On September 8, 2021 Marian University celebrated their 85th Founders Day. As part of the day's celebration, the Administration building was officially renamed "Agnes Hazotte Hall" in recognition of Mother Agnes Hazotte, one of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes (CSA) Founders. Mother Agnes was the first Superior General of CSA and served in that role for 40 years. Mother Agnes had a strong dedication to educating both sisters and those they served. The Congregation was offered naming rights to the building due to their on-going support of the University as a sponsor of the institution since founding it in 1936.
In the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor, we focus on the many ways children are exploited to provide consumer goods and services in this issue and in the October newsletter.
Click here to read the September 2021 newsletter.
On September 3, 2015, Bishop Richard Sklba, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Milwaukee, blessed the brand-new solar installation on the CSA motherhouse grounds. The 568-panel solar installation generates 247,000 KW, enough to supply 50% of the electrical needs of the motherhouse. Since that time, CSA has continued to seek out additional ways to demonstrate a corporate commitment to future generations and respond to Pope Francis’ call to the church, and the world, to take seriously the threat posed to our human dignity from the effects of climate change.
With that in mind, when Alliant Energy announced the launch of its first community solar project in Fond du Lac, CSA supported the endeavor by purchasing 862 solar panels (called “blocks”) of the solar garden. This investment means that the entire St. Agnes Convent and the on-site maintenance building will be 100% powered by the sun. The Community Solar program provides an opportunity for customers, both residential and corporate, to share the benefits of solar power without having to install solar panels on their property and will be fully operational by the end of 2021.
CSA invites the public to learn more about solar energy by visiting our onsite solar installation, accessing educational materials on the CSA solar energy website, and researching to learn if solar is a good sustainable energy option for them.
For detailed information on the Fond du Lac Solar Garden, visit alliantenergy.com/communitysolar
CSA is pleased to welcome Tracy Abler as Coordinator of the Justice, Peace, & Integrity of Creation Office and Chuck Gallert as Food Service Director for the CSA motherhouse.
Tracy became an Associate in April of 2020 and has longstanding connections with the congregation, Marian University, and the local Fond du Lac community. She and her husband, Mike, are kept busy with six daughters and four grandchildren. She has been particularly involved in efforts toward racial justice and educating herself, and others, on the history of racism. As recent Past President of the nonprofit United for Diversity, her gifts of collaboration and administration have served the community well in its efforts to celebrate, educate, and advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a live kidney donor, Tracy is also an advocate for organ donation.
Chuck has been working in the food service industry for 34 years, the last 15 years at Marian University as a chef manager. Chuck said, “I am excited and thankful to CSA sisters for giving me this opportunity and look forward to creating some new and exciting meals for the sisters.” When Chuck is not in the kitchen, he enjoys getting together with family and friends and also spending time outside on his family’s hunting land.
Pope Francis and six Cardinals and Archbishops from the US and Latin America have come together for a message of unity in support of COVID-19 vaccines and access for all.
Their message is that COVID-19 vaccines bring hope to protect us against this deadly disease and help end the pandemic – along with the idea that getting vaccinated can be a simple yet profound way to care for one another, especially the most vulnerable.
Get the latest facts on COVID-19 vaccines at GetVaccineAnswers.org.
“For everything there is a season and a time under Heaven.” Though Holy Scripture does not mention “a time to retire,” Sister Diane Bauknecht, CSA, believes it could have been listed. And she is just as convinced that now is the time for her to retire … a third time. After 43 years as a teacher and principal in elementary education, then 11 years of service in regional and general leadership roles for CSA, and now, following seven-plus years of ministry within Adelante Mujer, “the time” has come to hand the baton of Executive Director to another mission-hearted leader.
While Adelante Mujer, Inc., is not a sponsored ministry of the congregation, it was founded by CSA Sister Ann McKean in 2009 and many sisters and associates of the congregation have been part of its ongoing success. That relationship will continue to stay strong as CSA Associate Karen Heuberger becomes the Executive Director of Adelante Mujer, managing the international organization with its mission to provide financial assistance to women medical students in northeast Nicaragua, Central America. Karen felt called to the mission, “In September, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. … One of the gentlest, kindest nurse’s aides shared that she wanted to become a nurse, but it was so expensive. I was very moved by her story and felt a desire to be able to help people like her. I knew God would let me know if that was what I was meant to do. A few days later, I found out about the opening at Adelante Mujer. I knew God was leading me.”
She continued, “Adelante Mujer has a great impact on the women who are supported during their time of study. But the impact moves far beyond the women to all those who receive quality and compassionate care from these women.” Having previously traveled to Nicaragua, she looks forward to meeting the current 45 medical students and some of the 61 doctors who have all benefited from Adelante Mujer funding.
This issue highlights topics covered by the United States State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report for 2021.
Click here to read the August 2021 newsletter.
Este número destaca los temas cubiertos por el Informe de la Trata de Personas (TDP) del Departamento de Estado de los Estados Unidos para 2021.
Haga clic aquí para descargar el boletín de agosto de 2021.
The August 2021 issue of Reflections & Connections is now available online for your viewing.
In this issue, we celebrate solar, new staff, and our 2021 Jubilarians!
We first heard the words “revolution of tenderness” in a text by Pope Francis written during his first year as Holy Father. And this is a phrase that has come up again and again in his writings and presentations. In a time of world-wide crises regarding the instability of nations due to political strife and polarization, overt climate change manifest in raging forest fires, violent hurricanes, uncontrollable flooding in one area and drought in another, and a global pandemic due to a COVID-19 virus that not only replicates but also produces numerous variants give a profound dimension to his reflection on tenderness.
“The Gospel tells us constantly to risk a face-to-face encounter with others, with their physical presence which challenges us, with their pain and their pleas, with their joy which infects us in our close and continuous interaction. True faith in the incarnate Son of God is inseparable from self-giving, from membership in the community, from service, from reconciliation with others. The Son of God, by becoming flesh, summoned us to the revolution of tenderness.” (EG 88) Compelling and energizing are words I would use to describe this invitation to the global community. The words are strong; we are not just invited, we are summoned to a revolution of tenderness.
Tenderness in this context cannot be equated with weakness. It takes real strength to live a life of love as opposed to a life turned inward in a self-serving manner. Tenderness is love that becomes real and comes close. “Tenderness means to use our eyes to see the other, our ears to hear the other, to listen to the children, the poor, those who are afraid of the future. To listen also to the silent cry of our common home, of our sick and polluted earth. Tenderness means to use our hands and our heart to comfort the other, to take care of those in need.” (TED Talk 2017)
When we carry out a revolution of tenderness, we connect our “power” with humility and concrete love. This kind of power becomes a service, a force for good. In this way we help to banish “the globalization of indifference” that keeps us blind to the needs of others and of our precious planet. We recognize the importance of our commitment to those whose faith life and human dignity are threatened as well as our care for all creation. In that way, we become people of hope, leaving behind darkness and a fixation on the past, living fully in the present, and envisioning a future.
This way of living keeps us in synchronicity with our CSA Statement of Mission: “Love binds us together, and by sharing our lives and our faith in community, we support one another to live with singleness of purpose: that among us and in our world the Risen Christ be discovered and revealed.” Relationship is the face of revolution!
In the peace and love of Christ,
Sister Jean Steffes, CSA