Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis
“The most important lesson I’ve learned in my life is to trust in God,” explained Sister Christella Misch. “No matter what happens, God always provides.”
Agnes Misch was born on January 14, 1914, in Alt Schalkowitz, Silesia, the sixth child of Peter and Maria (Wiench) Misch. Life for the 12 Misch children was not out of the ordinary: they attended a Catholic grade school and assisted their father and mother with farm chores.
Agnes didn’t have any specific plans for her life other than making a commitment to put everything in God’s hands. As a teenager, she wanted to get a job and knew of a cousin who worked at St. Adalbert Hospital, Oppeln, Silesia (now Opole, Poland). She submitted her name, and a few weeks later, she was offered a job in the business office.
She admits that her calling to religious life was enriched by the “gentle hand of God,” and she entered our community on January 14, 1931. A few months later, she accepted her obedience from her superior to be a missionary in America. She was 17 years old and very excited about being a Sister, “coming to this mission country called America,” and living her life in service of the Lord.
Along with six other non-English speaking postulants, their journey to America took 10 days by boat. “At some point along the way, I began to question what I was doing. I did not want to eat, couldn’t sleep, and began to get sea sick. I decided to pray, and God helped me realize that these feelings were a temptation from the devil. When I saw the lights of New York City at 2 a.m., I was thrilled – it was so beautiful – all the anxiety was gone,” Sister Christella recalled.
She is a graduate of St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing and completed post graduate studies in medical technology from St. John’s School of Medical Technology and x-ray technology from St. John’s School of Radiologic Technology. She also earned a bachelors degree in chemistry from Quincy University and completed post graduate studies in chemistry from University of Minnesota. She has served at our hospitals in Springfield and Streator, Illinois and Eau Claire,Wisconsin with responsibilities in the lab along with service at the Motherhouse in nursing.
“Every day God gives us gifts. We must learn to let go and have trust. For with God, everything is possible,” she concluded.