Friday evenings are for community gatherings. The sisters come together to relax and visit, watch a movie, play cards or games, and enjoy special refreshments. On the evening of October 2nd, a Jubilee Celebration was held in honor of Sister Mary Agnes Kallus, OSB and Sister Gilbert Tuma, OSB on the 65th anniversary of their of monastic profession. Jubilees are important times at Sacred Heart Monastery. The sisters look back over the lives of the special celebrants and reflect on the part each has played in the life of the monastery. It is a time of special thanksgiving, and of looking ahead to what new blessings might come to their lives.
Sister Mary Agnes returned home to the monastery in September of this year after living at Sts. Cyril & Methodius Parish in Joliet since 1970. An educator for her entire career, Sister Mary Agnes served at St. Joseph Orphanage and St. Joan of Arc in Lisle, and schools in Texas and Ohio before moving to Joliet. She began as a teacher at St. Bernard and Sts. Cyril & Methodius, and moved to St. Joseph’s School in 1980. She was the fourth grade teacher at St. Joseph’s until her retirement. In some cases, she taught two generations in a family. In addition, Sister Mary Agnes ministered to the parishioners at Sts. Cyril & Methodius on weekends as the religious education coordinator. She helped to prepare students for First Eucharist and Confirmation, served as sacristan and Eucharistic minister in the Church, and brought communion to the homebound. Sister was an active member of her parish, working hard to ensure success and fun at events. She took special interest in providing clothing and food to those in need in Joliet.
Sister Mary Agnes is one of five Kallus sisters (Sisters Andrea, Josephine, Virginia and the late, Angelica) from La Grange, Texas, who are members of the Sacred Heart Monastery community.
Duties at the monastery will keep Sister Mary Agnes busy in her retirement. She will be preparing rooms and welcoming guests to the monastery, and visiting with the residents of Benedale Center and Villa St. Benedict. She hopes to be able to do some tutoring or substitute teaching, as well.
The Benedictine Sisters of Lisle celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of Sister Mary Agnes Kallus, OSB, on October 16th, 2004.
Entering the community in 1942 from LaGrange, Texas, Sister Mary Agnes, who was one of twelve children, is the daughter of the late Robert and Cecilia Kallus. Four other siblings are members of the community: Sisters Andrea, Josephine, Virginia and the late Angelica.
Sister obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from DePaul University in Chicago.
Sister Mary Agnes teaches at St. Joseph’s in Joliet and ministers to the parishioners of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Parish as Religious Education Minister. She also teaches religion classes on Sunday, preparing students for First Eucharist and Confirmation. Sister serves as sacristan and Eucharistic minister, bringing Communion and visiting the homebound. Any spare time is spent visiting nursing homes, and providing clothing and food to the poor.
Additionally, Sister Mary Agnes serves as a member of the Altar and Rosary Society and the Parish Council at her parish. Participating in their social events, Sister’s familiar face is always found hard at work to ensure the success of all parish events. Prior to her long teaching career in Joliet, Sister Mary Agnes taught at St. Joseph Orphanage (now Benet Academy) and was a “dorm mother” to orphans there for many years.