Emily Nabholz, SCN

Posted by Spalding Hurst

October 8, 2019

Emily Nabholz, SCN, 91, (formerly Sister Bernard Maria) a native of Conway, Arkansas, died on Oct. 8, 2019, at Flaget Hospital, Bardstown, Kentucky. She was a Sister of Charity of Nazareth for 69 years.

She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Nazareth College (now Spalding University) in 1954, a Master’s degree in Psychiatric Nursing from Catholic University of America in 1958, and a Doctorate in Public Health from UCLA in 1972.

In Louisville, Kentucky, she served at St. Joseph Infirmary from 1950 to 1956, and as Director of Nursing at Our Lady of Peace from 1958-1968. Our Lady of Peace was a pioneering ministry at that time as there were few options for seeking care for mental health in Louisville. After earning her Doctorate in Public Health, Sister Emily was appointed Director of Health to collaborate with SCNs who were missioned in hospitals in Arkansas, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. Following seven years as Director of Health, she was invited to serve at the Weber Retreat Center in Adrian, Michigan, where she offered retreats, spiritual direction and holistic programs.

In 1975, she was selected to take part in a three-month program in India. During this time, Sister Emily taught psychiatric nursing to students at the Nazareth School of Nursing, Mokama, India. She was also able to serve closely with her sibling, Teresa Rose Nabholz, SCN, who was the Provincial in India at the time.

In 1985, Sister Emily took office as Southern Provincial for the Congregation, encompassing twelve states and Belize. In 1987, she was elected President of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, and took office in 1988 for a term of five years. During this time, the Congregation was accepted into the Charity Federation. Her term in office was also marked by an even greater emphasis on becoming more international as a Congregation. Among the initiatives was an increase in exchange programs for Sisters in India, the United States, and Belize. Sister Emily also served on a number of boards.

Following her term as President, she sought certification in spiritual direction and the healing arts. From 1994 to the present, she has ministered as a Spiritual Director with offices on the Motherhouse Campus, Nazareth, Kentucky.

Sister Emily is survived by two brothers, Charles and Tom, and by many nieces and nephews, and her religious community.

The Visitation and Prayer Service will take place Sunday, October 13, 2019, at St. Vincent de Paul Church, Nazareth, at 6:30 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be Monday, October 14, 2019, at St. Vincent de Paul Church, Nazareth, at 10:30 a.m. Burial will be in Nazareth Cemetery.

1 Comment

  1. Joanne Andiorio, scna

    I only knew Sr Emily for a short time since the merger with the Vincentians in Pittsburgh, I can say she was a real gift to many of us through that process and beyond in Pittsburgh. Her peaceful demeanor, wisdom, personal presence and ability to listen to many voices made her a valuable and cherished minister in all of the vineyards in which she served. Sharing her spiritual insights, healing vision and intense faith, she became a strong beacon in any troubled waters. My sympathy to all of you who had the great benefit of having her at your side. Special prayers for you Srs Marlene and Marilyn as you continue Emily’s legacy in your own lives. The full moon welcomes her into God’s heavenly galaxy having finished her work in this one! May all of you who knew her well, continue to be enriched by your memories of this one who was special in ways known and unknown.


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