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Visionary Directional Statement


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 ongoing 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

With gratitude,

Sister Michele Anne Murphy, President

Sister Pam Chiesa, Vice President

Sister Giovanna Campanella, Councilor

Sister Paula Baker, Councilor



The Sisters of the Presentation have been serving the people of God in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1854.
For information regarding current ministries and activities of the Sisters of the Presentation,
please visit our website at


Presentation Sisters Celebrate Jubilees



Three Sisters of the Presentation celebrated jubilees to mark significant milestones in their lives as women religious at a community celebration on Sunday April 29, 2018 at the Presentation Motherhouse in San Francisco. Sister Giovanna Campanella, PBVM, Sister Antoinette Martinez PBVM, and Sister Gemma Wilson, PBVM (pictured left) are each celebrating sixty (60) years in the Congregation . Sister Giovanna Campanella, PBVM and Sister Antoinette Martinez, PBVM also took part in the Archdiocese of San Francisco Annual Consecrated Life Mass on February 4, 2018 at Sain Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco. While not partaking in any public celebrations, but marking her Seventieth (70th) Jubilee is Sister Mary Ruth Patrick, PBVM.

Click here to learn more about the Jubilarians.


2016 November at Standing Rock, North Dakota

By Sisters Joanna Bruno, San Francisco, and Elizabeth Remily, Aberdeen


Sister Joanna Bruno (left) from San Francisco
and Sister Liz Remily (right) from Aberdeen
packing the jeep for the trip to the Standing Rock Reservation.

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.


Sister Joanna Bruno from San Francisco, holding the makeshift sign on behalf of
all the Sisters of the Presentation.

There were three vast camps with Indian tents, Yurts,
geodesic domes, tents for summer camping,
SUVs, pick-up trucks and all sorts of shelters,
few of which were ready for the coming Dakota winter.

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.

Turning the Jeep around on a dime, we saw that an Indian woman was right behind us ready to pick up what the other camps needed.  Once parked we wandered around meeting some of the people, a mix of ages, professionals of all kinds, labors of all strips building temporary shelters for the winter. Everyone was helping each other out especially the newly arrived of the community, for the camp had become a community. There were no dogs that we could see, only horses. No radios or loud noises.  Only in the distance we could hear Indian drums. It was almost a monastery-like silence.   The camp of the seven councils (Oceti Sakowin) stretched out in the distance.  This was the longest, largest Native American protest in modern American history.  Along with the Lakota and Yankton Sioux were thousands of Indians representing over 200 tribes from North and Central America along with environmentalist seeking to halt the completion of the 1,172 mile pipeline that runs from the North Dakota Bakken oil fields through South Dakota and Iowa carrying crude oil to Illinois.

It was encouraging and inspiring to see so many young and courageous people standing up for the earth and Indigenous rights.  We had brought so little in comparison to what these folk were bringing. How could people ever think of a plan to pass a pipeline of crude oil through the Missouri and Oahe Lake?  Engineers tell us, “All pipes leak at some point.” Why would we risk drinking water?  Are we looking to be another Flint Michigan?  We can go to the moon and return safely to earth.  How can we not figure out a way to move oil from point A to point B without sacrificing sacred lands and contaminating drinking water?  

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.” 

Sister Liz Remily from Aberdeen representing
all the Sisters of the Presentation at Standing Rock.

Spring Presentation Roots

Summer Presentation Roots

Autumn Presentation Roots

For more stories on Living the Legacy of Nano Nagle  in today’s world
, click on the Home Page.

Nano Nagle Portrait

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications, San Francisco

Doing the honors of unveiling the portrait,
from left to right are
Sister Michele Anne Murphy, President,
Sister Giovanna Campanella, Councilor,
and Sister Paula Baker, Councilor.
Sister Pam Chiesa, Vice President, (off camera)
provided the music for the unveiling .

On the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the San Francisco Leadership team unveiled a copy of a portrait of Nano Nagle by local artist Jen Norton for their corporate offices.

Copies of the portrait of Nano Nagle were given to their sponsored ministries:
   Presentation High School, San Jose;
   Presentation Retreat and Conference Center, Los Gatos;
   Learning and Loving Education Center, Morgan Hill;
   The Lantern (La Linterna) Center for Hospitality and Education, San Francisco.


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.”


Who Is Nano Nagle?

Nano (full name Honora) Nagle was born in Ballygriffin, County Cork, Ireland in 1718. This was the period in Irish history when the English had imposed the oppressive Penal Laws, which severely limited the Irish people. The Irish were denied access economically, politically, socially, and educationally to the rights and means that would have raised them from the imposed poverty and oppression. It was a crime of treason (punishable by death) to educate the Irish and it was forbidden to practice the Roman Catholic faith.

Because of her family's position and wealth, Nano was sent to be educated in the Irish community then living in Paris.

According to Sister Rose Forest, PBVM, one biographer of Nano, her "stay in the midst of Irish Parisian society was brief, but during this time an incident took place which has become a classic episode in the Presentation story. One morning the charming, wealthy, and beautiful Miss Nagle...was returning from an all-night ball. As her carriage rattled over the cobblestones of a silent street, she saw a small group of poor working people waiting in front a church...for the door to open for early Mass. The contrast between their useful lives and her own empty one devoted to pleasure made a lasting impression on the girl of twenty-two".

Returning to Ireland, other events lead Nano to consider a way that she could help the poor she saw everyday in Cork and on the family estate. Distressed by the ignorance of the Irish in both faith and academics, she opened her first school in 1754 with an enrollment of thirty-five girls in a two-room cabin. This began her great work of education and as some historians have noted, her important work in saving the Irish culture.

Without regard for her own safety, she selflessly educated the children during the day and visited and nursed the sick by night. As a result, she became known in Cork as the Lady with the Lantern, the symbol of the Sisters of the Presentation worldwide. Today the people of Ireland, especially in Cork, who attribute their freedom to her, revere her.

Eventually, realizing the need for a group to continue her work after her death, Nano founded the Sisters of the Presentation on December 24, 1775.

Nano died from tuberculosis, Monday, April 26, 1784. According to Sister Rose’s account, "On her deathbed Mother Nagle gave to her daughters the following injuction: 'Love one another as you have hitherto done.' As her legacy she bequeathed to them the treasure which she prized above all the wealth of the earth - the love of the poor of Jesus Christ. She bade her Sisters 'Spend yourself for the poor.'"

In the years since Nano's death, the Sisters of the Presentation have carried her spirit around the world in a variety of ministries.


Nano Nagle has been declared Venerable by Pope Francis

Vatican website announcement 

Vatican City, (VIS) - During a private audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Francis authorised the Congregation to promulgate the following decrees:


Servant of God Honora “Nano” Nagle (John of God), Irish foundress of the
Union of the Presentation Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1718-1784) and all Presentation Sisters around the world.


The Cause for Canonization of Nano Nagle

Nano Nagle was declared Venerable by Pope Francis. This announcement brings the Canonisation of Nano Nagle one step closer as it is the second of four stages in the Canonization Process. Nano Nagle’s Cause for Canonization was officially initiated at the bi-centenary of her death in 1984. In 2004, the Central Leadership Team set up a Nano Nagle Commission Office, to help in promoting Nano as a woman of faith and courage, in the hope that she may soon be declared Venerable. The Commission comprises three Presentation Sisters, one from each Irish Province. The Commission has worked to make Nano better known and to promote the Cause of her Canonization. To forward the Cause of Nano, it is imperative that people cultivate devotion to her, and pray to her for favors. Any favors received, no matter how small, needs to be reported to the Commission:

The Nano Nagle Commission Office
Presentation Convent
Portarlington, Co. Laois

Prayer Request link

Nano Miracles - The Miracle of Anne Wallace

This story is one of our most important in the line of miracles for the Canonization of Nano.  For those of you who are not aware of the details of Anne’s story, the following account will be of interest to you.

On the morning of 9th December 1990, Anne Wallace, a physiotherapy student in St. Vincent’s Hospital, Merrion, Dublin, was cycling to class there, when she was involved in a collision with a car.  A doctor, driving to St. Vincents, came on the scene and stopped to administer medical attention.  Anne was very badly injured.  An ambulance came and took her to the Accident and Emergency of the same hospital.  Immediate attention was given.  Anne was unconscious.  She had multiple very serious injuries, external and internal.  She was admitted to the hospital and brought to surgery immediately.  In the meantime her parents, living in Dooradoyle, Limerick, were informed of the accident, and travelled to Dublin in the most dreadful weather conditions. They prayed all the way to Nano, to bring them safely to the hospital. The prognosis was not good.  Many friends of Nano were alerted to pray continually for a miracle.

The medical teams continued to work around the clock administering care and attention.  Anne’s parents kept vigil.  Eventually the doctors told the family there was nothing more they could do.  Anne’s father had grown up with a great love of Nano and consequently a deep - deep devotion to her.  Anne was in and out of consciousness, had further surgery and hung by a thread to life.  Her father always carried the relic of Nano in his pocket, and decided to place it in Anne’s hand while he kept vigil beside her bed.  He entered deep prayer, and sometime in that prayer felt a tip on his shoulder.  No one, only Anne was there.  She was semiconscious. She suddenly spoke and said:  “I am allergic to penicillin”.  That was the changing force.  The medics were informed and they changed her treatment.  Anne began to improve.  That “penicillin idea” came from nowhere, only from Nano, as there had been no talk about it at all.  Anne made a full recovery.

Today Anne is married and has two children.  This in itself is a miracle as she had so many internal injuries.  This miracle in its full details is with the Postulator and also in Rome.

Please continue to pray To Nano for any favors, and let us know if you receive these favors.

For more details contact the Union of Presentation Sisters


Sr. Gloria would like to share this video from the Jubilee at Presentation Center with Sisters and Associates.
Click here
Jubilee Video  and use the password "presentationjubilee".

For more information regarding Nano Nagle and the early Sisters of the Presentation, visit the Archives.

Writings About Nano Nagle

Play about Nano Nagle

Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco
Women of light. Women of passion and imagination working to empower the poor.
281 Masonic Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94118-4416

Sisters of the Presentation Website

Mission Statement
We, Sisters of the Presentation, (San Francisco) are a community of Catholic women religious committed to living and transmitting the message of Jesus Christ through prayer and service. In the tradition of our foundress, Nano Nagle, we seek to promote a society which respects the dignity of all persons with emphasis on compassion and justice for the poor and oppressed.

Join the Legacy of Sisters of the Presentation of San Francisco.

November 13, 1854, Five Sisters of the Presentation travel from their native Ireland to establish a foundation in San Francisco, California.
Read more in With Hearts of Oak.
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December 1, 1854, The Sisters of Presentation of San Francisco open their first school on Green Street. Between 1930 and 1960, Sisters of Presentation establish and staff nineteen schools. Sisters of the Presentation continue to minister in all levels of education.

1968, The Second Vatican Council called women religious, including the Sisters of the Presentation, to renewal and more engagement in the society in which they lived. The Sisters of the Presentation embraced this call.
You can learn about each Sister’s unique response in Presentation Women, a Legacy of Vision, Faith and Service.
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1984, Sister Cleta Herold helps co-found the AIDS Support Group at Most Holy Redeemer parish in San Francisco to offer volunteer services to patients with HIV and AIDS.

November 20, 1999, a corporate stance against the death penalty is accepted by the congregation of the Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco.

In 2001, Sisters of the Presentation begin their Day Laborer Project, serving breakfast and monthly lunches to the day laborers on Cesar Chavez Street, San Francisco. ROI- more than one thousand five hundred are served a year.

November 13, 2004, San Francisco, California proclaims The Sisters of the Presentation Day to honor their service and mark the 150th Anniversary of their arrival.

September 18, 2006, The Project of the Roses/El Proyecto de Las Rosas, is established in Saint John parish in Tipton, California by Sisters Rita Jovick, Catherine Mary King, and Patricia Reinhardt to provide adult education to the immigrant and migrant worker communities in the San Joaquin Valley, one of the most underserved areas of California. ROI- more than one thousand two-hundred are served a year.

October 2006, Sister Maire Sullivan opens the Lantern Center for Hospitality and Education/La Linterna to provide English and computer classes, as well as hospitality for men and women in the immigrant community of San Francisco’s Mission District. ROI- more than one thousand have been served since its inception.

Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit charitable organization, Tax ID #94-2209052




Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco
 Enhancing lives in countless ways. A continuing presence in times of need since 1854.
281 Masonic Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94118-4416
 Sisters of the Presentation Website


Partner with the Sisters of the Presentation of San Francisco.
2009-2013, The Sisters of the Presentation are featured in WOMEN & SPIRIT: Catholic Sisters in America sponsored by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). The traveling exhibit had a stop at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. where it was recognized by the United States Congress. It received numerous accolades and awards along the way, including a proclamation from the California Assembly.
November 12, 2011, Plaque dedication ceremony honors the presence and role of the Sisters of the Presentation in the educational history of the city of Berkeley.
January 14, 2012, Holy Trinity Catholic Church in San Pedro dedicated the Fireside Room of its Parish Center in honor of the Sisters of the Presentation of San Francisco.

January 2013, the Sisters of the Presentation commit to working on Comprehensive
 Immigration Reform and Stopping Human Trafficking.
In November 2014, the Sisters of the Presentation will mark their 160th Anniversary of their arrival in San Francisco, California and serving the needs of the Bay Area. The Sisters of the Presentation continue to partner with the community to promote the Gospel’s Justice Issues of Peace and Caring for God’s Earth and to directly help those  made poor locally and globally.
Become a dream broker, a partner for a positive future ensuring the ability to pursue the vision and the impact of the Sisters of the Presentation by influencing tomorrow today.


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 For information on gift giving contact Helen M.Z. Harwood, CFRE, Director of
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Presentation 160th Anniversary Newsletters and Video

The Sisters of the Presentation invite you to share in their joy of marking their 160th Anniversary of their arrival in San Francisco, California. Former Presentation Archivist Chris Doan has assembled four online Presentation Roots newsletters looking back at the many ways the spirit of Nano Nagle has been made live in the Sisters’ ministries to the people of God. The Presentation Roots newsletters feature historical photos, interesting facts and insights which you may be delighted find similar to those in your Congregation’s history. You can access these newsletters here: Presentation Roots Newsletters.

160th Anniversary Video


You can learn more about our amazing foundress of the Sisters of the Presentation by reading One Pace Beyond. It is available for $15.00 at our shopping cart at Sisters of the Presentation Shopping Cart. This biography by Sister Raphael Consedine, PBVM, tells the story of Ireland under the Penal Laws and Nano Nagle’s courageous and unique response to the poverty and oppression. For the millennium, the Irish people voted Nano Nagle, the most influential person in Irish history from 1,000 to 2,000!


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