What do Presentation associates say about their experiences?
“The Presentation Sisters have been a beacon of light for over 200 years. Being a PBVM associate gives me a way to live out the Vatican II call for the laity to be light to the world. The Sisters' legendary hospitality inspires me to reach out to those around me who are under loved. My prayer life has been enriched by the beautiful liturgies in the chapel and the Spirit-filled Community gatherings. I've had the opportunity to write scripture reflections, lead prayer and facilitate group discussions. My heart has been broken open by service projects in inner city Detroit, Chicago and Kansas City. I was comforted by the support from the Community when my dad died. My association with the Presentation Sisters keeps me focused towards "one pace beyond."
"Being a Presentation associate makes my world bigger and helps me to live a more thoughtful lifestyle. As a person who tries to live simply, I value the support I feel from the Presentation community. The sisters' detachment from the "wants" that our society calls "needs" sets a great example that encourages me to forego extras and redirect my resources to help others instead. The congregation's focus on living green, consuming less, and walking gently on the earth keeps me conscious of how the decisions I make affect the environment and helps me to make choices that will create a better future for us all. I especially appreciate the connection that being a Presentation associate gives me to a world-wide grass roots network. The sisters work globally, and the stream of information that they share provides insight into events happening around the world that I don't hear in the mainstream media news. Through the network of sharing, I learn about the particular suffering of girls and women due to gender issues, the plight of indigenous, and the effects globalization have on the poor. The Presentation sisters even have a representative at the United Nations, a connection that gives me a window into international policies and politics."
"Receiving a hug and heartfelt thank you from 78 year old Tula made the Hurricane Katrina project more than just gutting a house. In her smile you could see hope - hope for rebuilding her home and life."
"Being a Presentation associate is meaningful to me because of the shared prayer life and the community service we do together. My experiences of service with the associates and sisters helped me to experience Nano's Spirit alive today. I have worked in gardens, soup kitchens, food pantries, helped to clean homes, ditches, experienced the way my brothers and sisters live. And yet I recall the joy and beauty these people brought to me! It was an experience grounded in common prayer and listening to sacred stories. In listening to their stories, I have come to know that our stories are very much alike! I have been richly blessed by these people and the associates and sisters with whom I share meals, prayers and service. I continue this sharing and service together with my associate group, The Living Lanterns, and in personal prayer and sharing with the Sisters, both retired and on mission. I have experienced as an Associate the open heart of Nano alive today. This experience is helping me to be more compassionate to the poor, needy and lonely right here where I live, and to realize that we are all called to bring the Light into the darkness."
"Being a newcomer in America is not easy especially if you don't have the language. My life was very difficult until I had the opportunity to receive tutoring in English as a Second Language (ESL) at the newly opened Presentation Lantern Center. From there, many friendships were born. I was inspired by the work that Sister Corine Murray was doing there and decided to help as much as possible. Through Sister Corine and other Presentation sisters, I learned about Nano Nagle and all she did and was offered a new opportunity: to become a Presentation associate. In going through the Associate Orientation Process, the new friendships and inspirational stories have fired even further my desire to serve the community in as many ways as possible and follow in Nano's steps to serve God."
"When I came in as an associate of the Presentation community, I knew nothing about Nano Nagle. Although I was taught by the Presentation sisters at St. Columbkille High School, I just didn't know anything about the order. Fast forward 65 years - now I am engaged in learning about Nano, the 'woman behind the lantern'. I've learned she helped the poor, educated the young, fed the hungry and shared her life with her community. The Sisters of the Presentation carry on Nano's work by involving themselves in peace and justice issues. This is a powerful example for me. Now that I am retired, I have time to volunteer in groups that work with the elderly, mentally ill, substance abusers, bereaved and faith sharing groups. I have found real joy in being part of these groups of 'special people.' Our associate group helped serve a meal for the poor at St. Pat's. We brought food for a meal at Hope House and financially helped out a young mother and her children who were in dire straits. We contributed items for the garage sale and look forward to helping out again this year. As I continue my faith journey, being an associate will provide me the opportunity to further my lay ministry actions. May God bless all of us as we continue to follow Nano's lead."
"I have developed a great respect for Nano Nagle and her dedication to the poor and to education. I can only hope to someday accomplish a small portion of what she achieved in her life. I humbly offer my prayers and my time to the Presentation sisters and to continue to live out the vision of Nano in my volunteerism - always striving to go 'One Pace Beyond.'"
"Completing the Associate Orientation Process has made me much more knowledgeable of Nano and the philosophy and works of the Presentation sisters. I am at a time in my life where I am able to give back – to help with projects through prayer, time and service. I enjoy the time I spend with the sisters when working the switchboard at Mount Loretto and look forward to forming even closer relationships through service with them.”