to congregational leadership as a Council Member and Assistant to the General Superior. She served in leadership for 10 years during the great change brought by Vatican II. Transition then called Sister Marie to study Clinical Pastoral Education as training for hospital chaplaincy. Over 15 years, she served as Chaplain and Director of Pastoral Care at Providence Hospitals in Southfield and Detroit. Retiring from the hospital in 1993, Sister Marie served as chaplain for the community at St. Mary Health Care Center, Monroe, until 1997. She resided in Southfield, Detroit and Northville.

Keeping a volunteer’s schedule, she shared her gifts, lovely disposition and service with the IHM community as a Pastoral Care Minister with sisters and staff at the Motherhouse and with the community’s benefactors through the IHM Development Office. She moved to the IHM Senior Living Community in 2008.

Sister Marie is survived by brothers John and Robert and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded by sisters Catherine Schwarz (former Sr. Marie Raymond, IHM), Margaret Gatza, Rita J. Jahn and Eileen R. Wichlacz and brothers James, Paul, Rev. Joseph, Rev. Raymond and Lawrence.

Services will be held at the IHM Motherhouse Chapel, 610 W. Elm Avenue, Monroe, on Tuesday, Aug. 29. Welcoming of the body begins at 9 a.m. with a Remembering and Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Livestreaming begins at 10 a.m. and may be viewed until Sept. 18, 2023. Green Burial will follow in St. Mary Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Rupp Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to the IHM Retirement Fund, 610 W. Elm Avenue, Monroe, MI 48162.

Obituaries for clergy and religious who have lived or served in the Archdiocese of Detroit may be emailed to [email protected]. Obituaries are printed as they are submitted, but may be edited for grammar and style. Detroit Catholic reserves the right to refuse or edit any submissions.


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