Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI

Sister Agnes Fischer

Joy found in children and adults during 30-year stint in Nicaragua

Sister Agnes Fischer

What was your first job before entering community or your first ministry? What did you enjoy about it?
For the first 18 years I was a grade school teacher in various parochial schools in the Diocese. It's so long ago that I can't remember many specifics, but I really enjoyed the looks on the children's faces when they "got it".

The next 30 years I spent in Nicaragua (read 'Nicaragua: Where people are the greatest joy'). Our work was mainly with adults. Their humility and eagerness to learn was impressive. These simple people shared with me their dependence on God and on each other, their love of and care for nature, and their hospitality.

As Franciscans celebrate 800 years since St. Clare joined St. Francis in following Christ, what one facet of her life would you like more people to know?
Clare had to struggle to convince Church authorities that she and her Sisters could live the radical poverty that she learned from Francis. Her courage and determination as a medieval woman is, I believe, not so well known.

We often hear the phrase, "We are Easter people." What does it mean to you or how do you live it?
The resurrection is the culmination of Jesus' life and death. It is the reason for our joy. Our belief in Jesus' resurrection and hope in our own bring joy. That joy should be the hallmark of our lives as it was for FranciĀ­s and Clare. I surely hope that I express that joy in my life and inspire it in others.

What makes you laugh?
My own foibles and mistakes; a good joke or prank; antics of children; the jokes God plays on me like not having winter weather while I am gone South for the month of February.

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Sister Agnes Fischer enjoys a laugh with one of her tatting students. The class is offered through UW-Green Bay's Learning in Retirement program. (Renae Bauer photo)

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