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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 the following of the Presentation charism as lived out by Nano Nagle and passed on to us. Not words, but deeds best expresses it.
As we live out this charism, which is often counter cultural, we support each other by calling each other back to the charism with respect and acceptance for differences, give each other support that our values are shared, and keep ourselves firm in our commitment to the Presentation charism. Associate Program Handbook, Sisters of the Presentation San Francisco, September 2020
Where Do We Fit? A Presentation Overview by Sr. Pam Chiesa
On March 6, Sr. Pam Chiesa gave all Associates present an overview of how all the Presentation Communities fit together. At the North American level, the Conference of Presentation Sisters of North America joins us. Her presentation explained that the Conference is five autonomous Presentation communities located in South Dakota, Iowa, New York State, and California and Union of Presentation Sisters Canada Province in Newfoundland, and Union of Presentation Sisters United States Province. Their Mission statement commits them to using contemplative dialogue in all their gatherings, developing awareness of living a spirituality of communion with all creation, widening the tent by providing contemplative, transformative formation experiences for Presentation People, fostering collaboration between leaders and groups that support the vision of the Conference and using technology to further the vision statement.
An Executive Committee of four sisters (Sr. Pam from San Francisco, Sr. Marilyn Breen from Dubuque, Sr. Roisin Gannon of Newfoundland, Vicky Larson from Aberdeen) and Executive Director Lisa Olson plan the annual meeting. This meeting brings together the Leadership of the member Communities for planning.
Four Task Groups work on each of the four goals. Task Group 1a planned the Presentation People Gatherings that is one way of widening the tent to include all Presentation People. Task Group 2 has just secured a Hilton Grant that will make it possible to foster the use of technology to further the Vision Statement.
The Conference Executive Committee started the gatherings that Sr. Anita Torres and Kay Sweeney attend with representatives of other Presentation Associate Programs in the Conference. We will report more on that later in the Newsletter.
The International Presentation Association (IPA) brings Presentation People together on the International level. Its mission is to speak and act in partnership with others for global justice, from a contemplative stance, and in a spirit of oneness with the whole of creation. It meets in Assembly every five years. Sr. Paula Baker and Jane Hetherington represented us at the last IPA Assembly.
The IPA is comprised of the three Presentation Units. Union of Presentation Sisters: Ministries in Canada, Chile, Dominica, Ecuador, England, Holy Land, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Slovakia, Thailand, United States, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Conference of Presentation Sisters of North America: Congregations of Aberdeen, Dubuque, New Windsor, San Francisco and Staten Island with a ministry in Bolivia, and Presentation Society of Australia and Papua New Guinea: Congregations of Lismore, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, Wagga Wagga, Western Australia and Papua New Guinea with ministries in Peru.
The IPA Assembly is the policy-making body of the International Presentation Association. Members are Congregational Leaders, Justice Contact Persons (Sr. Pat Davis), and one additional member of each participating congregation. Three representatives from the Association of Presentations in Latin America are also included.
Thanks to Sr. Pam’s presentation, we all came away with a clearer picture about how all the pieces fit.
Our Associate national connection is through the monthly meetings of the Leaders of the Presentation Associate Programs in the Conference of Presentation Sisters. Sr. Anita Torres and Kay Sweeney attend these gatherings as our representatives. At their last meeting on March 9, 2021, representatives were present from Aberdeen, Union of Presentation Sisters US and Canadian Provinces, New Windsor and Kay and Sr. Anita from San Francisco. The topic for sharing was initial orientation for Associate candidates.
One of the discussion points centered about how much discernment on the candidates’ part was required before the yearlong orientation period. Experience varied and there was no definitive answer. Everyone said it often was different for each candidate. The sharing made clear that there is no one size fits all and a clear but flexible structure is important. Each Congregation’s program has ideas to offer and we have much to learn from each other.
We All Can Connect in September – Gathering of Presentation People, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
To strengthen our ties to the other Presentation Associates nationally, the Team encourages all of the Associates to attend the Presentation People Conference in September. The organizers are planning on an in person event.
As San Francisco Presentation People, we need to make the connection with Presentation People nationally to see how they are living out Nano’s charism.
Information about how you can register for this exciting gathering will be coming soon directly from the Conference congregation with which you are connected. Mark your calendars.
NACAR Retreat in May
NACAR will be sponsoring a retreat for Associates and Sisters on May 18, 19, & 20. Sr. Carol Zinn will be the keynote speaker. This is another good opportunity to meet Associates from other Communities. Contact Kay for more information: .
Spotlight on Ministry – Pat Diaz
On Pat’s Associate application, she said, “When I am asked what I do, I say I am a “professional volunteer”. Fighting for social justice issues has been very important to me. My belief is that everyone has an obligation to give back to society and try to make it a better place. As a political activist, I have worked on political campaigns for candidates and laws that reflect a greater representation for the underserved and better laws for all. My current volunteer concentration is organizing a “friends of the library” in my neighborhood, fighting for local housing and tenant rights, but most important permanently closing the Allenco Oil extraction site that has deeply affected the health of my community.” In this, she shows herself to be a true daughter of Nano Nagle! Not words, but deeds!
Future Planning Continues
Our next future planning workshop will be on April 10, 2021. The theme will be Outreach. We plan to unpack this large and important topic. Kathy Wade will again facilitate the workshop. The plan is to present the big questions we need to talk about, share our ideas in breakout groups, and bring the results of our sharing back to the big group. Until we have defined as a group what we mean by Outreach we cannot develop and implement a plan. If you have questions, you think need answering please send them to the Team at email@example.com.
Lenten Sharing: Open Wide Our Heart – the Enduring Call to Love
Gerry Fagoaga, Pat Diaz, Yolanda Santillan, Rosalie Cabrera, Jane Hetherington and Kay Sweeney gathered for four Fridays during Lent to study and share reflections on the USCCB Pastoral on Racism. The group used the materials developed by the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center. The sharing was interesting and took many unexpected turns. It is a topic with many layers and the sharing only scratched the surface. Did you ever think that Ben and Jerry’s ice cream owed its success to White Privilege? The video How White Privilege Made Ben and Jerry’s Possible will tell you. Go to benjerry.com/whats-new/2018/07/ben-jerry-white-privilege to find the answer.
Spiritual Reading Circle Invitation
To end, we want to share with you the Team reflection on humility from our February meeting.
The Spiritual Reading Circle is still meeting on the third Thursday of each month to share their reflections on Laudato Si. They would love to have you join. Contact Gerry Fagoaga at for more information.
We end with a prayer:
BLESSING IN THE CHAOS
To all that is chaotic in you,
let there come silence.
Let there be a calming of the clamoring,
a stilling of the voices that have laid their claim on you,
that have made their home in you,
that go with you even to the holy places
but will not let you rest,
will not let you hear your life with wholeness
or feel the grace that fashioned you.
Let what distracts you cease.
Let what divides you cease.
Let there come an end to what diminishes and demeans,
and let depart all that keeps you in its cage.
Let there be an opening into the quiet
that lies beneath the chaos,
where you find the peace you did not think possible
and see what shimmers within the storm.
from the Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief
The Associate Team: Rosalie, Tina, Kay, Pamela, & Sr. Anita