Sister Agnes (Mary Emil) Johnson
S. Agnes was born Near Plain, WI, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Dominican College and an RN diploma from Deaconess Hospital Milwaukee. She served in health care for 40 years. During this time she worked at St. Luke’s Hospital, Racine; Frontier Nursing Service, Hyden, KY, Racine Dominican Health Care in Racine and volunteered to treat hurricane victims in Choloma, Honduras, and served for six months in Ban Nam Yao Hospital, Thailand, working with Laotian refugees. She also served in Portage, WI, for nine years as a Home Health and Hospice nurse. She was elected vice president of her community in 2006 and still serves in that capacity.
S. Agnes Johnson had her 50th Jubilee in 2013
What first drew you to the Racine Dominican community?
I admired my first and second grade teacher, S. Amiee Chateau. Later in eighth grade a friend of mine decided to entire the aspirancy and showed me the literature. I sent in a card requesting information, as a joke, and then got all the info and thought it would be interesting to try out.
What has kept you in the community all these years?
I grew to love the community and liked being a part of something bigger than myself. The community has provided me with many opportunities that I am sure I probably would not have had otherwise. Final vows have had a stabilizing influence on my life. The community has given much to me, and it is my responsibility to give back.
What was one particularly cherished memory of your years in ministry?
One memory I will never forget is when I was working in Thailand at a hospital in Ban Nam Yao in the refugee
camp. A convoy of about 300 new refugees entered camp, and several of them were ill. Patients already in the hospital began getting up and coming over to tell us, “That person can have my bed.” Several of the new refugees either sat down on the floor or lay down on the floor and immediately fell asleep. They were now safe. The generosity, care and understanding among them was profound.
What is one thing people today should know about the Racine Dominicans?
The Racine Dominicans have and continue to meet not only the needs of those around them but also the needs of the members. Being a member of the Racine Dominicans has had a wonderful influence on my life and has helped me to be a contributing, grateful member.
What do you enjoy doing at this time of your life?
I enjoy being with people, reading, and continuing to be involved