ASSOCIATES 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 associates@pbvmsf.org.

Meet the Associates

Why I Became an Associate

by Christa Hanson, Executive Director, Learning and Loving Education Center

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 associates@pbvmsf.org. New members are always welcome.

Answering the Call to Become a Presentation Associate

by Kay Sweeney, Facilitator, Associate Leadership Team

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 associates@pbvmsf.org. We would love to have you. 

Reflection

by Jane Hetherington, given after the Gospel reading during the 3rd Annual 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.