Date of death: 8/17/2021
Saint Meinrad Class: SS 1987
Sr. Susan was born on August 28, 1935, in Louisville, Kentucky, to Alline and Anthony Pohl. She has two sisters, Phyllis, and Carole. Her early education took place at St. Frances of Rome School and Presentation Academy where she graduated in 1953. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Ursuline College in Louisville.
After teaching several years in parochial schools in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Massachusetts, she entered St. Martin Monastery on August 28, 1963. She professed temporary vows in 1965 and perpetual vows in 1970.
From 1965 to 1971, Sr. Susan taught and served as principal at St. Mary’s School in Lemmon, SD. After the school’s closing in 1971, she remained there as coordinator of religious education. During that year she began working with Fr. Scherer, then pastor of St. Mary’s and diocesan director of religious education, giving catechist workshops throughout the diocese
In 1972 Sr. Susan began graduate work in religious education at Fordham University in New York City where her studies focused on theology and scripture as well as the practical aspects of adult religious formation.
Receiving her Master of Religious Education degree in 1973, she returned to Rapid City to take part in setting up the diocesan office of religious education and was later appointed director, a position she held until 1989.
During this time Sr. Susan provided direct parish services, catechist formation through workshops, an annual catechetical day, and a bi- monthly newsletter. She authored scripture texts designed for adult study groups. Her ministry often took her to American military bases in the U.S, Germany and Japan and included women’s retreats, youth confirmation retreats, ecumenical days of reflection and spiritual counselling.
In December of 1989, she began work as administrative secretary in the Continuing Education Center at St. Meinrad Archabbey and Seminary in Indiana. Due to administrative restructuring, this position closed in May of 1990. In September Sr. Susan took classes in hospital pastoral care through the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. As part of her studies, she worked at Bishop Flaget Hospital in Bardstown, Kentucky and lived at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity in Nazareth, Kentucky. In 2001 she returned to Rapid City and was the Hospital chaplain-on call, did hospice home visits, and served on the Ethics Committee and Institutional Review Board for the Rapid City Regional Hospital and Hospice of the Hills.
Sr. Susan has found her life challenging and rewarding. Among her greatest treasures are “memories and support of all the beautiful and dedicated people she had the opportunity to meet and and to serve.”