Sr. Agatha Fitzgerald
Sister Agatha Fitzgerald didn’t know when she joined her friend Alice Focke in their freshman year at our Brown County boarding school that Brown County would continue to be her home for most of her life. In 1946, after high school, she entered the Ursuline Community and while in the novitiate she taught English on an elementary level and Physical Education in the High School. After their first profession of vows, she, Sisters Pat Brockman and Mary Doeker were given the unprecedented opportunity to attend college full time. Shortly into that year Agatha was called to replace the third- grade teacher who was confined to bed due to illness. Her first assignment after a semester at college was to work full time with the younger girls in the boarding school. The experience of those years was foundational to all her ministry in the years that followed.
She spent a year teaching eighth grade at Ursuline Academy before attending Catholic University full time for a Master of Arts degree that prepared her to be a school counselor and to teach Psychology at Chatfield College. Agatha returned to Ursuline Academy as a counselor and teacher of English and Religion for ayear before being named directress of the Novitiate where she remained for six years, providing initial formation to the young women who entered the Ursuline Community, meanwhile teaching and counselling in the boarding school. She was appointed Principal of the boarding school for five years and then joined the staff at Chatfield College for the next thirty years, teaching psychology, providing counseling, and eventually becoming Dean. As her work included Public Relations, Agatha became involved in civic and local community activities. The last two decades of her active ministry were spent in development and communications for the Ursuline community. She continues to share her artistic talent with anyone who requests it, including the layout of this newsletter.
Agatha moved to Mount Notre Dame in October 2018. “We have been warmly welcomed at Mount Notre Dame and made to feel a part of the community. As we share in their joys and sorrows, this experience expands my understanding of community,” Agatha says. “I lived my vocation and ministry primarily at Brown County and I am very grateful for my seventy years as an Ursuline. Now I have another opportunity: I am here at Mt. Notre Dame to listen and to be present to others in my expanded community.”