Birthday celebration includes day Mass for 103-year- old

Agnes Orcutt, 103, has been living at New Cassel Retirement Center for five years. Her family encouraged her to move to the Catholic assisted living facility after her neighborhood of 70 years became more dangerous and her home was robbed five times.

Agnes said that New Cassel was the only place she considered living because of the availability of daily Mass. Built originally as a convent for the School Sisters of St. Francis, New Cassel came into existence in 1973 when the School Sisters made the decision to re-direct their mission and create a residential and spiritual center for older adults.

“I came here because of the chapel,” Agnes said, “and I love the new friends I have made.”

Agnes has a zest for living. She relishes her Saturday bingo games and her daily walks around the New Cassel facility with her walker. Physical activity has been her key to longevity as she was a domestic in a boarding house in her younger years and loved square dancing.

Twins have always run in the Orcutt family. Agnes, a twin, married John Orcutt, himself a twin, in 1934. Agnes and John welcomed one child and a set of twins during their 57 years of marriage. Their children and grandchildren have continued to have sets of twins.

“That’s why there’s so many,” Agnes said of her ten grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren.

She celebrated her 103rd birthday in February by attending daily Mass, surrounded by family and friends, in the chapel built by the School Sisters of St. Francis. The Sisters remain the sponsors of New Cassel Retirement Center.

Home to 180 older adults, New Cassel Retirement Center in Omaha, Nebraska, maintains its core values of “Respect, Compassion, Responsiveness and Hospitality” and celebrates the innate dignity of the aging person.  Visit us at