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PRESENTATION ASSOCIATES NEWSLETTER
Presentation Associates Vision Statement. The Associate Community is a strong, loving, and caring group of people, diverse: ethnically, gender wise, age wise, and economically called by the mission and charism of Nano Nagle. We support each other in our spirituality and in the following of the Presentation charism as lived out by Nano Nagle and passed on to us. Not words, but deeds expresses it best. Associate Program Handbook, Sisters of the Presentation San Francisco, September 2020
Associates Share at June 19th Workshop
At their workshop on June 19th, Associates were able to share in an open and honest way their views of the future. In the process of confirming the assumptions put before them, they also were able to voice their concerns about the future.
They confirmed that the purpose of outreach is to spread Nano Nagle’s legacy, there are three different kinds of Outreach: Outreach as ministry, outreach to invite new members, and outreach to the larger Presentation Community, and that the process for seeking new members as stated in the Associate Handbook was clear and expressed the process, they wished followed.
The handbook states that Associates and vowed religious of the Congregation commit to invite their volunteers, friends, former students, family members and anyone else to become Associates. The Associate Team will receive the referrals, send out applications and contact the inquirer to set up an interview. The inquiry committee will implement the year-long orientation process ending in a Discernment Retreat.
In order to more fully understand Nano’s charism, the workshop began with a song, Nano Aflame and a video of Sisters and Associates sharing their understanding of her charism as it has been handed down to us as Presentation People. The group then reflected on how they would express Nano’s charism. All the reflections included reference to her devotion to the Sacred Heart and through that to God’s great love. She acted that out by her service and care for those around her especially those most in need.
Our last reflection was to give direction to the Associate Leadership Team. We shared these next steps and they will be sent to the Team to organize into a plan to bring back to the group for confirmation.
Recommitment Day of Prayer Set for Saturday August 7, 2021
Christy Brink, an experienced spiritual director and group facilitator, will lead us in a Day of Prayer and Discernment to reflect on our year as an Associate and prepare us to make decisions concerning the new year.
Let’s share this important time! RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org by July 30, 2021. Let us know that you are coming. We want to be ready to receive you.
Spotlight on Julie Merrill’s Ministry at St. Mary’s Center
Julie Merrill made her first commitment as an Associate in June 2018 after a year of orientation. She was invited by Sister Marilyn Medau when she expressed her wish to deepen her own spirituality. Her journey started when she joined the staff at St. Mary’s Center in Oakland. She recounts the story below.
“A friend took me to a press conference at St. Mary’s Center in 2005 and I was hooked. I said to her, “I just have to work there”.
There was an opening for an assistant to the Executive Director and that began this wonderful journey of working with very poor and homeless seniors in Oakland and beyond.
The assistant’s job was a good introduction to the workings of the organization, but I wanted to work directly with the Seniors. I met Sister Marilyn Medau there and following in her footsteps in the food program gave me my chance. When I trained with her, Sr. Marilyn was coordinating the Sunday lunch and the winter shelter dinner volunteers. She also organized the Christmas Gift Project.
Working in the food program gave me the opportunity to work with the volunteers, who are a vital part of St. Mary’s. They provide the Sunday lunches for the seniors every weekend and dinners for our winter shelter. It is now my job to coordinate their participation.
Since COVID-19, the Center takes services and food directly to the seniors. On average, St, Mary’s delivers 1000 meals, and 250 grocery bags a week to the three transitional houses, low-income seniors, and unhoused residents. I coordinated the volunteers for some of these tasks.
Before COVID -19, I was also working at the reception desk, which was the perfect place for me. It gave me the opportunity to welcome seniors, and it is where the action is.
We are planning to reopen for Sunday lunch the end of July and it will be a joyous time to see the seniors and our wonderful volunteers again”.
Save the Date for our Annual Retreat
We are planning an in-person retreat on October 9 & 10 at San Damiano Retreat Center. Colette Lafia will be our facilitator. Our theme will be the Divine Heart. Nano’s deep devotion to the Sacred Heart was what fueled her ministry. Colette will be sharing from her recent book The Divine Heart to get us in touch with that same devotion in our world as Nano did in her time. It will put fire in our heart!
Associate Leadership Team Elections in August
Elections for the two new members of the Associate Leadership Team will take place during August. Ballots will be sent out to all Associates. The results of the election will be announced at our Annual gathering on Saturday, September 4, 2021. The nominees are Jane Hetherington, Pat Diaz, Gerry Fagoaga, and Kathey Valenzuela. Watch for your ballot in the mail. The new terms will be for four years and begin on October 1, 2021.
To end, we ask that you pray a simple prayer of petition for the canonization of Nano Nagle.
Prayer for the Cause of Nano
O God, who enkindled in the heart of your servant, Nano Nagle, the fire of your love, and a consuming desire to serve You in any part of the world, grant that we also may love You, and make you much loved. And if it be for the glory of God, and the salvation of souls, grant that soon she may be raised to the altars of your Church. Through Christ our Lord. Amen
The Associate Team
Kay, Sr. Anita, Rosalie, Pamela, and Tina