Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes

Motherhouse in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

The Congregation of Sisters of Saint Agnes is a Catholic religious institute for women founded in 1858 and named in honor of Saint Agnes.[1] The Motherhouse is located in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin within the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.[2]


The Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes was founded in Barton, Wisconsin, on August 12, 1858. Father Kaspar Rehrl (1809 - 1881), an Austrian missionary, established a sisterhood of pioneer women under the patronage of St. Agnes of Rome to whom he had a special devotion. At first the group suffered such untold hardship that, for a few months in 1861, it was reduced to one blind sister.

The arrival of Mary Hazotte in 1863 gave the fledgling community a new life and leadership when she, in 1864 at the age of 17, was elected general superior. Mother Agnes Hazotte (1847 - 1905)[3] directed the move from Barton to Fond du Lac, WI, in 1870 and served as the community's leader until her death in 1905. In 1870, Father Francis Haas, OFM Capuchin, became the spiritual director of the community and assisted in revising the original rule.

These three founders paved the ways for growth and expansion. Today vowed members of the Congregation minister throughout the United States and Nicaragua.


Catholic women who profess the vows of celibate chastity, poverty, and obedience are known as vowed members. Women and men of any religious background who are single, married, or divorced and desire to live out the Congregation's mission without professing the three vows are known as Associates.


Vowed members are involved in the work of education, health care, social services, retreat ministry, and prison ministry. The Congregation owns and operates Marian University and St. Mary's Springs Academy in Fond du Lac; Agnesian Health Care in Fond du Lac; and Monroe Clinic in Monroe, Wisconsin.


  1. Blied, Rev. Benjamin J. (1980). St. John the Baptist Congregation. p. 42.
  2. Website, Congregation of Sisters of St Agnes

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