Thursday, May 9th, St. Joseph Academy alumnae honored Agnes Foley, CSJ, (SJA ’55) for her leadership and ministry as founder of Learning In Style, a school where adult immigrants learn English and prepare to become citizens of the United States.
Ag grew up in St. Vincent’s parish in Frogtown, home to many immigrants in St. Paul. Many SJA grads from St. Vincent’s enjoyed the lunch with her. One speaker noted how amazing it was that over 200 grads came to the lunch although the school closed in 1971.
Ag emphasized the CSJ values of Love of God and neighbor, of dividing the city to meet current needs, and choosing to be with the poor, immigrants and all in need of education. She told a touching story of Dahabo, a Somali woman who came to Learning In Style knowing no English and her thrill as she learned how to read. Ag compared it to how many of us were thrilled as we learned to read at age 5 or 6. At Learning In Style, children now come and learn as well. The diversity of many different nations and cultures enriches all who come.
Ag offered these words from Pope Francis as confirmation of the experience of many at Learning In Style: “When we turn our gaze to the migrants and refugees, we discover that they do not arrive empty-handed. They bring their courage, skills, energy and aspirations, as well as the treasure of their own cultures; in this way, they enrich the lives of the nations that receive them.”
Congratulations and thanks, Ag, for your remarkable work in founding and leading Learning In Style!
May 30th, 2018