Remain faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life. REV 2:10

In Memoriam: Sister Mary Philip Agnew, D.C.


Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Sister Mary Philip Agnew, D.C., died December 5, 2019, at Seton Residence in Evansville, Ind. She was 84 years of age and 66 years vocation. The Funeral Mass for Sister Mary Philip was celebrated December 10, 2019, at Seton Residence Chapel in Evansville. Burial was at Marillac Cemetery in Normandy, Mo.

Sister Mary Philip was born March 12, 1935, in Perryville, Mo. Baptized Dorothy Jane, Sister was one of four children (one of whom was also a Daughter of Charity) born to Daniel Franklin and Erline Mary (Gagnepain) Agnew. Sister Mary Philip was a 1953 graduate of St. Vincent High School in Perryville. She was a member of St. Vincent Parish in Perryville when she entered the Daughters of Charity in St. Louis in December of 1953.

Sister earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in English from Marillac College in St. Louis, Mo. in 1964, and her Master’s Degree in English from DePaul University, Chicago, Ill. in 1967. Following initial formation, Sister Mary Philip was missioned to St. Patrick School in LaSalle, Ill. where she served as an Elementary Teacher (1955 to 1962). After completing her undergraduate studies at Marillac College, Sister Mary Philip served as a Teacher at St. Louise de Marillac School in St. Louis (1963 to 1964); then, she was missioned to New Orleans, La. where she served as Principal at St. Stephen Grade School (1964 to 1966). Sister Mary Philip then moved into Secondary Education, where she served as an English teacher at Cardinal Stritch High School, Keokuk, Iowa (1967 to 1973); as an Associate Principal and English Teacher at Ascension Catholic High School, Donaldsonville, La. (1973 to 1985); and as Principal of Ursuline Academy in St. Louis (1986 to 1995). Beginning in 1996, Sister served in Mission Services at DePaul Health Center (now SSM Health DePaul Hospital) in Bridgeton, Mo. (1996 to 2007), where she was awarded the Archbishop John L. May Award for Distinguished Health Care Ministry in 2003.

Sister Mary Philip served in a variety of ministries beginning in 2007, including membership on several boards and committees (2007 to 2014), as Receptionist at the Provincial Office of the Province of St. Louise (2012 to 2015), and in the Ministry of Prayer at The Sarah Community, Bridgeton (2015 to 2017). Sister Mary Philip continued to serve in the Ministry of Prayer when missioned to Seton Residence in Evansville, Ind. in 2017; she served there until the time of her death.

Sister served as Local Community Superior at two St Louis area residences (1992 to 1995, and 2005 to 2013).

Sister Mary Philip was preceded in death by her parents; two siblings who were part of the Vincentian Family – Sister Marie Agnew, D.C., who died in 2011, and her brother, Father Francis “Frank” Agnew, C.M., who died in March 2019. Sister’s other brother, Daniel (Verna) Agnew Jr., also predeceased her. Sister is survived by her nephew, James Brian Agnew, and two nieces, Patricia Marie Agnew-Davies and Catherine Moore Agnew-Day; grandnieces and grandnephews; her Sisters in Community; and many friends.