Sister Agnes Pauline Meinert
“Whatever you do, do with all your heart. …” (Colossians 3:23)
“The words of Isaiah, ‘You are precious in my sight, and I love you,’ and the words of St. Paul, ‘Whatever you do, do with all your heart,’ are most befitting of Sister Agnes Pauline. In the memory of love, we gather and give thanks for the rich treasure Sister Agnes Pauline has been to each of us. She contributed something special to each of us, and we are found changed by her gift of life because she helped us discover a part of ourselves that without her we might never have known,” said Sister Barbara Ann Zeller in her commentary for Sister Agnes Pauline Meinert, who died June 24, 2007.
One of four children of Paul and Ethel (Segerson) Meinert, Florence Mary Meinert was born Oct. 15, 1916, in Cicero, Ill. She attended St. Mel Grade School and graduated from Providence High School, both in Chicago. She entered the Congregation Feb. 10, 1936, and professed first and perpetual vows Aug. 15, 1938, and 1944, respectively. Sister Agnes Pauline earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and a master’s degree in education from St. Louis University.
Sister Agnes Pauline began her pedagogical ministry at Ladywood High School, Indianapolis, in 1938. In Indiana, her classrooms included Holy Trinity, New Albany; St. John, Vincennes; St. Patrick, Fort Wayne; and St. Joan of Arc, Indianapolis, where she served as principal. Her ministries in Illinois included St. Joseph, Galesburg; St. Genevieve, St. Angela, Immaculate Conception and St. Francis Borgia, Chicago; and Mother Theodore Guerin High School, River Grove. She also taught at St. Ann, Washington, D.C., and Sacred Hearts, Malden, Mass. She returned to the Woods in 1996 and ministered at Providence Center.
“Each of us will always hold our own fond memories of Sister Agnes Pauline. Among those memories, we remember a woman of brilliant and curious intellect who often challenged with an unexpected turn of thought. We remember a woman of gentility who was gracious and artfully aristocratic in her bearing, her manner and her speech. She had an unfaltering loyalty to her God, her religious Congregation, her family and friends. She entered into God’s presence with her whole heart embracing and reverencing her religious life as the gift and genuine present it was,” said Sister Barbara Ann.
“She hugged life with her sense of humor as she enjoyed tickling life with her wit and story telling. Hidden in the pockets of daily life she had strength. She was a little stubborn and nearly always right! She was one of the greatest fans the Cubs will ever know and was privileged to occasionally lunch with the famous Harry Caray. She dearly loved a little canine named Mulligan, enjoyed fresh donuts, Sierra Mist, horse-drawn carriage rides on special occasions, New Year’s Eve parties and always enjoyed greeting God with the sunrise while vacationing in the Smokey Mountains,” continued Sister Barbara Ann.
“With her quiet demeanor, she always had a special way of having fun with the world. Her very life illustrated the value and the difference that can be made by the touch of a person who genuinely cares. She taught us that an exceptional person touches, cradles and helps those with whom she has lived, with whom she has worked and whom she has loved. Sister Agnes Pauline will live on in our hearts and lives and, in the life of this, her beloved community, because she leaves footprints of caring, goodness, perseverance, courage, fidelity and inspiration.
“We remember a woman of wonderful soul who had a beautiful and definite face, twinkling blue eyes, a person of distinctive actions, an enigmatic smile and a particular recipe for life. But most importantly, we remember a person who loved tenderly and walked humbly with her God knowing that God created her with a particular purpose and plan — believing that she was always in the exact place where God both made and wanted her to be,” said Sister Barbara Ann.
“Sister Agnes Pauline, we gather to say one more goodbye to you knowing that you are with your Provident God, the one for whom you have longed. Together with our sainted Mother Theodore, send us blessings — blessings of forgiveness and healing love; blessings of light and hope; and blessings to accept the grace of peace that only our Provident God can give,” concluded Sister Barbara Ann.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Agnes Pauline was celebrated June 28 with the Rev. Daniel Hopcus presiding. She is survived by two sisters, Margaret Bradley of Grayslake, Ill., and Claire Abell of Park Ridge, Ill., and one brother, Robert of Longwood, Fla.
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