BURNLEY, UK – Prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of Sister Francis Teresa Martin FMSJ who died at the Franciscan Convent Burnley on 7 May 2016.
Many students of St Francis Convent Kota Kinabalu and St Cecilia Convent Sandakan would recall their former principal Sr Francis Teresa for her gentle, wise leadership and her care for each of her charge.
Teresa Martin was born on 3 Feb 1925 in Rotherham, Yorkshire. She was predeceased by her parents Ann and James. Teresa has just one sister younger than her – Cecilia, known as Cissie.
Teresa was educated at Notre Dame High School, Sheffield until the age of eighteen. In 1943 after leaving school, Teresa went to ‘Mount Pleasant’ Teacher Training College in Liverpool. After two years of study – Teresa was awarded the Teachers Certificate of the Universities of Manchester and Liverpool and the Associated Colleges’ Teachers Certificate of Religious Knowledge. Teresa taught for four years before entering the FMSJ Congregation at the age of 24 on the 7 September 1949. She received the habit as novice on 24 May 1950 and the name Sister Francis Teresa. Sr Francis Teresa pronounced her First Vows on the 10 July 1951 at St Philomena’s Altrincham. Her first appointment was to North Borneo – to Jesselton, to teach!
After two years in 1953 Sr Francis Teresa was appointed as school principal in Sandakan. However, from 1964-67 Francis Teresa was school principal in Jesselton, influencing lives of so many young women who kept in touch over the years. In 1967 she was appointed local Superior in addition to being principal of the school. In 1969 Sr Francis Teresa was appointed Regional Superior for Sabah and Sarawak. From 1971-75 Sister was assigned in Kota Kinabalu.
Francis Teresa will be remembered, by many, as being approachable; for her ability to see the funny side of most situations, her tinkling laugh and deep chuckle. She had a great capacity for enjoying life and wanted us to enjoy it too and with each other. – FMSJ