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PBVM Proud to be Present
In California, Presentation Sisters and Associates joined the Bay Area Women’s Marches, on Saturday, January 21, 2017.
In San Francisco when people saw our Presentation Sisters for Justice banner some took pictures and some expressed gratitude. San Francisco participants not pictured were Sister Lucia Lodolo, PBVM, Sister Kathleen Healy, PBVM, Presentation Associate Betty Canton-Self and Presentation Associate May Barisone’s daughter Angela.
Sister Pam Chiesa, PBVM, Vice President, Sisters of the Presentation, says, “I was proud to stand with our Sisters and Associates behind a banner which proclaims our commitment to justice. More than ever, our voices and bodies are needed to join with others in witnessing to Jesus’ message of love and justice; the dignity of all people and the importance of caring for Earth. In this time of political unrest and hostility, it is important for religious women and men to find ways to witness and dialogue about meaningful issues in nonviolent ways.”
|By Gloria Loya, PBVMSF|
Since I began this ministry in Stop Human Trafficking, I have been challenged beyond anything I could have imagined. So often I have asked myself, “How can this be taking place right here in our beautiful Central Coast of California and indeed, within the state, the nation and in our entire world?” My journey is led by the Word and by Nano’s Lantern.
In the midst of this darkness there exists a powerful, tangible, living hope because we have met survivors who have found healing and who have become leaders in our communities. Some years ago two Salvadoran Sisters, Jean and Sheila, were the first to prophetically raise this issue in California. They began with a profound “spark” when many, particularly in governmental offices, ignored their pleas. We are grateful to them for educating our religious communities about human trafficking.
| Presenters at conference with Sr. Gloria Loya, far right|
|We may feel that there are so many “issues” to deal with when it comes to justice. I have learned, along with my colleagues working together in this ministry, is that this is not a mere “issue.” We have a mission to stop this modern day slavery that is a burden and an evil placed upon the backs of our children, because human trafficking begins with the young who are most vulnerable to predators. |
One of our stop human trafficking leaders who chair our Central Coast Coalition is a woman survivor of human trafficking. Her narrative flows from her personal development, her profound healing and transformation that have shaped her leadership.
When the police came to talk to the girl, they found she was only 13 and the man was her trafficker.
What often strikes me is how similar these are to the places where I was trafficked when I was a child. Starting in early elementary school and continuing through my teen years, I was taken to truck stops, roadside motels and high-end hotels where I was sold. I was so scared. (Deborah Pembrook, Counsellor, Rape Crisis Center, Salinas)
|By Patricia Mathes Cane, Associate|
Patricia Mathes Cane, Ph.D., is an Associate of the Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco, California, and an alumna of Our Lady of Loretto High School, Los Angeles, Class of 1958. She is the Founder and Director of Capacitar.
Capacitar is an international network of empowerment and solidarity whose mission is 'Healing Ourselves, Healing Our World'. Capacitar teaches simple practices of healing, team building and self-development to awaken people to their own source of strength and wisdom, so they can reach out to heal injustice, work for peace and transform themselves, their families and communities.
For the last five years, using a popular education approach, Capacitar has worked with grassroots people in over forty-two countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Capacitar is especially committed to people and communities impacted by poverty, war, violence and natural disasters. A significant value now being promoted by human rights organizations around the world is self-care for activists on the frontlines. There is greater consciousness of the trauma and burnout experienced by those working to bring peace and justice to places of war, violence and corruption.
A recent Capacitar training in Oaxaca, Mexico for the Mesoamerican Women’s Consortium of Human Rights Defenders involved fifty-three women from twelve states of Mexico, as well as from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. The women were lawyers, psychologists, social workers, teachers, healers, grassroots leaders and activists representing a broad cross section of organizations involved in working for human rights for women, children, indigenous, land or water rights and gender violence.
At the US/Mexico border, Capacitar teams are working with refugees, undocumented persons, unaccompanied refugee minors, and with people who accompany them. In the El Paso, Texas detention center, a Capacitar team, in collaboration with Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) under Homeland Security, facilitates regular trauma healing workshops for men and women in detention. JRS chaplains from six United States detention centers are currently in the Capacitar El Paso training.
||A new Capacitar manual, Refugee Accompaniment, offers simple healing practices for use with refugees and for self-care for those working in border communities, in legal aid, in crisis response, in detention centers and in places of risk. A Capacitar Emergency Kit of Best Practices is available in twenty-two languages for download from the website: www.capacitar.org.|
In 2017, new outreach for Capacitar includes work in Lebanon, the Philippines, and Alaska. In San Antonio, Texas, a new training will involve people who accompany refugees and detained persons. Capacitar trainings are also scheduled for Scotland, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Afghanistan (to work with the Afghan Peace Volunteers), Toronto, Canada, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Guatemala, Panama, Korea, Japan, Argentina and Mexico, along with trainings in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Tucson, Arizona, and Santa Barbara, California. In Okinawa, Japan, Capacitar will start new work focused on healing sexual violence, as well as new outreach to schools with the publication of a Japanese manual for children and teachers. In Africa, Capacitar teams will work in South Sudan, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya, among other areas.
|In all of the places where Capacitar works there are so many people of hope and vision, committed to bringing justice, peace and healing to the world. When asked if Capacitar still has hope, Pat says, Just look around and see the many grassroots people, especially those who live and work in extreme poverty, violence and oppression. Their strength, courage and love in the face of it all—that’s what gives us hope!
In the words of the Capacitar prayer: We join with the earth and with each other to bring new life to the land, to recreate the human community, to provide justice and peace, to remember our children, to remember who we are. We join together as many and diverse expressions of one Loving Mystery, for the healing of the earth and the renewal of all life.
New Presentation Associates are always welcomed!
By Sisters Joanna Bruno, San Francisco, and Elizabeth Remily, Aberdeen
It was a flash-in-the-pan idea to travel to the Standing Rock Reservation to help the water protectors and indigenous people in Cannonball, North Dakota. During the days of the Novena for Presentation Day, we felt it would be what Mary was calling us to do. Daily news of the demonstrators on TV and front page news in the local paper were drawing us to go, thinking, “They must need supplies by now.”
We found that the demonstrators were needing many things but it was the top two things that we gathered: fire wood and sleeping bags that would protect in zero-below weather.
Sister Liz Remily from Aberdeen and I, Sister Joanna Bruno from San Francisco started looking for the requested military sleeping bags at the Army Surplus in Sioux Falls. We found them beyond our budget so we looked in other places and found a deal at Nyberg’s ACE Hardware. Zero-below sleeping bags, perfect! Firewood was easy.
We planned to leave the early morning of Thanksgiving weekend. The day before Thanksgiving our neighbors and sponsors, Sisters Janet Horstman and Sheila Schnell, helped pack the Jeep and our own supplies. Since we had just had our first blizzard a few days prior we wanted to be prepared for sleeping in the Jeep if we got caught between blizzards. With Jeep packed; wood, sleeping bags including our own, walking sticks, medical supplies, food, maps, and lots of prayers from the sisters in California and South Dakota, we started off with a loaded vehicle.
Fast forward five hours and 450 miles to Mobridge the last supply line to the camps and crossing the Mighty Missouri River where Louis and Clark made their notable canoe trip, we crossed into Standing Rock reservation using 1806 heading north taking in the sight of the beautiful Oahe Lake. All along the two lane country road we saw land that had already been dug and large blue pipes laid. Large digging machinery was standing by to be employed. The last 10% of the pipeline needed to be stopped. The Missouri River has no voice but our own. The unborn generations of children to come had no voice either.
After ninety minutes we reached a fork in the road. One sign said, “Camping.” We took the one that said, “NO drugs, NO alcohol, and NO arms.” We were later greeted by a young man who asked if we were bringing food. Regretfully we answered, “No, we’re sorry, food wasn’t on the list. We have sleeping bags and firewood.” “Good, we need that also.” He pointed down the hill to where we were to leave off our donations. We were dumbfounded at the size of the camp of which there were three. Indian tents, Yurts, geodesic domes, tents for summer camping, SUV, pick-up trucks and all sorts of shelters few of which were ready for the coming Dakota winter were crowded together making little room to drive through. The youngest child we saw was about five-years-old!
We found the distribution area where a young twelve- year-old boy was chopping firewood with an ax, obviously trained and confident. Coming towards us, he said, “Can I help you? What did you bring? O good, we were running out of wood. Thanks” Shortly after that, a young woman came to help us unpack the sleeping bags. “Where is the medical tent?” “Right over there.” But “right over there” was in an area we couldn’t bring the Jeep, so Elijah, our twelve-year-old carried the box of exam gloves to the EMT tent.
If we are willing to rape indigenous sacred lands then we would be willing someday to run a pipeline through the main aisle of Notre Dame Cathedral. On this Thanksgiving weekend, we prayed for all we have been given and all that we hope to pass on to the coming generations. Standing with Standing Rock was a privilege and an honor. Sitting Bull reminds us, “Let us put our minds together and see what kind of life we can make for our children.”
|By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications, San Francisco|
On the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the San Francisco Leadership team
Copies of the portrait of Nano Nagle were given to their sponsored ministries:
By Sister Rita Jovick, PBVMSF
By Sister Rita Jovick, PBVMSF
||“She’s eighty and still cruising.” This is what is said about the Presidential Yacht, USS Potomac. Eight Presentation Sisters had the opportunity on October 20, 2016, to be passengers. Ray O’Brien, a devoted friend of Sister Cleta Herold, RIP, and a docent on the yacht, made the arrangements for the Sisters to be the guests on the two-hour cruise that embarked from Jack London Square.|
The USS Potomac was Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s floating White House. The narrator on our tour told us about FDR’s days on the ship (1936-1945), the dramatic history of the vessel. He also told us about the buildings and the historic bridges that we could see as we sailed around San Francisco Bay. Today the Presidential Yacht, USS Potomac is a National Historic Landmark, a member of the Association of California Museums and the national Trust for Historic Preservation.
|Sister Christina Pizzorno says, “God gave us the perfect day! Being from Southern California, it was very nice having the sights pointed out because I had heard about them and now I could see them. It was an honor to be on the Presidential Yacht. I was in the eighth grade when FDR died, but I heard about all the good he did. My three brothers were in World War II, two served in the Army and one in the Air Force. All three are now with God.”
Sister Margaret Webster says, “I remembered all the times we took the ferry to Treasure Island to see the World’s Fair. FDR was our US President when I was born. When he died I was in grammar school and I asked my mother, now what? She said Now we elect a new President.”
||Sister Rita ads, “I was a small child learning to read during WWII. I remember asking my mother, What do they put in the newspaper headlines when there is no war? I also remember my mother’s fear that we would be bombed because my sister and I made so much noise during the black-outs and my dad was our Block Air Raid Warden in San Francisco.”|
|Sister Joanne O’Shea and Sister Rosemary Campi say, “Our thoughts went back to President Roosevelt because we lived through those times. We are thankful for a wonderful President and for his good work with the Public Works Administration (PWA). Being on Roosevelt’s floating White House was very educational, inspirational and a lot of fun was had by all.”
Sister Janet Harris says, “I was grateful to be on the Presidential Yacht. It was especially fun because of our lovely group. My grandfather was a merchant ship captain and my father would spend his summers on the ship. It was great to get a taste of their sea experience.”
|The appointment was made by Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield, USCCB General Secretary, and took effect on October 3, 2016. "I am confident that Sister Still’s skills and background offers the NRRO well-established expertise that will complement and strengthen the office in service to the bishops," Msgr. Bransfield said.
Within the San Francisco Presentation community, Sister Stephanie was President, 2010-2016, Communicator/Vocations Director 2004-2010 and Councilor 1998-2004. She spent 11 years as a social studies teacher and director of marketing at Presentation High School in San Jose, California. She also served on the National Board of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious as Region XIV chair from 2013 to 2016.
Sister Stephanie holds a bachelor’s degree in History and a master’s degree in Curriculum Design and Instructional Research from the University of California, Berkeley. She also earned a certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Mercy Retreat Center in Burlingame, California.
I Was Hungry And You Fed Me
By Rosana Madrigal, Director of communications
Nearly a dozen Sisters of the Presentation of San Francisco took part on Saturday, September 17, 2016, in the Second Annual Picnic in the Park for the Homeless. This year the event was moved to Saint Anthony of Padua Church because the Golden Gate Park Panhandle was unavailable. Saint Anthony’s Parish Hall was decked out with colorful tablecloths for the guests who enjoyed sandwiches, fresh fruit, chips and beverages. Following the lunch and good conversations, new socks, T-shirts, sweatshirts, pet food, toiletries and gift cards were distributed to the guests.
Additional sandwiches, fresh fruit, chips and beverages were also distributed to men and women living on the streets near Golden Gate Park, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Station at Mission and Twenty-fourth Streets, and the Tenderloin area of San Francisco.
Sister Judy Romero said, “When the Picnic in the Park for the Homeless was moved to Saint Anthony’s Church Hall, I thought I was going to be very disappointed, but in fact, I was not. Many hungry came and got sandwiches, chips, fruit and warm greetings. Several of us went down to the Tenderloin and gave away more food. We received many words of thanks and ‘God bless you’. For me the day was wonderful and I look forward to next year’s event.”
In the Tenderloin, Sister Rita Jovick commented, “When Sister Joanne O'Shea and I walked toward a group, the only words that were said to the group were, "Do you want a sandwich? "One man said, "We were just talking about Jesus."
Sister Pam Chiesa noted, “For me, the Picnic for the homeless is an opportunity to directly connect with the people we pray for every day. It allows me to put a face and a name on "the homeless". They are real people, each with a name and a story. Handing out food and clothing was so appreciated by the men and women we met that day, but the real gift we offer is a smile, a touch, a safe place for a brief time. Hopefully, God's love for them shines through.”
The food and gifts were lovingly prepared by women and men religious from
By Sister Joanna Bruno, PBVM
It has been an interesting and challenging two months working as a certified medical interpreter of Spanish at the Avera Downtown Clinic for the uninsured. It is the only free clinic for the uninsured in the state.
But let me go back in time a little. In 2015, Sister Liz and I returned from our mission in Guatemala. On reaching South Dakota we found an empty apartment adjourning the apartment of Presentation Sisters Janet Horstman and Sheila Schnell who started Caminando Juntos, (Walking Together) a free legal service for the undocumented along with English classes. It is a sponsored ministry of the Presentation Sisters as is the Avera free clinic.
Liz officially retired at 88 years of age and, as she says, “It takes me all day doing that.” I was given a year sabbatical by my San Francisco community. I volunteered as an interpreter at the downtown Avera free clinic as well as the Avera Behavioral Health Hospital. Word got around that I was a volunteer Spanish interpreter and I found myself interpreting for two immigration lawyers for two families seeking asylum from El Salvador.
When it was time to start investigating a ministry, it didn’t take long for me to realize that medical interpretation in South Dakota was really a growing need. When a medical interpreter is not present, then the “blue phones” Cyracom system is used. A marvelous nation-wide system to fill a great need, it never-the-less has its limitations. In health care nothing replaces a human interpreter for clarity of language and culture.
The growing population of Latinos coming to the heartland is mindboggling. What are they coming for? Jobs! South Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation and too many jobs for the population! What are these jobs? Meat-packing, dairy farms, poultry farms, roofing, construction, carpet laying, road building, landscaping, housekeeping and cleaning offices and hotels to mention a few.
Fast forward to the present, through a grant from the Conrad Hilton Fund for Sisters and in collaboration with Caminando Juntos and Avera McKennan Hospital, I was hired. I am finishing my second month on staff at the clinic. From the outside it looks like any other downtown clinic. On the inside it is a mini United Nations. While I only interpret for the Latino population, there are many ethnic groups represented. Families from Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and other African nations. The African immigrant population in South Dakota is 34.5%. It is a common sight to see a tall thin elderly African woman walking the clinic hall wearing her chaningay, her tribal dress and using a well-used walking stick.
The Latino population represents the countries of Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Guatemala. By far El Salvador and Guatemala represent the largest number represented at the clinic. The 2011 census showed the Latino immigrant population in South Dakota is 26.7% and growing. Other immigrants coming to South Dakota are from Asia, 34.5%, Europe, 16.3 %, and Oceania, 0.6%. Also seen at the clinic are our own Lakota Sioux Native Americans and of course the Homeless.
Another phenomena is that many of the medical residents that work at the clinic are from India, Egypt and other Middle Eastern and Eastern countries. The supervising doctors are native born. Along with the doctors, nurses, secretarial and cleaning staff, there is a Social Worker with whom I share an office. Robyn works miracles getting funds from various state and county agencies to pay for the diagnostic procedures, special lab tests and surgery that are done at the main hospital campus and that run in the tens of thousands of dollars. The Avera Foundation absorbs much of this cost. Much of the Social Workers job is to get people onto Medicare/Medicaid if they meet the requirements or get them onto Food Stamps. Since most of the applications are in English, I help the patient fill out the forms.
My average day starts at the reception office calling the Spanish speaking patient, reminding them of their coming appointment. Then, I help the secretaries register a patient, many of whom the secretaries know by name. Then through the doors where the nurse takes the weight and height of the adult or child. In the exam room the nurse takes the vitals and interviews the patient as to medications, safety issues, travel history, allergies and more. The resident enters and does the interview and examines the patient and then reports to the attending physician. All pretty standard stuff that all of us have probably experienced. During the waiting times after the nurse and before the doctor arrives, I chat with the patient and gently approach the issue of immigration status. By this time we have established a relationship and they are willing to tell me. If they don’t have papers I refer them to Caminando Juntos and give them a flier of the services.
This one day, I was having a difficult time understanding one of our male patients from Guatemala. I apologized to Dr. Jean for taking so long, “Doctor, this gentleman is speaking a second language also. His native language isn’t Spanish, it is Quiche, an Indian dialect from the highlands of Guatemala.” She was so surprised that there were other Indians coming into the clinic. I told her that the majority of the Latino patients coming to the clinic were speaking Spanish as a second language.
In another consult with a Latino man, we were both struggling in Spanish trying to find the right word. I told the doctor that the man spoke Tzutujil, another Indian dialect from the highlands of Guatemala. The patient asked me where the doctor was from, I interpreted to the doctor who smiled and said, “China!” Out in the reception area I spotted an elderly woman wearing a typical Indian skirt from the highlands of Guatemala, called a corte. I asked her what part of Guatemala she was from. She said the Capital. When I told her I had lived in Guatemala fourteen years she smiled and as if to test me and said, “Where?” I told her Solola and San Marcos. She said, I grew up in Quetzaltenengo near Solola. I asked, “Do you speak Quiche?” She responded, “No, Cachikel!” Small world!
Every day I am amazed at how people are able to leave their homeland for various reasons, for the opportunity to raise their families in a safe secure environment. The first generation has the hardest and most difficult time, oftentimes being exploited, making $7.00/hour if they don’t have all their papers. Many hotels would be closed if these service workers were no longer available. As the sisters of Caminando Juntos send us their clients for free health care, I send them our patients for free immigration advice. It is a nice collaboration of efforts and the living out of the lesson of Jesus to welcome the stranger.
In the Spirit of Nano Nagle, here are two stories of the many students
Submitted by Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco
Stuti Vishwabhan, Class of 2016, demonstrates a deep commitment to service through her non-profit organization, Teach Seniors Technology. As the name implies, "We teach senior citizens how to use different tech devices," said Stuti. Her academic achievements have her headed to Massachusetts in the fall to study electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. "One of my dream jobs has always been being like the CEO of my own tech company," Stuti said. "I want to inspire other workers, I want to be engaged in a lot of philanthropy and help other communities." Stuti was profiled by ABC7 News as one of the top scholars in the Bay Area.
To see the complete story of Stuti Vishwabhan profile, click Presentation Graduate ABC 7 Scholar.
Carson Myers is a Presentation High School Senior who combined her two passions: swimming and volunteer work. She was surprised to learn there were not many places in San Jose that offered free swim lessons to low-income children. So she decided to start her own program. But, no one signed up! Soon she learned low-income kids did not have swimsuits or goggles. Within a few weeks of securing donated swimsuits and goggles, sixty-five children signed up for the lessons; she was swamped all summer.
To see the complete story of Carson Myers click on NBCBayArea Presentation Diving into The Deep End.
An Award of Gratitude…
Submitted by Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco
This Award Goes To Sister Marilyn For The Critical Support She Has Given To Saint Mary’s Center’s Senior Advocate For Hope And Justice Project And For Being The Change We Want To See In Our Community. July 20, 2016.
Sister Marilyn says, “The recognition is extra special because it comes from the seniors of the Hope and Justice Project of Saint Mary’s Center.” The San Francisco Sister adds, “It is the culmination of twenty-years of service.”
Sister Marilyn has accompanied Saint Mary’s elders, some of whom are homeless. They have traveled to Sacramento many times to advocate for Social Security Refunds and to be part of Anti-Hunger Day, etc. They have also attended many Oakland City Council meetings. Each month, they are part of the Cease Fire Walk around the neighborhood in Oakland.
Congratulations Sister Marilyn! It is no surprise to us because we know the way you live your life as a Presentation woman of justice.
San Francisco Presentation Sister Marilyn Medau
(third from the left) holds her award with
the elders of the Hope and Justice Project of
Saint Mary’s Center who are at the center of her ministry.
New Portrait of Nano Commissioned
A new portrait of Nano Nagle by local artist Jen Norton, was gifted to the San Francisco Sisters and Associates by the outgoing leadership team during the Installation of New Leaders and Commissioning Day, Sunday, June 26.
“We wanted to leave a gift that symbolizes what brings us all together, the life, spirit, and mission of our foundress Nano Nagle,” said Sister Stephanie Still, outgoing President. “We hope this new rendition will provide yet another understanding of Nano and her endeavors for the people of God, especially those made poor.”
During the annual Commissioning of Sisters and Associates, two new Associates were welcomed into the congregation. The ritual, during which all Sisters and Associates receive their ministry assignments for the coming year, was held at the Motherhouse on June 26, 2016. This year, the ritual also included the Installation of the President and her Council.
The Associates participate in a yearlong formation program led by the Associates’ Leadership Team. They are encouraged to reflect on the life of Nano Nagle, the charism as expressed today, and to discern their own call to Association.
Pam Manick, a 1968 graduate of Presentation High School, San Francisco, lives in San Francisco. As her ministry commitment, she is a volunteer at The Lantern Center, a literacy center for immigrant men and women, in the Mission District.
Gerry Fagoaga, a 1956 graduate of Our Lady of Loretto High School, Los Angeles, lives in Alhambra. As her ministry commitment, she is Marriage and Family Therapist in the Southern California area.
Members of STOP SLAVERY COALITION: Northern California Catholic Sisters against Human Trafficking met June 6-8, 2016, for their annual retreat at Mercy Center, Burlingame, California.
Member participation before the Santa Clara Super Bowl in February 2016 was rewarding and effective. It showed our teamwork and our growth in cooperation with local governments and organizations. This retreat gave reflection time for evaluation and planning for next steps.
Sheila Novak, our facilitator, started our time together inviting each participant to “be” a woman of the Bible, one either forced to take the place of a childless wife (Hagar), or who met death through the vow of another (Jethro’s daughter), or women who were publicly identified as prostitutes. Our members spoke of these women eloquently, sympathetically, and with some critical modern perspectives on women.
In retrospect the project was well-organized, specific and doable. Hotel visits carried out before the America’s Cup in 2013 and with Choice Hotels in 2014 proved to be helpful preparatory experiences. People in the Bay Area know more about trafficking than in earlier years. Support from local legislators, most notably from Congressional Representative Jackie Speier, has helped shed more light on the problem. Local law enforcement is better educated on the issue. However, many areas of concern remain. Transportation centers, nail salons, bars and truck stops are places of concern. Yet-untouched work toward zero tolerance must continue.
After the Super Bowl several members attended an encouraging meeting of the San Francisco Collaborative against Human Trafficking (SFCAHT) at its reporting on the larger experience. There we learned that police recorded 128 contacts with persons of interest and that 84 buyers were arrested. Law enforcement is more cooperative today and technology learnings used successfully will be incorporated in the future.
With Sheila’s guidance four committees were formed for work in the coming year.
1) Legislative Advocacy: Among other tasks, we will continue the work begun in promoting compliance with California state law SB1193 whereby certain establishments such as massage parlors, bars, adult bookstores, and urgent care centers must display posters against human trafficking.
We will continue our efforts to secure co-sponsors for federal Senate Bill 1968 still pending, whereby certain companies would be compelled to report annually on their efforts to eliminate human trafficking and forced labor in their supply chains. Continued efforts will be made to encourage the purchase of fair trade products.
2) Communication: Continue publishing the coalition newsletter and expand readership. Learn to use social media better as a means of communicating about human trafficking. To help us to do that, we will receive training on Social Media at our September Coalition meeting.
We will continue participation in the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking, the San Francisco Collaborative against Human Trafficking, and the multi-county workgroup, No Traffick Ahead.
3) Education/Raising Awareness: Provide on-going education for ourselves and others. Organize materials to be used in various presentations on human trafficking. Focus more on raising awareness about labor trafficking; invite speakers on labor issues.
4) Follow up of Hotel Project: Continue visits to Bay Area hotels to assure that all hotels will know how to identify and report possible incidents of human trafficking. Promote a rewards program for hotels that have trained their staff to recognize and report human trafficking.
At the closing, we gathered around a table and each one took a packet that contained a stone with a special word on it. We blessed one another as we read our prayerful words, such as peace, courage and gratitude.
Conference Leadership Meeting
We are pleased to share with you happenings from our June 2016 Conference leadership meeting. We were blessed to convene our gathering at the motherhouse in Dubuque, Iowa, and experience once again the hospitality of the sisters and staff in Dubuque. We began the gathering with a morning of retreat under the direction of Pat Kozak, CSJ, our facilitator. This time of contemplation allowed us to focus ourselves in our individual and collective story as Presentation Sisters and prepared us to continue to write our story as a Conference in the coming days.
We found great energy in the developing story of our preferred futures as Presentation Sisters in our own congregations, in North America and in the world. The Aberdeen congregation is writing a chapter in this future as they begin to plan a gathering of members who have energy for the next 20 years of Presentation charism and mission. This gathering is anticipated for the summer of 2017.
Another chapter, which might be entitled “lifelong formation,” is unfolding in the Conference and beyond. Sisters from across Conference congregations have been meeting to bring to life this concept, and a video featuring sisters from New Windsor was shared with members this spring. The group plans to continue this effort and hopes to feature other congregations as we share with one another our continual call to life as Presentation Sisters in the joyous spirit of Nano Nagle.
We were pleased to be able to connect with three of the four Conference Presentation Sisters who had just arrived home from the formation gathering in Lusaka, Zambia, sponsored by the Union. Sisters Annette Kestel (Dubuque), Sandy Butler (Newfoundland and Labrador Province of Union) and Francine Janousek (U.S. Province of Union), joined us via Zoom to share narratives of their time with the 39 younger sisters gathered. Sister Shawna Foley (U.S. Province of Union) also attended the gathering, but was unable to join our meeting.
The story continued through the sharing of IPA Networker Elena Hoye and IPA Conference Representative Patricia Anastasio (New Windsor). Elena gave an energetic presentation on the United Nations sustainable development goals. She explained these goals as a translation of the grace of God in the world and further illuminated the ways in which we are already doing the work toward these goals.
Patricia shared information about the work of IPA and the task force charged with dreaming about the future of IPA in light of current trends and realities. One of the recommendations of the group, consisting of Suzanne Gentle (Australia, Society), Sharon Altendorf (U.S. Province of Union, Conference), Prema Antony (Zambia, Union) and David Rose (Ireland, Union), is a shift in representation at the 2017 IPA Assembly that will be held in Sydney, Australia, in September. This shift would reflect a geographical balance, with an emphasis on engaging different age groups. What this means for Conference is that each congregation will send one leader and one justice coordinator to the Assembly. The remaining representatives will be Conference-wide and will consist of three lay people and two sisters less than 15 years professed. Lisa Olson, Conference coordinator, was affirmed as one of the lay representatives. Leaders offered recommendations for the additional representatives and the executive team is moving forward with a selection process.
IPA has received a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters to build capacity to implement connections between local and global actions in terms of the sustainable development goals in Zimbabwe, Zambia, India, Pakistan, Thailand and Philippines. As we ask for prayers and support for this venture, we also send prayers for Sister Jocelyn Quijano (U.S. Province of Union), who will become a part of our story at the U.N. as a short term representative beginning in September 2016.
A highlight of the meeting was our celebration of 11 years in ministry at Lantern Light in New Orleans. As the ministry has now been turned over to the people of New Orleans, we rejoice in knowing that new chapters will be added to this tale of mission and ministry to the people in New Orleans. A celebratory video featuring the Presentation Sisters who served at the ministry was given to each congregation.
Finally, we were able to share as leaders some best practices from our individual congregations. Relating how we meet and function as leadership teams, make contributions to those that share our vision and mission, and foster eco-spirituality initiatives helps each of us to continue to write our stories in the most meaningful and effective ways.
The presence and contribution of each congregation in North America contributes to the writing of our story as the Conference of Presentation Stories as we weave each of our pasts, presents and futures together as Presentation people. Perhaps a few of the words from a song by Natasha Bedingfield express this more fully:
I am unwritten,
We will come back together May 30 – June 2, 2017, to compose the next chapter in our lives as Conference.
2016-2017 Conference Executive Team
|by Rosana Madrigal, Communications Director |
The Year of Mercy has inspired the Light Bearers Primary Unit to do outreach to the men and women who are homeless in San Francisco. In the past six months, two car loads of Sisters and Associates have gone out twice to the Tenderloin, Civic Center and Mission Street areas of San Francisco where those made poor and homeless gather. These areas often get very cold even in the summer time. They gave out noodle soup cups, socks, wool caps, scarfs and baggies of cough drops.
“They are so grateful!” says Sister Rosina Conrotto “They never take more than they need. They are quick to point out, ‘I do not need socks, but that person over there may need socks.’” She says, “It is good to remember that homeless man or woman was once someone’s little boy or little girl.”
Near Saint Boniface Catholic Church in the Tenderloin, Sister Kathy Sickly met Charlie who was very grateful, just like everyone else for the offerings. He was carving an angel with wings and a heart center in a soap bar. She asked him, if he sold the carving and he said yes. When Sister Kathy handed him a five-dollar-bill, Charlie told her, “Every woman needs an angel and this is your reminder.” She says the angel now occupies a special place in her room. Sister Kathy says “We receive more than we give.”
Sister Rosina says, “Their primary unit has named a piggy bank, Genny for generous. Genny collects funds at every gathering, so they will be able to go out again with more goodies for the men and women who are homeless in San Francisco.
|By Sister Rosemary McKean, pbvmsf|
IPA Leadership Groups Meets in San Francisco
International Presentation Association leaders gathered at the Presentation motherhouse
Presentation Sisters elected a new President and Council at their Chapter held in March.
Sister Michele Anne Murphy, PBVM will take office with her Council on July 1, 2016. Sister Pam Chiesa, PBVM was elected Councilor and Vice President and Sister Paula Baker, PBVM and Sister Giovanna Campanella, PBVM were elected Councilors. Their term is six years.
The Chapter also affirmed a Visionary Directional Statement to guide the work of the congregation over the next six years:
Led by the Spirit and inspired by the life and charism of Nano Nagle, we are Presentation women filled with hope, rooted in contemplative consciousness, and committed to the primacy of relationship. We acknowledge the challenge of our reality as a smaller, older community with limited resources and commit to addressing these challenges with a sense of urgency. We
continue our commitment to participate in the universal mission of Jesus Christ and to follow Nano’s exhortation to love one another and to spend ourselves for the poor.
In the light of this commitment we call ourselves to…
• Envision a new future through growth in communal contemplative prayer and dialogue
• Foster dynamic engagement in every stage of our lives
• Steward our limited resources wisely in the on-going care of members and for supporting our mission and legacy
• Intensify efforts to care for those made poor and to care for our Earth community
• Utilize a collaborative mode as our way of being in community and ministry and in all our structures of leadership
By Rachel Foote, Archivist
Since August 2015 the San Francisco Archive received thirty-six research requests. Of those requests twenty-one were received via email, six over the phone and nine via walk-in visits to the archives. The majority of the requests, 39%, came from alumnae of the schools where the Presentation Sisters have taught over the years. Another 33% came from other individuals outside of the congregation, and 28% came from Presentation Sisters and staff members.
Thirteen of the requests were in regards to nostalgia and memorabilia items such as school photos, copies of historic issues of The Reflector, the student newspaper of Presentation High School/Academy of the Presentation, San Francisco, a class reunion, and copies of the lyrics and music of the school song of the Academy of the Presentation and school songs of Our Lady of Loretto High School, Los Angeles. Eight of the requests were genealogical in nature, two of which dated back to the mid-1800s.
The remaining sixteen requests were on a variety of historical topics including, but not limited to, the Sanctuary Movement, history of religious architecture in the San Francisco Bay area, Mother Mary Teresa Comerford, the San Francisco Foundress, and Presentation College.
One of the researchers recently completed a short video on the history of the Sanctuary Movement for the San Francisco Interfaith Council. That video, which features Sister Kathleen Healy, can be viewed online here: SANCTUARY: A Short History
Journal with Jesus
By Sister Helen Matosich, PBVMSF
Journal with Jesus is an 86-page book recording journal entries of two women during a time of spiritual night dreams for an older woman and a time of transition for her daughter.
“A excellent prayer tool helping the believer know the heart of Jesus in everyday events. It deeply touched me and renewed my faith.” - Fr. John the Baptist Anyeh, S.J.
A lot of love radiated out from the motherhouse on Valentine’s weekend!
The sisters certainly enjoyed decorating them. No two cookies looked alike
After the tea that followed the work session, four sisters delivered more than one hundred
On that same Saturday, Cathy Pickerel delivered more than 150
Accompanying Sister Dolores Maguire and Father Narcis Kabipi of the chaplaincy staff,
While many of the patients weren’t able to communicate, they did hold their pillows close.
Presentation High School Student Wins a Top Science Award - Junior Nobel Prize
Congratulations to Presentation High School student Maya Varma, who just won the First Place Medal of Distinction in a science competition so prestigious, it's known as the "Junior Nobel Prize." Maya is one of three Intel Science Talent Search winners picked from a pool of 1,750 students nationwide. Her winnings include a $150,000 scholarship.
Intel says this year's competition is particularly significant for young women. “In addition to honoring two female top winners, this year’s competition is the first in the Science Talent Search’s 75-year history in which more than half of the finalists are female,” said Rosalind Hudnell, vice president in Human Resources, director of Corporate Affairs at Intel Corporation, and president of the Intel Foundation.“This milestone is an inspiring sign of progress toward closing the gender gap in technology and engineering. We hope these finalists’ outstanding work will inspire young people from all backgrounds to develop their interests in these fields.”
Maya's winning entry is an inexpensive, portable spirometer - a device that diagnoses respiratory illnesses such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Currently, spirometers are too expensive to be used widely in developing countries (currently $1,000-$4,000 each), and, they require the assistance of a health care professional. Maya's spirometer would cost $35 and could be used at home; she has engineered a wireless transmitter that uses Bluetooth to connect to a micro-controller. She has also developed an app for the device.
Recently in Los Gatos (about an hour south of San Francisco, California) two men were convicted of prostituting young women. The girls were rescued and are in safe houses at present. More attention is being brought to this serious subject in our neighborhoods. At present, there are only beds available for women. Eleven boys were just rescued and in our area there are no places set up to house them.
Presentation Associates and Sisters have been involved in canvassing hotels and motels. Many have distributed posters with the hotline number to churches, doctor’s offices and clinics, dining rooms that feed the hungry and the one room hotels in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco.
Efforts to raise awareness and STOP Sex and Labor Trafficking will continue long after the Super Bowl fans have gone home.
We can all help by being mindful of the products we buy to ensure that the companies who manufacture them are not using slave labor. Become a savvy consumer by logging onto Slavery Footprint. The easiest products to research are rice, coffee, sugar, tea, and hygiene products.
The Year of Mercy
By Sister Rosina Conrotto, PBVM, Director of the Office for Consecrated Life of the Archdiocese of San Francisco
On Sunday, January 17th, Father David Pettingill gave the inaugural presentation for the Year of Mercy series sponsored by the Office for Consecrated Life of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and offered at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Presentation. Father began by giving an overview of Church History citing instances when the Church extended mercy and when the Church sought forgiveness. He also quoted the Scriptures again naming situations when God extended mercy and when God offered forgiveness. Father Pettingill ended his presentation with suggestions on how individually and as groups, we can live those same virtues especially during this Year of Mercy.
The complete list of Year of Mercy talks can be access by clicking on Local Events.
The Presentation Sisters in San Francisco will be convening their Chapter March 13-19.
By Associate Christine Panelli
Nearly fifty Associates and Sisters gathered at the San Francisco Motherhouse on Sunday, January 3rd for the Annual Associates Epiphany Mass and Brunch, sponsored by the Associates. Father Tony McGuire of Saint Patrick's Church and longtime friend of the Sisters of the Presentation was our Presider.
The custom is that an Associate gives the homily and this year Associate Earlene Dutton gave a wonderful homily about what Jesus' growing up as a child might have been like and she mirrored it to her own childhood. It was touching and funny...there were plenty of chuckles!After Mass the Sisters and Associates had an amazing brunch prepared by the equally amazing chefs in the Motherhouse kitchen. We then proceeded into the Community Room for our always funny 'right/left' gift exchange. Everyone picks a gift then Associate Cathy Pickerel tells a delightful story that features left/right sometimes phonetic prompts. With each prompt the gifts either move to the right or to the left in the circle thus mixing-up both the participants and the gifts. The laughter and glee are always a perfect way to end our gathering. Thanks Cathy! A great time was had by all!
|Presentation Sisters and Associates celebrated the Feast of the Presentation with a special guest speaker, Sister Joyce Meyer, an Aberdeen Presentation Sister on November 21 at the Motherhouse in San Francisco.
Father Paul Fitzgerald, President of the University of San Francisco, presided at liturgy. After the Liturgy of the Word, Joyce reflected on the readings, the Feast of the Presentation, and the role of consecrated women. A special focus for her was the welcoming of migrants and refugees. As she noted, “In this cosmic temple of God there are not boundaries that separate our differences and diversity… we are made from the same stardust…”
Bringing the image of border crossing to a very personal level, Joyce reminded the Sisters and Associates that “Going to any part of the world or crossing borders is something we can all do. If we think about it, we realize that we can cross borders even in our own convents. Everyone who thinks differently from me presents me with a border I can cross… I can cross the border by asking them to help me understand where they are coming from; I can get to know the landscape of their inner world of thought.”
Joyce also identified other borders we need to cross – loss of hearing, confusion, forgetfulness, lack of energy to which we need to listen and “live in worlds unfamiliar to us. Do we welcome the stranger we now find as we look in the mirror or experience in our bodies.”After Joyce’s presentation, there was a period of reflection and then the Liturgy was continued. The day ended with a festive lunch.
Sister M. Kieran O’Connor Honored by California Governor
Governor Jerry Brown of California officially proclaimed December 18, 2015 as Sister Kieran Day to honor Sister M. Kieran O’Connor’s 75 years as a Catholic educator.
Sister Kieran entered the Sisters of the Presentation San Francisco in 1939 and has spent her ministry years as an elementary school principal and teacher at Presentation staffed schools in San Francisco, Oakland, Montebello, Menlo Park, Morgan Hill, and San Jose. She is currently one of the vice principals at Saint Christopher School, San Jose, where she has served since 1984.
The school community gathered on December 18, which is Sister Kieran’s birthday, to honor her and to celebrate this sigificant honor.
The proclamation reads in part:
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