Sister Agnes Ruschman, 1915-2013

Born March 28, 1915, Newport, Kentucky
Entered St. Walburg Monastery, August 15, 1937
Received habit, March 21, 1938
First Profession, June 28, 1939
Died September 4, 2013

            Sr. Agnes Ruschmann was born to Joseph and Clara (Motz) Ruschmann on March 28, 1915 in Newport, KY and given the name Helen Frances at her baptism. Helen was the fourth of eleven children—two boys and nine girls, five of whom survive her. Four of these nine girls entered religious life, Sr. Clara, CDP, Srs. Joseph, Agnes and David, OSB. Helen entered St. Walburg Monastery on August 15, 1937 and became a novice on March 21, 1938 receiving the name Sister Agnes. First and perpetual profession followed in 1939 and 1942; silver, golden and diamond jubilees were celebrated in 1964, 1989 and 1999.

            After first profession in 1939 until 1958, Sr. Agnes served as cook and housekeeper for the sisters at various missions, one of which was St. John’s Orphanage (1944-57) where she met children who remember her well. From 1958 until 1970 , she cared for 5th through 8th grade boarders at Villa Madonna Academy. From 1969 until the late 70’s Sr. Agnes furthered her ministry to seniors by learning ceramics and getting certification, attending workshops and seminars on working with the aging. After two years as cook at Holy Cross, Sr. Agnes assumed direction of a senior citizens’ group, the Busy Fingers, at St. Benedict Parish from 1972 until her retirement. She enjoyed and gave her heart to whatever she was doing—cooking, working with children or with seniors. In 1996 Sr. Agnes retired to the monastery. She remained an active participant in all activities. In 2003 she moved to the infirmary where, even when limited to her wheelchair, she took an active part in exercises and various games.

            Sister Agnes died peacefully, supported by her family and community on Wednesday afternoon, September 4, 2013. Surviving her are her sisters, Bernadette Cunningham, Rita Keener, Sr. David, Therese Humpert and Agnes Rumker, many nieces and nephews, friends and the Benedictine community.