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Am I called to be a Presentation Sister?

 

At various times and in various places God invited men and women to be in partnership with Him to continue to build a just and human world. The creative Spirit of God awakens many different responses in people’s hearts.

The call to be a Presentation Sister today is as challenging and radical as it was when Nano first called her companions together to respond to the needs of the poor children and people of Cork and founded the Congregation in 1775.

Called to share in Nano Nagle’s Gospel vision, the Presentation Sisters respond with compassion to the needs of our times and challenge unjust structures which threaten the dignity of the human person. Today, Sisters in five continents follow in Nano’s footsteps, promoting the rights and dignity of people made poor and the poor earth. We do this through a variety of works including education, pastoral work, health care, cathechetics, spirituality, faith development, human rights and ecology.

Would you be fulfilled serving others – particularly those who have experienced marginalisation and would you have a genuine commitment to alleviating the burdens which they carry?

Could you live with the flexibility of the disciples in the Gospel, who were able to leave their familiar way of life behind in order to take on new responsibilities?

Would you find the practice of contemplation in community supportive?

Do you have a reasonably good education and a willingness to engage in the ongoing learning required to be a disciple in a rapidly changing world?

Are you between 25 and 45 years of age, with some experience of working for your living? It is possible to look at individual applications outside this age span also.

Information

Thinking about religious life?

The first steps after exploring my feeling

2020 – World Day for Consecrated Life

World Day for Consecrated Life 2019

Message of Pope Francis for the 2020 World Day of Vocations

Message of Pope Francis for the 2019 World Day of Vocations 

2021 – Letter on Consecrated Life – 18 January: Commission for Consecrated Life

Message of Pope Francis for the 2021 World Day of Vocations

Homily by Pope Francis – 26th World Day for Consecrated Life, 2 Feb. 2022

Message by Pope Francis for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations 2022

Sowing seeds … nurturing life

Srs. Anne Marie, Eileen, Philippa, Lillie and Concepta are at our stand today at the National Ploughing Championships Sept. 2022.

A connection with the Earth and its produce is a vital part of what makes us human, and helps us recognise the reality of the inter-connectedness of all life and the personal, individual, communal and societal responsibility we hold to nurture, sustain and care for it.

Throughout the bible there are many analogies about ploughing, tilling, planting and sowing.  This is also true of Nano Nagle’s life and the mention of the mustard seed.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” Matthew 13:31

In our Presentation story ‘readiness and openness of heart’ has expressed itself often through small beginnings, in willingness to be a pioneer; to be with those who struggle for life, for livelihood, for survival in the most challenging of times; to prepare new ground for the seed of the Gospel, and to work for a harvest to be reaped by many.

The mustard seed planted

The story of ‘Presentation’ is a truly amazing founding story.  It has been repeated in different ways in differing climes and cultures since 1776 as the charism of Nano evolved in new situations.

The Mustard Seed carries with it a rich and powerful Kingdom message, a message of hope.  Little steps taken in faith do matter. 

One person’s contribution can have repercussions across the globe.  [..]  A tiny Mustard Seed planted in faith can grow into something quite surprising and beautiful.  The Presentation story is laced with examples of miracle growth from humble beginnings. 

‘Consider the Mustard Seed’ by Mary T. O’Brien, pbvm in  ‘Nano Nagle and An Evolving Charism’. 

Each of us from our local scene, can tell our mustard seed story and marvel at the way the Providence of God has been guiding the evolution of the charism of Nano down the years – to ministries and places where the light of the Gospel shines through.

The Mustard Seed speaks of potential being realised, of a charism in evolution.

You can find out more about Presentation Life by calling to our stand at the National Ploughing Championships, over these next 3 days (20th to 22nd September, 2022) or by contacting us directly through our website or social media links (See below).

Called to ‘Joyful, Reflective, Compassionate Service’

“Let us pray, brothers and sisters, that the People of God, amid the dramatic events of history, may increasingly respond to this call. Let us implore the light of the Holy Spirit, so that all of us may find our proper place and give the very best of ourselves in this great divine plan”!*
*(Quote above is an extract from Message by Pope Francis, Rome, Saint John Lateran, 8 May 2022, Fourth Sunday of Easter & World Day of Prayer for Vocations).

Vocations Social media

See Presentation Sisters Join Presentation Facebook page
Instagram Women of Welcoming Hearts 
(See Gallery above)

Contact us

By email at:  enquiry@presprone.com

Called to welcome God’s gaze

Pope Francis, in his message for the 59th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, (Sunday 8th May 2022) offers a reflection on the broader meaning of “vocation” within the context of a synodal Church, a Church that listens to God and to the world.

What is ‘vocation’ …

The word “vocation” should not be understood restrictively, as referring simply to those who follow the Lord through a life of special consecration.  All of us are called to share in Christ’s mission to reunite a fragmented humanity and to reconcile it with God. Each man and woman, even before encountering Christ and embracing the Christian faith, receives with the gift of life a fundamental calling: each of us is a creature willed and loved by God; each of us has a unique and special place in the mind of God.

At every moment of our lives, we are called to foster this divine spark, present in the heart of every man and woman, and thus contribute to the growth of a humanity inspired by love and mutual acceptance. We are called to be guardians of one another, to strengthen the bonds of harmony and sharing, and to heal the wounds of creation lest its beauty be destroyed. In a word, we are called to become a single family in the marvellous common home of creation, in the reconciled diversity of its elements. In this broad sense, not only individuals have a “vocation”, but peoples, communities and groups of various kinds as well.

Called to welcome God’s gaze

Within this great common vocation, God addresses a particular call to each of us. He touches our lives by his love and directs them to our ultimate goal, to a fulfilment that transcends the very threshold of death. That is how God wanted to see our lives and how he sees them still.

Michelangelo Buonarroti is said to have maintained that every block of stone contains a statue within it, and it is up to the sculptor to uncover it. If that is true of an artist, how much more is it true of God! In the young woman of Nazareth he saw the Mother of God. In Simon the fisherman he saw Peter, the rock on which he would build his Church. In the publican Levi he recognized the apostle and evangelist Matthew, and in Saul, a harsh persecutor of Christians, he saw Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles. God’s loving gaze always meets us, touches us, sets us free and transforms us, making us into new persons.

That is what happens in every vocation: we are met by the gaze of God, who calls us. Vocation, like holiness, is not an extraordinary experience reserved for a few. Just as there is a “holiness of the saints next door” (cf. Gaudete et Exsultate, 6-9), so too there is a vocation for everyone, for God’s gaze and call is directed to every person.

According to a proverb from the Far East, “a wise person, looking at the egg can see an eagle; looking at the seed he glimpses a great tree; looking at the sinner he glimpses a saint”. That is how God looks at us: in each of us, he sees a certain potential, at times unbeknownst to ourselves, and throughout our lives he works tirelessly so that we can place this potential at the service of the common good.

Vocation arises in this way, thanks to the art of the divine Sculptor who uses his “hands” to make us go forth from ourselves and become the masterpiece that we are called to be. The word of God, which frees us from self-absorption, is especially able to purify, enlighten and recreate us. So let us listen to that word, in order to become ever more open to the vocation that God entrusts to us! And let us learn to listen also to our brothers and sisters in the faith, for their advice and example may help disclose the plan of God, who shows us ever new paths to pursue.

Called to respond to God’s gaze

Our lives change when we welcome this gaze. Everything becomes a vocational dialogue between ourselves and the Lord, but also between ourselves and others. A dialogue that, experienced in depth, makes us become ever more who we are.

  • In the vocation to the ordained priesthood, to be instruments of Christ’s grace and mercy.
  • In the vocation to the consecrated life, to be the praise of God and the prophecy of a new humanity.
  • In the vocation to marriage, to be mutual gift and givers and teachers of life.
  • In every ecclesial vocation and ministry that calls us to see others and the world through God’s eyes, to serve goodness and to spread love with our works and words.

Called to form constellations

As Christians, we do not only receive a vocation individually; we are also called together. We are like the tiles of a mosaic. Each is lovely in itself, but only when they are put together do they form a picture.

Each of us shines like a star in the heart of God and in the firmament of the universe. At the same time, though, we are called to form constellations that can guide and light up the path of humanity, beginning with the places in which we live. This is the mystery of the Church: a celebration of differences, a sign and instrument of all that humanity is called to be. For this reason, the Church must become increasingly synodal: capable of walking together, united in harmonious diversity, where everyone can actively participate and where everyone has something to contribute.

When we speak of “vocation”, then, it is not just about choosing this or that way of life, devoting one’s life to a certain ministry or being attracted by the charism of a religious family, movement or ecclesial community. It is about making God’s dream come true, the great vision of fraternity that Jesus cherished when he prayed to the Father “that they may all be one” (Jn 17:21).

Each vocation in the Church, and in a broader sense in society, contributes to a common objective: to celebrate among men and women that harmony of manifold gifts that can only be brought about by the Holy Spirit. Priests, consecrated men and women, lay faithful: let us journey and work together in bearing witness to the truth that one great human family united in love is no utopian vision, but the very purpose for which God created us.

Let us pray, brothers and sisters, that the People of God, amid the dramatic events of history, may increasingly respond to this call. Let us implore the light of the Holy Spirit, so that all of us may find our proper place and give the very best of ourselves in this great divine plan!

Rome, Saint John Lateran, 8 May 2022, Fourth Sunday of Easter.

You can read the full text of Message of Pope Francis for the 59th World Day of Prayer for Vocations – 8th May 2022

World Day for Consecrated Life – 2 February 2022

From the Homily by Pope Francis (the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord)

Called to change direction

Two elderly people, Simeon and Anna, await in the Temple the fulfilment of the promise that God made to his people: the coming of the Messiah. Yet theirs is no passive expectation, it is full of movement. Let us look at what Simeon does. First, he is moved by the Spirit; then he
sees salvation in the Child Jesus and finally he takes him into his arms (cf. Lk 2:26-28). Let us simply consider these three actions and reflect on some important questions for us and in particular for the consecrated life.

What moves us?

The Holy Spirit enables us to discern God’s presence and activity not in great things, in outward appearances or shows of force, but in littleness and vulnerability.

… who mostly moves us? Is it the Holy Spirit, or the spirit of this world? This a question that everyone, consecrated persons in particular, needs to ask. The Spirit moves us to see God in the littleness and vulnerability of a baby, yet we at times risk seeing our consecration only in terms of results, goals and success: we look for influence, for visibility, for numbers. This is a temptation. The Spirit, on the other hand, asks for none of this. He wants us to cultivate daily fidelity and to be attentive to the little things entrusted to our care”.

What moves our days? What is the love that makes us keep going? Is it the Holy Spirit, or the passion of the moment, or something else? How do we “move” in the Church and in society?

What do our eyes see?

Each of us can ask: what do our eyes see? What is our vision of consecrated life? The world often sees it as “a waste”: “look at that fine young person becoming a friar or a nun, what a waste! If at least they were ugly… but what a waste”! That is how we think. The world perhaps sees this as a relic of the past, something useless. But we, the Christian community, men and women religious, what do we see? Are our eyes turned only inward, yearning for something that no longer exists, or are we capable of a farsighted gaze of faith, one that looks both within and beyond?

To have the wisdom to look at things – this is a gift of the Spirit – to look at things well, to see them in perspective, to grasp reality. I am greatly edified when I see older consecrated men and women whose eyes are bright, who continue to smile and in this way to give hope to the young. Let us think of all those times when we encountered such persons, and bless God for this. For their eyes are full of hope and openness to the future.

The Lord never fails to give us signs that invite us to cultivate a renewed vision of consecrated life.

Simeon and Anna: although they were advanced in years, they did not spend their days mourning a past that never comes back, but instead embraced the future opening up before them. Brothers and sisters, let us not waste today by looking back at yesterday, or dreaming of a tomorrow that will never come; instead, let us place ourselves before the Lord in adoration and ask for eyes to see goodness and to discern the ways of God. The Lord will give them to us, if we ask him. With joy, with courage, without fear.

What do we take into our own arms?

When Simeon took Jesus into his arms, he spoke words of blessing, praise and wonder. And we, after so many years of consecrated life, have we lost the ability to be amazed? Do we still have this capacity?

If consecrated men and women lack words that bless God and other people, if they lack joy, if their enthusiasm fails, if their fraternal life is only a chore, if amazement is lacking, that is not the fault of someone or something else. The real reason is that our arms no longer embrace Jesus. And when the arms of a consecrated man or woman do not embrace Jesus, they embrace a vacuum which they try to fill with other things, but it remains a vacuum. To take Jesus into our arms: this is the sign, the journey, the recipe for renewal.

We have to embrace Jesus in adoration and ask for eyes capable of seeing the goodness and discerning the ways of God. If we embrace Christ with open arms, we will also embrace others with trust and humility.

Dear friends, today let us joyfully renew our consecration! Let us ask ourselves what “moves” our hearts and actions, what renewed vision we are being called to cultivate, and above all else, let us take Jesus into our arms. Even if at times we experience fatigue and weariness – this too happens,, let us do as Simeon and Anna did. They awaited with patience the fidelity of the Lord and did not allow themselves to be robbed of the joy of the encounter with him.

Let us advance to the joy of the encounter: this is beautiful!

Let us put the Lord back in the centre, and press forward with joy.

Amen.

See  Homily by Pope Francis – 26th World Day for Consecrated Life 2022

A Project of Love

Pope Francis marked the World Day for Consecrated Life on Wednesday, February 2nd 2022 (the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord) with a Eucharistic celebration in Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life addressed a letter to the world’s consecrated men and women inviting them to walk together as a community in the synodal spirit of participation, where members exercise responsibility for one another through mutual listening, excluding no one.

This year’s message focuses on ‘participation’, the second word of the theme of the 2023 Synod: ‘Communion, Participation and Mission’.

Recalling the exhortation of Pope Francis, the message says,

 “No one, no one, should be excluded or feel excluded from this journey; no one, no one, should think ‘it doesn’t concern me’.”

The message recalls that, by going back to their vocational call, consecrated persons will rediscover the enthusiasm, amazement and joy of feeling and being part of a project of love, for which others like them have also made their lives available for the good of humanity. 

The Vatican Congregation thus invites consecrated persons to revive this memory, warning that “over time it risks losing its strength, especially when we replace the attractiveness of ‘we’ with the strength of ‘I’”.

Participation of all

The first proof of participation is belonging, the message says, adding, “I cannot participate if I conceive of myself as the whole and do not recognize myself as part of a shared project.”

Hence the importance of asking ourselves what this listening in the community consists of: “Who are  the brothers and sisters we listen to and, before that, why do we listen to them?”

“We cannot call ourselves a vocational community, and even less a community of life, if the participation of some or others is missing.”

The Congregation invites consecrated men and women to the synodal journey of participation “strong in the conviction that we can only receive and give Good” because, as Pope Francis says, consecrated life is born, grows and can give evangelical fruits only in the Church, the living communion of the faithful People of God.

See Vatican-News – World Day of Consecrated Life 2022

On this World Day for Consecrated Life …

We pray for those who are consecrated to God by the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience:
May they always reveal the love of Christ to those they encounter and continue to enrich our world.

We pray for all those who are discerning their vocation in life, particularly those whom the Lord is calling to consecrated life:
May they be given the wisdom to hear God’s call and the courage to respond generously.

Lord hear our prayer.

We pray for those who are called to the consecrated life:
May they be faithful witnesses of God’s love.

We pray for all who actively support the promotion of vocations to consecrated life:
May they may see the fruit of their efforts in a rich harvest of vocations.

May the life and mission of the men and women in consecrated life be a means of sanctification for them, building up the kingdom of God.

We remember all men and women preparing for consecrated life:
May their days of formation be filled with joy, peace and the certainty of God’s love.

Amen

Vocation Music Award (VMC) 2021 – An Invitation

 

Making Music

This is an opportunity to participate in a song contest with a difference –  as the song revolves around the theme of ‘vocation’. The term vocation can be understood very broadly here: from the vocation to marriage and family, to priesthood and religious life, to the call of God to love and follow Him.  It is concerned with the questions:

Where is my place?  What is my path in life?  What is God’s plan for me?

Your song should be thematically about vocation and explore these questions.  The type of music is not limited or fixed to one genre and ranges from rock and pop, to worship, folk or classical music.  However, the music should express what moves you in your heart.

Vocation Music AwardJoin a  Free Webinar – Wednesday 30th June 2021

You are invited to participate in a fee Webinar on Wednesday 30th June 2021, which will help you learn more about how to write and submit your song for this year’s  Vocation Music Award Song-writing Competition open to  18 to 35 year olds.

This Webinar will include inputs by Fr Willie Purcell (National Vocations Director) and Helena Connolly (AMRI Communications, and Singer/Songwriter).

To register for this Webinar go to http://bit.ly/webinar-music-award

Datelines

Songs may be submitted up until July 31st  via a  mobile phone or camera video (one take – uncut); on YouTube/WeTransfer by submitting the link using the electronic application form.

After you submit your song, it will be released for online voting at the homepage   https://www.vocation-music-award.com/uk/

After you submit your song it will be released on the VMA homepage in preparation for the online voting. Once the voting is open, the general public will be able to vote online for your song until Aug 15th.  During this period the judges will also evaluate your song.

The winners will be chosen based on a combination of online votes and those of the judges.

The lyrics and message of the song are paramount, but the musical composition and arrangement are also naturally an important part of the evaluation.

September 2021

The submitted video recordings of the best songs, according to the online voting and judges decisions, will be shown during a live-streamed event during the first fortnight of September, at the end of which the three main prize winners will be announced together with the runners-up.

Important: You should be able to attend this virtual event.

Together with the three winners, there will be a minimum of 3 (maximum of 7 runners up) who will be invited to subsequently have their songs recorded professionally for a digital album release on all main streaming services (Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc…).

More information from Vocation Music Award about the registration and programme for this September event will follow, pending Covid-19 restrictions.

Prizes  

The 6 best candidates win a CD PRODUCTION with their song.  In addition, the top three winners receive:

1st Place: €2000

2nd Place: €1000

3rd Place: €500

Terms of Participation

  • The title is submitted by a performer/band or composer. You can perform as an individual performer or with your band. If you are a band, one person should be named as a representative of the band.
  • Your song must not have been published yet
  • The thematic orientation of your song must pertain to the theme of vocation
  • Your song must be submitted with an uncut and unedited “one take” video (mobile phone or camera) with no studio-style multi-tracking
  • You give your consent for your song, images and data to be used for further processing or distribution.
  • The judges decision is final

For The Judging Panel see JUDGING PANEL – Vocation Musik Award UK/IRL (vocation-music-award.com)

Best of Luck!!!!

Nano Nagle – inspiring women and men today

Nano Nagle is one of the most widely recognized names in religion in Ireland. Now, she is the subject of a new booklet published by Messenger Publications, The Story of Nano Nagle: A Life Lived on the Razor’s Edge, which is the work of Sr. Anne Lyons, who is herself a member of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the congregation Nagle founded in 18th century Ireland.

The booklet documents the story of Nano Nagle, who was born into a wealthy family in 1718 but later left that life to live and work with people in poverty in the city of Cork.  Known as “the lady of the lantern” for her intrepid seeking-out of people on the margins in the dark passageways of Cork, Nagle was voted Ireland’s greatest woman in 2005 in a competition run by RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster.

Anne Lyons said Nagle faced persecution and hardship both as a woman and a Catholic, but she was driven by a passion to help Christ’s marginalized.

“In the centuries since her death in 1784, her message of courage and hope has travelled around the world, changing the lives of the poor and forgotten,” Lyons said.

Today, Presentation Sisters work in 24 countries and operate a network of schools that carry on the vision of Nano Nagle.

Asked in this interview with Sarah MacDonald, for Global Sisters Report – what her were her hopes for the booklet?

“My hope is that the booklet will be like a torch, fanning the flame of Nano Nagle. People are convinced of the holiness of this woman. Pope Francis obviously is.

In her day, Nano was a pioneering woman of great courage, faith and hope as well as a risk-taker. My hope is that the booklet offers a fresh approach to this woman not as somebody back in history, but as somebody whose spirit is alive and who can inspire men and women today in their Christian call”.

You can read the full interview by Sarah MacDonald for Global Sisters Report see  Q & A with Sr. Anne Lyons, author of a new booklet about Venerable Nano Nagle

(Note: the text used in this information piece is an extract from this interview).

Coming together to pray …

pray with us

Called to share in Nano Nagle’s Gospel vision, Presentation people respond with compassion to the needs of our times and challenge unjust structures which threaten the dignity of the human person. Today, present in five continents they follow in Nano’s footsteps, promoting the rights and dignity of people made poor and the poor earth.

We do this inspired by Nano Nagle (Founder of the Presentation Sisters Congregation) to use all the talents and skills at our disposal to ‘make that difference’, and to realise the evolving contribution of the Presentation charism for our times.

We invite you to take time out online to pray with us on this special Sunday 25th April (which is 2021 World Day of Vocations). An opportunity to share and reflect on our lives as Presentation people.

To join us (all welcome) – just use the email below to contact us to confirm your interest,  and to receive your Zoom link.

Please join us – we look forward to welcoming you: from 2.00 pm – 3.00 pm (Irish Time) – Sunday 25th April.

Email us at: enquiry@presprone.com

The Dream of Vocation

“I pray that you will experience this same joy, dear brothers and sisters who have generously made God the dream of your lives, serving him in your brothers and sisters through a fidelity that is a powerful testimony in an age of ephemeral choices and emotions that bring no lasting joy. May St. Joseph, protector of vocations, accompany you with his fatherly heart”!

(Pope Francis, St John Lateran, Rome 19 March 2021).

In his message for the 2021 World Day of Vocations (25th April) ‘St. Joseph: The Dream of Vocation’ Pope Francis writes:

“I wrote the Apostolic Letter Patris Corde, whose aim was “to increase our love for this great saint”. St. Joseph is an extraordinary figure, yet at the same time one “so close to our own human experience”. He did not do astonishing things, he had no unique charisms, nor did he appear special in the eyes of those who met him. He was not famous or even noteworthy: the Gospels do not report even a single word of his. Still, through his ordinary life, he accomplished something extraordinary in the eyes of God”.

Pope Francis adds that the priesthood and consecrated life greatly need these qualities nowadays, in times marked by fragility but also by the sufferings due to the pandemic, which has spawned uncertainties and fears about the future and the very meaning of life. He goes on to explain that St. Joseph suggests to us three key words for each individual’s vocation.

Dream

St. Joseph let himself be guided by his dreams without hesitation because his heart was  directed to God; it was already inclined towards him. This applies also to our calling: God does not like to reveal himself in a spectacular way, pressuring our freedom. He conveys his plans to us with gentleness. He does not overwhelm us with dazzling visions but quietly speaks in the depths of our heart, drawing near to us and speaking to us through our thoughts and feelings. In this way, as he did with St. Joseph, God sets before us profound and unexpected horizons.

Service

St. Joseph - Knock Shrine

Detail of Image of St. Joseph, Knock Shrine, Co. Mayo

The service and sacrifices made by St. Joseph were only possible because they were sustained by a greater love: For St. Joseph, service – as a concrete expression of the gift of self – did not remain simply a high ideal, but became a rule for daily life.

Fidelity

There is a third characteristic of St. Joseph’s daily life and our Christian vocation, namely  fidelity. He did not yield to the temptation to act rashly, simply following his instincts or living for the moment. Instead, he pondered things patiently. He knew that success in life is built on constant fidelity to important decisions. For a vocation – like life itself – matures only through daily fidelity.

Do not be afraid: these words the Lord also addresses to you, whenever you feel that, even amid uncertainty and hesitation, you can no longer delay your desire to give your life to him. He repeats these words when, perhaps amid trials and misunderstandings, you seek to follow his will every day, wherever you find yourself. They are a refrain accompanying all those who – like St. Joseph – say yes to God with their lives, through their fidelity each day.

This fidelity is the secret of joy.  You can read the full text of Pope Francis’ message for the World Day of Vocations 2021   HERE  and also in the link at the top of the page.

All brothers and sisters

 

The WORLD DAY FOR CONSECRATED LIFE – February 2nd, 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul declaring the feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple as World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life. On this day in St. Peter’s Basilica at 5.30 pm (Rome Time)  there will a  service of celebration of  Consecrated Life.  In addition, the Congregation for Consecrated Life issued a letter to all consecrated persons see Letter on Consecrated Life 2021.

An invitation

Pope Francis invites us to be architects of universal brotherhood, custodians of the common home: of the common home and of every creature (cf. Encyclical Laudato Si ).

Therefore, in the light of this dream that is entrusted to our hands, to our passion and to our perseverance, this coming 2nd February will once again be a beautiful feast to praise and thank the Lord for the gift of our vocation and mission!  

To Our Lady, Our Mother and Mother of the Church, faithful woman, and in this year dedicated to St. Joseph, her spouse, we entrust all of you.  May you be strengthened in your living and loving faith, certain and joyful hope, humble and active charity.

See also All brothers & sisters 

and About the Day for Consecrated Life

Let us remember to pray for all those who have made commitments in the consecrated life, and to be sure to thank them on their special day.

Brothers and Sisters …

Go Forth! Remember the beauty of your first call.
Jesus continues to call you today
With the same full love and untamed grace.

Go Forth! There is always more time to do, to encounter,
To be grateful for, to be astonished by.
Begin and end with the joy of prayer –
The marrow of consecrated life.

Go Forth! Each of us has a role to play in the Church.
Witness and sow well each day,
And look to tomorrow with hope.

Go Forth! Grow in love for God
So that others will be attracted by the divine light in you.
Welcome the new vocations the lord sends
To continue the work of consecration.

~ Pope Francis

(Prayer adapted from the concluding message of Pope Francis for the XX World Day of Consecrated Life – Source: https://pasquiacatholic.com/ )

Here am I. Send me.

The theme given by Pope Francis for World Mission Sunday on 18th October 2020 is:

“Here am I. Send me”.  (Isaiah 6:8)

Pope Francis says the Lord continues to ask “Whom shall I send?” This call to mission emerges as an “invitation to step out of ourselves for love of God and neighbour” through service and intercessory prayer”, he writes.

“We find ourselves precisely when we give ourselves to others”, Pope Francis continues.

Our mission, our call, our willingness to be sent originates in the vocation of Jesus as “the missionary of the Father”. “Our personal vocation” is rooted in “the fact that we are sons and daughters of God in the Church”.

Nano’s mission and ours

mission“My views are not for one object alone.  If I could be of service in saving souls in any part of the globe I would willingly do all in my power”.

Words written in 1770 by Nano Nagle in a letter to Eleanor Fitzsimons.  Nano Nagle is known internationally as the founder of the Presentation Congregation. Through her life she laid the ground work for what would eventually make a global contribution to the education of girls and women, while also articulating a mission to those kept poor.

Presentation Sisters continue to share in the dream of their founder:

To live Contemplatively,
Walk lightly on the Earth
Witness Prophetically.

“Called to live as consecrated women, we strive to witness to joyful, reflective, compassionate service, constantly calling ourselves to be aware of, and where possible to help those who find themselves on the edge, forgotten and neglected”.

What IF … we consciously spend ourselves for those kept poor?

What IF …we consciously love one another?

Presentation Sisters are in 24 countries around the globe.

See also The evolution of a charism

A Joyous Occasion: Sr. Marion renews her Vows

L-R: Srs. Mary Brennan, Pia O’Neill, Gemma McKevitt, Anne Nevin, Marion O’Raw, Assumpta Lawlor, Stasia Ward, Rosaria King with Sr. Mary Hanrahan (Provincial Leader).

A joyous occasion was celebrated by the Clondalkin/Cluster community on 9th September, 2020 when Sr. Marion O’Raw renewed her vows.  Marion renewed her vows in the presence of Sr. Mary Hanrahan, Provincial Leader (NEP), who accepted them on behalf of Sr. Julie Watson (Congregational Leader).

The prayerful and inspirational ceremony was followed by lunch, which was enjoyed by all. Congratulations and Blessings Marion.

Our wish for you: “May love hold you, peace enfold you. May you be held in the palm of God’s hand”. (Mary Southard, CSJ)

Sr. Breeda Walsh

Note: Unable to be present on the day: Srs. Clare Dwyer, Frances Crowe, Angela Dolan & Srs. Mary Casey and Nano Purcell (Mt. Pleasant Nursing Home).

Sister Story Video Series

… get to know a Presentation Sister.

 

Take a look at short video stories of our sisters speaking about living religious life today.

Bernadette Purcell: My name is Bernadette Purcell and I am a Presentation Sister.  I am Chaplain in Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) Tallaght Campus and part of a Team of Pastoral Care and Chaplains who offer Students and Staff support in the University.

It is a lively place to work in with young people from 18-25 years who come from various backgrounds.  TU Dublin is the university where the arts, business, sciences, engineering and technology converge and its twenty-eight and a half thousand (28,500) students and researchers come from all over Ireland, and from all parts of the globe. There are over three thousand three hundred and fifty (3,350) International Students. And we have three and a half thousand (3,500) dedicated staff who offer an inclusive and welcoming learning experience.

My role as Chaplain is to provide spiritual and practical support to the students in terms of settling in, getting involved, helping them through difficulties in the academic term e.g. relational issues, bereavement issues. “Listening is about being present, not just about being quiet.”   We have a small Quiet Room which I look after, and students and staff can go there for solitude, prayer, meditation, mindfulness and time out.

I began my ministry as a secondary teacher of English and Religion, and later went as a missionary to the Philippines where I worked as a community organiser, then as Coordinator of Religious Education in a third level college administered by the Presentation Sisters.  All of this shaped my heart and mind to the wider realities, and especially to the lives of the poor. This international experience helps me in my role in a multi-cultural and multi- faith context today.

As a Presentation Sister working today in ministry, I find myself on the front line. The lives and prayers of the older Sisters in my congregation support me in my work. It can be a lonely space at times but I find the web of friendship keeps me going.  Prayer, companionship and meaningful conversations with others keep the ‘Light of Nano’ alive for me.  The attraction of the Light of our founder Nano Nagle, the Love of Christ and community are the elements that sustain me.

Click on the link below or on the image to view video.

Sr. Bernadette Purcell 

 

Elizabeth Starken: Elizabeth was born in Kerry (her father was German and her mother was Irish).  She attended the Presentation Secondary School in Mountmellick (Co. Laois) as a boarder, and it was where she first encountered Presentation life.  Elizabeth entered novitiate to become a Presentation Sisters in Mount St. Anne’s.  She then became a teacher and went on to teach Home Economics for a number of years.

Elizabeth explains that  her motto has always been: “Use me, Oh Lord” and that this has  helped her to always say her “Yes” and to be of service to Presentation worldwide, especially when she became Congregational Leader.  She describes how in saying this particular “Yes” she had the privilege of getting to know our Sisters from around the world and sharing in an enriching intercultural experience with them.  After Leadership ministry, Elizabeth joined the Presentation community in Slovakia where she was instrumental in setting up the mission to the Roma people in Spišské Podhradie.

Elizabeth is now enjoying her retirement in Mountmellick, and still living out of motto: “Use me, Oh Lord”. 

Click on the link below or on the image to view video.

Sr. Elizabeth Starken 

 

Mary Brennan: I was born in Co. Tipperary  in 1947. I joined the Presentation Sisters in Cashel  in 1965 and went on to teach in various  primary schools up until 1992. I went to Zambia that year to work with ‘out of school youths’ in Lusaka until 2007. On my return to Ireland I continued for two more years in school before I began working  with the community where I live near Clondalkin (Dublin) in 2009. I hope I will continue to live and relax for many years among the folk in this area.

Click on the link below or on the image to view video.

Sr. Mary Brennan

 

Pauline McGaley: I have been a Presentation Sister for a long time. I entered in 1970, and I live and work in Warrenmount in Dublin 8 (in Dublin’s Inner City).  Warrenmount Education  Centre is a Presentation initiative which opened in 1995, and I was here for the beginning part of it.  Our plan was to provide second chance learning for people in Dublin 8.  Today, however, we provide whatever education is needed for Dublin 8 (quite a large geographical area). We provide second chance learning to early school leavers,  we would have people who might have literacy difficulties and have hidden it for quite some time, and we have lots of language learners as well as conversation and English classes.  The community is the underpin of all we do, meeting the needs of people whatever they are. “It’s the whole Presentation thing”.  

“We ask ourselves the question, if Nano Nagle came back today, what would she be doing? I think she would be doing just this”.  It’s the accepting of people – where they are at.  I have lived through a lot of changes in religious life. Some took more adjusting than others. But it is a great time to be a religious woman, I think. I think it is a great time to be part of an evolving Church.

Click on the link below or on the image to view video. 

Sr. Pauline McGaley

 

Philomena Ryan: Philomena was born in Holycross, Thurles (Co. Tipperary) in 1939 – into a family of five girls. The youngest and the oldest entered Presentation.

Philomena entered in 1958, and two years later (1960) left for Africa.  She sailed on a beautiful ship called the ‘Edinburgh Castle’ with two other Sisters who were returning to Africa after their vacation.  The journey took three weeks! There was no doubt that she was very lonely leaving her parents and family for another continent.  When they eventually arrived in South Africa they took a train to Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe). They spent three days on the train before reaching their destination – Harare!! It was September 1960, and Philomena was to spend 48 years there.

Philomena is now living out her retirement in Ireland.

Click on the link below or on the image to view video.

Sr. Philomena Ryan 

 

Josephine James: My name is Josephine James, a Presentation Sister from Pakistan, an Islamic country in which Christians are in the minority. I was born and brought up in a Catholic family, attending a Presentation School for my basic studies. As an adult, when I completed my teacher training I went on to teach in the same school for two years, as a Primary School teacher. It was there that I realised God was calling me to take another step – to become a Presentation Sister. I had seen the Irish Sisters dedicating their lives to serve the people of Pakistan. These Sisters had left their homeland, family and friends to come to a totally different country – why? I understood this perfectly, when I went on myself, to serve the tribal people of Thailand for 15 years as a Presentation Sister. It is with God’s grace and Love that I can continue to serve others. I am now in Ireland and enjoying every moment of my life as a Presentation Sister.

Click on the link below or on the image to view video.

Sr. Josephine James

 

Bernadette Joyce: I was born into a large family in the West of Ireland, and I joined the Presentation Congregation after Secondary School. I have been on mission in New Zealand and Chile for almost forty years. My experience of living in these two very different cultures was life changing, especially those years spent with the poor in Chile. I reluctantly had to return to Ireland from the mission in Chile due to illness. Settling back in Ireland again was a real culture shock for me in so many ways. However, I have been able to share my experience of living with the poor in the Atacama Desert in a book entitled ‘Eva’s Journey’ fiction, inspired by real events (2016, Columba Press). This book tells of homelessness, disappearances and a disregard for the poor, but is overall a moving tale of strength and endurance. I have also shared my life experiences from child to adult, weaving together fact and fiction in ‘Life’s Colourful Threads’– a book of short stories and essays published privately.

Click on the link below or on the image to view video.

Sr. Bernadette Joyce 

 

 Sheila D’Sa: I am from Goa, India. I have been a Presentation Sister for the last thirty years. But actually,  I have been with ‘Presentation’ from my early childhood. I have been one of the lucky ones – to have studied with Presentation Sisters in my own village.  Presentation Sisters arrived there in1957.   I remember when I was about twelve years old watching a film on Nano Nagle and the ‘something’ that captured me was her spirit.  I said to myself: “If she could, why can’t I?”  And it is this dream that is still with me today.  What Nano actually inspired in me was to be of service.

I have been privileged to work in the northern part of India in my early years.  Today we talk of ‘oneness’ but back then it was for me, working together (including many other religions) in order to serve humanity.  Nano inspired us to look at the signs of the times and to reach out to people, whether they are Muslims, Hindus or Sikhs.  “So with that way of looking, I am very happy that I am called to serve humanity”.  I have been a teacher now for the past 18 years.  In my ministry this is not just about book knowledge, but to be able to give them something to be able to empower themselves and to be able to look at society and make a difference.  It is not easy and often I am inspired by Nano’s words: “The Lord makes use of the weakest means to being about His work”.  This has helped me to make this dream of mine “of finding God in the midst of people, in the midst of creation, somehow to come true”.  

Click on the link below or on the image to view video.

Sr. Sheila D’Sa

 

Anne O’Sullivan: I was born in Waterford and educated by the Presentation Sisters from the age of 4 to 18 years. My schooldays were spent in the same building as the Convent where the Sisters lived – a beautiful gem of Gothic Architecture.

When I later joined the Presentation Community in Waterford, my vision of my future was that I would spend my life in this place (at the time we were living an enclosed monastic style of Religious Life) and that I would teach in the Secondary School on the premises. But as the poet Patrick Kavanagh says “God must be allowed to surprise us”.

I now find myself living in a housing estate in Dublin. I have not been involved in teaching for many years but have been working in other ways with young people whose lives have been affected by many social and family problems. Where I live has deeply affected what I do … our community goal is to provide a place where all can feel welcome and at home, and where their needs can be listened to and met – whether these are material, emotional, or spiritual. This has also led to involvement in some work with prisoners and with ex-prisoners. While the externals of my Religious Life – from its monastic beginnings to its present form- have “changed utterly”, the inner journey has been following the call of the Lord according to the Spirit and Charism of Nano Nagle.

Click on the link below or on the image to view video.

Sr. Anne O’Sullivan 

 

Lillie O’Reilly: I was born in the midlands of Ireland into a family of six. I went to school to the Presentation Sisters, and that is where I discovered my vocation as a religious.  I have been active in numerous ministries ever since, for example, in Belfast (Northern Ireland) where I worked in a family centre, and learned so much about courage, resilience and a joy of celebrating life.  I also spent time in Chile, Ecuador and South America.  The poverty of the people there opened my eyes to the inequality of access to resources that exists in our world. Their faith in a God who would see them through everything, was always a great source of inspiration for me.

Click on the link below or on the image to view video.

Sr. Lillie O’Reilly 

 

 

Mary Byrne: I was born in Co. Offaly and started my Religious Life in Presentation Sisters, Mount St. Anne’s Killenard, Co. Laois. My Religious Life and Ministry has brought me to many different situations and places over the years. Education being central to Presentation Charism, I spent the early years in Primary School Teaching. However this was not to continue for too long, as developing needs emerged and new calls presented themselves. For me this involved spending some years in a Presentation Retreat Centre as a member of a Youth Retreat Team . Later, further needs brought me to Zimbabwe in Africa which brought new challenges and experiences. For the past 18 years life has opened up new and unexpected experiences as I live out my call as a Presentation Sister in a housing estate in Dublin – which has been deeply fulfilling, and which I know is faithful to the Spirit of Nano Nagle as we are called to live it at this time in our History.

Click on the link below or on the image to view video.

Sr. Mary Byrne

 

 Thainese Anthony: I am from India and have been nearly 30 years in religious life.  When I was young I never thought that I would want to become a Sister.  However, after my studies in Higher Secondary School I was waiting on my results to go to college and my sister became really seriously ill.  Doctors said she could die at any time.  I remember it was All Souls Day and I went to the 5.30 pm Mass and I prayed to God: “If my sister gets well, I will offer my life to God”.  Some time later, to the surprise of the doctors my sister recovered.

I went on to continue my studies and got a job – completely forgetting my promise to God. Then God reminded me, but my parents initially didn’t allow me to enter, but I insisted, and when I joined I really felt this is the life for me.

I have been on different ministries and in many different places in India – in education, administration, pastoral, social work – meeting staff and students and being with the people.  “After joining the religious life (as a Presentation Sister) I never looked back in my life.  My whole life is a faith journey.  I would say that”.

Click on the link below or on the image to view video.

Sr. Thainese Anthony

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