Cover photo for Sr. Nancy Hagenbach, SHCJ's Obituary
Sr. Nancy Hagenbach, SHCJ Profile Photo

Sr. Nancy Hagenbach, SHCJ

August 27, 1934 — December 27, 2023


Sr. Nancy Hagenbach, SHCJ

Nancy Hagenbach, SHCJ

(Mother Agnes Mary)

August 27, 1934 – December 27, 2023

Educator, Administrator


Rosemont, Pennsylvania – Nancy Hagenbach, SHCJ, a Sister of the Holy Child Jesus for 66 years, died peacefully on Wednesday, December 27. She was 89.


With a quick wit, an infectious smile, and a gentle, listening heart, Sister Nancy was well-loved. She taught for 30 years at the elementary and high school level, including Holy Child School at Rosemont in Rosemont, Pennsylvania (1957-58), Saint Elizabeth School in New York City (1958-61 and 1984-86), Holy Child Academy in Old Westbury, New York (1961-63), and Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child in Summit, New Jersey (1963-66, 1976-81).


In 1986, Sister Nancy shifted her focus from education to pastoral and social services. She ministered to the elderly in Saint Elizabeth Parish in New York City and then at Saint Joseph Social Service Center in Elizabeth, New Jersey.


In 1993, when the Archdiocese of Philadelphia closed Saint Edward Parish and School, where the Holy Child Sisters had served since 1886, the Society’s American Province was eager to maintain its Holy Child presence in the Fairhill community. At the request of the Province Leadership Team, Sisters Nancy and Margaret (Peggy) Doherty, SHCJ, established Providence Center. Sister Nancy’s gifts and experiences prepared her for the challenge of building a network of volunteers and benefactors for the center. Sisters Nancy and Peggy conducted home visits and became well acquainted with their neighbors, learning their hopes and needs. As a result, classes in English as a Second Language (ESL) and an after-school program were launched. Later, sewing and prayer groups for women were developed. After 30 years, Providence Center has become a beacon of hope and a place of peace in Philadelphia’s poorest neighborhood. After retiring as the center’s director, Sister Nancy continued fundraising and teaching an ESL class. In addition, she had been a faithful volunteer at Philadelphia’s Dawn’s Place, where she helped women victimized by trafficking.


Sister Nancy’s days at Holy Child Center in Rosemont were filled with delighting the Sisters and staff, especially the second floor staff with her many famous sayings and stories. All will miss her wit, smile, and charm!


Sister Nancy earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Rosemont College in 1962 and a Master of Art in English from Catholic University in 1971.


She joins her parents George and Mary (Flatley), brothers Reverend George and Thomas Hagenbach, and cousin Brother Emery Mollenhauer, FSC, in eternal rest. She is survived by her cousin Tom Flatley, and many devoted and well-loved nieces, nephews, and grand nieces and nephews.


Friends and family are invited to a Prayer of Remembrance on Tuesday, January 2, 2024, at 4:00 p.m., and a Mass of Christian Burial on Wednesday, January 3, at 11:00 a.m., at Holy Child Chapel, 1341 Montgomery Avenue, Rosemont, Pa., 19010. Preceding Mass, friends and family are welcome to attend the viewing at 10:00 a.m.


In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Society of the Holy Child Jesus – American Province, 1341 Montgomery Avenue, Rosemont, PA 19010, or made online at


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sr. Nancy Hagenbach, SHCJ, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Prayer Service of Remembrance

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Starts at 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Wednesday, January 3, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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