Biographies

Sister Agnes Josberger, MM

Born: July 22, 1902
Entered: June 10, 1937
Died: November 17, 1977

Sister Agnes Josberger passed into eternal life at 3:10 p.m. on Thursday, November 17th, at Bethany in the company of several of the Sisters who had known, loved and shared life with her for many years. Her last hours were very peaceful and while she spoke but little during her last days, she was conscious of those around her and comforted by their presence.

Agnes Elizabeth Josberger was born in Brooklyn, New York on July 22, 1902. She entered Maryknoll on June 10, 1937. At Reception she received the name Sister Mary Henry and she made her first vows on January 6, 1940. The year was to remain very special to Agnes for not only did it mark her own consecration to God as a Maryknoll Sister, but also it witnessed the reception of her father into the Church. At the time of Agnes’ entrance into the Community, her father was not a Catholic; but she had the great joy of being present at his Baptism in September of 1940. Agnes made her final vows on January 6, 1943 here at the Center.

Before coming to Maryknoll, Agnes did general office work and was a skilled operator of the business machines of her day. Given her intelligence and capabilities she, quite easily, could have advanced professionally in the world of business. She chose, instead, “To give myself to God” and “…to accept any kind of work assigned…in any place.” These statements, profound in their simplicity, express in Agnes’ own words her desire to be a part of the mission of Maryknoll. The Lord was to take her at her word; and she was faithful to the end.

The experience that was hers and the skills she had acquired together with her natural gifts of efficiency in most everything she put her hand to, were to prove invaluable throughout her life at Maryknoll, where there is need of every talent in furthering the cause of mission and spreading appeal for its support. Agnes used her gifts generously and devotedly to these ends from the 40’s in the offices of The Field Afar magazine, in the Sisters’ Promotion Office, and in assignments which brought her to the Valley Park Novitiate and later to the Novitiate at Topsfield, Massachusetts. She was assigned to Bethany in 1960 where, as in all her previous assignments, her talents, her services, her gifts of mind and heart, were in great demand from bookkeeper, to chauffeur, to purchaser of supplies, along with all those indispensable details such duties and services require and which are known fully only to those who so serve without counting the cost. Such a person was our Sister Agnes, a vital part of Maryknoll for over 40 years, and whose life has left its own lasting impression upon our Maryknoll spirit. Yesterday, as we received Agnes’ body here in the Chapel, Sister Catherine Sullivan noted, in her beautiful tribute, that with Agnes’ death a chapter of Bethany’s history was finished since she was so much a part of all that went into making Bethany what it is.

The Mass of the Resurrection will be offered for Agnes today at the Center chapel. Let each of us pray for Agnes and offer the Eucharist for her peace and happiness in the Lord.