Sister Dennis Joins the Centenarian Club
2023 marked a particularly auspicious year for Sister Dennis O’Connor. Born May 15, 1923, and professed in 1943, she had the joy of celebrating her 100th birthday and her 80th Jubilee this summer.
Sister Dennis was born in Milwaukee and was taught by the Sisters of St. Agnes at St. Florian’s School. She moved into the convent at 15 and made her first profession at age 20. She quickly became an asset to sisters throughout the country as a homemaker. She made meals, drove sisters who could not drive, and did the many tasks necessary to ensure that households where she served were well kept and happy homes. She was never given much time to sit still, moving 13 times in 43 years with numerous moves back and forth throughout Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, and Wisconsin. She settled in Fond du Lac in 1986, but her moving adventures weren’t quite finished.
After living in the staff area of Nazareth Heights for eight years, she discovered that it was time to move again as the sisters living there were all relocated to the newly built Nazareth Court & Center. True to her homemaker-spirit, she partnered with another sister to pack all the boxes for the other sisters and ultimately moved herself out last. Since that move in 1998, she has finally had a chance to stay in one place!
On the occasion of her 80th Jubilee, Sister Dennis took a moment to reflect on her experiences and offer insight to those who continue to carry CSA’s charism: “I am deeply grateful for my 80 years as a Sister of St. Agnes. Day after day I trusted in God and was faithful to prayer and community life. If people needed me, they knew they could call upon me. I never said ‘no’ to a request for help. My advice to you who wish to live CSA’s mission today: You are all God’s people and God’s servants. Use your own common sense. Follow your heart and it will take you where you should be.”