Rev. Martin M. Lennartz, CSV, died Feb. 17, 1945 after suffering a heart attack at an elevated station in Chicago, after just attending a funeral at St. Matthew Church in Chicago. He was 73.
Fr. Lennartz was born May 11, 1871 in Geneva, IL. After completion of his grammar school studies, he attended St. Viator College in Bourbonnais for his academic and collegiate courses.
He entered the Clerics of St. Viator novitiate in Chicago in 1891 and professed his first vows on Jul. 1, 1893 and his perpetual vows on Jul. 4, 1901. He studied theology at St. Viator College before completing his course work at Kendrick Seminary in St. Louis.
Fr. Lennartz was ordained to the priesthood on June 13, 1903. After ordination, he was on the faculty of his alma mater for many years and also at other educational institutions, including Holy Name School in Chicago and Columbus College in Chamberlain, SD. Scores of his students remembered their former teacher, as a lover of nature and of the outdoors.
He performed pastoral work at St. Viator Church in Chicago; Our Lady of Victory Church in Chicago — of which he was founding pastor — St. James Church in Chamberlain, SD; St. Mary Church in Athens, IL; St. Rose Church in Kankakee, IL and St. Mary Church in Hooppole, IL.
A solemn funeral Mass took place Feb. 20 at St. Viator Church in Chicago. The Rev. Richard J. French, CSV, provincial of the Viatorians, was the main celebrant, assisted by the Rev. Thomas E. Fitzpatrick, CSV, pastor of St. Viator Church and the Rev. Frank Cichzki, pastor of Our Lady of Victory Church.
The Rev. Thomas J McCormick, CSV, offered the sermon which was designed around this passage from Proverbs: “Boast not for tomorrow, for thou knowest not what the day to come may bring forth.”
Burial took place in the Viatorian Community plot at Maternity BVM Cemetery in Bourbonnais, where the Rev. Walter J. Surprenant, CSV, read the last prayers.
Taken from the 1945 Annuaire, a publication of the Viatorian General Direction, pp. 49-60 and a newspaper obituary, source and date unknown