S. Agnes Schneider
The influence of two Racine Dominicans, Ss. Leo Dohn and Lucy Edelbeck, prompted ninth-grader Agnes Schneider to begin thinking about religious life. “They had a big impact on me,” S. Agnes recalled. “They way they lived, their teaching, their very presence – everything about them drew me to their calling.” After finishing tenth grade in Fowler, Michigan, Agnes entered the community, attending St. Catherine’s High School in Racine.
The Vatican II Council in the early 1960s not only brought changes to the Catholic Church, “that was a time of major change in my own life, too.” S. Agnes said. “The vows became much more meaningful. That era brought openness in conversation within the community and in the world around us.”
After teaching for 15 years, S. Agnes was drawn to a different profession. “People in the community helped open my eyes to new possibilities,” she said. Business and math had always been strong interests, and in 1971, she entered the corporate world for the next 16 years. “I was exposed to many justice issues and found you can quietly influence people working side by side with them.”
Her work in business settings continued to evolve, as did her social and cultural consciousness. She has worked with justice issues in local, national and international realms.
S. Agnes would like people to know that Racine Dominicans “stand for justice and work out of that perspective. The public position we’ve taken regarding the war in Iraq is one important witness to this.”
Her message for younger sisters is to “keep hope alive. There’s lots of good in the world.” And she is confident in their faith and wisdom “to help us move into the next steps for the community.” She sees the Racine Dominicans becoming more aware “of carrying the gospel wherever we go,” and is greatly heartened by this community strength.