Associate Testimonials

We as Presentation Associates stand in partnership with Sisters of the Presentation who share in the charism of their foundress, Nano Nagle.
We reach out in faith, in a spirit of hospitality, compassion and simplicity to all of creation.

So begins the Presentation Association Responsibility and Mission Statement. Partnership.  Hospitality and compassion.  Faith and simplicity.  The charism of Nano.   These qualities are at the heart of what our Association is all about.

Associates aren’t “nuns in training.” They aren’t even members of a modern day sodality. Associates are mothers and grandmothers, nurses and teachers, working women and retirees, all of whom have been captivated by Nano’s charism as expressed by the Sisters. Some of us are graduates of Presentation schools. Others met Sisters of the Presentation in their parishes. Some came to experience Presentation at the invitation of another Associate. Whatever the starting point, once our path led to Presentation and Nano’s story, we were hooked!

Our connection to Presentation can be experienced in retreats at our Center in Los Gatos and prayer days at the Presentation High School, San Jose, or the Motherhouse in San Francisco, some led by Presentation women, some by invited speakers.

Associates also join Sisters in programs designed to educate about justice issues – the trafficking of women and children, the control of water and the death penalty come to mind.  Joining the Sisters at vigils and rallies associated with these causes ensures that we are not just about words, but also deeds. Associates work with the Sisters on key congregational committees including the Justice and Vocations Committees. “Family” events like our summer picnic, the recent Epiphany Party and various dinners throughout the year provide lots of opportunities for learning and praying, fun and laughter.

If you are interested in exploring justice, community and Nano’s charism with Sisters of the Presentation by way of Association with them, contact the following for more information: Kay Sweeney, 650-738-9551 or


Over twenty-five years ago, I chose to become a Presentation Associate. For 18 years. I had been an Oakford Dominican Sister. When I left the congregation. I really missed the spirit of prayer, contemplation, service and community sharing. In 1990, I became the principal of St. Mary School, a Presentation School.

The first teacher I met at the school was Sister Bobbi Green. The first summer she helped me order books for the lower grades and filled me in on school culture. She invited me to consider being an Associate, and the next year that’s exactly what I did.

I especially love the prayer, contemplation and community sharing. It was just what I was looking for. Prayer days, community gatherings, and meetings, all have nourished me, as I have hopefully helped nourish others.

I have especially enjoyed being on the Associate Committee some years ago, acting as secretary to the last chapter meetings, attending community meetings and celebrations, and above all serving as Director of the Learning and Loving Education Center, a Presentation-sponsored ministry. I am proud and blessed to be a follower of Nano.

To join Christa, and the other Associates, contact the Associate Team at New members are always welcome.

Christa Hanson

Executive Director, Learning and Loving Education Center

Meet the Associates

Spotlight on Associate Patricia (Pat) Diaz

by Kay Sweeney, Presentation Associate Program Facilitator

Pat is our third, Our Lady of Loretto

(left to right) Sister Katherine Jones, PBVM with new Presentation Associate, Pat Diaz.

alumnae, who became an Associate at the Congregational Assembly on June 22, 2019. Rosalie Cabrera, Our Lady of Loretto High School, Class of 1956, Los Angeles, who was her mentor, presented Pat to the Community. Rosalie accompanied Pat, along with inquirers, Yolanda Montano Santillan, Our Lady of Loretto High School, Class of 1974, Los Angeles, and Katherine Valenzuela Sias, Our Lady of Loretto High School, Class of 1974, Los Angeles, through the year-long orientation process.

Pat graduated from Our Lady of Loreto High School, Los Angeles, in 1974. Sister Janet Harris, PBVM, Presentation High School, Class of 1948, San Francisco, and Sister Adele Hancock, PBVM, Presentation High School, Class of 1957, San Francisco, introduced her to the Presentation Community and were mentors and role models through these formative and impressionable years. They inspired her to be a community and political activist. The spirit of service stayed with her as she worked for thirty years in Human Resources Management.

She continues to support the work of the Sisters through the Loretto Friends of the Presentation Sisters. Pat gives of her time selflessly and works diligently to make their yearly fundraising event a success. At one of these events, she heard about the Presentation Associate Program.

On her application, Pat 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!

Pat sees being a Presentation Associate as a way to focus on spiritual growth at this point in her life and at the same time be part of a wonderful fellowship.

The Sisters of the Presentation have warmly welcomed Pat as a new member of the Associate Community. If you would like to become an Associate please contact Kay Sweeney, (650) 738-9551 or

New Presentation Associate Spotlight

by Kay Sweeney, Presentation Associate Program Facilitator

New Associate Yolanda Montano Santillan at a Loretto Friends of the Sisters of the Presentation Event in Los Angeles.

After a year of preparation, Yolanda Montano Santillan, Our Lady of Loretto High School, Class of 1974, Los Angeles, joined the Presentation Associates at the 2019 Assembly on June 22, 2019. She was presented to the community by Rosalie Cabrera, Our Lady of Loretto, Class of 1956, Los Angeles. Rosalie was Yolanda’s mentor and accompanied her, along with fellow inquirers Katherine Valenzuela-Sias, Our Lady of Loretto, Class of 1974, Los Angeles, and Patricia Diaz, Our Lady of Loretto, Class of 1974, Los Angeles, through the year-long orientation process.

Yolanda first met the Presentation Sisters at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School and continued on through high school at Our Lady of Loretto High School. There she became close to the Sisters and their work. Her mentor at school was Sister Honora Barnacle, PBVM, Presentation High School, Class of 1947, San Francisco, who instilled in her a love for reading and enjoyment for life. Following Sister Honora’s inspiration, she always sets aside time for relishing life. She enjoys walking her dogs, loves cooking at any hour of the day and night, and has a passion for reading. She particularly enjoys history and books on spirituality.

At present, Yolanda is working as a caregiver for developmentally disabled adults. Through this work she is putting into practice the Presentation charism to work with those on the margins of Society and do all you can to make things better for them.

A strong connection at her parish church, Saint Gregory the Great, in Whittier, California, gives Yolanda a chance to participate in a parish community. She is a member of a weekly Bible study group and the Women of Faith Ministry there. As a Eucharistic Minister, she is seeking to bring communion to the sick and homebound, another connection to the Presentation charism.

She continues to support the work of the Sisters through Loretto Friends of the Presentation Sisters. She gives her time selflessly and works diligently to make their yearly fund raising event a success. At one of these events, she heard about the Presentation Associate Program and saw it as a way to deepen her connection to the Sisters of the Presentation. She has been warmly welcomed as a new member of the Associate Community.

Who Becomes an Associate

by Kay Sweeney, Presentation Associate Program Facilitator

Presentation Associate, Sandra Jhung, at the Presentation Motherhouse in San Francisco.

That question has many answers. Each person has his or her own call. There is, however, always one underlying need for everyone. They see the Associate Program as a way to deepen their spiritual life.

For Sandra Jhung, 2004 was an eventful year. Her daughter married in April, Sandra retired from teaching in June, and then she became an Associate. With her husband and family present at the Assembly in the Motherhouse chapel in San Francisco, Sandra’s commissioning was the culmination of several years of discernment.

Mrs. Jhung was a member of the Korean Catholics, who were mostly immigrants transitioning from attending Holy Cross Church to St. Michael Korean Catholic Church where the Masses and community gatherings were being held.  On one Sunday in the 1990’s, Sandra went to St. Agnes Church and Father Finnegan asked for someone to help Sister Máire Sullivan, PBVM, with the children’s study group. Sandra volunteered. Shortly thereafter, Sister Máire invited Sandra to attend several Presentation events.  Sandra remembers the earlier ones during Advent where she met many Sisters and a few Associates who were very hospitable.  She read about Nano Nagle, her life and charism.  What impressed her was the upbeat spirit of the Presentation women, their prayerfulness, and commitment in serving the poor and needy.  Here she experienced women who were actively and joyfully doing God’s will.

When asked to become an Associate, Sandra accepted and Sister Judith Romero, PBVM, acted as her mentor with a year of preparation as an inquirer.  Following that, Sandra completed an application and submitted letters of recommendation, one of which her husband wrote on her behalf.  When he passed away in 2007, the Presentation Sisters and Associates were a support along with her family.  They have become her loving extended family.

Sandra attends regular meetings, annual events, and celebrations.  In all of them, she says, “I have gained so much that has helped deepen my faith and relation with God. I learned about social justice, human trafficking, ecological awareness and responsibilities, loss of physical senses, illness, death, and the importance of prayers.  I have been blessed.”

You, too, can become a part of this group of Presentation women and deepen your spiritual life. To join Sandra, and the other Associates, contact the Associate Team at

Answering the Call to Become a Presentation Associate

by Kay Sweeney, Presentation Associate Program Facilitator


Commissioning of Associates by Presentation Leadership at the 2018 Assembly held in the Presentation Motherhouse Chapel in San Francisco.

Nanette Lee Miller and Julie Merrill were received this past June as Presentation Associates at the Sisters of the Presentation 2018 Assembly in San Francisco. They shared with us their call to Association.

Nannette Lee Miller, an alumna of Presentation High School, San Francisco, continues to be compelled by the charism of Nano Nagle to help the marginalized. She volunteers every other Wednesday at San Francisco’s Most Holy Redeemer homeless suppers as a sous chef. The dinners are four-course sit down dinners served once a week. Showers and clothing are also available. Nanette is also the Chair of the Sisters of the Presentation (PBVM) Community Trust which works with the Sisters on providing financial oversight of the Trust. Nanette is active on various committees of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and other San Francisco non-governmental organizations (NGOs). She served for 16 years on the Board of Catholic Charities Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) San Francisco.

Julie Merrill had admired Sister Marilyn Medau, PBVM, and her social justice work for quite some time. One day, while working together at Saint Mary’s Center in Oakland, they began talking about Faith and Julie shared her yearning to deepen her faith. Sister Marilyn told her about the Presentation Associates. Julie requested information and she was contacted by Kay Sweeney and Tina Panelli, members of the Inquirer’s Committee. After meeting and talking with them, Julie knew, she wanted to pursue being an Associate. The Inquirer’s classes invited her to learn about the inspiring life and charism of Nano Nagle, to meet many of the Sisters living in the Motherhouse, and to learn about the Social Justice programs. Most importantly, Julie felt the welcoming, loving, and compassionate Spirit of the Congregation, where she felt able to participate in partnership with the Community to carry out Nano’s vision.

If you would like to join Nanette and Julie and the rest of the Presentation Associates, contact Kay Sweeney or Tina Panelli at We would love to have you.

Reflection on Association

by Jane Hetherington (given after the Gospel reading during the 3rd Annual Epiphany Celebration)


Presentation Associate, Jane Hetherington at the 3rd Annual Presentation Associates’ Epiphany Celebration.

Good morning and welcome to our third annual Associates’ Epiphany celebration.  The feast of the Epiphany offers us three wonderful themes for reflection:  journey, stars that guide us and gifts.  Of these three, the theme I am focusing on today is that of gift, specifically the gift of Association.  What calls women to become Presentation Associates?  What is the gift that Presentation offers its Associates?  What gift can Associates bring to Presentation?  Naturally, I will answer these questions from my own experience as a Presentation Associate.  And, while I would never presume to speak for ALL the Associates, I know I am not alone in feeling as I do about Presentation.

As part of the chaplain training program in which I am presently involved, I was asked to identify and discuss major life events, relationships and cultural contexts that influence my personal identity as expressed in pastoral functioning.  After I figured out what all that meant, I wrote:  “I realize that probably the major influence on my personal identity as expressed in pastoral functioning is my experience with nuns.  As I think back on my life, I know that the influence of nuns on me has been HUGE.”  And, without question, it is my twenty-year relationship with Sisters of the Presentation that has had the greatest influence on me.

Becoming a woman of justice is the greatest challenge that Presentation has offered to me during these years.  How can I continue to look the other way when this community I cherish and these women I revere are relentless in their efforts to serve the poor and to right the wrongs of the world?  How can I not care when they care so much?  Twenty years of being challenged and stretched:  the first of Presentation’s gifts to me.

Community is the second gift.  To be a member of the Presentation Community is a most precious gift.  Support, caring, love:  that has been my experience of being a part of this community.  When I have needed it the most, Presentation has been there for me.  It is the spirit of this community that has inspired and strengthened me for so many years.  I really do count on you – and you haven’t failed me yet.

Certainly the gifts of fun and laughter must be mentioned.  There is nothing like a Presentation celebration.  Once I mentioned to a Sister that my favorite Presentation event was our commissioning in June.  “Oh,” she said.  “You enjoy the commissioning service?”  “Well,” I replied.  “I certainly do enjoy the commissioning service but it is the party after that I really love.”  Probably not the spiritually correct answer – but the truth.  Presentation women know how to have fun!

But the greatest of gifts I have received as an Associate – and on this point I am sure all Associates would agree – is the privilege and opportunity of knowing Sisters of the Presentation.  I have said to Sisters often:  “It is not what you do that inspires us – although it is pretty inspirational – but who you are.”  And who are you?  I see you as women of prayer, of faith and of commitment.  Women who can truly sing the words “Because we love God, we are who we are and we do what we do…” For twenty years you have inspired me, guided me and helped me as I have struggled to be the same.  What greater gift could there be?

Gratitude is the appropriate response to receiving a wonderful gift – and I am very grateful for all the gifts I have received as a Presentation Associate.  The gift I offer in return is to do all I can to live as a Presentation woman:  bringing the Presentation charism to life in my ministry, living a life committed to the Gospel, loving and following Nano the best I can, striving always to be ready and willing to go one pace beyond and doing all that I can to keep the lantern burning bright.  Like the Wise Men, I will not be traveling alone on this journey.  Many wise women – Presentation women, will accompany me.  And that gives me peace and joy.