Dominican Sister of Peace Mary Agnes Sullivan (Perpetua Marie) (94) died at Sansbury Care Center in St. Catharine, KY, on June 21, 2019. Born in Atlanta, GA, in 1924, to Mary Elizabeth Steph and Leo Aloysius, Sr. Mary Agnes was one of six children and loved her siblings and extended family very deeply.
Sr. Mary Agnes entered religious life in 1945 in St. Catharine, KY. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science, Philosophy and English from Siena College in 1951. This broad-ranging education informed her early ministry as a teacher in New York, Nebraska, Tennessee and Kentucky.
She earned a Master of Science in Library Science from Spaulding University in Louisville, KY, in 1957, and this helped to open a new world of ministry and travel opportunity for Sr. Mary Agnes. She served as a school librarian and teacher in Nebraska, Tennessee and Kentucky before beginning work as a public, school and college librarian in Memphis. She returned to St. Catharine in 1971 to serve as the Librarian for St. Catharine College, then had the opportunity to serve on the World Campus Afloat. She served on the National Executive Board of the Catholic Library Association and held offices in various national, regional and state associations as well.
While ministering as a Pastoral Assistant in Chicago, Sr. Mary Agnes earned her Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University. She served as a Pastoral Assistant and Director of Religious Education in parishes in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Sr. Mary Agnes’ talent for research and organization continued to serve her ministry as she worked as a librarian at the University of Louisville and as researcher and archivist for Washington County, KY.
Sr. Mary Agnes also served her congregation as a driver for the Sisters at Sansbury Infirmary and the St. Catharine Motherhouse. She ministered in community service and hospitality at the Kentucky Motherhouse as well before entering her final ministry of prayer and presence in 2016.
In her autobiography, Sr. Mary Agnes described her religious life as “one of spinning, weaving and threading patterns of my life with other lives.” Her friend and eulogist, Sr. Suzanne Brauer, spoke of how she loved the company of her family, her many friends, and her community, all part of the rich and beautiful pattern that was Sr. Mary Agnes Sullivan’s life.
Sister Mary Agnes Sullivan was preceded in death by her parents and her five siblings. She is survived by two sisters-in-law, Mercedes Sullivan and Dottie Sullivan, and several nieces and nephews.
A Vigil of Remembrance was held on Thursday, July 4, at the Sansbury Care Center Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial was held on Friday, July 5, at Sansbury Care Center Chapel. Sister Mary Agnes was interred at the St. Catharine Motherhouse cemetery.
Memorial gifts in Sr. Mary Agnes’ memory may be sent to Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr., Columbus, OH 43219-2098, or by donating online.