2020 Honored Teacher/Staff/Administrator – Sister M. Ann Kathleen Magiera, OSF
Sister M. Ann Kathleen Magiera, OSF has been a servant leader for her entire career. Sr. Ann Kathleen joined the Franciscans in 1965. As a Franciscan, Sr. Ann Kathleen took a religious vow of obedience which moved her through various grade and high school experiences in Indiana, Missouri, and Illinois and later in healthcare at the corporate and local levels.
“At each mission assignment I try to use the gifts and talents given me by the Lord,” said Sr. Ann Kathleen. “Daily I call upon God to help me be open to what and who He puts in my path each day.”
She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in secondary education from the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne in 1974 and 1980, respectively. She also received a license in secondary administration from her work at Xavier University in 1982. With these degrees, Sr. Ann Kathleen spent 27 years in education.
Sr. Ann Kathleen became principal Central Catholic in 1986 and served until 1990. During that time, Central Catholic changed dramatically. When Sr. Ann Kathleen arrived in the summer of 1986, she learned that the junior high was to move from the two grade schools and join the high school. The junior high was to occupy two wings at CC which were currently being used for storage.
“When I viewed this area we found literally a two-foot-wide path open in the hallways, and all the classrooms were full of various items,” said Sr. Ann Kathleen. “Fr. Dan Gartland recruited a group of adults to come and help us clear out the area. He and I then went to school ‘rummage sales’ to find desks, blackboards, etc. with which to furnish the classrooms.”
Later that year, Sr. Ann Kathleen also learned when the rains started that the roof had leaks. “We had buckets throughout the building – in the classrooms, halls, and cafeteria. It was the efforts of Paul LaRocca, Mick McTague, Dr. Pickerill, Sr., and others that raised the needed money to replace the roof,” said Sr. Ann Kathleen. “The money was collected in record time and the roof repaired. The support of the Lafayette community was wonderful.”
Sr. Ann Kathleen was also the principal of CC when the school nearly closed in 1990 and worked tirelessly to ensure it stayed open.
After her many years in education, Sr. Ann Kathleen was assigned to work in healthcare. She earned an MBA from Loyola University in 1997 when she began preparing for her work in healthcare. She currently serves as vice president of mission at Franciscan Health, where she oversees the mission outreach that the sisters do through the hospitals. This involves finding out the needs in the local community and seeing how she and her coworkers can support them. These efforts have included collecting shoes for the homeless (over 5,000 pairs), plastic lids to support two Delphi projects, and plastic bags to support volunteers at Lafayette Transitional Housing Center who make items for sale and mats for the homeless. The Franciscan mission outreach also oversees ongoing collections of food, toiletries, household, and school items that are needed by community organizations throughout the year.
Despite the transition to a career in healthcare, Sr. Ann Kathleen has remained involved with the Lafayette Catholic School System (LCSS). She has volunteered in various capacities such as waiting tables at the Blue Knight Auction and chaperoning some CC dances. She also served on the LCSS Board of Trustees from 2012 – 2018, and she has been instrumental in the LCSS strategic planning efforts of Vision 2030.
With her assistance, LCSS received their largest gift in history from the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration. The Sisters donated a building to the school system, which is currently being renovated to become a consolidated preschool with plans to open in the fall of 2020. In addition to this large gift, Sr. Ann Kathleen has also personally solicited nearly 20 individuals and businesses to ask for their support for Vision 2030.
Sister Ann Kathleen has also served on the Sisters of St. Francis Leadership Council in Mishawaka, the South Suburban Regional Board, the NIR Regional Board, and the CIR Regional Board. She currently serves on the General Leadership Team of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration and the Corporate Board of Franciscan Alliance, Corporate Board Executive Committee, Corporate Finance Committee, and Corporate Retirement Committee.
In her spare time, Sr. Ann Kathleen crochets afghans and gives them to the VA hospital before Christmas so they can give them to residents who need them and might not get a Christmas gift from someone. She tries to use the talents God has given her to support those in need. While working at the Motherhouse and even now, she sews and makes craft items for the Franciscan gift shop, the proceeds of which go to serve the poor.
For her excellence and leadership in education and healthcare, her commitment to her community and her faith, and her many years of support of the Lafayette Catholic School System, it is with great pride that we recognize Sr. M. Ann Kathleen Magiera, OSF as a 2020 Knight to Remember.