Nazareth Association
Nazareth Association


Anna Holahan was born in Detroit, Michigan, on June 8, 1915, the daughter of Thomas and Catherine (O'Neal) Holahan. Anna was a member of St. Bernard Parish in Detroit at the time of her entrance into the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Nazareth on June 21, 1930. She received the name Sister Theonilla at her reception on January 7, 1931. She pronounced first vows on January 4, 1933, and final vows on August 25, 1936.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Nazareth College, she pursued graduate studies in Home Economics at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri. For several years Sister Theonilla taught in schools of the congregation, including St. David, Detroit, St. Augustine, Kalamazoo and St. James, Ferndale. She then moved into new ministry working in the SSJ Guild Office and in the business office of the congregation. In 1992 she retired, but continued a ministry of service to the sisters at Nazareth Center and Fontbonne Manor, in addition to assuming duties as administrative assistant to the Nazareth Association. Wherever she was, her co-workers recognized not only her talent and expertise in carrying out her many responsibilities, but her generous service to others.

Sister Theonilla was a woman with strong convictions, great faith and a wholesome sense of humor. She was most generous in responding to the needs of others. Sister Theonilla was grateful for the many opportunities that she experienced for spiritual, intellectual and psychological growth throughout her life. She often expressed that her life sustenance came from the motivation, support, love and inspiration of her family, CSJ community and friends. She was very close to her sister, Sister Bernita, and they companioned each other along life's journey. Now that God whom Sister Theonilla sought earnestly has welcomed her home and filled her with love and peace.

May She Rest in Peace


Thanks to the dedication of several of our members, the Association is offering a DVD. The DVD, The Nazareth Story: A Legacy of the the Sisters of St. Joseph at Nazareth, tells the story of the Sisters from their start in Le Puy, France, to their settlement in Kalamazoo. The DVD also documents several of their educational institutions, Barbour Hall, Nazareth Academy and Nazareth College, as well as, Borgess Hosptial. To order this wonderful DVD send in the order form below along with your contribution. The suggested contribution is $15 per DVD.


Order form may be found on Memorabilia Page

March 2010 Board Meeting Highlights

  • The bylaws of the Association were updated and amended. The main changes include adding the statement that the Board would put in a good faith effort to have its membership include at least one representative from each of the five schools and a CSJ member who can serve as a liaison between the board and the Mother House. As a result we were able to vote in Sr. Grace Scola who will serve in the liaison position.
  • The second major change to the bylaws was to create the position of Past President. This position will allow the Past President to serve on the Executive Committee. Since the Past President, typically, served two years as Vice President and two years as President, they will be able to provide rationale and a historical perspective to the Executive Committee.
  • The board also voted to allow the Scholarship Committee to award 3 additional $1000 scholarships this year.
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Keeping the Spirit Alive!

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Nazareth Association
3901 Emerald Dr, Ste N
Kalamazoo, MI 49001-7923

Phone: (269) 342-1191