Artistic Expressions – S. Agnes Patrice McGuiggan (1921 – 2010)
S. Agnes Patrice McGuiggan was a native of Wheeling, West Virginia, the youngest of 10 , who came to the College of Mount St. Joseph on a scholarship. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin in 1943 and entered the Sisters of Charity that fall, after doing her student teaching at Seton High School. S. Agnes Patrice also obtained a master’s in English from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1959.
Many in the SC Community refer to S. Agnes Patrice as one of the most talented women they have ever known. She was a creative teacher, talented in music, with a beautiful voice and a gift for composition. Her infectious laugh endeared her to the high school students she taught, covering a span of more than 45 years, taking her to Ohio, Colorado, and Michigan. She began her teaching ministry at Holy Family, Cincinnati, in 1945, followed by six years at St. Joseph, Springfield, Ohio (1946-’52). From there she taught at: Seton High, Pueblo, Colorado (1952-’55); Catholic Central High, Springfield (55-’56); Seton, Cincinnati (1956-’60); Bishop Fenwick, Middletown, Ohio (1960-’68); Lumen Cordium, Jackson, Michigan (1968-’69); and O’Rafferty High, Lansing, Michigan (1969-’70). The next 20 years she taught English literature, Latin and music at Catholic Central, Lansing, before retiring in 1991. During that time she also served as a foster ‘Mom’ to a number of immigrant teens through Catholic Charities who stayed in close touch for the remainder of her life, frequently bringing their families to visit.
Sister’s musical composition featured was written in 1950 at the time of her groups’ Golden Jubilee; entitled “With A Flame Inside” was dedicated to S. Agnes Therese Diamond, a close friend and mentor. It is a three-part work, using words from John of the Cross. It was performed at the time of the Sisters of Charity 150th anniversary which S. Agnes Patrice attended.