Sister ‘Aggie B’ celebrates century mark today (Oct. 4)

October 1, 2015 by

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In the fall of 1915, what would be called The Great War was intensifying across Europe.

But America wasn’t a part of that continent-wide conflagration yet. Instead, Americans in the fall of 1915 were discovering kitchen uses for the just-patented Pyrex and the first-ever processed cheese, or catching W. C. Fields in the new Broadway hit “The Ziegfeld Follies” or dreaming of a visit to the just-designated Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.

In America’s breadbasket, farmers were congratulating each other on a wheat crop that had reached 1 billion bushels for the first time ever.

And one family in the heartland was also celebrating another first: The birth of their first child, Laura Green, on Oct. 4, 1915, in Seward, Neb.

Now Sister Agnes Bernita Green, that daughter of Edward R. and Katherine Meadows Green, celebrates her 100th birthday today — Oct. 4, 2015 — at the Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia, where she has lived for the past 11 years. Family, friends and Sisters of St. Joseph gathered for a special Mass, dinner and party honoring her.

• • • • • • • • •

Laura was 19 when she was received into the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, and given the religious name of Agnes Bernita, making her the namesake of her late aunt who had also been a Sister of St. Joseph.

Sister Agnes Bernita professed her first vows on Aug. 15, 1935, and her final vows on Aug. 15, 1939.

She began her 45-year teaching career in 1935, and eventually taught every level from kindergarten to college. In Kansas, she taught in Aurora, Beloit, Collyer, Concordia, Junction City, Park, Salina (at Sacred Heart Grade School and High School and at Marymount College), Tipton and Vincent. She also taught in Grand Island and Sidney, Neb.; El Paso, Texas; and Chicago.

When she retired from teaching in 1980, she went to Grand Island, Neb., for 10 years, working in the hospital business office and ministering as a hospital chaplain. Then she returned to Kansas and ministered for another 13 years, first as a chaplain at what was then St. John’s Hospital and then in other health care settings in Salina.

Since moving to the Motherhouse in 2004, the little woman known by sisters and staff alike as “Aggie B” has always exuded energy. Wearing tennis shoes and pushing a hot-pink walker, she could be spotted almost anywhere inside the five-story building or outside on the grounds.

Now Sister Aggie B has slowed a bit in the year since she celebrated her 80th anniversary as a Sister of St. Joseph in 2014.

But, she said as her 100th birthday approached, “It’s been a life filled with joy; I always wanted to be a teacher – and that’s what I was.”

And then she pauses for a moment to reflect on a special joy that today brings together her long life and her love of teaching:

“The first class I ever taught was first grade in Collyer, Kan. And today one of the little girls who was a first-grader in that very first class lives at the Motherhouse with me — she is Sister Rose Beatrice Dreiling.”

Volunteer Connie Palacio created this timeline of Sister Agnes Bernita's life as part of today's birthday celebration.

Volunteer Connie Palacio created this timeline of Sister Agnes Bernita’s life as part of today’s birthday celebration.

Comments

One Response to “Sister ‘Aggie B’ celebrates century mark today (Oct. 4)”

  1. Missy Ljungdahl on October 2nd, 2015 10:39 pm

    Thank you, Sarah for the beautiful tribute for a beautiful person. I have always appreciated Aggie B. and thank God for the gift of these 100 years. Happy Birthday, Aggie B. and thank you for all you have been and are to so many of us. We will be thinking of you on Sunday.
    Missy

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