With the California Gold Rush (1849) came the settlers, with the settlers came the immigrants, and with the immigrants came the Sisters of the Presentation. In 1854, the Sisters of the Presentation arrived in San Francisco, California to minister to the children of miners, immigrants, and the poor.
Four Sisters from Midleton, County Cork, and one Sister from Kilkenny, Ireland established the first United States foundation. Within a year, three of the five Sisters returned to Ireland but the remaining two Sisters established the Presentation Convent on Powell Street where they conducted a school for girls. From 1857 to 1869, the sisters also had a school for black and Indian students. In 1869 Sacred Heart Presentation Convent was established at Taylor and Ellis Streets in San Francisco. This foundation was followed in 1878 by St. Joseph Convent, Berkeley and in 1882 St. Joseph Convent, Sonoma. The four houses were amalgamated in 1888.
The 1906 Earthquake and Fire destroyed the two convents in San Francisco. The Sisters lived in various residences until a new Presentation Convent located at 281 Masonic Avenue at 281 Masonic Avenue was completed in 1912. They moved from this location to 2340 Turk Boulevard in 1970 when the current Motherhouse was completed. Through the years the sisters remained active in education and later focused on pastoral ministry and social work.
Our primary mission is to the poor, which we manifest through a variety of ministries as fulfilled by our foundress Nano Nagle. Presentation women are committed to serving the poor in the ministries of education, parish ministry, community organizing, pastoral care in hospitals, nursing, literacy programs, foreign missions, immigration work, spiritual direction, retreat work, Safe House for women wanting to escape prostitution, anti human trafficking actions, climate change, leadership, diocesan vicars for religious, executive director for national religious retirement and housing management for the elderly.
You can learn more about the history of the Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco by clicking through the timeline below. You can also read more in depth about their incredible foundation story by reading With Hearts of Oak by Sister M. Rose Forest, PBVM. Get your copy today!
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Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco Historical Timeline
The dates in parentheses indicate the years Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco remained at those schools/organizations. In many cases, the schools themselves remain open. Learn more about our history by visiting the archives.
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