Website Announcements



Announcing our new Mass time

Starting November 6, our early Mass will begin at 8AM

Reasons why this change is being made:
• To provide more opportunities for everyone to attend an early Mass as there is no 8AM Mass in the vicinity
• This will open up many more possibilities for Adult and Family Faith Formation
• It will provide another option for our Christian Formation students and families to attend Mass
• It will give us more time between Masses for bringing in speakers to give presentations.

See you at Mass!



This summer, 50 youth and adults from St. Agnes, Good Shepherd, St. James, and other area parishes traveled to Boston, MA from July 9-16 to participate in Catholic Heart Workcamp (CHWC) whose motto is Love, Serve, Connect.  This week-long workcamp is all about service, connection to each other and our faith, and loving others.  It provides an opportunity for parish youth groups, teens (ages 7th grade to 20 years old), and adult leaders to participate in service opportunities to restore homes and hearts, feed the hungry, lift the spirits of children, and bring joy…all while connecting with other youth and adults from other parts of the country.  This opportunity was coordinated by Corinna Ramsey, Good Shepherd Director of Child and Youth Ministry (and St. Agnes parent) and David Weber, St. James Youth Coordinator, both of whom served as head chaperones during the trip.  There was a terrific representation of youth and adults from St. Agnes including current students Cassidy, Josephine, Serenity, and Ava; alumni Ella Gebhardt, Shyla Matthews, Carlin Nolan, Ethan Ramsey, and Gabby Ramsey; and current staff members Michele Matthews and Karen Papador.  

These 50 youth and adults spent two days on a road trip to Boston, stopping to rest in Buffalo, NY in the gym at a generous Catholic church there.  While in Boston, everyone slept on air mattresses and cots in classrooms, the boys at Arlington Catholic High School and the girls next door at, believe it or not, St. Agnes School.  The group worked hard all week in smaller groups around the Boston area on various service projects such as painting houses, pulling weeds, trimming bushes, cleaning churches, moving boxes, assisting with students in summer schools, packing backpacks with school supplies, and helping social agencies and local residents in need.  The final day of the camp, the youth and adults spent some free time at the New England Aquarium in Boston and walked these historic streets.

Each workcamp through CHWC is equipped with a summer staff, director, manager, musician, nurse, and priests to guide the youth who attend in mass/confession, as well as many community building games and activities, and reflective prayerful practices.  So, in addition to working all day in service, the youth and adults found time to play games, laugh, sing, dance, pray, listen, learn, and grow in their understanding of themselves and their faith. This experience is an uplifting one for many and there are so many connections made with the other attendees at the camp, including with youth from other parishes from other states.  This inspires so many of the youth to attend an out of state workcamp multiple times…for some of the young adults  this was their fifth year attending workcamp out of state!  The cost of the trip is offset by fundraising throughout the year and the generosity of family, friends, and parish members who donate to this amazing opportunity.  

Next summer, this group will be traveling out of state again to love, serve, and connect with others!  If you are interested in joining in this awesome opportunity in July 2023, location TBA, as a youth (ages 7th grade - 20 years old) or as a chaperone, please contact Corinna Ramsey at [email protected].  Registration is on a first come, first served basis and registration is beginning soon!

50 youth and chaperones at CHWC in Boston

Painting at a work site (Ava, current 8th grader standing and Serenity, current 8th grader in the gray shirt)

Current 8th grader Josephine pulling weeds at a worksite.

Workcamp group at a site includes St. Agnes alum Ethan (far left) and Carlin (far right).Workcamp group includes St. Agnes alums Gabby (pink shirt on the left) and Ella (blue shirt on the right).

St. Agnes alum Shyla prepares for a day of work.

Current 8th graders Josephine, Ava, and Cassidy represent St. Agnes in Boston!


What’s New at St. Agnes? 

For most of us at St. Agnes, the Catholic ID program is new, even though 75 parish members participated in Catholic ID groups between 2016 and the start of COVID. This fall we will offer more opportunities for parishioners to experience a Catholic ID discipleship group, once a week for 10 weeks.

So, let’s review. Just what is Catholic ID and how is it different from other kinds of groups, like Bible Study, for example?

Here’s what it’s not: a book, questions to be answered, Bible study, faith sharing, reading and reacting.

Here’s what it is: apprenticeship in discipleship, breaking the “conspiracy of silence” and talking about Jesus, a personal experience of the Church in a small group, growing in the heart and habits of discipleship together, praying for each other by name and practicing the group discipleship habit.

What do people say they get out of joining a Catholic ID group?

Pam Matthews has completed the program and is one of the trained group leaders. “Sharing in a small group about my own faith journey,” she said, “gave me the confidence to be more willing to share my faith more freely with others.”

This is challenging for many Catholics. “We are human,” Kathy Schroeder said. “We fall short of what we think God expects of us. But God loves us just as we are,” she said. 

Maryrose Wolf not only participated in a group, but also became a group leader. “Being part of the Catholic ID program has encouraged me in my journey to become the best disciple possible for our Lord,” Wolf said. “The members of our group prayed for each other intentionally every day! The power of these prayers was phenomenal.”

Karen Knurr said that her biggest takeaway from being in a Catholic ID group was learning how to pray. “Really. I’ve been doing it wrong all these years,” she said. “The program included a section on how to pray. It became a connect-the-dots exercise for me. Each meeting we continued to build our relationship with God through readings and discussion. And the prayer portion got a little easier every day. Now, prayer is a natural, wonderful, can’t-miss part of my day!”

The first Catholic ID group at St. Agnes in 2016.

So, just what do you do in these meetings? 

Marilyn Schultz described her experience. “With a group of approximately 10 wonderful people, we met for 10 sessions and focused on developing six habits to accomplish those goals. We prayed, we learned how to pray better, and we shared many personal experiences that helped me become a better Catholic and a better person. My daily relationship with Jesus Christ has noticeably deepened, and I would encourage my fellow parishioners to join Catholic ID.”

With a workbook to help record your progress, you’ll address one chapter each week in a prayerful walk toward discipleship. An opening prayer will set the stage for the group’s focus, which changes each meeting. Scripture readings and opportunities to share are part of the experience as well as connections to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Participants will also be asked to agree upon a group discipleship resolution—a shared commitment to practice a shared habit of discipleship during the week. Group members are asked to pray for one another, for our parish and our community. These prayers will connect the participants with other parishioners and pave the way for strengthening the St. Agnes parish community.

What are these habits of discipleship?

The six habits are prayer, Scripture, Mass, reconciliation, service, and parish family. Each habit is the focus of a specific week’s meeting. Ten weeks can seem like a long time, but the time passes quickly. As you become more involved, you won’t want to miss the weekly gathering.

“I’ve always considered myself a devout Catholic,” Linda Barrington said, “but this experience awakened in me a renewed commitment to my faith and my parish. I think I’ve already grown by learning and practicing the six habits of Catholic intentional discipleship. This is a life-time commitment for me.”

When will these meetings take place and how do I sign up?

This year’s Catholic ID will be led by Kathy Schroeder and Shelly Fellin. The session will be held Monday nights, 6-7:30 p.m. from Sept. 26-Nov. 28 in the Christian Formation room. Sign-up will begin the weekend of Aug. 13/14.



Out and About adventure to the Catholic Ecology Center
Walking a wooded path, crossing the winding Otter Creek, listening to the tweets and chirps of birds, a group of enthusiastic adventurers from St. Agnes explored the Catholic Ecology Center with hands-on involvement.

The main building is the former home of a Girl Scout camp, but has been transformed into a teaching and learning center for both students and adults with focuses on education, stewardship, faith, recreation and garden ministries.

“This was my old Girl Scout stomping grounds [when I was a leader years ago], Mary Sal Pohl said. She recalled: “We brought 42 girls from St. Agnes and we slept in three-sided cabins with bunk beds.”

Indoors, space has been updated to include a large gathering area, an upstairs loft for little kids with hands-on learning, and a lower-level educational center.

“I liked the kids’ loft -- a learning play area with taxidermy displays, like the badger, skunk and snowy owl,” Alice Hodges said. “There was a framed painting of 
all the fish native to Wisconsin” attached to the ceiling in the loft, she said.

Our entire group in front of the main building.  Our big adventure was on Tuesday, July 19.

Learning experiences include a Touch and Feel box (lower left), microscopes and a terrarium on the table, and framed species samples on the back shelves. At the far right in back are hives loaded with buzzing bees.

Our personal tour guide, Theresa Liebert, is the program coordinator for the Catholic Ecology Center. She explained all the details of the education features of the main building, then took us on a tour/hike around the grounds. “Theresa was amazing,” Susan Collier said. All along the walk, she explained the history of the acreage, the stewardship of plantings and care of the grounds, and plenty of details about the flora and fauna we encountered. “She pointed out things along the trail and kept us informed...and without note cards,” Collier said.

Along the way Liebert explained that the grounds are also open in the winter.  Those with Catholic Ecology Center membership have free use of showshoes and cross-country skis in the winters and can ski the trails. The grounds are open from dawn to dusk, but the buildings are open weekdays, 9-5. The Center does have cabins with bunk beds and electricity. They can be rented for 3-5 days at a time.  

For flower-lovers, the tour of the gardens was a highlight of the trip. Here in this picture, Liebert answers questions about the particular flowers that are attractive to butterflies. 

“I liked the wildflower garden,” Kathy Bitante said. “It had a variety of wildflowers from our area. Everything was well marked.”

Dawn Meyer agreed. “I like learning about the different plants. That’s so interesting how one plant can give you a rash and the plent right next to it produces the balm to calm the rash,” she said.


Kemp Hall’s new look: flooring, painting, safety

After the flooding of Kemp Hall last summer, the staff learned that the tile flooring was made with asbestos. That meant that the entire floor would need to be removed as well as that in the kitchen and adjacent hallways.

“Painting wasn’t planned,” maintenance supervisor Ella Ostrowski said. As the clean-up progressed, the staff learned 
that some parts of the walls were also damaged. That meant the walls would need to be painted. 

“We were able to use left-over paint from the church,” Father Joy said. “And we’ll buy enough paint to finish the walls, including the adjacent hallways.” Most of the work is being paid for by insurance. 

Father Joy asked principal Rachel  Kolbeck, vice-principal Amy Retzer and St. Agnes staff members, Shelly Fellin, Patty Kaiser, Paula Pikula and Marilyn Schultz to form a committee to select the new  flooring for Kemp Hall. 

The first flooring company they approached was pricier that hoped for. The insurance company suggested we get an estimate from Nationwide Flooring and Window Coverings. “They offered a lower bid,” Pikula said, “well below the other company. They are great to work with.” The owner has been here a couple times in the last week to check on the progress.

One of the creative decisions for the committee was deciding on tile patterns and colors. 

“We started out thinking we’d use a muted white with light green,” Pikula said. “When we saw it full-size on the floor, we knew right away that it was wrong.” The committee used Pinterest to see what other school cafeterias and halls looked like. Patterns and colors and room sizes all affected what looked good and what didn’t. 

“A big room needs a big pattern,” Pikula said. “A smaller pattern would have made it look too busy.”

“We decided on a diamond pattern,” Father Joy said. “It gave the hall a modern look; it appears to be a larger area.”

Once the asbestos removal was completed, the workers recently started laying tile. Pikula has enjoyed checking in on the work regularly. “It’s an interesting process,” she said. “They heat up the tiles and them cut them to fit the diagonal cuts in the pattern.”

The blue color will frame the room and bisect it on the diagonals.

Recently, the north wall of Kemp Hall has experienced some water seepage and moisture damage. The Building and Grounds committee decided that it was necessary to remove the stucco. The source of the seepage is still being looked into. Once they’ve found it, they will have the repairs made.

The stucco has been removed and the bare foundation shows below the windows along Fairmount Ave.

To understand the history of Kemp Hall, Father Joy read up on its history and learned about decisions that were made during its construction. “The original flooring was dark green, to match the school color,” he said.  “The new white floor with strong blue diagonal lines will look great,” Pikula said. “It should all be done by the end of July.”



New paint job keeps St. Agnes Church fresh and up to date
You have probably been involved in remodeling projects in your own home. If so, you have 
first-hand experience of the same concerns that St. Agnes has been facing: when you paint or 
improve one area, the adjoining areas suddenly look worse than you imagined. 
For a while now, the Building and Grounds committee thought they could get away with just 
washing the dirty areas near the heating vents. But they soon discovered that much more 
than that was needed. The side walls were very dirty from heater exhausts, and in some areas 
the paint had started to peel. It has been 25-30 years since the church was last painted. Up 
close, the neutral background color actually had a pinkish tint. 
“Brightening up the sanctuary and making the church into a more welcoming place was a 
priority,” Father Joy Thachyl said. Maryrose Wolf, Marilyn Schultz, and Gerry Gross enlisted the 
help of an interior designer, Deb Karegeannes, to narrow down their choices to two colors: 
“humble gold” (yellow) and “crisp linen” (white). Work started on Monday, June 20.

“We’ve got some good, retired people to help,” volunteer Bob Zoulek, said. “We’ve gotten a lot done in the first two days,” he said on Tuesday. “We are still looking for  volunteers over the coming weekend,” he said. Call Bob at 262-781-4350 to volunteer. Work will continue through this Saturday, June 25, from 8-4. All the scaffolding work should be finished by the weekend.

“We should have everything done next week,” Mike McKee said. “It depends on how long it takes to do the sanctuary.” Other volunteers include Building and Grounds chair Kevin Endries, as well as Dan and Leslie Berendt, Woody Knurr, Mike and Mary McKee, Mark and John Seidl, and Jean Sikula.

“I’ve never been on a scaffold before,” Sikula said with a grin on her face. “I was on my very tiptoes to reach the ceiling.”

Associate director of administrative services, Paula Pikula explained how the funding for the job was being covered. Money left over from the Faith and the Future campaign was used to purchase the sound panels. They will be installed in July, once the painting is completed. The costs of renting scaffolding and a scissors lift were eliminated because both were donated by parishioners. The remaining paint costs come from the “other funds” area of the budget.


Out and About group visits Marian Shrine

On a sunny Tuesday morning, 13 St. Agnes parishioners toured the Marian Shrine on N. 68th St. and Stevenson Ave. in Milwaukee. Denise Carroll, our volunteer guide, provided folders full of information for everyone and then launched into a spirited and detailed history of how this shrine came to be.
The Dominican sisters, living immediately south of this property, built the shrine in 1947. It was dedicated in 1948. Today it is owned by the Milwaukee Archdiocese.  
Fatima Devotions (Mass, Fatima prayers and the complete Rosary) are held from May through October on the 13th of the month: weekdays at 6 p.m., and Saturday or Sunday at 2 p.m. Regular prayer services include Sunday evening Rosary and devotions at 7 p.m. and Monday evening at 6 p.m.

The Marian Shrine is dedicated to our Lady of Fatima. The statues above the grotto include the Blessed Virgin Mary and the three children she appeared to six times in 1917. Mary asked that they pray the Rosary daily. Many flowers and shrubbery enhance the beauty of the grounds where hundreds of people meet for prayer on a regular basis.

The chapel (left) and vigil light building (right) are kept locked. Our guide let us visit this places on our tour.

Our group looks up and across at the first of three marble monuments depicting the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious mysteries of the Rosary.

What we thought about our visit to the Marian Shrine

“I was impressed with with all the flowers and greenery. -- Audrey Kavanaugh
“I was impressed with her [the tour guide’s] depth of knowledge. And she didn’t even use notes. -- Kathy Bitante
“How important prayer is. This makes me appreciate my mother’s faith.” -- Kathy Schroeder
“The shrine is well taken care of.” -- Leslie Hasenbush
“The guide was very impressive.” --Susan Collier
“I had no idea this was in Milwaukee.” --Cindi Singer



A Boy Scout troupe built and installed this birdhouse on the property.


St. Agnes School alum, Matthew Ferch, is ordained a priest, May 22

The day started at St. John’s Cathedral with the ordination Mass.

Deacon Matt Ferch leads the procession of deacons into St. John Cathedral for ordination.

His parents, Peggy and Tom Ferch, bring up the hosts at the offertory.

Archbishop Jerome Listecki officiated at the ordination of the new priests, including Rev. Matthew Ferch

Father Matthew Ferch leads the recessional of newly ordained priests. After ordination, Archbishop Jerome Listecki announced the parish placement for each new priest. Father Matt will be serving at St. Francis Borgia parish in Cedarburg.

The celebration continued that afternoon at St. Agnes as family and friends gathered in Hafford Hall for a luncheon.

Afterwards, Father Matt concelebrated his first Mass with many of his 
seminary classmates, friends and mentors.

The newly ordained priests with Archbishop Listecki


Archives of all that has been new:

5/3/2022 Meet Lauren Masarik

4/26/2022 Meet Ella Ostrowski

4/5/2022    Confirmation 2022

3/24/2022    Men's Prayer Ministry

3/8/2022     Walking the Labyrinth in Prayer, March 11-17


2/14/22 - Stained Glass Windows

2/07/22 - FORMED

1/31/22 - Tuesday Book Club

1/24/22 - Meet Father Adam Fernandez

1/18/22  Elizabeth Ministry at St. Agnes

1/4/2022 Church Environment - Christmas Decorating 

11/15  St. Agnes students to perform “FROZEN”

11/5 Get to know Fr. Joy

10/27 Check out What's going on with Christian Formation


10/9/2021 New lighting brightens rooms, conserves energy, saves money

9/24/2021 Bringing the neighborhood together

9/10 2021 Come See Our Lady of Fatima Statue

9_6_2021 Fr. Joys trip to India

8_27_2021 Come join our Picnic

8_20_2021 Out and About

8_13_2021 Learn about Formation

8_6_21 Come to the festival

7_30_21 Make it school Choice

7_23_21 Welcome to our New 3K

7_16_21 Mission trip paint our school