Sister Mary Agnes Zinni, OSB was born in Batavia, New York to a family with 4 children. She grew up in a very loving Italian immigrant family environment, and her parents’ deep faith planted the seeds that would later open her to God’s call to religious community life in her church. Sister Mary Agnes took her first vows as a Franciscan Sister in Paterson, New Jersey in 1945, and after training, she was sent to work at Holy Cross Hospital in Austin, TX. While there, she served as Chief Medical Technologist and subsequently Hospital Administrator.
Sister received her BS in Chemistry/Biology from St. Joseph College in Connecticut and her MEd in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Texas at Austin. After working in the Austin Diocese and opening special projects for the poor in Austin, Waco, and San Antonio, she was drawn to the Boerne Benedictine Community, and joined them in 1987. She said, “I realized God was gracing me with a deep love for Benedictine Monastic Spirituality. I was one in spirit with the Community’s prayer life and commitment to justice and peace.”
Sister Mary Agnes, one of our nonagenarians, has served in many different positions and ministries with the Benedictine Sisters. Within Community she has served on the Sisters Council and as Monastery Coordinator, Sub-Prioress, Prioress, President of the Benedictine Ministries Corporation Board, and Formation Director. In Community ministries she has served as Director of the Omega Retreat Center, Coordinator of Spirituality Programs and Spiritual Director. She is also a retired Texas Licensed Professional Counselor. She currently serves on the Formation Team.
Sister Mary Agnes was highly involved with St. Peter Upon the Water (the San Antonio Archdiocese Spiritual Direction Formation Program) for 3 years and on the Formation Team for 6 years. She was a member of the Planning and Implementation Committee of the 3-year Christian Mysticism program cosponsored by the Oblate School of Theology and members of the Contemplative Outreach San Antonio Leadership Team. She also served as Facilitator of the Omega Centering Prayer Group and as a member of the Contemplative Outreach San Antonio Leadership Team.