Presentation Person: A Sister of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or a lay Associate of the Sisters, or a friend or family member, or an employee, or an alumna, or anyone who knows, embraces, and furthers the charism of Nano Nagle. Collectively, Presentation People.
The Gathering of Presentation People was envisioned as a means of continuing to “nurture transformative opportunities now and for future generations by widening the tent in providing contemplative, transformative experiences for Presentation People – Sisters, Associates, employees, & ministry partners.” Originally planned for 2020 but postponed due to the Covid pandemic, it finally took place September 15-17, 2022 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The Conference of Presentation Sisters organized this event. The Conference comprises the seven Presentation communities in North America, each of which was represented:
Union – US Province
Union – Newfoundland/Labrador
The goal? To provide Presentation People across North America the opportunity to gather and get acquainted with each other; tell the story of Nano Nagle and the Sisters of the Presentation; invite participants to recognize their unique roles in the mission; and dream together how to find new ways to live the mission and charism of Nano Nagle.
San Francisco participants
San Francisco’s contingent of 16 included Sisters, Associates, employees, and a consultant. Four of the employees are in leadership positions at Presentation High School, San Jose – the only Presentation High School in the United States.
The format of the Gathering included prayer and contemplation, small group sharing, large group sharing and synthesis, networking among those in interest groups or roles, service projects, and social events. It was structured to facilitate interaction between people of different Presentation communities, while allowing plenty of time for connecting with old friends as well as with people who know each other only over Zoom. Following three days of these interactions, hopes and dreams for the future were articulated.
The work continues post-Gathering, as small, self-selected groups are meeting and planning a way forward for specific ways to enliven dreams in areas such as social justice, leadership, spirituality, widening the tent, storytelling, education, and more.
The San Francisco attendees were energized by The Gathering, and speak strongly of feeling an increased sense of hopefulness for the future of the charism. Often heard is “Our work is not done” and “We are needed in the world right now.” They felt a sense of family with the participants of the various congregations, of common purpose and shared enthusiasm for the Presentation mission. Holly Elkins, President of Presentation High School, San Jose, spoke to “Living Future” as being very real. “Something new is stirring,” she said. Sister Pati Reinhart, in considering what the path ahead holds for Presentation Sisters, used a Spanish saying, “El camino se hace andando” – “The road is made by walking.” Michelle Taylor Lagunas, administrator of the Motherhouse, summarized the outcome of The Gathering as “a deeper sense of Presentation – the gifts of our history and hope for our future. An incredible journey.”
A photo gallery of the event is available on the Conference website. Below you will find a short slideshow of photos of San Francisco attendees and a wordcloud depicting some of their sentiments when reflecting back on The Gathering.