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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, catechetics, 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

World Day for Consecrated Life 2020

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 

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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Contact us

By email at:  enquiry@presprone.com

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