From Sisters to Friends

Religious sisters bring the light of Christ to Archdiocesan schools

By Elizabeth Hurley

The mention of religious sisters at St. Agnes, St. Croix and St. Therese Catholic schools inspire words like loving, kind and joyful. “The sisters have a certain aura about them that makes them different,” St. Croix Catholic School alumnus Alex Eberspacher said of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia who arrived at the Stillwater school in 2002. “They teach lessons the way Christ would and always bring everything back to Him. They keep you centered on what really matters.”

Each school hosts a different order of sisters where they serve as teachers. At St. Croix Catholic, Sister Mary Aquinas Halbmaier, O.P., is at the helm as principal. In each school, they teach a variety of grades ranging from preschool to middle school and a wide range of subjects, including religion, language arts and history. 

The importance of their involvement goes beyond acting solely as instructors in the classroom or in administration. Their witness shows that the consecrated life is not simply a job, but a calling and a way to exemplify Christ. Through their presence, the sisters encourage both students and staff in their faith and learning. 

At St. Agnes in St. Paul, Headmaster Dr. Kevin Ferdinandt said that because of the witness provided by the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of Eucharist, who joined the staff in the 2018-2019 school year, he has seen an increase in students praying about the call to religious life. St. Agnes was previously home to religious sisters beginning in the 1950s through to the 2014-2015 school year.

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