Sister Jean Louise Catherine Holtz died at Saint Joseph Villa on July 26, 2022. Born December 21, 1928, in Newark, NJ, she was the first child of parents Charles Holtz and Sophia Dugan who welcomed four more daughters: Lois, Margaret, Carol and Barbara. The girls enjoyed a happy, loving childhood highlighted by trips to the Jersey shore and picnics in the woods. Jean received her First Communion, May 17, 1935, when she donned the white, dotted Swiss dress made by her mother, a memory which clearly indicates her loving, Catholic upbringing. It was on New Year’s Eve, 1949, while attending Mass with her boyfriend that Jean experienced in the intimacy of Holy Communion that God was inviting her to religious life. Some months later she shared her intent with her friend who realized her call. It was he who drove her to Chestnut Hill for her interview.
Jean entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph on September 14, 1950. Nurtured in its mission that all people be united to God and to one another, she made her Final Profession in 1958 as Sister Charles Immaculate. Sister served in several dioceses as teacher, director of religious education, pastoral associate, volunteer and finally at Saint Joseph Villa in 2019 as “prayer and presence.”
Seeking admission into the Congregation, Jean evoked this testament from her pastor, “The step she is taking is prompted by the grace of God and a desire to contribute to the salvation of souls.” Jean heard God’s call with a full and open heart and continually grew in her commitment to God and God’s people. Experiencing the challenge of post-Vatican years, she embraced it as a time of joy and gratitude. Her four sisters recognized and appreciated her love of flowers, sewing, needlework and cooking. Jean had a keen knowledge about many things shared in an unassuming way. Hers was an innate ability to name flowers, plants and trees. Sisters acclaimed her as an amazing and inspiring person, a strong, courageous woman of faith, a great community woman of integrity, one attentive to the needs of others, always willing to lend a hand, regardless of the situation, deeply spiritual and always a prayerful supporter.
Jean was the essence of a Sister of Saint Joseph. To meet her was to be greeted by her genuine, loving smile emanating from an ardent inner life. We praise and thank our God for the uniquely gentle, deeply spiritual presence of Sister Jean Holtz in our lives. May our sister enjoy for all eternity the Divine Presence whom she allowed to transform her as she reached out to all people. Constitutions – 29