Sister Agnes Marie Tengler (Margaret Christine), Sister of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament of Corpus Christi, was welcomed into eternal life by her loving God on October 7, 2021. Born to August John Tengler and Agnes Cecilia Whelan Tengler on October 22, 1926, she is preceded in death by her parents and her only sibling, Msgr. Alvin Tengler of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.
Margaret received her formal education at Incarnate Word Academy, being taught by Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. After graduation, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word on February 2, 1944. She made her first profession of vows on August 6, 1945 and perpetual profession on August 6, 1948. On October 12, 2019, Sister celebrated 75 years of profession of vows with a Mass at Incarnate Word Convent.
In 1952, Sister earned a Bachelor’s degree from Incarnate Word College, San Antonio, and a Master’s degree in 1956 from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, which she proudly claimed as her Alma Mater.
A lengthy history of administration in both Congregation and school settings is part of Sister Agnes Marie’s legacy. She served as Superior General from 1968-1976 and then as Assistant General from 1976-1984. She was principal of Incarnate Word Academy from 1962-1968, registrar from 1976-1984, and principal again from 1984-1992. During the years 1992-2000, she held the office of treasurer general of the Congregation and then served as secretary general from 2000-2008. Sister also served as the local treasurer of the convent for over 15 years, until 2017 when she retired.
As Superior General, Sister Agnes Marie took an active part in the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, holding the office of secretary-treasurer for Region XII in the nineteen seventies. She was appointed Bishop’s Representative for Religious in the Diocese of Corpus Christi in 1976 and Chairperson of the Diocesan Development Commission. Sister was a member of the Diocesan Pastoral Center Commission and of the Diocesan Pastoral Council. In 1984, she was honored for outstanding service to the Church, receiving the Papal medal, Pro-Ecclesia Et Pontifice.
Her past involvement in civic and diocesan organizations includes membership on the Board of Directors to the Coastal Bend Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Red Cross Advisory Council, Educational Development Office, and Governance Task Force, Mission 2000. Sister was president of the Council of Religious in the Corpus Christi diocese; she served on the Incarnate Word School Board of Directors in Corpus Christi, the Incarnate Word Academy Advisory Council in Brownsville, Region XII Conference of Religious Treasurers, Texas Coalition for Responsible Investment, and Villa Maria Senior Citizen Community Board.
Listening to music, reading, caring for plants, doing crossword puzzles, playing cards in the evening, and visiting with friends were activities which Sister Agnes Marie enjoyed for relaxation. An avid supporter and unofficial “cheerleader” of Notre Dame’s football team, The Fighting Irish, Sister enjoyed watching the games and comparing notes with her brother, Msgr. Alvin Tengler.
Msgr. Richard Shirley, Sister Agnes Marie’s co-minister and friend for many years, once commented, “We have served together on any number of diocesan projects. It was always a welcome experience to watch this quiet and elderly nun work her way through marshmallow problems to matters of futuristic concerns and still remain determined to let the light of the Incarnate Word overcome the darkness that still lurks in too many places.”
Funeral arrangements are provided by Maxwell P. Dunne Funeral Service. Due to the pandemic, services will NOT be open to the public. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to “Incarnate Word Sisters’ Retirement Fund”, Attention: Sister Annette Wagner, 5201 Lipes Blvd., Corpus Christi, TX 78413.
The funeral services will be live streamed on the Facebook Page of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament of Corpus Christi. The live stream will begin 10 minutes before both services.
Wake Service/Rosary: Tuesday, October 12th at 6:30 pm.
Funeral Mass: Wednesday, October 13th at 1:00 pm.
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