In 1963, the Sisters of Divine Providence founded La Roche College and named it for the co-founder of their religious community, Mother Marie de la Roche. Since then, the Sisters have taken a vital interest in the ongoing mission and development of the College and continue to animate the values and inspire the College community. The Woman of Providence Award is given annually at the spring Commencement to a member of the Congregation of Divine Providence whose life of service, as a part of the mission of the Congregation, is a compelling example of God’s Providence made visible.
Sister Agnes Vogel, formerly Sister Charles Ann, entered religious life from St. Martin parish in Pittsburgh’s West End. She credits the Sisters who taught her at St. Martin's as who most influenced her decision to become a Sister of Divine Providence.
Sister Agnes earned a bachelor's degree from Duquesne University and a master's degree from the University of Detroit. She was a teacher and principal for 37 years in Catholic schools, including St. Isaac Jogues in St. Clair Shores, Michigan and St. Basil in Pittsburgh’s Carrick neighborhood. Since 2010, she has served as part-time archivist at La Roche College. Sister Agnes said, “My time at La Roche has been meaningful in many ways. I found out more about the beginnings of the college and how much Mother Mary Kenneth worked to have this wonderful educational facility. It has given me the opportunity to meet and interact with many wonderful and caring people. Last but not least, at 82 years old, working in the archives has expanded my ability to research using the computer thanks to the present archivist Mrs. Rachel Landau.”
When reflecting on her life as a religious, she said, “My understanding of religious life has evolved over the past 65 years. When I entered the Community, I was filled with awe and wonderment. As to the sacrifice I was making, I truly had no understanding of the meaning of Divine Providence; it was the name of the religious order I entered. Now I realize that the sacrifices of religious life are minimal in comparison to the hundredfold blessings I have received. The phrase Divine Providence has become, and is still, my major source of strength, comfort and peacefulness.”
Self-described as helpful, faithful and truthful, Sister Agnes enjoys watching and discussing football as well as current events.
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