Sister Profile: S. Nancy Marsh

Sister Nancy Marsh

Sister Nancy Marsh has served the dear neighbor in ministries from teaching to working in hospice with PWA (Persons with AIDS) during a time where these people were stigmatized and feared. Each endeavor has brought her into “awareness of the fragility and preciousness of living each day to the full” while still encountering God in daily life. Read more about Sister Nancy, who lives in the Atlanta area, and her amazing talent and hobby of bobbin lace makingand how it brings her closer to the Lord.

Tell us about your work and ministries.
My service as a CSJ has a varied span over time. I was educated at Fontbonne College and graduated in 1970 with a degree in home economics education. I taught high school as an associate in Ste. Genevieve, Mo., at Valle High for a year then was accepted into the novitiate for the year of 1971-72.

I did a month-long ministry in Kansas City, Mo., at St. Joseph Hospital and worked with S. Elizabeth Deutsch in the pastoral care department as a sister visitor to inpatient care. This was my first introduction to any health care ministry, and I loved it and flourished like a flower. I went back to teaching but, in 1976, the St Joseph High School in Atlanta was closed and my ministry in education came to a close as well.

I took the opportunity to go to Georgia State University and got my associate degree in nursing and began my ministry in health care, which I continue today as a chemotherapy infusion nurse.

Most of my ministry has been with oncology patients, both inpatient and outpatient infusion as well as hospice care. This has been my life’s work and where I meet God everyday in the day-to-day struggles of life.

I did enjoy a four-year period working in home health infusion and hospice with PWA during the crisis time when these people were so stigmatized and fear abounded in the community. I feel that this brought me into awareness of the fragility and preciousness of living each day to the full.

Who do you look up to and why?
I look to my sisters in the Congregation as my heroines, and they exemplify the way in which we greet each day’s challenge. The CSJ Maxim that carries me through is, “Interpret everything in the most favorable sense.”

Where have you traveled? If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I have been gifted with travel over these years thanks to a family that valued this a learning for life. I have been to the British Isles, Central Europe and Scandinavia as well as the Caribbean. I would love to live in England.

bobbin laceWhat do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I enjoy all kinds of needlework, cooking, reading and movies (my favorite movie is Jaws).

I can cook anything! I am fascinated with the whole movement toward sustainability, improving the nutrition of the world.

I find myself a skills collector, I like learning new things and then move to the next adventure. I have taught myself to make bobbin lace and have pursued this skill for over 30 years. It has been a contemplative practice for prayer and a way to get in touch with my deepest self in the quiet.

It links me to the history of the Sisters of St. Joseph, takes me into the “now” and moves me beyond into the future. In the physical making of the lace, in the process and the preparation, it brings focus of the God within and the God all around. Is this not the heart of the matter?

Posted July 17, 2014
Article by Abby Blaes

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