It is in excess of 300 years – three whole centuries – since the birth of Nano Nagle (April, 1718) founder of the Presentation Sisters, and yet it seems more true to say she lives in current times. Nano initially, did not set out to found anything at all. Her access to education and her life experience were inextricably woven into a sensibility that enabled her compassionate and welcoming heart to discern and respond to the call of God in very practical ways.
The support of her family, and her fortunate birth into privilege in terms of money and education, could have guaranteed that she live her life out relatively unscathed from the poverty and daily challenges of life in 18th century penal Ireland. Historic accounts indicate she would have managed with ease to move through European society of the time without a backward glance to Ireland and its plight. However, her access to a European education and the world landscape it opened out to her, was to serve her well in realising not only a local but a global legacy of social action and advocacy.
Light and love
These COVID-times can overwhelm and challenge us each moment of each day. The struggles and issues that were rife before this world pandemic became an endemic part of life have been compounded and escalated irrespective of country, continent or age.
Light emerges easily because of darkness, as Nano’s lantern light did centuries ago amidst the dwellings of Cove Lane. It is no less true now, as we see more clearly the ‘turning point’ in which the simple love of neighbour can make the change between finding ways to manage or give up.
Such light and love is not just what it says or does – it is the reflective presence of a God who never leaves us alone, but rather seeks us to follow His gaze brought by the love and light of others, to bring us to a Risen place where hope brings courage, strength and action for change.
Nano Nagle managed this for many – we can do the same. Nano is alive today!
Find out who Nano Nagle is HERE