10/16 EXEMPLARY RECOGNITION IN MISSION AND CATHOLIC IDENTITY
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has a commitment to excellence and continued school improvement that ensures the best learning possible for our Catholic school students. The Exemplary Recognition Program, based on the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools, honors schools that have demonstrated innovation and outstanding results in specific areas. In 2021 St. Agnes School was awarded Exemplary Recognition for Mission and Catholic Identity. A rigorous program of preparation, application and site review qualify a school for Exemplary Recognition.
Dating back to 1915, St. Agnes School has a long and proud tradition of mission and Catholic identity. When St. Agnes School became a participant in the Wisconsin and Milwaukee private school Choice programs there was careful effort to assure that our mission and Catholic identity continued to define the experience of every student. In the process of self-study and preparation for the application, it was revealed that non-Catholic Choice students at St. Agnes School are equally active participants in prayer, liturgy of the word, service and religious instruction during the instructional week as Catholic tuition paying students at St. Agnes School. It is evident that non-Catholic families joining St. Agnes School seek the strength and grace that comes from an education focusing on the development of students dedicated to becoming disciples of Jesus Christ.
Integration of mission and Catholic identity at St. Agnes School found to be Highly Effective relative to expectations for an effective Catholic elementary school in the areas of
- Religious education
- Leadership and governance
- Service and Gospel witness
- Liturgy prayer and spiritual life
- Catholic culture and community life.
Congratulations to the entire St. Agnes Parish and School community for their collaborative effort in earning this most significant award.
Pictured are our full-time teaching staff & principal and Bishop Schuerman.
10/9/2021 New lighting brightens rooms, conserves energy, saves money
New lighting brightens rooms, conserves energy, saves money
It was an offer too good to refuse. With new lighting throughout the St. Agnes complex, the benefits of the new lighting will outweigh the costs after four or five years. The new LED lights are American-made and most are guaranteed to last 12 years. St. Agnes will be saving $2,000 a month in its energy bill, according to business manager, Dave Grunwaldt.
“In addition, there will be maintenance savings of both time and money,” Grunwaldt said. “The lights are brighter which will help both students and staff. The entire complex will have a more vibrant environment.” This is a positive change for both classroom and office areas.
This all started a couple of months ago when Grunwaldt contacted Art Garcia, the regional manager of Titan LED, asking for a lighting assessment. Results showed that our lighting was very dated, and many of the classrooms, gym and common areas were well below industry standards for a school environment.
Grunwaldt and St. Agnes custodian John Karegeannes then visited three schools in Fond du Lac that had already gone through similar LED projects with Titan. They were both extremely impressed with the results they saw. This visit to the schools was one of the final factors in the decision-making process to move forward with the lighting project.
“St. Agnes will see a major lighting improvement and overall environment in their school once this project is completed,” Garcia said. “We are known for having the most efficient lighting with the longest warranty and brightest lumens per watt.”
One of the other reasons St. Agnes decided to go with Titan is because its Green Funding program allows St. Agnes the funds to use their savings on their energy bill/maintenance to pay for the lighting project without using their budget.
The improved brightness can be seen throughout the school, offices and meeting rooms. “The bulbs are high-quality LEDs with a long warranty and cost savings,” Ron Pittman said. He is a lighting and energy consultant from Titan Led Lighting Solutions and owner of Accord Electric, the installers.
“With these new bulbs, the lighting in most areas of the St. Agnes property have doubled in efficacy,” Pittman said. Lighting can affect children’s circadian rhythms, he said. “That’s why students may sometimes fall asleep in the classroom,” Pittman said. Teachers should see positive changes with the new lighting. Studies show that students’ grade scores improve with adequate LED lighting, particularly in the areas of math and reading.
BEFORE TCU Hallway AFTER
Kemp Hall sees a lot of traffic and is the cafeteria for our students. Before the new lighting was installed, the floors and walls looked yellow and pink, depending on where you stood and the amount of light on a particular day. With the new lighting, the difference is startling, the walls are white and the floors are white. Go down there, turn on the lights and take a look.
Hafford Hall has a similar ''wow" factor
“The parish should see a greater than 70 percent in savings on the lighting portion of their power bill,” Pittman said. Most areas have doubled in efficacy (the ability of the light to hit the surface), he said.
“The lights in the locker room were really bad,” physical education teacher Michelle Matthews said. “Some of the ballasts didn’t even work. I’m excited about the new lighting.” Classes weren’t disrupted by the work being done, she said. The people doing the installation were very respectful and friendly. Classes continued as usual. We can't wait until we see the new Gym lighting.
Not all the fixtures have the same kind of bulbs. Their replacement depends on the location and needs. In church, for example, the fixtures are entirely different from the rest of the St. Agnes complex. The installation crew is still tweaking the lighting there. The bulbs there are completely different from the ones in the rest of the St. Agnes complex. Keep watching for changes as the church lighting keeps getting adjusted until we have it just right.
BEFORE Gathering space AFTER
9/24/2021 Bringing the neighborhood together
Hard work and lots of volunteers make St. Agnes Festival a success
Jimmy and Michele Matthews and Greg and Tanya Bissen - Brought our festival back this year.
Michele Matthews festival impression
There are still some income and expenses waiting to be resolved, but overall the festival made a decent profit. The biggest challenge this year was the increase in expenses and labor shortages. There were also some challenges trying to ensure festival goers and volunteers were safe and healthy during the pandemic. The Rummage Sale being held in the gym this year received overwhelmingly positive response. Even though it rained cats and dogs for a short time and the heat was almost unbearable, festival goers toughed it out, and someone even captured a picture of a rainbow over our festival grounds!
I think the most exciting day of the Festival was Sunday because we started with fellowship in the dining tent, followed by an amazing concert by a group featuring one of our St. Agnes alums. We even had a visit from Father Mark Brandl and Father Alex Nwosu!
Our saddest part of Festival was that it was our last year planning it with the Bissens as our Co-Chairs. They started in 2016, took last year off along with the rest of us, and finished their fifth year with a BANG! We couldn’t have done this without them, and they are leaving behind huge shoes to fill.
Father Joy Thachil made his way around the festival, meeting lots of new people including some fun with the lead singer of "Cheap Shot" the Saturday night headliner.
Tanya Bissen festival impression
Overall, the festival was a big hit! One of the highlights was certainly when one of our school alums (Ryan
Nolan) performed with his a cappella group from UW-Madison (Fundamentally Sound). We had quite the audience during their show, and it was their first LIVE show since March of 2020.
Michele Matthews with Julie Pieterick, who along with her husband, Bob, runs the Sucker Pull game in the Kids Tent. They help every year with Festival and the Mission Party.
The food was fantastic (as always) thanks to our friends from the Butler Volunteer Fire Department and our various food trucks. Attendance was slightly down this year (which was to be expected) and while we had a few bouts of crummy weather, it didn't deter us from having a great time. Having the rummage in the gym was probably the BIGGEST hit of all!
co-chair Jimmy Matthews and Business Manager Dave Grunwaldt enjoy the festival.
Greg and I will miss co-chairing with the Matthews. It has been such a blessing being on this journey with them. We've shared in so many joys, so many frustrations (which is a given, when you are in charge of a big event with so many moving targets) and so many wonderful memories! They are the best!!
And to our amazing committee - I really don't have the words to express how grateful we are to have the most amazing group of individuals who give of their time and talents to St. Agnes.
God has blessed our parish in so many ways!
9/10/2021 Come see
Famous Our Lady of Fatima statue to visit St. Agnes, Sept. 18
The world-famous International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fatima has traveled the world since 1947, spreading the Message of Fatima, a message of salvation and hope to millions of people. Sister Lucia, one of the three children who witnessed the apparitions in 1917, said the statue looked just like Our Lady’s position when she revealed herself to them. According to https://www.fatimatourforpeace.com/the-statue/history , “Many miracles and signal graces have been reported wherever the statue has traveled.”
The statue will be here at St. Agnes Parish on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 3 to 6 p.m..
“We are certainly privileged to have Mary’s presence and intercession for the people of St Agnes community,” Father Joy said. “As we celebrate Virgin Mary’s nativity (this month), let us be grateful for this honor that has come down to us with the message of hope, peace, and salvation to all. Therefore, let us all come and seek Mother Mary’s protection and grace!”
People across the world are familiar with Mary’s 1917 apparition at Fatima, often after seeing the 1952 feature film called, “The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima,” filmed on location in Fatima, Portugal.
“My connection with Mary deepened when I became a mother,” Paula Pikula, St. Agnes bookkeeper, said. “Mary brought a different meaning to me in my life because of the love I experienced as a mother.” Before working here at St. Agnes, Pikula worked at the Marian Center where she met many people devoted to Mary.
The Our Lady of Fatima statue will spend just three hours with the community of St. Agnes on Saturday, Sept. 18. All are invited and encouraged to participate in part or all of the event. Here’s the schedule for that afternoon:
3 p.m. Procession into church with the statue with song, including opening prayer and crowning with flowers from the children.
3:15 p.m. Rosary led by St. Agnes children
3:40 p.m. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
3:45 p.m. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (with private veneration—quiet prayer time) while confessions to be heard until 4:30 p.m. in the prayer room.
4:15 p.m. Recitation of the Litany of Our Lady, Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
4:35 p.m. Talk to be given by the Custodian of the Statue
5 p.m. Mass of Anticipation
6 p.m. Closing Prayer for the statue’s visit at the end of Mass. The statue will be carried out of church during the recession.
If you are not able to attend this event, the statue will also be at these locations in Wisconsin in September.
Saturday, Sept. 11 – St. Mary, Lomira, 6-10 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 12 - St. Mary, Lomira, 7 a.m.-10:50 a.m.
Monday, Sept. 13 – Fatima Shrine, 141 N. 68th St., Milwaukee, 3:30-7:20 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 14 – Holy Trinity, Kewaskum, 2:25- 4 p.m., 6:20 -8 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 15 – St. Frances Cabrini, West Bend, 2:30-6:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 16 – St. Jerome, Oconomowoc, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., 6–7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 17 – Holy Apostles, New Berlin, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 19 – St. Peter, Slinger, 9:15 a.m.-4 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 20 – St. Francis Borgia
Tuesday, Sept. 21 - St. Francis Borgia
Wednesday, Sept. 22 – St. Augustine School, Colgate, 9:45 a.m.-2:15 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 23 – St. John the Evangelist, Greenfield, 20 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 24 – Aquinas Academy, Menomonee Falls, 2:30-6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 25 – Holy Hill Basilica, Hubertus, 12-3 p.m., 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 26 – St. Charles, Hartland, 2-4 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 27 – St. Mary Visitation, Elm Grove, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 28 – St. Mary, Waukesha, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 29 – St. Sebastian, Milwaukee, 8:15 a.m.-7 p.m.
9/3/2021 Trip to India and a Thank you!
I was fortunate to visit with my mom and family during this summer after two years of waiting because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, I had bought a ticket and planned to go last year but had to cancel it at the last moment as I was supposed to fly to India from Rome; instead, I came back to the U.S. and then to Milwaukee. “Man proposes and God disposes!”
I was able to see my mom, Theresa, who is 95 years old – but she doesn’t agree with that number! I spent most of my time visiting with some of my cousins in the vicinity, and confined myself to our house due to COVID restrictions placed by the State. However, along with a friend of mine, I made a short trip to a lake resort, and then to some popular and historical churches in the State of Kerala. That made my trip even more fulfilling in spite of the difficulties the whole nation was facing. Please take a peek at the amateur pictures I took during my trip. (see some pictures below)
As I returned to Butler, there was a bigger surprise for me – St Agnes Parish Festival. It was a great celebration of community life together with our families and friends! I was very impressed by your dedication and hard work in organizing and running the whole festival activities, of course with months of preparations, to provide an occasion for everyone to come back to church!
From meeting with and talking to various groups of people, I gather that everyone had a great time, and people came out from the neighborhood with family and friends to enjoy an evening or two with St. Agnes parish and school community. I am sure, despite the occasional showers, that people, especially the children, enjoyed the fair.
Finally, a BIG THANK YOU to all Festival Committee Chairs and to each one of you on the Staff, Finance Council, Parish Council, all the volunteers, our generous donors and sponsors!!! My hats off to each one of you with a token of appreciation for everything you have done and continue to do so in supporting and enriching our community fellowship!
Let us now come together as one family and celebrate our daily life, our struggles and joyful moments, in the presence of the Lord with His sacraments at St. Agnes! Please do invite your family, friends, and acquaintances, and those who have not been to church for a while to come and join us every weekend.
YOU are invited to participate in a banquet hosted in your honor prepared by Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Lord is waiting and counting on you to show up for our communal worship every week. Welcome to ONE and ALL!!!
Yours in the Lord, Fr. Joy Thachil, SAC
Historical Churchs dedicated to
Images of elephants in Kochi
Resort area designed in traditional architecture and a Fr. Joy selfie
This is a view of the Indian Ocean in the State of Kerala, where Father Joy is from. Kerala is located on the western tip of India, with the Arabian Sea to the west and the Indian Ocean to the south.
8/27,28, and 29 -- Come join us at the festival
8/20/2021 - "Out and About"
CAPTION: St. Agnes adventurers pose on the front steps of St. Francis Seminary on Tuesday, Aug. 17. The Rector, Father John Hemsing, took the photo.
HEADLINE: St. Agnes parishioners tour St. Francis Seminary
“Out and About” trips added up to a busy summer for St. Agnes adventurers. On Tuesday they spent the morning touring St. Francis Seminary. Former St. Agnes student, Deacon Matt Ferch, joined them for the first half of the tour. They visited chapels, classrooms, living quarters, the Board Room, and even the dome, all the while learning about the history and significance of the seminary. Afterwards they went out to lunch at a neighborhood restaurant, Landmark Family Restaurant.
Other trips this summer included Havenwoods State Forest, tours of St. Josaphat Basilica, St. John Cathedral and Old St. Mary’s Church, and a busy day in the Third Ward, strolling along the River Walk, lunching at the Public Market, riding the Hop, and browsing a few shops.
CAPTION: Audrey met the Ranger, Samantha Kueffler, who is in charge of Havenwoods State Forest.
CAPTION: The beauty, detail, and historical significance of St. Josaphat’s Basilica amazed everyone on the tour.
CAPTION: Part of our tour group posed inside Old St. Mary’s church in downtown Milwaukee. The tour was fabulous and the group had a picnic lunch afterwards in Cathedral Square. Then they attended a free, noontime harp and xylophone concert in the Cathedral, followed by another great tour, led by former St. Agnes parishioner, Bob Giese.
WHAT’S NEXT? The last trip this summer will be to Boerner Botanical Gardens on Tuesday, August 31. Meet at the St. Agnes playground entrance at 9:30 a.m. to carpool. Be prepared to pay an entrance fee. (Milwaukee County residents - $7. Milwaukee County seniors - $5. Non-residents - $8.) Everyone will go out to lunch afterwards and we’ll talk about our Tuesday morning Fellowship group book discussion during the fall-winter-spring hiatus. Won’t you join us?
8/13/2021 - Learn about formation?
Students of all ages participated in Vacation Bible School this week.
Q: Do you know what’s the largest program at St. Agnes?
A: CHRISTIAN FORMATION
Because all parish members are continually growing in their faith, each and every one of us can participate in and/or benefit from the work of the Christian Formation department. So keep reading to find out which activities are for YOU. “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 18:3
Q: WHAT’S NEW in Christian Formation?
A: So much…
- Volunteer: We still need catechists (teachers) for a few grades; classes are Sunday mornings. Or co-teach with a friend.
- Volunteer: We need a teacher’s aide for all grades, K-10. Help the teacher on Sunday mornings.
- Register: All children/youth attending public school (K-10) needs to enroll in Christian Formation. Deadline is August 20. [Registration link on website]
- Why? Because Christian Formation (CF) provides the support that parents need to teach their children about the Catholic faith. CF provides another perspective and voice about the faith that reinforces what is being taught in the home. It’s never too early to start teaching your children about our Catholic faith. An early start builds a good foundation.
- Did you know? A recent study showed that the average age that a person decides to NOT believe in God or belong to church is 13 years old or as low as 9 years old! It’s important to plant the seeds of faith early!
- Register: All high school juniors (public or private/parochial high school) seeking Confirmation need to register by Aug. 20. [Registration link on website].
For more detailed information about the various programs visit the FORMATION page [link FORMATION page]
Q: What else is going on this Summer at St. Agnes Parish Christian Formation?
A: Vacation Bible School was held at St. Agnes Parish, Aug. 10-12. The participating children and youth leaders enjoyed watching short videos that taught a lesson from one of Jesus’ parable (Jesus’ Stories). They also learned about a Saint and how that person lived out the lesson from the parable. With small group discussion, arts and crafts and outdoor activities, it was a good time for all.
Vacation Bible School students enjoy hands-on time with projects.
A: 22nd Annual Sam’s Run & Walk, sponsored by Christian Formation Youth Ministry, will be held the morning of Aug. 28. Sign-up to participate or become a volunteer. We are currently looking for high school Christian Formation students to help with this event.
Q: What can I look forward to in September and beyond?
A: Christian Formation has something planned for every age.
All-Family Kick-off Bruch: The Christian Formation program begins in its traditional style with our pot-luck brunch Sunday, Sept. 12 at 9 a.m. All registered family members are invited and encouraged to attend with their children. Christian Formation classes begin the following Sunday, Sept. 19.
Children’s Liturgy of the Word (CLOW): Beginning in September children ages four through 4th grade can participate in a child-focused Liturgy of the Word during 10:30 Mass.
Jesus, however, called the children to himself and said, “Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Luke 18:16
Family Time Programs: These gatherings occur about four times a year for high school students and the parents of all Christian Formation students. Outside speakers are often brought in to provide new perspectives on various topics.
Special Programs/Events for Adults: A variety of opportunities and resources are offered through the year, for example, The Mass study on weekends, FORMED Programs for Adults, Advent programs from the Evangelization committee, Catholic ID study groups, Advent and Lent study groups, summer Out and About trips, fall through spring weekday morning book group study and fellowship.
It’s time to get involved. These programs can make a difference in your life. Join now. Contact the Christian Formation office at 262-781-6998 or [email protected]
Come to St. Agnes Festival: Download a flyer here
Fun for everyone! That’s what you can expect at our parish festival, Aug. 27, 4-11 p.m., Aug. 28, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., and Aug. 29, noon-6 p.m. And the best way to have fun is to spend part of your festival time as a volunteer, so we’re asking everyone to sign up now: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/409084ba9a729a5fd0-2021 We need your help!
St. Agnes has hosted parish festivals for a long time now and we look forward to it every year.
“We love to have the chance to spotlight St. Agnes Parish to the community that surrounds us,” Michele Matthews said. She and her husband, Jimmy, and Greg and Tanya Bissen are chairing the festival again this year.
“We also enjoy spending so much time with our committee members and parishioners,” Jimmy said. “And in the long run, the smiles on the faces of our patrons makes it all SO worth it.”
One of the challenges each year is finding new activities or events while keeping the popular and well-attended ones from the previous year.
NEW this year, we will have “Festival Fellowship Sunday” after 10:30 Mass with FREE DONUTS and coffee provided by Java Train, followed by a concert by Fundamentally Sound (UW-Madison’s all-male a capella group – with Ryan Nolan, St. Agnes alum). (Check them out here.)
“We will be adding a Cake Walk to our Sunday lineup,” Michele said, “and we’ll be increasing our 50/50 raffle call times, adding some NEW games, holding our Rummage Sale in the gym and we will be selling beverage tickets for wine, beer, soda and water.
FAVORITE REPEATS this year: GIANT Rummage Friday starting at 4 p.m. through Saturday, but it will be held in the gym this year. Of course, we’ll have, FREE BINGO all three days, Midway Rides with a wristband special for unlimited rides Friday through Sunday at specific times (pre-sale wristbands on sale after Masses for a $5 discount), Kids and Adult Games, amazing basket raffles and silent auction items, 50/50 raffles, wine bistro, beer garden featuring craft beer!
Main Stage entertainment features a different band each day:
- Friday, 7-11 p.m. Brewtown Beat
- Saturday, 7-22 p.m. The Cheap Shots
- Sunday afternoon Andrea and the Mods
“We are a small parish with a BIG family!” Michelle said. “We are a parish who cares about its members and hopes that others in the community will want to join our Parish Family.” This is the perfect event to invite friends, family and neighbors -- to the festival and to our parish.
Wisconsin School Choice Program offers Milwaukee families the choice of sending their children to St. Agnes School without paying tuition, just as though they were attending a public school. But time is running out for this year. August 1-20 is the final enrollment period, and this isn’t something you want to leave to the last minute.
St. Agnes’ Parental Choice administrator, Amy Retzer, is ready to help you make this transition for your children. Parents can apply online, but there is paperwork to take care of to show that you qualify for this program—city of residence and income level, for example.
Retzer reminds us that “Choice seats are limited,” so it’s important to reach out to her as soon as you can. Contact Retzer at 262-781-4996 or [email protected].
“Parents want their children to come to St. Agnes for a superior education, grounded in our Catholic faith, which is not necessarily available from their public school district,” Retzer said. “They want their children in a faith-filled environment that focuses on our personal relationships and that is grounded in our beliefs.”
Teachers at St. Agnes are dedicated to their students’ success and parents realize that. Parent Jessica Headson had Mary Langford as her own teacher, this fall and she is thrilled that her daughter, Summer, will be in Langford’s K5 class.
“The small class sizes here at St. Agnes give each teacher the unique opportunity to spend time with each student individually,” principal Rachel Kolbeck said. “Teachers are able to target their lessons to the individual needs of each student. Small class sizes help the teachers to meet the needs of every student.”
Choice parents are enthusiastic about our school. “St. Agnes is the place where we feel at home, from our kids to our parents,” one parent said. “The staff here treats each child as one of their own and there’s no other school I would trust with my kids. My daughter comes home each day HAPPY after receiving the same love and care she would at home.”
Kolbeck knows “children learn differently and at different paces. Individualized attention is key to student growth and ultimately student success.”
Choice parents are supportive of St. Agnes School. Sarah Toliver has two children here, a third grader and another in K3 this year. She said, “CHOICE has afforded our family the opportunity to provide our children with a strong foundation in the form of a Catholic education in a loving and diverse school. We are so grateful for this program and the chance it gives our girls to grow educationally AND in their faith.”
If you are interested in learning more about School Choice at St. Agnes, contact Amy Retzer at 262-781-4996 or [email protected]. The deadline for this school year is only weeks away.
Photo: St. Agnes school children have an annual tradition of having their photo taken in this cross formation, a reminder of their being a part of the Christian family.
" Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God." Mark 10:14
Three- and four-year-olds will be the newest groups of students at St. Agnes this fall. Rachel Kolbeck, the new principal at St. Agnes School, particularly encourages parents to enroll their three-year-olds in St. Agnes’ new K-3 classroom.
Parish member, Angela Grant, will be the K-3 teacher. A graduate of UW-Whitewater, Grant is licensed to teach early childhood and special education classes in Wisconsin. She has taught for 10 years at St. Sebastian School in Milwaukee.
“When they said K-3 would be starting this year, I jumped at the chance,” Grant said. Her two younger children, Caleb and Abby, attend St. Agnes and her oldest, Michelle, just graduated from St. Agnes this spring. Grant worked at St. Agnes School this past spring, providing learning support in grades 2-8. And she has substituted for six years in the primary grades and helped with lunch duty.
“K-3 is really important,” Grant said. “We provide socialization as well as academics. Students learn letter introduction and sound identification. They learn shapes and colors, numbers from one to 20, all the while doing group activities on the carpet and learning to socialize and interact appropriately.”
The K-3 program is reasonable in price, especially when compared to day care, according to Amy Retzer, School Choice administrator at St. Agnes School. “Day care costs can be exorbitant, but the St. Agnes pre-school costs is a reasonable $16.70 a day,” Retzer said. The school also offers bi-weekly invoicing to manage payments more easily.
“The program is fully accredited through the archdiocese,” Retzer said. And unlike other pre-schools, students will receive religious education as well as gym, music and art classes
Classroom location is another bonus: K-3, K-4 and K-5 classrooms are all housed in the same first floor wing of the building with their own outside entrance. Many parents and grandparents can easily drop off or pick up students for parents who work long hours.
“For someone working full time, this is a great option,” Retzer said. “I encourage St. Agnes grandparents to let their children know about this program, even if they don’t live in the area.”
While public schools draw their students from the neighborhood, private schools like St. Agnes have the advantage of offering their strong, Catholic education program to families from further away. People come because they value the education their children receive.
“St. Agnes has a great school community and faith community,” Grant said. “(There are) so many opportunities to get involved. And the teachers are welcoming and friendly."
K-3 teacher Angela Grant is with her husband, Wayne, and children:
Michelle (St. Agnes graduate, entering 9th grade at Hamilton High School),
Caleb (2nd grade at St. Agnes)
Abby (K-4 at St. Agnes)
‘Heart Works’ mission team brightens St. Agnes School
St. Agnes Parish has for many years sent parish volunteers, including teens, to less fortunate parishes in the Midwest to help with special projects like repairing homes, serving at food banks and doing lawn care for the elderly.
This summer the tables have been turned and a group of volunteers from nearby parishes arrived in early July to paint the school hallways. Being the recipient of others’ generosity may be a humbling experience. But the volunteers are quick to acknowledge that the experience is a really good one for them, both in terms of learning new skills and growing spiritually.
Corinna Ramsey, director of Youth Ministry at Good Shepherd, is familiar with St. Agnes where her children attended school. It was Ann Sherwood who told her about the need for painters at St. Agnes. Sherwood is St. Agnes’ mission coordinator. Ramsey organized the team to do the work here. The volunteers come from several parishes and are committed to their service and faith.
“Faith formation is important. We begin and end our day with prayer,” Tim Nolan from Good Shepherd parish said. “We go to daily Mass at the site where we work and sometimes go to outdoor stations at Holy Hill in the evening, depending on where we are working.”
Nolan is also a member of St. Agnes parish and a member of this “Heart Works” local team. Other group members are from St. James, St. Mary’s and Good Shepherd. This is Nolan’s fifth summer as part of a mission team.
“My involvement with work camp started with my mother and sister,” Josh Dreger said. “We’re good friends with the coordinator at Good Shepherd and St. James, so I signed up and have been doing it ever since. It’s my spiritual week.”
Kurt Harthun, from St. Mary’s and St. James parishes, organizes the Good Shepherd youth groups. He has done one-week projects for the past two years, using a week of his vacation time for this. “My wife is the only one working around the house and taking care of everything this week. She does a ton of work at home and now she does even more.”
Kurt added, “I like going to work camp because we learn valuable skills that we can use in the future,” he said.
Zoe Kastner from Good Shepherd parish is a first-time volunteer. Her cousin, Gabby Ramsey, invited her to join the group this summer. This is Ramsey’s fifth summer. She has done mostly paint jobs, but she’s also served meals for the homeless.
The national organization is called, “Catholic Heart,” but because of the pandemic, the Milwaukee Archdiocese has restricted mission trips that involve travel to other areas. So this local team searched out volunteer work on their own, like the paint job here at St. Agnes.
Katie Papador is from Good Shepherd. “I like volunteering,” she said. “Once you become an adult, there’s not a lot of time to do volunteer work, so I like doing it now. I have more time.” This is Papador’s fifth year of summer mission work.
These mission teams do other things besides painting. For example, Nathan Dreger from St. James Parish has built a wheelchair ramp and rebuilt a deck.
A diocesan group from Kenosha, “Love Begins Here,” joined the team at St. Agnes for one of the work days.
St. Agnes adults and teens who are interested in learning more about a St. Agnes mission group for next year should contact Ann Sherwood at [email protected]
Members of the “Heart Works” mission team include (front row: Zoe Kastner, Gabby Ramsey and Katie Papador and (back row) Tim Nolan, Kurt Harthun, Josh Dreger and Nathan Dreger.
Single person caption:
Kurt Harthun paints the trim around the fire extinguisher cabinet in the hallway.
Greetings and welcome!
We are glad you are here at the St. Agnes parish website! We have a lot of intesting ministries and faith formation programs for all age groups to help people grow spiritually and become involved as faithful followers of Christ.
Delve into the site to find various opportunities to use your time, talents, personal abilities and gifts to serve God and God's people, thus becoming a part of our vibrant school and parish community. Join us every weekend, on feast days and solemnities for prayer and worship at St. Agnes congregation.
Jesus is inviting each one of us to be the "salt of the earth and light of the world." As a Christian community, we are called to share the light of Christ with others through our good works, so that people may see the goodness of God and glorify our Father in heaven. Let us accept Lord's challenge and bear abundant fruit according to his will.
May the risen Lord be a constant source of inspiration to each one of you in building a deeper and better relationship with God and our fellow pilgrims in the journey of faith. I am immensely grateful to God and to his faithful community here for being companions in our journey together as one family!
You might want to explore our new program called FORMED for talks, lessons, and movies and use the feature of WeShare for online giving or registration to programs. Please don't hesitate to contact our parish and school staff or one of our ministry leaders with questions you may have about opportunities to learn and serve. We look foward to having you to be an integral part of our parish. Watch for future weekly updates that will help you explore our new site.
Fr. Joy Thachil SAC
Pastor / Administrator