Guided by the Hand of God
CMM Contact Evelyn Fugazzi SCN
Born May 21, 1922 in Peabody, Mass., Agnes was the second oldest of six children of John and Edith O’Meara. Agnes had two sisters and three brothers. Peabody was known as “Leather City” because of the numerous leather factories located there which employed many immigrants. She lived in a very multicultural neighborhood where she remembers nine or ten different nationalities living, working, playing, and praying together. She now realizes how fortunate she was to have been exposed to this multicultural society of her home town.
One of Agnes’ earliest memories was hearing her parents talking about how her sister, two years older than she, would have to be vaccinated before she began school that fall. Their mother took the two girls to the doctor’s office when it was time for her sister to get the inoculations. Her sister was five years old and her mother had told Agnes that she couldn’t go to school until she was five.
After her sister was vaccinated, Agnes started to cry because she also wanted to be vaccinated. The doctor decided he would give in to her wishes since she was already in his office. In Agnes’ young mind, she had deducted that if you have your vaccinations that meant you were ready to attend school. Telling all her friends that she would be going school after Labor Day, she was heartbroken when her sister left for school and she had to stay at home.
At 26, Agnes arrived at Nazareth for the novitiate in September 1948. As Sister John Edith, she made first vows on Easter Sunday, March 25, 1951. As an SCN, Sister John Edith has been missioned in the following locations: St. Peter’s Orphanage, Lowell, Massachusetts for 4-1/2 years; St. Edward School, Brockton, MA. for 23 years; St. Margaret School, Lowell, MA, for 9 years; and at Father Andrew White, S. J. School in Leonardtown, Maryland for 13 years. She feels fortunate to have served the community in the inner city of Roxbury, Mass. during some summers and in Roanoke, Va. working for the Head Start program. She also says, “In my mother’s last years, I was grateful for the support of my community in caring for her during summers and school vacations.”
Sister John Edith has thoroughly enjoyed and loved all of her missions, especially the orphanage and her 35 years of teaching first graders. She recalls, “When God told me it was time to leave the classroom I was so fortunate to have had the opportunity to be librarian at Father Andrew White, S. J. School for 13 years.” She came home to Nazareth in August 2000 to live at Russell Hall. She loves her community there and now enjoys feeding and watching the many birds on the campus, growing plants, reading books from the library, working jigsaw puzzles, and also walking. She credits all these activities with keeping her mind active.
Sister John Edith says of her life: “I have so much to be thankful for, especially for the many wonderful SCNs I’ve lived and worked with. As I look back I can see the hand of God in it all and know that God is with me and my community and will not leave us orphans.”