Sister Agnes Marie celebrates 50 years of religious life

Miscellany/Mary Beth Lyons: Sister Agnes Marie Winter celebrates her 50th anniversary as a Sister of Sts. Cyril and Methodius this year.

BLUFFTON—Sister Agnes Marie Winter celebrates her 50th jubilee as a Sister of Sts. Cyril and Methodius this year. 

Born and raised in Lebanon, Pa., she entered the community in 1967 and made her vows in 1970. 

Sister Agnes served at St. Gregory the Great as a teacher and office assistant from 2007-2020. She also has worked at the St. Francis Center outreach on St. Helena Island since her community started running it in 2013. 

Her sisters noted that she was quite athletic as a younger person, playing basketball for her high school girls’ team, bowling, skiing and more.

She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Alvernia University and Catholic University of America, respectively.

Learn more about Sister Agnes in the Q&A below:

When did you decide you wanted to become a sister?

When I was a junior in high school, I had a business teacher, Sister Rose Charlotte, a St. Joseph Sister from Philadelphia, who said to me one day as we were preparing for our junior class dance, that I had a vocation and that I should pray and ask God for guidance. From that day on I couldn’t put this out of my mind. It took me a number of years while I worked and had an active social life, but God kept knocking, and finally I answered the door.

Who impacted your life and how did they influence your path to religious life?

My big influencers were my parents. Also, many of our SSCM Sisters were a big influence. One in particular, Sister Joan Marie, was always so happy and cheerful, I never saw her sad or grumpy. I wanted to have what she had, faith and joy.

What was your upbringing like and how did that influence you? 

My parents were wonderful and holy people. I thank God every day for them. I had four brothers … I loved my parents and my brothers; I would never have traded them for all the money in the world. In fact, when I entered, my  youngest brother told me that when he saw me in my habit, it was made for me. 

What do you enjoy most about being a sister?  What do you love about where you are now at St. Gregory the Great?

I love being able to help others, being able to spend time in chapel, praying for others and just doing God’s work. I love St. Gregory the Great; the people are wonderful, kind, friendly and loving. They can’t do enough for you. I enjoyed talking to the many dedicated volunteers who came to help out at the school. They are gracious and loving people.

What do you like about being a teacher?  What is it like working at the St. Francis Center?

I retired from teaching in 2015 but continued to work in the school office as assistant receptionist until 2020. I continue working at the St. Francis Center doing clerical work and other jobs. I love meeting and working with the people, chatting with them, learning many things about the South. The St. Francis Center is a wonderful mission doing good things for all people.

Who would you like to acknowledge that has been with you on your journey?

I would like to acknowledge all my SSCM Sisters. They have supported me in all my endeavors, in prayer; especially those that I live with here in Bluffton. Thank you, God, for these 50 years.