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S.F. Presentation Sisters Continue Efforts to Banish Modern Day Slavery

By Sister Pat Davis and Sister Rita Jovick, PBVMSF

The Northern California Catholic Sisters against Human Trafficking offered a Stop Slavery Now workshop on Saturday, October 3, 2015, at Saint Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco. The goal was to train Sisters and volunteers to visit hotels and motels to educate their mangers about human trafficking. These efforts to banish modern day slavery are critical because on February 7, 2016, the 50th Super Bowl will take place in the South Bay Area. This major sporting event is considered by law enforcement agencies to increase exponentially the number of those forced into modern day slavery. 

Just five days later, on October 8, 2015, carrying folders with information about how to prevent  human trafficking, Sister Rita Jovick and Presentation Associate Sionie Del Rosario drove to seven motels and one hotel in and around Daly City. The reception that they received from those working at the front desk varied from very interested to indifferent. However, even those who did not think human trafficking happened or would happen at their motels and hotels, accepted the folders with information about how to prevent modern day slavery.

At one motel, a woman dressed in Middle Eastern clothing, seemed uncomfortable when Associate Sionie and Sister Rita first spoke to her and she did not look directly at them. After they explained how the materials that they would be leaving with her, would help identify those who are being trafficked, the woman’s interest changed.  She looked up and said that this was a good thing that was being done.

In the San Jose area, Sister Rosemary Campi and others who also attended the training will begin soon to visit local motels and hotels. Sister Rosemary remarked how impressed she was to see senior high school students from San Jose’s Bellarmine College Preparatory and other young people wanting to help and make a difference.

In addition, San Francisco International Presentation Association Justice Contact Sister Pat Davis says the Presentation Justice Committee continues collecting donations of toiletries, small notebooks or journals for the Freedom House, a nonprofit organization with a mission to bring hope, restoration and a new life to survivors of human trafficking by providing a safe home and long-term aftercare. The donations will be given to two of its local programs: The Monarch House for ages 18 and up in San Mateo County and The Nest for ages 12 to 17 in the San Jose area. Presentation Associate Paula Johnson continues non-stop to create her beautiful quilts and our motherhouse sisters and volunteers have sent their first gift of the beautiful heart-shape pillows for these survivors of modern day slavery. 

For more details log onto our website Ministries: Justice Focus



S.F. Presentation Sisters'
Video Project Provides Opportunity to Learn More

By Lisa Olson

I was privileged to spend a week earlier this month with the Presentation Sisters in San Francisco.  I am working with the leadership team to create a video leadership report that highlights the charism, ministry and collaborative efforts of the San Francisco Presentation Sisters over the past five years.

While interviewing sisters and associates, I learned more not only about the ministries, but also about the congregation’s many partners in ministry. One of the most profound interviews was with two associates. These women talked about the wonderful ministry and mission of the congregation, but also spoke powerfully of their deep connection, as associates, to Nano Nagle. The idea of Nano was not prompted by a question, but rather flowed from the very real relationship these women have with the San Francisco Sisters.

Sister Stephanie Still escorted me to various ministry sites over several days. These included Presentation High School, San Jose; Presentation Center, Los Gatos; Learning and Loving Education Center, Morgan Hill; and the Lantern, San Francisco. We also visited the sisters at St. Christopher Convent in San Jose and learned more about the Las Rosas ministry, from which the congregation recently withdrew. During each visit with a sister or partner, I got a greater sense of the charism of the congregation. 

I had the opportunity to meet more of the San Francisco Presentation Sisters as I interviewed the leadership team, ministry coordinators, justice committee members and congregational ministry committee. Each sister added to the creation of a larger picture of San Francisco community and ministry life. I left each interview with a real sense of hope and a glimpse of the light of Nano shining brightly from these women.


Christa Hanson, Presentation associate
and executive director of the Learning
and Loving Education Center, with
Sister Stephanie Still, congregational president.

As I put together the many pieces of this video project and listen to each interview again, I am thankful for the time I spent with these wonderful, welcoming women. I am truly privileged in my work with the Presentation Sisters and blessed to have opportunities, like this one, to know more about the women living the legacy of Nano in our world today.
 

 

Virtual Travel: Motherhouse Sisters Connect with Young People in Mexico


By Presentation Associate Cathy Pickerel, San Francisco
When Dulce Rodriguez stayed at the Presentation Motherhouse during the summer of 2015, she was impressed by the Sisters’ love, knowledge and wealth of experience.  She was also aware of the young people in her native Mexico growing up pretty much by themselves because their parents work all day.  Why not connect the Sisters here with those young people using technology to overcome geographic and language barriers?  This question led Dulce to design an online cross-cultural intergenerational project for her Master of Arts Degree in Educational leadership and Master of Science in Education, Technology and Society for her studies at both University of San Francisco and the University of Bristol which is located in Bristol, United Kingdom.

For this project, Dulce enlisted the help of her three nieces, Melanye Correa, Ahylen Rodriguez and Elennyel Correa in Tijuana, Mexico,  and at the Presentation Motherhouse in San Francisco, Sister Eileen Diggins, PBVM, (religious name Sister Mary James) Presentation High School, San Francisco, Class of 1941, Sister Carl Fischer, PBVM, Catholic Girls High School, Los Angeles, Class of 1945, and Sister Helen Matosich, PBVM, (religious name Sister Mary Alphonsus) Presentation High School, San Francisco, Class of 1957.


Dulce Rodriguez’ three nieces in Tijuana
were happy to participate in her project.
Two of them, Melanye Correa (left) and Elennyel Correa (right) shown here on the
computer screen during one of their group
Skype sessions with (from left to right)
Sister Carl Fischer, PBVM,
Sister Helen Matosich, PBVM,
Dulce and Sister Eileen Diggins, PBVM.


Sister Helen Matosich, PBVM, introduced her cockatiel Star
to her student Melanye Correa to launch their friendship.

Sister Helen admitted to being nervous during her first internet connection with her student, Melanye Correa.
A rapport was quickly established when Sister Helen introduced Melanye to Star, Sister Helen’s cockatiel. 
After just three online sessions, Sister Helen and Melanye - and Star - were pals!
Sister Eileen also experienced that initial nervousness, wondering how everything would work. 
Prompted by Dulce to share a classic story with her student, Ahylen Rodriguez,
Sister Eileen let Little Red Riding Hood open the door to engaging Skype and e-mail conversations.


Having fun making hearts on the Skype screen from Tijuana, Mexico is Ahylen Rodriguez
and in the small box is Sister Eileen Diggins, PBVM.


Sister Carl Fischer, PBVM, is playing opera music for her student,
Elennyel Correa who listens attentively on the computer screen.

Music opened that door for Sister Carl and her student, Elennyel Correa. 
Sister Carl tells us Elennyel really enjoyed Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers
and the tenor Juan Diego Florez, so they had much to discuss and share.


All in all, quite a successful project!

Since the results were amazing, today, Dulce is expanding this model as she continues her studies in her first year of a Doctor of Philosophy in Education at the University of Bristol in Bristol, United Kingdom.
 



Sisters Respond to Pope Francis World Day of Peace Message: No Longer Slaves, but Brothers and Sisters

   
The FBI has listed the San Francisco Bay Area as one of the 13 destinations for child sex trafficking in the United States. With Super Bowl 50 coming to the Bay Area this February, several of the San Francisco Presentation Sisters are collaborating with government and civil organizations to increase awareness and prevention of human trafficking in local hotels, massage parlors, bars, and truck stops.

For the past two years, Sister Rosemary Campi, Sister Joan Riordan and Sister Gloria Loya have attended meetings of the San Jose Diocese task force on human trafficking and have visited hotels to talk with management about human trafficking. They have recruited volunteers to work them and go on the hotel visitations.

San Francisco Presentation Sisters are members of the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking, No Trafficking Ahead, and the North Bay Catholic Sisters Coalition. Following online training (programs developed by Polaris and EC-PAT) these sisters and volunteers visit hotels/motels to encourage management to provide training for their employees which help them to notice “red flags” and to report possible human trafficking occurrences in their facility. The sisters and volunteers are fostering collaboration across agencies so victims are identified and receive supportive services in an efficient manner.

Human trafficking is one of the three justice issues the entire congregation is focused on. “Besides educating ourselves and others, one action the community has taken is to collect toiletries and lap blankets for the residents at Freedom House, a facility for women who escaped trafficking,” says Sister Rosemary Campi. The congregation also supports other programs, such as Stop Trafficking, a coalition of women religious engaged in this ministry.

In one of the congregation’s gatherings, the prayer included, “Lord, give us the courage to stand up and fight for the rights of our Sisters and Brothers who live in slavery and exploitation. Give us the strength as we pray and take action to free your enslaved children.” This prayer is the guide for congregational and individual actions as we continue to work to abolish this modern day slavery.

 


Get On The Bus to Folsom State Prison

By Sister Rosina Conrotto, PBVMSF

At 4:00 on Saturday morning, July 18, 2015, Sister Sylvia Llerena and I joined other volunteers as well as children of the incarcerated and their chaperones for a trip from San Francisco to Folsom State Prison in northern California.  The excitement of the children who would be seeing their incarcerated mother or father was palpable.  For some this visit was an annual event, for others several years had transpired since the last visit – one young man hadn’t seen his mother for 15 years – but for all this was a much anticipated day.

At our breakfast stop in Sacramento, each child was given a back pack to fill with books.  More than 1,000 new books, on every reading level, had been purchased and each child could select as many books as he or she wanted.  The same delight shone in their eyes when choosing a book as would have if the gift had been a new toy car or a doll.

We arrived at Folsom State Prison at 8:00 am to find that there were already three buses there.  Two had left from Southern California at 7:00 pm the previous evening and arrived after an 11 hour bus trip; the other had left from Central California early that morning. 

One could feel the anticipation begin to build up around 2:00 pm – it was getting close to the time for good-byes.  Tears were evident, sobs were audible, hugs were tighter and kisses more frequent. Some mothers lingered as long as they could waving good-bye through the closed doors; others turned away quickly, surreptitiously wiping away tears.

 


Ready to take part in the
Restorative Justice program,
Get On The Bus are
Sister Sylvia Llerena (left) and
Sister Rosina Conrotto (right).


The Restorative Justice program, Get On The Bus,
allowed this mother and son to reunite after fifteen years.

At the entrance to the check-in area, Sylvia and I were approached by Sunby, one of the Get on The Bus coordinators, who told that there was a young boy who was not being allowed to enter the prison because  his permission packet, through no fault of his own, was not complete  This 12 year old boy, who had travelled 11 hours to see his mother was clearly distraught – he had been talking with her on the phone for several weeks in preparation for this visit and now it appeared that he would not be able to enter.  Sunby asked Sylvia and me to move away from the area and to pray for a miracle. We prayed fervently, interceding with every saint we knew!  After about an hour and several phone calls, clearance was given.  You cannot begin to imagine the expression of joy on his face and on the faces of all who had endured this trial with him!

Finally everyone was cleared and we proceeded to the visiting area.  The mothers were waiting in an open courtyard in the middle of the prison.  When the doors opened for the children and family members to greet the mothers indescribable shouts of joy bounced off the walls.  There were tears, there was laughter and lots and lots of hugs and kisses.

Throughout the four hour visit, families sat under tents and visited or played board games; children had their faces painted with exquisite designs by professional face painters; family group photos were taken; children made cards to give to their mothers at the end of the visit; delicious box lunches were shared; memories were created. 

 

Muffled sobs could be heard as we boarded the bus and then, thankfully, after a day in the hot sun and after an emotional reunion and departure, heads began to slowly nod off in sleep.  Sylvia and I could only pray that the sleep was filled with dreams of a happy day.

What is Get On The Bus?

Get On The Bus brings children and their guardians/caregivers from throughout the state of California to visit their mothers and fathers in prison. Get On The Bus offers free transportation for the children and their caregivers to the prison, provides travel bags for the children, comfort care bags for the caregivers, a photo of each child with his or her parent, and meals for the day, including, breakfast, snacks on the bus, lunch at the prison, and dinner on the way home, all at no cost to the children’s family. On the bus trip home, following a four-hour visit, each child receives a teddy bear with a letter from his/her parent and post-event counseling.

Get On The Bus is a program of The Center for Restorative Justice Works, a non-profit organization that unites children, families and communities separated by crime and the criminal justice system.

 


The Restorative Justice program,
Get On The Bus, allows for mom
and child to hug at least once a year.
 



Sr. Gloria would like to share this video from the Jubilee at Presentation Center with Sisters and Associates.
Click here
Jubilee Video  and use the password "presentationjubilee".
 


Presentation Sisters Celebrate Jubilees


Seven Sisters of the Presentation celebrated jubilees to mark significant milestones in their lives as women religious
at a community celebration on Sunday, July 12, 2015, at Presentation Retreat Center in Los Gatos.
 

Sister Ellen Cafferty, PBVM, (Religious name Sister Mary Mildred) celebrates her Diamond Jubilee marking sixty years from her Entrance into the Congregation on July 3, 1955. Sister Ellen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of San Francisco. Her early ministry was in Catholic education, including from 1958 to 1965, at Saint Anne School, in San Francisco, also at Saint Patrick and Saint Christopher schools in San Jose. Much of Sister Ellen’s ministry has been in the foreign missions. Beginning in 1965, in Ocosingo, Chiapas where she ministered for twenty-one years to the Tzeltal people as a coordinator for Catechetics and a Member of the Parish Pastoral Team. In 1987, Sister Ellen became part of the San Francisco Network Ministries team in the Tenderloin.  From 1991 to 2015, near Guatemala City, Sister Ellen became a Pastoral Team Member in the Parroquia Jesus Nipalakin (Jesus Walks With Us) in Las Margaritas and surrounding settlements.  In 2014, Sister Ellen testified at the 13th Conference of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in the United Nations.

Sister Bernice Gotelli, PBVM, (religious name Sister Mary Benedict) celebrates her Diamond Jubilee marking sixty years from her Entrance into the Congregation on July 3, 1955. Sister Bernice received an extensive clinical pastoral education at Saint Mary’s Hospital in San Francisco. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts from the University of San Francisco and her Master degree in Religious Education from Seattle University. She also holds certification from the National Association of Catholic Chaplains. For the past twenty-six years, Sister Bernice has been the sole chaplain at University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland. She works with critically ill and dying children throughout the 100-year-old hospital, as well as following through with their families. She is a member of the hospital’s Medical Ethics and Palliative Care committees.  Prior to this ministry, Sister Bernice taught in Catholic elementary schools at Saint Agnes, Cathedral Presentation and Saint Teresa in San Francisco. From 1977 to 1984, she also served as a parish staff member at Saint Teresa Parish in San Francisco and at Holy Trinity and Saint Patrick in San Jose. Sister Bernice was the 2015 Class Commencement Speaker on May 23, 2015, at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University (JST). During the event, she received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree from JST.


Celebrating their jubilees in the Chapel of
the Presentation Retreat Center in Los Gatos;
in the back row (from left to right) are
Sister Ellen Cafferty, PBVM, Sister Maria Griego, PBVM, Sister Darlene Terry, PBVM, and
Sister Pamela Chiesa, PBVM;
and in the front row (from left to right are
Sister Bernice Gotelli,PBVM,
Sister Kathleen Sickly, PBVM, and
Sister Gloria Loya, PBVM.
 

 
Sister Maria Griego, PBVM,
celebrates her Golden Jubilee marking fifty years from her Entrance into the Congregation on September 1, 1965. Sister Maria earned a Liberal Studies degree from San Jose State University. Sister Maria’s ministry has been in Catholic elementary education for forty-five years.  From 1971 to 1974 and from 1978 to 1980, Sister Maria was a first and second grade teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes School, Los Angeles. From 1975 to 1978, she taught second grade at Saint Benedict School, Montebello. Sister Maria did parish work including, the instruction of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) in 1968 and 1969 at Saint Anthony in Pecos, New Mexico.  In 1981, Sister Maria returned to teach second grade at Saint Patrick School in San Jose. Since 1985, Sister Maria has been a staff member at Saint John Vianney School in San Jose, where she taught second and kindergarten and is now the Religion Coordinator for the school.

Sister Gloria Loya, PBVM, celebrates her Golden Jubilee marking fifty years from her Entrance into the Congregation on September 1, 1965. Sister Gloria earned her Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from the University of San Francisco, Master of Arts in counseling and guidance from Antioch College/Mexican American Cultural Center, San Antonio, Texas, Bachelor of Applied Theology and an Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the University of Salamanca, Spain, and Doctorate in Ministry from the Pacific School of Religion, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. During the 1970s, Sister Gloria taught social studies and religion at Presentation High School, San Jose, then served as pastoral associate at Saint Catherine Parish, Morgan Hill. From 1980 to 1985, Sister Gloria was the Director of Hispanic Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose. From 1986 to 1990, she was adjunct professor of theology at Saint Louis University, Madrid campus, while pursuing her studies at the University of Salamanca.  From 1992 to 2013, Sister Gloria was an adjunct professor in theology and Hispanic ministry at the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley. During these years, Sister Gloria also served two terms on the leadership team of the Sisters of the Presentation, one from 1994 to 1998, and the second from 2004 to 2010. In 2014, Sister Gloria was named Vicar for Religious and Liaison for Human Trafficking for the Diocese of Monterey.

Sister Darlene Terry, PBVM, ( religious name Sister Mary Maureen) celebrates her Golden Jubilee marking fifty years from her Entrance into the Congregation on September 1, 1965. Sister Darlene earned a Bachelor of Arts, from California State University, San Jose, a Master of Arts in education from the University of San Diego, and a Master of Science in psychology from Mount Saint Mary College, Los Angeles.  Sister Darlene began her ministry years as a Catholic elementary educator in 1970. She taught at Saint Patrick and Saint John Vianney schools in San Jose.  In 1975, Sister Darlene became principal of Saint Catherine School, Morgan Hill. From 1977 to 1985, she returned to her own elementary school, Saint Benedict’s in Montebello to serve as principal for eight years. Sister Darlene also served as principal from 1986 to 1987 at Saint Raymond School in Downey; from 1987 to 1988, at Saint Pius X High School in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  From 1988 to 1992, Sister Darlene moved into parish work as youth minister at Saint John of God parish, Norwalk; and from 1992 to 2004, at Saint Margaret Mary parish in Chino. After receiving her Master of Science in Counseling, Sister Darlene ministered with Catholic Charities in their Marriage and Family Therapy Program from 1998 to 2010.  Sister Darlene currently serves as Congregational Secretary.

Sister Pamela Chiesa, PBVM, celebrates her Ruby Jubilee marking forty years from her Entrance into the Congregation on September 1, 1975. Sister Pam earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from San Jose State University, a Master of Arts in Theology at Seattle University, and a Master in Business Administration from Golden Gate University. In 1980, Sister Pam began her ministry as a Catholic high school teacher at Presentation High School, San Jose. She taught at Presentation High School, San Jose from 1980 to 1985 and returned from 2002 to 2004. She also taught from 1986 to 1991 at Presentation High School, San Francisco. In 1990 and 1994, Sister Pam was elected as a Council member for the Sisters of the Presentation. Sister Pam served in Congregational leadership for two leadership terms as a Councilor and as Congregational Treasurer for four of those years.  In 2004, Sister Pam was elected President of the Sisters of the Presentation and served in that role for six years. She was an administrator at Presentation Center in Los Gatos from 1999 to 2002.  Sister Pam is currently, a Senior Consultant at Brenner, McDonagh and Tortolani.

Sister Kathleen Sickly, PBVM, celebrates her Ruby Jubilee marking forty years from her Entrance into the Congregation on September 1, 1975. Sister Kathleen earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and an elementary teaching credential from California State University, San Francisco and taught in the Merced city school district. From 1978 to 1984, Sister Kathleen taught at Saint Agnes School, San Francisco. In 1985, she completed the clinical pastoral education program at Saint Mary Hospital, San Francisco. Beginning in 1985, she served as a staff chaplain at Saint Mary’s for fourteen years. She also holds certification from the National Association of Catholic Chaplains. From 1999 to 2004, Sister Kathleen served as Formation Director for the Sisters of the Presentation. After a brief period working for hospice in the Santa Clara area, Sister Kathleen returned to ministry with her Presentation Sisters, serving as a Coordinator, which she continues as her current ministry.  
 

El Proyecto de las Rosas

El Proyecto de las Rosas began classes in English as a Second Language in Tipton and Woodville, two farming communities in the Central Valley of California in October 2006.  These communities are located in one of the most underserved areas of California.  The Proyecto is located on South Smith Road on Tipton.  For more information, call (559) 752-4603.

 



Tipton Farewell

By Sister Joan Riordan, PBVMSF


On Sunday, May 17, 2015, thirteen Presentation Sisters, including the Leadership Team, and Associates journeyed to Tipton, California to join Saint John the Evangelist Parish in their farewell tribute to Presentation Sisters Rita Jovick, Catherine Mary King and Patricia Reinhart.

Pastor, Father Loji Pilones, led the tribute to the three Sisters who arrived in Tipton nine years ago to begin El Proyecto de las Rosas ministry to the Hispanic and Portuguese residents of Tipton, Pixley, and Woodville - rural communities along Highway 99 southeast of Fresno.  Congregational President, Sister Stephanie Still, thanked Father Pilones, former pastor, Father Jorge de la Torre, El Proyecto de las Rosas staff, and the parishioners for their continued support and appreciation of the Sisters during their ministry in Tipton.

Music and tributes marked the afternoon outdoor ceremony.  Father Pilones and several parish representatives offered oral tributes and thoughtful gifts including a beautiful engraved crystal memento to each Sister and an acrylic 12x18 collage of each Sister in her ministry.  A local Mariachi group entertained with music and song.  A guitar choir, originally taught by Sister Catherine Mary, showed their gratitude by treating the audience to a display of their skill.  This choir now contributes their talents to the parish liturgies.

 A wonderful potluck dinner provided by the parishioners followed the ceremony.  Diners were treated to musical accompaniment by the Mariachi Group.  The parish even provided a Bounce House for the children in attendance.

It was clear from the enthusiastic response of those in attendance how loved the three Sisters are and how grateful the community is for their nine years of dedicated service.  But leave taking is also bittersweet and many tears accompanied the heartfelt Abrazos.

Before the ceremony, visitors also had an opportunity to tour the parish Convent and classrooms to see the variety of instruction provided by the three Sisters: several levels of English-as-a-Second Language, conversational English, guitar, sewing, scrapbooking and childcare.  Classrooms were colorful, warm and welcoming.
 



Sisters Celebrate Jubilees

The Sisters of the Presentation San Francisco is part of
The Conference of Presentation Sisters, or the Conference,
which represents hundreds of Presentation Sisters from seven congregations.


Celebrating their Jubilees in the back row
(from left to right) are Sister Carl Fischer, PBVM,
Sister Kathleen Curtin, PBVM,  and Sister Virginia King, PBVM;
and in the front row are Sister Eileen Canelo, PBVM,
(left) and Sister Patricia Marie Mulpeters, PBVM, (right).

Five Sisters of the Presentation celebrated jubilees to mark significant milestones in their lives as women religious at a community celebration on Saturday, April 25, 2015, at the Presentation Convent in San Francisco. The main celebrant was San Jose’s Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church Pastor Robert Fambrini, S.J., who was in Sister Virginia King, PBVM, seventh grade class at Saint Elizabeth in San Francisco.

Sister Eileen Canelo, PBVM,  (religious name Sister Mary Jerome) celebrates her Jubilee of Grace marking seventy years from her entrance into the Congregation on January 5, 1945.

Sister Eileen earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of San Francisco. 
Sister Eileen’s ministry for fifty-eight years was in Catholic elementary education. In 2002, she was nominated to be in the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

Sister Eileen taught at Saint Anne School, Saint Elizabeth School and Epiphany School in San Francisco. She also taught at Saint Patrick School and Saint Christopher School in San Jose, Saint Charles School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Our Lady of Fatima School in Seattle, Washington. 
Sister Eileen spent thirty years from 1972 to 2012 at Epiphany Elementary School, in San Francisco.

In 2009, Sister Eileen moved to the Presentation Motherhouse. Since then, she engaged in various volunteer ministries, including teaching immigrants English-as-a-Second Language at The Lantern Center in San Francisco.  Currently, she is engaged in the Ministry of Prayer.


Several family members attended
Sister Eileen Canelo’s Jubilee.
Featured here from left to right are
her nieces, Katherine Canelo and
Christine Canelo and her nephew,
Deacon Kelly Canelo who assisted
in her Jubilee Mass.
 
 


Sister Carl Fischer, PBVM, (baptismal name Felicitas Maria) celebrates her Jubilee of Grace marking seventy years from her entrance into the Congregation on January 2, 1945.

Sister Carl earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in education from the University of San Francisco. Sister Carl taught in Catholic elementary schools from 1947 to 1990.

In Southern California, Sister Carl taught at Saint Helen School in South Gate; Saint Bridget of Sweden in Lake Balboa, Saint Raymond in Downey, and Our Lady of Lourdes and Our Lady of Loretto in Los Angeles. From 1960 to 1964, she taught at Our Lady of Fatima School in Seattle.
In San Francisco, Sister Carl taught at Saint Anne, Epiphany and Saint Elizabeth and in San Jose at Saint Christopher and Saint Patrick. She also taught at Saint Mary in Gilroy.

During her forty year career as an elementary school teacher, Sister Carl taught grades two to seven. She also took her love of music into the classroom by teaching choir, piano, and organ.
After retiring from teaching, Sister Carl was a visitor to sick and homebound people and volunteered in the admitting department at the then Regional Medical Center in San Jose.

In 2005, Sister Carl moved to the Presentation Motherhouse and since that time has been engaged in various volunteer ministries, including teaching immigrants English-as-a-Second Language at The Lantern Center and serving as Sacristan for the Motherhouse Chapel in San Francisco.

Sister Patricia Marie Mulpeters, PBVM, (baptismal name Elizabeth Patricia) celebrates her Jubilee of Grace marking seventy years from her entrance into the Congregation on August 18, 1945.

Sister Patricia Marie earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California, at Berkeley, and a Master Degree in Sociology from Duquesne University, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
Sister Patricia Marie spent her first ten years of ministry teaching at Presentation High School, San Francisco. She also wrote materials and conducted workshops throughout the country for the Christian Family Living Program, a program developed to teach high school girls necessary skills and information to become mature Catholic women.

In 1965, Sister Patricia Marie was assigned to formation work, successively as postulant, novice, and juniorate director. In 1970, she was elected to the first of two terms as Superior General.
In 1981, the first bishop of the Diocese of San Jose, Pierre DuMaine invited her to join his administration; from 1981 to 1998, she served as assistant chancellor, chancellor, vicar for pastoral ministry and vicar for religious. In 1998, Sister Patricia Marie was again elected general councilor. She became director of the Presentation Retreat and Conference Center in Los Gatos in 2000.

Two of Sister Patricia Marie greatest honors are the papal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Award and an Honorary Doctorate from Santa Clara University.
1n 2011, Sister Patricia Marie moved to the Presentation Motherhouse and since that time has been engaged in the Ministry of Prayer.


Sister Virginia King, PBVM, (religious name Sister Mary Austin) celebrates her Diamond Jubilee marking sixty years from her Profession into the Congregation on January 22, 1955.

Sister Virginia earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from the University of San Francisco, and a Masters in Mathematics from Dominican College in San Rafael.

During her years in Catholic education, Sister Virginia taught most grades through twelfth grades, missing only first and fourth grades. Sister Virginia taught at elementary school including at Epiphany, Saint Agnes and Saint Elizabeth in San Francisco, Saint Joseph in Berkeley, Saint Columba in Oakland, Our Lady of Fatima in Seattle, Washington, and Our Lady of Lourdes in Los Angeles.

From 1963 to 1985, Sister Virginia taught primarily math, history and religion at Saint Joseph Presentation High School in Berkeley, Presentation High School in San Francisco, and Bishop Manogue High School in Reno, Nevada.

Since 1985, Sister Virginia serves in roles for the Congregation, including Health and Retirement Office Director, and Motherhouse Liturgist.

Sister Kathleen Curtin, PBVM, (religious name Sister Mary Daniel Joseph) celebrates her Diamond Jubilee marking sixty years from her Profession into the Congregation on July 2, 1955.

Sister Kathleen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from the University of San Francisco. She has a Master degree in Social Work from San Jose State University.
Starting in 1954, Sister Kathleen taught in Catholic schools for sixteen years. She taught at Saint Joseph in Berkeley, Saint Agnes, Saint Elizabeth, Saint Anne and Epiphany in San Francisco, Saint Benedict in Montebello and Saint Patrick in San Jose.

During the late 1960s, her concern for Mexican farm workers and their families took her to the Santa Clara Valley, where she began to work as a Headstart teacher for migrant children.
In 1979, Sister Kathleen joined Sister Ellen Cafferty, PBVM, at the Presentation Sisters’ mission in Chiapas, Mexico. In 1981, she returned to work with Catholic Charities in San Jose, El Centro and Stockton, California.

In 1988, Sister Kathleen returned to a parish outside Guatemala City where she worked for five years. From 1994 to 1998, she worked with County Services for children in Modesto and Gilroy. In 1998, she became a caseworker for Spanish Speaking homeless families at Raphael House in San Francisco.

In 1999, Sister Kathleen returned to Guatemala to assist Sister Tonia Marie Orland in formation work for her community of indigenous women, the Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist. Currently, she is an advisor for the Missionary Sisters in both Guatemala and Houston, Texas.
 


Children’s Hospital Longtime Chaplain Sister Bernice Honored 

 

Sister Bernice Gotelli will be the 2015 Class Commencement Speaker on May 23, 2015, at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University (JST). During the event, she will receive an honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree from JST.

“In Sister Bernice, JST honors a true leader in pastoral ministry,” said Thomas Massaro, S.J., dean of the Jesuit School of Theology.  “Few people have given more time and expertise to JST students over the years than Sister Bernice and we are honored to welcome her as our commencement speaker this year.”

For the past twenty-six years, Sister Bernice has been the sole chaplain at University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland. She works with critically ill and dying children throughout the 100-year-old hospital, as well as following through with their families.  She is a member of the hospital’s Medical Ethics and Palliative Care committees. 

In addition, Sister Bernice supervises students from the Graduate Theological Union’s pastoral care field program, including thirty to thirty-five students from JST and several students from the other schools of Graduate Theology Union who are engaged in supervised ministry at the hospital.

 “Working with the Jesuit School of Theology has been a real gift in my life,” said Sister Bernice.  “Not only are the students a help to my ministry, but it is also a blessing seeing their pastoral skills develop as they minister to children and families in need of knowing God’s presence in their illness.”

Sister Bernice received an extensive clinical pastoral education at Saint Mary’s Hospital in San Francisco. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts from the University of San Francisco and her Master degree in Religious Education from Seattle University. She also holds certification from the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.

Prior to her twenty-six-year chaplaincy career, Sister Bernice worked in elementary education for sixteen years, followed by ten years as a Parish Sister ministering in religious education classes for adults, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, and community organizing around justice issues.  


Sister Paschal turned 102!


By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco

“I am 101, plus 363 days. My birthday is next Sunday, February 22, 2015!” remarked the ever quick witted Sister Paschal Elvin, as she walked into the Presentation Dining room
in San Francisco, to the cheers of more the thirty Sisters who came on Friday, February 20, 2015, for cake and ice cream to mark her 102 birthday.

Sister after Sister shared a memory or a story. Sister Sylvia Llerena told Sister Paschal she wore San Francisco Giants gear because she knows she is still a huge fan. 
Sister Paschal said in agreement, “Just before my one-hundredth birthday, when I met catcher Buster Posey, I asked him about his twins and his face lit up!”

Sister Rosina Conrotto, reminded Sister Paschal that she taught her sister Jermaine Conrotto Case at Saint Mary Elementary School in Gilroy.
When it was revealed that of those present, Sister Eileen Canelo was her only former student from Saint Patrick Elementary School in San Jose,
Sister Paschal exclaimed, “I claim her! She is mine!”

 


Sister Paschal Elvin, PBVM, (right)
Saint Joseph Presentation High School,
Berkeley, Class of 1929, celebrated
her 102 birthday with Sister Janet Harris,
PBVM,
(religious name Sister Mary de Montfort)
Presentation High School, San Francisco,
Class of 1948, at the Presentation Convent in SF.


Sister Paschal Elvin, PBVM, (left) celebrated her
102 birthday with Sister Sylvia Llerena (right)
at the Presentation Convent in San Francisco.
 

Sister Paschal’s rich ministry history started in 1932, teaching fifth grade at Saint Peter and Paul School in San Francisco’s North Beach area.
For the next forty-five years, she taught fifth to eighth grade in Los Angeles, San Lorenzo, San Francisco, Gilroy, and in San Jose at Saint Patrick,
Saint Christopher and Saint John Vianney. In 1963, Sister Paschal moved to Presentation High School, San Jose, where she taught Latin, English and religion. 
In the 1970s, Sister Paschal spent eight years teaching English at West Valley Community College in Saratoga. 
In the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, until 2010, she was on the RCIA team and the moderator of the Over 50s Club at Saint Christopher Parish in San Jose.

When asked how she made it to 102, Sister Paschal said, “By being a good Sister of the Presentation!”

 



Climate Change, Immigration, and Human Trafficking, a Justice Workshop

By Sionie Del Rosario, Presentation Associate

Fifty-eight Associates, Alumnae and Sisters made our Justice Workshop very successful on Saturday, January 24, 2015, at the San Francisco Motherhouse!
Presentation Associate Jane Hetherington spoke on How Green Must We Be.


Presentation Associate, Jane Hetherington, made the
point that most people fail to relate being green with
the food they eat in her talk on How Green Must We Be.

 

She gave us copies of the International Presentation Association’s Our Ecological Footprint Calculator and What We Eat Makes A Difference which were very informative. They certainly bring out more awareness of how the world is really in crisis as far as global warming is concerned; most people do not even associate it with our food. This issue is definitely one of social justice's issues. The three things that stick in my mind are: (1) The death of the forest is the end of our life, (2) Without a healthy planet, there isn't a healthy anything and (3) We have a responsibility to the future generation on this matter.

Sister Rosemary McKean spoke on The New Climate Change Program. Change of heart and conversion are critically needed to stop losing our Earth to the perils of climate change. A lot of people are still in denial of this matter. The Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center based in Seattle, Washington offers a Four Session Process booklet on Climate Change which are a great tool to impart knowledge and consciousness to people about this concern. My Small Christian Community group came to my mind right away and so I requested seven copies for our group.

Reverend Debra Lee gave Immigration Updates. Aside from important (current) updates on immigration that we learned, we were also reminded once more that migrants are the faces of God and that migration is a human experience where justice for our neighbors has to be thoughtfully considered. I personally believe that immigrants are contributors of certain gifts and blessings and as the presenter reiterated, "The host always learns from the guest."
Monique Thomas gave us a good overview of The Monarch House and The Nest. The Monarch is a safe house for adult female survivors of human trafficking in San Francisco. The Nest is a residential shelter for girls twelve to seventeen who are also survivors of human trafficking in Santa Clara Valley. Statistics are being made available now of this social justice issue. Hopefully people will avail themselves of how victims of Human Trafficking can be helped getting up and getting back their self-esteem or self-respect.

Regina Evans gave a dramatic presentation of 52 Letters that brought awareness of sex trafficking and American youth. The words that got stuck in my mind and heart are from Regina Evans' poem, "I am somebody's baby, I am somebody’s child.” It was such a loud, clear and heavy cry for help to stop Human Trafficking. She delivered it with such strong emotion that anybody cannot help, but really get carried away. She is correct in reiterating that what survivors from Human Trafficking need are faith, love and specifically, sacrificial love.


Justice Committee Chair, Sister Pat Davis,
thanked the nearly sixty Associates, Alumnae
and Sisters for their willingness to learn about
how they can do justice.


If you would like more information on how you can act more justly, here are some suggestions:

      Climate Change links

            Climate Reality Project - People vs. Carbon

            Catholic Coalition on Climate Change  

     Immigration links—

            Siren

            Network

     Anti Human Trafficking Action links

            South San Francisco Bay Area Coalition

            Polaris Project offers multi-language interpreters and resources.
            Polaris Project National Resources Hotline: 1-888-373-7888
            Polaris Project website

            52 Letters  Regina Evans' dramatic presentation

            The Monarch House and The Nest click on 'Shelters' at  Freedom House SF

 



The Sisters of the Presentation (San Francisco) is a sponsoring member of the 
STOP TRAFFICKING Newsletter published Monthly by the Salvatorian Sisters.

 

Travels in Central America

By Sister Stephanie Still, PBVMSF

     In December I had the privilege of spending two weeks in Central America visiting our San Francisco Sisters who are missioners—Sister Rachel Pinal in Somotillo, Nicaragua, Sister Ellen Cafferty in the parish of Jesus Walks With Us outside Guatemala City, and Sister Joanna Bruno at the clinic she and Sister Liz Remily (Aberdeen Presentation) built in the San Marcos department of Guatemala.

Here are a few things I learned on this journey in Central America.

#1:  The Language Thing

     I do not speak Spanish and beyond knowing a few key words and social phrases, I am lost. My Sisters, of course, took care to translate for me and help me navigate the situations in which I found myself while I was with them. But to say much went over my head would be accurate. What I learned (again!) was an appreciation for all those who come to our country and who do not speak English. It is easy to say, “They need to learn our language,” but that is not so easy to accomplish as any of us who struggle with learning another language know.

     Needing help with basic life situations like reading a menu in a restaurant brought home to me the disorientation and insecurity that faces immigrants on a daily basis as they seek jobs, living spaces, and fitting into our culture.

     As we know, communication does not rely on the spoken word alone and includes the language of facial expression and physical gestures. I was embraced physically and emotionally by the people I met in both countries and as always learned much from their gracious hospitality.
 


Presentation missionaries (from left to right)
Sister Liz Remily, Sister Joanna Bruno,
Sister Rachel Pinal, and Sister Ellen Cafferty.
During Sister Stephanie Still’s visitation
of the San Francisco missionaries,
Rachel and Ellen joined her for the third stop
at the clinic founded by Liz and Joanna.


Sister Liz Remily (Aberdeen Presentation), left,
and Sister Joanna Bruno, (S. F. Presentation)
gathered with their clinic staff before Christmas.
It was a time to exchange gifts and, more importantly, to express gratitude to each other
for their years of working together.
Liz and Joanna departed from the clinic
in early January, entrusting the staff
and their patients to the Franciscan Sisters
of the Immaculate Conception who have
assumed responsibility for the clinic.

 

#2:  Technology Transforms the World

     Before I left, I signed up for a data and phone plan for my cell phone and yet I wondered if I would be able to keep in touch especially in the more remote areas.  I should not have worried. Throughout our travels, there were cell phone towers everywhere and the people have a adopted the use of devices as wholeheartedly as we have. Given that infra-structure like land phone lines are not widespread in Central America, what a boon and opening of the world this new technology provides.

     In one example, the agricultural school with which Sister Rachel works in Nicaragua has an ungraded computer lab full of tablets. Students in this northern area of Nicaragua connect with the world providing learning opportunities and, of course, skills that will hopefully help them in future job markets.

     The first day in the parish with Sister Ellen, I went with her for choir practice. As she led the choir members through new songs, I realized they all had their smart phones out. They were recording the session so they could go home and practice!
 

#3:  We Can Choose to Be Happy

     On my last trip to Central America two years ago, Sister Ellen Cafferty told me that the people she works with in Guatemala “choose to be happy.” In a country with a high rate of poverty, a high level of violence, and other stressors, this is a big choice!

     I have thought about that statement often back in the United States in different situations and in regard to my own attitude. No one would deny that the people with whom Sister Ellen works have heart aches and day to day difficulties in their lives. Yet, they choose to be happy.

     The people I met at Mass on Sunday, during the two posadas in which we participated, at the open air market, greeting us on the street were welcoming and open. Choosing happiness seems to work.
 

#4:  Going Anywhere in the World

     After nearly forty years of medical missionary life, Sister Joanna and Sister Liz discerned it was time to end this portion of their ministerial life. In early January, they left the medical mission. The spent the last year preparing the many little and large transition pieces for the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception who have assumed responsibility for the medical mission.

     Knowing that Joanna and Liz would be leaving the clinic and missionary life in January, Sister Rachel and Sister Ellen accompanied me on the last leg of my Central America visit to be in solidarity with them. As the four gathered around Joanna and Liz’s kitchen table, they began telling stories of their early days as missionaries together in Mexico. San Francisco Presentation Sisters responded to the call for missionaries in the 1960s and listening to their reminiscences, I realized how many resources and personnel our congregation made available over the last fifty years for missionary ministry—first in Mexico, then in Peru and Central America. While undoubtedly our Sisters are a gift for those peoples they encountered, they have perhaps been a greater gift to us at home as our world views and understanding of culture were informed and broadened and shifted by the experiences of our Sisters. The political and economic struggles of others were literally brought home to us.

     As I listened, I remembered the words of Nano Nagle that she would gladly go anywhere in the world. The missionaries of all our congregations, including our founding mothers, exemplify fully that willingness of Nano. As I listened, I asked Nano for direction for my own place in the world and what may lie ahead.

Foreign Missions
 



International Presentation Association leaders gathered at the Presentation Motherhouse in San Francisco

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco

International Presentation Association leaders gathered at the Presentation Motherhouse in San Francisco for their annual meeting in January 2015.  
The San Francisco Sisters gave them a warm welcome and hosted a special “California cuisine” dinner for them to meet San Francisco Sisters and Associates on Friday, January 9.



Leaders participating in the meeting included (from left to right)
Sisters Elsa Muttathu, IPA United Nations NGO, Mary Deane, Leader of the Union of Presentation Sisters,
Maureen Watson, Leader of the Australian Society, Elena Hoye, IPA Justice Contact,
Sharon Fagan, Leader of Newfoundland, and Patricia Anastasio, President of New Windsor
and the Conference of Presentation Sisters of North America representative on the IPA leadership team.



San Francisco’s Saint Brigid School students
delight in the amusing and inspiring memorial
mural dedicated to Sister Mary Jo Wise, PBVM.

A Mural Dedicated to the Memory of A Sister of the Presentation

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco

 

On Thursday, December 18, 2014, a mural was dedicated in memory of Sister Mary Jo Wise, PBVM, at Saint Brigid School in San Francisco where she taught. The mural playfully features several animals from lions to dogs with assorted toys from bikes to soccer balls. The ceremony included the School’s choir and band.  Sister Judy Cunningham, PBVM, who teaches at Saint Brigid, said, “Sister Mary Jo would be most honored. How appropriate the wise old owl with the ribbon inscription We have heart represents her. I told the students the owl will remind us Sister Mary Jo is always with us in spirit cheering us on.”

The mural titled Animal Race and the plaque reads inspired by children discovering who they are in a very competitive world. This is about being who you are and although many are in the race, each has his own to run. It was produced by Academy of Art University.
 


The Legacy of Nano Nagle Continues

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco
 


Just a sample of the goods collected by Presentation High School
for those made poor in San Jose, California.

 

Presentation High School, San Jose, a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of the Presentation, continues the legacy of Nano Nagle of giving to those made poor. Each year, in a series of drives, the high school students and staff provide food, other necessities and money to Sacred Heart Community Services in San Jose. The high school is the single largest contributor to Sacred Heart.

For Thanksgiving, Presentation High School students delivered 1,013 turkeys to Sacred Heart, along with 16,555 canned goods, 776 coats and blankets, 2,000 hygiene items and 21,085 packages of diapers!

During December, there were several drives at Presentation. From December 1st to December 5th, there was a contest to see which class would collect the most pennies. (The goal was to collect $10,000 in all.)  After the Penny Drive, students brought in new toys for children who would not otherwise have presents on Christmas. Each day focused on different age groups, for example on Monday, December 8th, students brought in toys for children up to the age of 3; then on Friday, December 12th, students donated new bike helmets in all sizes. Again, Sacred Heart was the beneficiary. Unlike other sites that offer toys, Sacred Heart allows the parents to select a special toy for each child.  

Sacred Heart Community Services meets basic needs such as food, clothing, and housing assistance, while at the same time offering the tools for self-sufficiency, including employment assistance, family mentoring and adult and youth education programs and especially during the holidays.

The goal of these drives is to create an inherent desire among the students to end the injustice of poverty. Each year, Presentation students proudly rise to the challenge in a community effort that embodies the Presentation Spirit of Not Words, But Deeds.


A Sister of the Presentation Honored by Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco
 


Sister Mary Christina Pizzorno, PBVM, made remarks on
the Centennial of Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School, Los Angeles.

 

Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School in Los Angeles celebrated 100 years of Catholic education on September 19, 2014, at Castaway Restaurant in the city of Burbank in Southern California. 

Sister Mary Christina Pizzorno, PBVM, (pictured above) was educated at the school and eight years after graduating, she returned to teach at her beloved school as a Sister of the Presentation. Sister Mary Christina says in all, she taught at the school for twenty-nine years. She continues to volunteer four days a week as a tutor in language arts. Sister Mary Christina says she was very pleasantly surprised to be recognized as Our Lady of Lourdes
Elementary School Alumna of the Year at the hundredth anniversary celebration.
 


160th Anniversary Celebration

Submitted by Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco


Jennifer Mahoney, Congregation Wellness Nurse,
opened the liturgy with a sacred dance.

 


Sister Antonio Heaphy, PBVM, and other
Union Sisters joined the celebration.

On Sunday, November 16, 2014, we gratefully received several hundred Presentation Sisters, Associates, former Sisters, alumnae, staff, family and supporters who came to the Presentation Motherhouse in San Francisco, California to share in our joy and in thanksgiving for the many ways we have been blessed in our 160 years since our founding in 1854.
We were especially glad to have Sisters from the Union and Sister Joyce Meyer with us.

Liturgy began with a welcome by Sister Stephanie Still, President, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco. She reminded those gathered that we are standing on the shoulders of those who came before us.

Sister Stephanie said “We are all here today, because somehow, someway, a Presentation Sister spoke to your heart and changed your life.”

Before the liturgy began,the congregation marked the passing of 308 Sisters and 9 Associates with a moment of silence and the tolling of the bell used at funerals.

In his homily, Bishop Daniel Walsh thanked each of the Sisters by name who taught him. He said “Being true to Nano Nagle, you spend yourselves for the poor.” At the conclusion of the liturgy and as a blessing for our meal, Sister Rosina Conrotto asked us to remember in gratitude a Sister who touched or inspired us.Presentation Associate Sionie Del Rosario said, “Sister Nancy McLaughlin immediately came to mind because of her justice work.”The recessional song was Women of Light written by Sister Paula Baker, which states “We’re women called to follow with a vision old but new.

“At the luncheon guests shared Presentation memories and good conversations. Sister Kieran O’Connor lead the gathering in a toast: “Lift your glasses to Nano Nagle, faith carrier of light and for everyone who passes on her legacy. Hold them in your hearts. We are the people of Nano.”

Sister Ann Conlon said “Nano and the original Sisters would be proud of all the Sisters have done and continue to do, especially for the poor and marginalized.”Sister Janet Harris said “I admire the genuine unselfishness of the Sisters and the freedom of spirit to do what needs to be done.”

A video of our history, created by Lisa Olson, Executive Director of the Conference of the Presentation Sisters, was shown after lunch.
 

THE LEARNING AND LOVING EDUCATION CENTER WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1994 TO TEACH SKILLS, FOSTER HOPES, AND PROVIDE DIRECTION TO
ADULT IMMIGRANT WOMEN AND THEIR CHILDREN LIVING IN THE SURROUNDING LOW AND EXTREMELY LOW-INCOME AREAS OF OUR LOCAL
COMMUNITY, WHICH ARE HOME TO A HIGH CONCENTRATION OF ISOLATED, MARGINALIZED, ILLITERATE AND UNDERSERVED WOMEN AND CHILDREN.


Christa Hanson, Executive Director,
in front of the sign of the
 
Learning & Loving Education Center

Daisy Arguello joins her classmates twice a week to learn computer skills at the Learning and Loving Education Center in Morgan Hill.

It is not an ordinary classroom. For Arguello and her classmates, the Center not only offers literacy, computer skills, and job training, but also provides support and a stepping stone to a better life for low-income immigrant women and their children.

“I feel like they are my family,” said Arguello, who is originally from Nicaragua.

The Center celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The non-profit organization has served about 3,000 immigrant women since it opened its doors on March 25, 1994 in the former parish hall of St. Catherine Church on Dunne Avenue in Morgan Hill. Sr. Pat Davis founded the Center to teach reading, writing and life skills to immigrant women while offering free childcare.

After moving three times, the Center is now permanently housed on Church Avenue in Morgan Hill, where it relocated 11 ½ years ago.

Here, more than 150 women from Morgan Hill, San Martin, Gilroy and San Jose – with more enrolling each day – gather to learn pre-literacy and reading, writing, basic math, and computer programs like Microsoft Excel and Word. The Center also offers classes in early childhood education, job skills training, health, parenting, high school equivalency training, sewing, knitting, nutrition, yoga, art, and music. Women also may make appointments to talk with an on-site therapist. The Center, which is partially sponsored by the Sisters of the Presentation, operates on the same calendar as the Morgan Hill Unified School District.

The majority of the women who come to the Center are Spanish speaking and hail from Central America and South America while others have migrated from Cameroon, India, China and the Middle East.

 

“The Center creates community. Many of these women are isolated at home and don’t know other people. So when they come here they become support for one another,” said Christa Hanson, executive director of the Center.

Education and support are the key to the women’s success, Hanson said. Educating one woman, she said, creates a ripple effect - improving not only her life, but also her family’s life and her community.

“We see education, but we also see empowerment. We are empowering the women to be the best they can be. We try to tap all of their talents,” Hanson said.

The annual cost to each student is $150, but if a woman is unable to pay, she can still attend. No one is left out, Hanson said. In turn, they ask the women to attend 75 percent of the classes in which they have enrolled, but will be flexible due to illness or other extenuating circumstances.

Students may bring their babies into the classrooms or drop them off at the Center’s daycare and preschool just steps away at no additional cost. The preschool provides social preparedness and kindergarten readiness for children ages 2 to 5. Sixty-seven children are currently enrolled while more are on a wait list.

Ninety percent of the women who attend classes at the Center are below the poverty line and the remaining women are barely above it. Some women can’t read and write in their own language while others are highly trained professionals who have not found opportunities here. 

Meeting other women from all over the world but with similar circumstances opens their eyes to other cultures and people and support from one another, Hanson said. Last year, 10 women went onto Gavilan College’s satellite campus in Morgan Hill.


Christa Hanson speaking at the event

Sister Stephanie Still, PBVM, President, Sisters of the Presentation
and Sister Paula Baker, PBVM

“It’s been fantastic,” said Sr. Pat, who stepped down as Center director in 2012. “The ESL is key and the computer skills are key, but the biggest joy for me is loving and watching the women’s growth and the sparkle inside of them, and building their self esteem.”

All of the women over the years have touched her heart, she said, including a group of women from Ethiopia and Somalia, who came to the Center having never read a book or held a pencil. She said six women went on to start their own business in 2002.

“Where I see this now and where it’s going is that the women themselves caught the message. They had it in their hearts to do their best for their children. And now their children are out of college and have degrees and I know that it makes those women’s hearts soar,” Sr. Pat said.

The Center employs nine part-time employees and one full-time employee. Volunteers and donations are the lifeblood of the Center. All of the teachers are volunteers and most are retired credentialed teachers. Seven out of the nine teachers started out as students at the Center. The Center relies on 40 regular volunteers and students from Gavilan College, San Jose State University and Santa Clara University.

“The wonderful volunteer base we have is amazing. We couldn’t exist without them,” Hanson said.

Computers, supplies and furniture are donated. Older computers are given to students to use at home. Hanson points out a lending library for the women and their children. Some 1,700 books were donated and a high school student set up the donated bookshelves and lending program for her Girl Scout Gold Award. The United Way painted the entire interior of the building a year ago and a local plumber outfitted the preschool with a sink.

“The local community is very, very generous,” Hanson said.

To take a tour of the Learning and Loving Education Center or for more information, call the Center at (408) 776-1196 or visit www.learningandloving.org.

The Learning and Loving Education Center celebrated with a “Turning 21 — Celebrating our Success” event that was held on Sunday, September 21st, at Mama Mia’s Italian Restaurant.
Guests enjoyed a delicious Italian dinner buffet while bidding on Silent Auction items. Local wineries were on hand for tasting and special performances by the South Valley Suzuki Music Foundation and Corazon Mexicano Folkloric Dance were presented. 

 

Lantern Center a Welcoming Light in Mission

Originally published in Catholic San Francisco and written by Liz Dossa


Gathered around a table at the Lantern Hospitality Center in San Francisco's Mission District, five women listen intently to each other. They select their words carefully to describe their lives in English.

"I worked nights from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. at a hotel where I was treated so badly," said Eugenia. "I was so stressed, sad and angry. Then one day I told Sister Rosann, 'I need help. Pray for me. I need opportunity."'

Adult students full of hope lean into their futures here. They juggle work schedules, children and rides to come to a place of welcome. In celebrating their 150th anniversary in San Francisco, the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary wanted to mark their presence through a new ministry to the city's marginalized. Sister Maire Sullivan found the site, a former Dominican convent, in 2006, and the Presentation Sisters gave a ministry subsidy to open the center. It was christened the Lantern, as the Presentation sisters' founder Nano Nagle was known as the Lady with the Lantern, holding up her lamp to see her way through the dark streets of Cork, Ireland, visiting the poor.

The blue plastic sign at the Lantern Center's entrance proclaims in large block letters, "ALL ARE WELCOME BIENVENIDOS ." In smaller letters, "English, computer and citizenship classes." The classes are free.

"We put the word hospitality first," Sister Maire said. "It's a place where people can come and are welcome. Because when they feel at home they can learn English better."

"Hospitality is part of our charism," says Presentation president Sister Stephanie Still. "Our founder Nano met people wherever they were with hospitality that was an openness of spirit and heart. We invite people in as they are. We give service, but we learn a lot from people we serve."

The center feels as open as a palm of a hand. The large, light main room is lined with shelves with student files, workbooks, and notebooks. Upstairs is a computer classroom where a computer teacher, Norma, the only paid staff person, teaches the computer basics. The budget is slim, and the main expense is the rent paid to the parish. "We are frugal," admits Sister Maire.

At one of the rectangular tables, Mercy Sister Rosann Fraher leads her group with a gentle authority. As the women, all immigrants from Mexico and Central America, talk about their lives, she gives praise and encouragement, doling out paper dollars in response to a good question and the courage to ask it. Who? What? Where?

Her student Flor from Nicaragua at 74 is delighted to finally focus on learning English after raising eight children as a single mom in San Francisco. Teaching those who want so much to learn English was Sister Rosann's longtime dream. After years in teaching at St. Peter School, at St. Anne and as principal at Mercy High School, Burlinganm, she was delighted to find that Sister Maire had founded the Lantern. She signed on as a volunteer and became a member of the board.

Eugenia finishes her story. Both her hard work learning English and the prayers have been fruitful. "One week after I asked Sister Rosann for help, my dream came true. An opening for a bus person at the hotel restaurant came. I said to the manager, 'Please let me try for one week. Please give me the opportunity. Watch me.' I tried to speak a little more English."

She pauses, smiling: "I got the job!"

For more information, click on Sponsored Ministries
 


Conference Leadership Meeting Report

We are pleased to share with you news from our June 2014 Conference leadership meeting held in Dubuque, Iowa. During our time together Pat Kozak, CSJ, led us in the contemplation of the corners on which we stand in our own lives, in the lives of our congregations and in our collective life as Conference.
As we considered the dynamic nature of corners and how we might choose to move in one direction or another, we touched upon the many corners on which we have found ourselves as Conference over the past 60 plus years. We discovered that the relationships we have developed with one another have deepened and become more intentional. We have also moved from the idea of Conference being comprised of congregational leaders to the idea of Conference encompassing all of our members and associates. We are no longer a collection of individual sisters or congregations, but rather a cohesive group embodying the Presentation spirit and charism in North America and, further, the world.


Pictured, from left,
Conference 2014-2015 executive team:
Sisters Stephanie Still (San Francisco),
Lucille Welbig (Aberdeen)
and Beth Driscoll (Dubuqu



On the Street Where You Live Kindness Poured Freely

Submitted by Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco
Originally published in Catholic San Francisco, By Tom Burke, Catholic San Francisco
     The volunteer work of Presentation Sisters Kathleen Healy and Lucia Lodolo at St. Antho­ny’s in San Fran­cisco is ever fresh but nothing new. Sister Kathleen has been at our service as a reli­gious for 71 years and Sister Lucia for 56.
     St. Anthony’s called the sisters “wonderful volun­teers” who have been in the help-force there since 2006. Their ministry includes assisting guests at St. An­thony’s Dining Room with resource infor­mation and a mobile Coffee Hour that finds its way to residential hotels in the Tenderloin. The java stops provide not only refreshment but serve as a time of social nourishment for many and especially elderly residents of the hotels, St. Anthony’s said.

     “I was born of Irish immigrants and grew up learning from them a love for serving others and working for justice,” Sister Kathleen told me in an email both she and Sister Lucia com­posed. Sister Kathleen served for 24 years in Catholic schools including St. Agnes in the Haight and St. Teresa’s on Potrero Hill both now closed. When St. Teresa School closed Sister Kath­leen began 32 years of ministry at St. Teresa Parish as a pastoral associate. During that time she assisted in com­munity organizing, family life min­istry and development of leadership in the parish. She also worked with Salvadoran and Guatemalan refugees in cooperation with Catholic Chari­ties and traveled to the two countries. She said she had “strong involvement in the sanctuary movement when St Teresa’s became a sanctuary and refu­gees lived” on the church property.

     “I was born in Los Angeles of Ital­ian Immigrants,” Sister Lucia told me. Sister Lucia attended elementary and high schools staffed by the Sisters of the Presentation. “There I experi­enced their love and dedication,” she said. “I feel the seed for my vocation was planted during these formative years through my family and the sisters.”
     Sister Lucia, too, was a member of the faculty at St. Teresa School when it closed and also became a pastoral associate at the parish. When pastor Msgr. Peter Sammon died, the sisters’ “wanted to spend more time closer to those made poor, ministry for which our 32 years prepared us and which was very much in the spirit of our foundress Nano Nagle,” they said. They soon made themselves at home as volunteers at St. Anthony’s.
   
 “We are honored to be part of service to others, making life a little better by giving the gift of friendliness and respect and working with others to make life a little more livable,” the sisters said. “We have met some really great people at the dining room and at the three hotels we visit weekly. We mourn with residents when one of our friends dies. We feel privileged to hear people’s life stories, so often filled with loneliness and poverty.”
 

Sister Ellen Cafferty, PBVM, at the UN

On May 20, 2014, Sister Ellen Cafferty, PBVM, posted her presentation on Self-determination,
which she gave at 13th Conference of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
 

Self-determination, By Ellen Cafferty, PBVM at 13th Conference of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

I can only speak as an eyewitness to the efforts toward self-determination of the Mayan people, among whom I have lived and labored during 42 of my 76 years. I admit with some embarrassment that I went to Chiapas, Mexico thinking I was going to teach the people something – after all I was a teacher –but what happened was that the people became my teachers. Their lessons were subtle and unintentional, but little by little they came to form for me a different way of thinking, of seeing all of life in a completely different context than the one into which I had been born and raised. You may ask what all this has to do with self- determination. For me it has everything to do with it, for how can we come to self-determination without knowing who we really are?

I wasn’t long in Chiapas when a new volunteer and I visited one of the Tzeltal villages. Between activities the people sat with us and if we didn’t speak, we sat in silence, something both of us were uncomfortable with. My companion began commenting on the state of the community school house, which was made from bamboo poles and thatched roofing. “Your school could use fixing up,” he said. Our hosts remained silent, so he continued. “Maybe you could clear more land, plant more corn, sell it and fix the school.” Finally one of the villagers responded, “When we plant our fields, we ask permission of Mother Earth to break the ground, with the promise that we will take from her only what we need.”LESSON #1: TAKE ONLY WHAT YOU NEED.

But there had been a previous lesson that I had missed till I began thinking about it and that was on the treatment of visitors:LESSON # 2: WHAT WE HAVE TO DO IS NOT AS IMPORTANT AS WHO WE ARE WITH.

After a while I became more observant and asked questions instead of giving answers. I saw that the men got together to plant their fields, that they didn’t consider them-selves owners of the land and that they interchanged farming plots so that everyone had access to the most fertile areas. LESSON #3: WE ALL HAVE A RIGHT TO THE GOODS OF MOTHER EARTH. 

When the women did the family laundry in the river, instead of seeing it as a chore they considered it a time to interchange news, to enjoy their younger children splashing in the water and one another’s company.LESSON #4: LIFE IS MEANT TO BE ENJOYED, EVEN DURING TIMES OF WORK.

One morning in town I noticed a large group of men from Colonia San Antonio coming up the street. One of the men had a chair held by a thump line on his back with a pale young woman tied to the chair. As I watched, one of the groups stopped and told me that the woman, his sister-in-law, was in labor and could not deliver the baby, so they had brought her in to the dispensary. I calculated that every able man of the community was with her and had probably taken a turn carrying the chair during the 12 mile trek into town.LESSON #5: THE PROBLEM OF ONE IS THE PROBLEM OF ALL.

As I became familiar with the Tzeltal language I learned that the people don’t ask others what they think, they ask what’s in their hearts. To love another is to have pain in the heart and to speak of the Source and Sustainer of life; they speak of and to the HEART OF HEAVEN, HEART OF EARTH.LESSON #6: THE WHOLE UNIVERSE THROBS WITH THE POWER OF LOVE.

One day I asked a teen ager how he had learned to respect life in all its forms, so he told me that as a little boy he had killed a spider. A few nights later he sat at the fire as his grandmother made tortillas. “One day, my child,” she said to him, “you will make a journey and you will come to wide and sweeping a river that you will not be able to cross unless a spider weaves a web for you.”LESSON #7: EVERY CREATURE HAS A REASON FOR BEING.

The Presentation sisters were in Chiapas, Mexico, from 1966 to 1987, a time when Tzeltal farmers from ancestral areas where the land was exhausted and peons from the large ranches were moving into the Lacandon Jungle under the government approved ejido system. The system granted the communal use of but not the ownership of lands. This experience was certainly one of self-determination but a short lived one. In 1991, President Carlos Salinas Gortari abrogated the ejido system from the Mexican Constitution, leaving the ejidatarios in the status of squatters. The president’s action was a condition for Mexico signing the North American Free Trade Agreement with the US and Canada. Many of the people who had struggled for so long to make a home for them-selves in the jungle and then were deprived of their legal rights to it were those who took another step in self – determination, joining ranks with neighboring Mayan farmers and forming the Zapatista Liberation Movement.

On January 1, 1994, the day that NAFTA was to go into effect, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation came out of the Lacandon Jungle to astound the Mexican government with its demands for justice for the indigenous peoples of Chiapas and to strike a chord of solidarity throughout the world. This year, on January 1st, the 10th anniversary of their first appearance, 30,000 Zapatistas stood silently but with raised fists in the central square of San Cristobal de las Casas, the indigenous capital of Chiapas, to let the world know that “la lucha sigue” – the struggle goes on.

In 1991 I went south to join one of my sisters in a parish on the outskirts of Guatemala City. It’s an area like all of that in and around the capital that tripled and quadrupled in population during a massive urban migration beginning in the 1980’s, the time of the armed conflict. The exodus from the high lands continues today, bringing the city’s and its surrounding area’s numbers to 5,000,000 people, which is a third of the country’s total population and over half of the entire indigenous population.

The armed conflict was being handled subtlety around the capital but raged on in the interior of the country until 1996. Its result was a genocide that obliterated over 400 indigenous communities from the map of Guatemala, General Efrain Rios Mont, who took over the government in a military coup in 1982, was tried for genocide in a case, which was brought against him by the Ixil people in 2013. He was found guilty, a verdict that caused great rejoicing in most sectors of the country. Sadly, it was then over turned by the national Constitutional Court and is now in the appellate court. Subsequently, Claudia Paz y Paz, the attorney general who brought the case to trial was vilified by the mass media and dismissed from her post several months early.

It is only lately, as the extracting companies invade the country, that people are becoming aware that the armed conflict had nothing to do with contradictory political ideologies and everything to do with making mineral rich and water rich territories accessible hydro-electric and mining interests.

During the thirty year conflict the people who migrated to Guatemala City were mostly women and children, the men staying behind to fight in the Guerrilla movement or in the army; with many, too many dying in the struggle. The displaced children, left alone while their mothers sold what they could on the streets or worked as underpaid domestics, grew up fearfully and many times angrily. They were easily assimilated into the mainstream consumer culture and too often became prey to gangs looking for new members to carry out drug deliveries, extortions, assaults and vicious murders. These young people were paid in drugs, became addicted and so completely alienated from reality.

In the area where I live, Na’oj Maya is one of many small but important programs that offer an alternative to gang membership. Its aim is help Kaqchikel children and adolescents rediscover and value their cultural heritage so that, someday, they can come to self – determination. I’m delighted when I listen to the teen agers play the marimba or learn with the children the treasures of their Kaqchikel language.

Their teacher explains: “The root word for hair is the root word for roof and the root word for tree top . . . The root word for leg is also the root word for river bed, for our grandmothers and grandfathers saw that the river also walks. They saw that everything that lives is connected, everything is ONE.

At Na’oj Maya some of the adults read the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, so I asked them if they had any recommendations for the Conference.One of the elders responded: If the United Nations could only convince our government to truly recognize these rights, how wonderful it would be. A mother of a college graduate who hasn’t been able to find work said: If the UN could influence businesses to hire young people and not reject them because they have Mayan surnames, it would be a great help to our family economy.” A teen ager who was listening asked, “Can the UN teach people that making money is not the reason for living? That would make the world very different.”

Just over the hill from where Na’oj Maya meets, Kaqchikel farmers are resisting the incursion of CEMENTOS PROGRESSO, the largest cement company in Guatemala. When their road blocks effectively stopped the movement of the company’s heavy machinery into the area, company representatives went into the area and hired enough people at higher- than- average wages to cause infighting and finally division, but a wiser if weakened community goes on resisting.

When the monumental obstacles to self – determination that the indigenous communities face tempt me to discouragement, I try to recall the story of the young David courageously toppling the jeering giant Goliath with only a river stone in a slingshot. Then I believe again that the indigenous peoples and their love of Mother Earth will triumph.

If only all of us could honor their cosmic vision and see the whole universe as our home; if only we would acknowledge the primary right of Mother Earth to self – determination, we may yet survive. The United Nations has many documents that speak this language and that treat these issues but not every government. Our challenge is to make sure that the struggle continues – QUE SIGA LA LUCHA.

Ellen Cafferty, PBVM
 

IPA was blessed to have three Presentation Sisters attending:

The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples took place at the UN.

Sister Ellen Cafferty is a PBVM from San Francisco, California, who has spent 42 years among
the Mayan peoples of Chiapas, Mexico, and San Juan Sacatepequez, Guatemala.


Sister Lilly has spent 20 years in marginalized communities in the North and Western parts of India,
three years with the Dalit community and seventeen years with the Worli and Kathkari tribal communities.

 

Sisters Ellen Cafferty (center) from Guatemala,
Lilly John (left) from India and
Elsa Muttathu, (right) IPA NGO Representative at the UN.
 


2014 Presentation Sisters Celebrate Jubilees in San Jose
 

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco
 
Two Sisters of the Presentation (San Francisco) celebrated their jubilees to mark significant milestones in their lives as women religious, on Saturday, May 24, 2014, with a Eucharistic Celebration followed by brunch at Presentation High School in San Jose.
 

Sister Rosemary Campi, PBVM, (religious name Sister Mary David) celebrates her Jubilee of Grace marking seventy years from her entrance into the Congregation on August 1, 1944.

Sister Rosemary earned a BS degree in Biological Science from the University of San Francisco and a MAT in Biology from Loyola-Marymount University. In 1945, she began teaching second to sixth graders at Saint Anne and Saint Agnes Schools in San Francisco. In 1950, Sister Rosemary began a thirty year career as a high school educator at Presentation high schools in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Jose. In 1960, she received the National Science Teachers Association Science Teacher Achievement Award. She co-authored a biology lab manual and taught supervisory personnel from other schools in a program at the University of California, Berkeley.

In the 1970s, Sister Rosemary joined the administrative team at Presentation High School, San Jose, and she helped found and operatean environmental education program for elementary school children at Presentation Retreat Center, Los Gatos.

During the 1970s, Sister Rosemary also began her years as a full-time biology instructor at community colleges, including twenty years at San Jose City College.

Currently, Sister Rosemary serves as a Member, the Diocese of San Jose Anti-Human Trafficking Network and the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking; and is a volunteer at Sacred Heart Community Services, San Jose.
 

Sister Joan Riordan, PBVM, (religious name Sister Mary Gerard) celebrates her Diamond Jubilee
marking sixty years from her Profession into the Congregation on January 3, 1954. 

Sister Joan earned her BA in liberal arts from the University of San Francisco and an MA in English Literature from Holy Names College, Oakland and lifetime credentials in all three teaching levels. In 1953, Sister Joan began forty-eight years of teaching students in elementary schools, high schools, and community colleges in San Francisco, Berkeley, San Jose, and southern California.

In June, 2000, Sister Joan retired from full time teaching, and took a sabbatical at Holy Names College in Oakland to pursue studies in spirituality and environmental issues.

From 2005 to 2010, Sister Joan returned to teaching as an instructor at Evergreen Community College, San Jose.

Currently, Sister Joan serves as Councilor for the Sisters of the Presentation.


Sister Rosemary Campi, PBVM, (left)
and Sister Joan Riordan, PBVM,
read their vows in the chapel
of Presentation High School in San Jose.

 

Pictured here in the front pew of
the School’s Chapel (from left to right)
are Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Oakland,
the Most Reverend John S. Cummins,
Sister Joan Riordan, PBVM, Diamond Jubilee,
and Sister Rosemary Campi, PBVM, Grace Jubilee.


2014 Presentation Sisters Celebrate Jubilees in San Francisco

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco
 

Three Sisters of the Presentation (San Francisco) celebrated their jubilees to mark
significant milestones in their lives as women religious, on Sunday, April 27, 2014.
The Eucharist Celebration was followed by a lunch at the Motherhouse in San Francisco.


  
    
Pictured here from left to right in the back row are:
           Sister Rita Marie Jovick, PBVM, Diamond Jubilee,
            Sister Corinne Avila, PBVM, Grace Jubilee, and
             Sister Máire Sullivan, PBVM, Diamond Jubilee.
Sister Corinne Avila, PBVM, (baptismal name Mary; religious name Sister Mary Sacred Heart) celebrates her Jubilee of Grace marking seventy years from her entrance into the Congregation on July 8, 1944. Sister Corinne earned her BA degree the University of San Francisco. 

As an elementary school teacher, Sister Corinne taught first grade for thirty-three years at Saint Anthony, Pecos, New Mexico; Saint Teresa School, San Francisco; Saint Columba School, Oakland, Saint John the Baptist School, San Leandro, Our Lady of Lourdes, Los Angeles and Saint Joseph School, Berkeley.

Sister Corinne says it was natural for her to teach first grade. She was the sixth child in a family of sixteen children, so she had spent much of her time looking after her little brothers and sisters.  After retiring from full-time teaching, she worked as a teacher-aide at Nativity School in Menlo Park for more than thirteen years.

In 2004, Sister Corinne moved to the Presentation Motherhouse and since that time has been engaged in various volunteer ministries, as well as overseeing the planting and care of the garden spaces at the Motherhouse.
 

Sister Rita Marie Jovick, PBVM, celebrates her Diamond Jubilee marking sixty years from her entrance into the Congregation on August 21, 1954. 

Sister Rita earned her BA degree in education at the University of San Francisco and a MA in educational administration from California State University, Los Angeles. Sister Rita spent seventeen years, from 1957 to 1990, as an elementary teacher in Catholic schools in Los Angeles, Berkeley, Seattle, Washington.

From 1972 to 1977, she served as Principal of Our Lady of Lourdes School, Los Angeles and from 1977 to 1979, as Principal of Saint Joseph the Workman School, Berkeley.

During the 1980s, she ministered as Vice Principal and then Principal at Epiphany School, San Francisco. For seven years, 1990 to 1997, she served as the development director for Together in the Mission of Education (TIME), a consortium of Catholic elementary schools in the Mission District of San Francisco.

In 1998, Sister Rita became Development Director for Capacitar, a nonprofit which tends to mind-body-spirit healing practices for those who have suffered trauma.

In 2006, Sister Rita with two other Presentation Sisters founded El Proyecto de las Rosas, a literacy center for immigrants in Tipton, California, where she continues today.
 

Sister Máire Sullivan, PBVM,(religious name Sister Ann Marie) celebrates her Diamond Jubilee marking sixty years from her entrance into the  Congregation in 1954.

Sister Máire received a BA in English from San Francisco College for Women. She began teaching elementary school in 1956 and taught in Presentation staffed elementary schools in Berkeley, Menlo Park, San Pedro, San Francisco, Oakland, and Seattle, Washington.

Sister Máire spent four years, from 1971 to 1974, as Principal of Saint Agnes School, San Francisco, and later she returned to Saint Agnes as a parish Sister from 1980 to 1994. In 1995, Sister Máire became an English teacher at Good Samaritan Family Center where she taught immigrant men and women.

In 1999, she founded the Sisters of the Presentation breakfast program for the Day Laborers of San Francisco.

In 2006, she was the founding director of The Lantern Center for Hospitality and Education, a literacy center for immigrants sponsored by the Sisters of the Presentation and located in the Mission District of San Francisco. Currently, Sister Máire continues in this position.
 


On Sunday, April 27, 2014, a Eucharist Jubilee Celebration took place at the Motherhouse Chapel in San Francisco.


In the front pew from left to right are
Sister Máire Sullivan, PBVM, Diamond Jubilee,
Sister Corinne Avila, PBVM, Grace Jubilee, and
Sister Rita Marie Jovick, PBVM, Diamond Jubilee.
 


Presentation Sisters raise awareness on Human Trafficking

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco


The Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco are involved on several levels in raising awareness on Human Trafficking, as well as helping survivors of this
modern-day slavery.

On Wednesday, April 2, 2014, Sister Gloria Loya, PBVM, was interviewed in Spanish by Celina Rodriguez for her radio program on KZSF-am - La Kaliente 1370 in San Jose, California. Celina is an award winning veteran journalist and her credits  include anchoring the news on CNN in Español.

Sister Gloria says, “In preparation, I wrote up some talking points. I sent them to Celina and she used the suggested questions which made the telephone interview flow more smoothly! I was able to give a few examples of survivors of human trafficking. Also, I was able to give information on local resources available. And more importantly, I gave the Spanish Speaking community information on how they can get involved in eradicating Human Trafficking!”

Action links:
South San Francisco Bay Area Coalition

Polaris Project offers multi-language interpreters and resources.
Polaris Project National Resources Hotline: 1-888-373-7888
and Polaris Project website

 


The Sisters of the Presentation were featured in the Heart of Berkeley Exhibit

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco


The Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco were featured in the McGee-Spaulding District: The Heart of Berkeley. This Berkeley Historical Society’s exhibit ran from October 2013 through March 2014, at its site, in the city of Berkeley, Calif. A portion of this exhibit focused on the history of the Sisters of the Presentation, who were an important part of the central Berkeley neighborhood during the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.  It featured drawings and photos of the historical transformation of the area that includes the land donated by Berkeley pioneer James McGee to the Sisters of the Presentation.

Sister Gloria Loya, PBVM, says, “It was great to see the exhibit with my Saint Joseph High School classmates during an Open House on Sunday, March 9, 2014. I appreciate our Saint Joseph Presentation High School, Berkeley, alumnae working on this historical display.”

Saint Joseph Presentation High School, Berkeley, alumna Therese Pipe, says “As a member of the Berkeley Historical Society, I was helped with this project by two Saint Joseph’s alumnae, Therese Grange and Roxanne Jojola Miravalle.
Moreover, we worked with Dianne Walker of the McGee Study Group who had researched and collected documents and photos from the Sisters of the Presentation Archivist, Chris Doan.”

In November 2011, the Sisters of the Presentation contributions to education in Berkeley were recognized with a plaque. You can see the Berkeley Plaque Dedication story and photos by clicking on Events and then clicking on Past Event Photos.

This photo was taken, during an Open House of the McGee-Spaulding District exhibit at the Berkeley History Center.  Standing next to a doll wearing a Sisters of the Presentation habit (from left to right) are Therese Pipe, Sister Gloria Loya, PBVM, Dolores Hammons McDonough, and Catherine Brady.

Photo by John Aronovici, Manager, Berkeley History Center.


 

A Copy of the Saint John Bible

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco

A copy of the Saint John Bible, Volume One, the first handwritten, illuminated Bible with calligraphy in 500 years was available for viewing,
from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., on Sunday, March 23, 2014, at the Sisters of the Presentation Motherhouse, at 2340 Turk Boulevard, in San Francisco.

Sister Judith Guevara who organized the showing says, “My plan was to do the display for the Sisters at the Presentation Motherhouse,
but as I explored and discovered the wealth of materials. I was encouraged to open the exhibit to the general public.”


Sister Judith Guevara (left) shows Sister Pat Elower (right) one of
the many illustrations in the copy of the Saint John Bible, Volume One


A closeup of one of the more than 160 illuminations

Sister Judith says, “The Gospels and Acts will be presented with pertinent materials about the history, origin and art of this modern spiritual and artistic accomplishment.”
She says, “The exhibition is in honor of The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis’ encyclical, Evangelii Gaudium.”
Sister Judith also made posters with quotes from the Pope’s document.

Presentation Associates served as docents to explain how the Saint John Bible came to be and a ten minute
documentary on the making of the Saint John Bible was shown at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.

Sister Judith says, “The background materials include a quill.
Unfortunately, there were no samples of the very expensive and rare calfskin vellum sheets.”

The original Saint John Bible was commission by the Benedictine Monks of the Saint John’s Abbey
and University at Collegeville, Minnesota, and it was the first project of this scope in 500 years.


For more details log onto St. John Bible.    


Information on Climate Change Workshop

By Sister Pat Davis, PBVM, San Francisco

The San Francisco Presentation Sisters’ Justice Committee sponsored a workshop on Climate Change on January 18, 2014, for the Sisters and Associates in the Bay Area. The presenter, Gail Schickle, a member of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, came with a wealth of information and outstanding slides. One of the major issues discussed was the increase in number, ferocity and frequency of typhoons, floods, hurricanes and severe storms globally over the past several decades. We saw excellent close-up scenes of these natural phenomena and the faces of the victims left homeless and without water and food.

What stands out is that Carbon Dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere is at its highest level ever, and that this is largely a result of carbon emissions coming from our human energy consumption, beginning with the Industrial Revolution in the Nineteenth Century. The United States is one of the top nations which add to the carbon emissions on the planet. Unfortunately, our country lags behind in implementing the technology we know would be effective in reducing carbon emissions. The single biggest part of the solution to the crisis is the incredible changes in the efficiency with which we use Energy. The new incentive to shift our Energy production from fossil fuels to solar, wind, and geothermal sources has unleashed a wave of improvements in those technologies.

The session concluded with suggestions for collaborative action and helpline websites. Important for our Presentation Community is the knowledge that there are non-governmental organizations which focus on helping the most marginalized, those most vulnerable to the effects of Climate Change and the weather extremes which accompany it. This is the focus for groups like us to point out often neglected Social Justice Issues. This will be our task as we move through the year.

For more information click on Actions for Justice

 


Sister Rosemary Campi, PBVM, a member of
the San Francisco Presentation Sisters’
Justice Committee listens intently to
Gail Schickle, a member of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project.


The sisters were given practical steps to curb climate change.

Associates Celebrate Epiphany

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco

Each year in San Francisco, the Congregation’s Associates host an event for Sisters and Associates to celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany.  As in years past, this January 5 Epiphany celebration at the Presentation Motherhouse included liturgy, a Gospel reflection by an Associate, brunch, and a gift exchange.  Associates and Sisters enjoy this day as way to build community.

Presentation Associate Tina Panelli shared a Gospel reflection on the Epiphany.  She says, “For nine months, I participated in the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius retreat.  MY epiphany on this amazing journey is that God loves me unconditionally and is always with me. Now, you would think that at age sixty-six and being a somewhat spiritual person, having attended Catholic school, praying regularly, and keeping company with many spiritual people, I would have figured that out.  But, I have to tell you, I was totally blown away. These two concepts that I had always envisioned in lower case letters jumped to ALL CAPS with lights blazing and sirens blaring!”  

The community building continued with a brunch which provided time for Associates and Sisters conversations and sharing updates.  This long time honored tradition ended with a gift exchange that provided fun and excitement. 
 


Presentation Associate Tina Panelli shared a Gospel reflection on the Epiphany.
Pictured here are Presentation Associates Tina Panelli (left) and Ramona Michaels (right).
 



Celebrating “The Feast” at Presentation High School, San Jose
Keeping the Lantern Shining Bright
By Sister Stephanie Still, PBVM

     Each year, I have the privilege of speaking with the freshman religion classes at Presentation High School, San Jose, about Nano Nagle and our particular Presentation history and current ministries. This year, I spent November 20 and 21 in the eight frosh religion classes, telling our story to two hundred new Presentation women.

     They already knew the highlights of Nano’s life as the first unit they study in their freshman religion classes is on Nano Nagle and the Sisters of the Presentation. It is always interesting to me what they remember and how they tell the stories back to me. They remember the stories of the ball and bolt of cloth. They also remember that Nano was the Lady with the Lantern helping those made poor and that she chose to educate young people contrary to the laws of the day. These classes are an opportunity for me to interact with the students – we have no Sisters currently on staff at the high school. As I share about Nano and our ministries today, it is also an opportunity to break open the difference between acts of charity and acts of justice. The examples of each are everywhere within the school’s activities and as first year students, these frosh are learning the difference in a very hands on way.

     Presentation High School has a multi-week Food, Toy, and Penny Drive every year before Christmas and because of the efforts of the school community, they are the single largest contributor to the Sacred Heart Community Services which feeds hundreds of Santa Clara County people. I was there on a baby formula collection day and the halls were papered with reminders for turkey collection day.

     In January, plans are already underway to honor Human Trafficking Awareness Month where the entire school community will learn about this scourge and strategize on actions for students, staff, and faculty.

     My days culminated with the annual celebration of “The Feast” as the Feast of the Presentation is known at the school. On Friday, November 22, students (in dress uniform), faculty, staff, alumnae, alumnae parents, current parents, Sisters of the Presentation and Associates gathered for the morning liturgy in the gym. Classes are cancelled on “The Feast” – the day is given over to liturgical and other celebrations. An indication of the importance of this tradition in the life of the school is that students rarely skip school that day. With a congregation of nearly 1,000, the liturgy began with a history of Nano Nagle and how the school inherits and lives her charism. The Gospel reflection this year was given by a student who had been part of the group of faculty and students who worked with Sister Rachel Pinal in Nicaragua this last summer. The fourteen Sisters present renewed our vows and received a special blessing.

     Here is that blessing. I extend it to all of you. My prayer that day was that I would be worthy of this wonderful blessing conveyed by the school community.


Blessed are you, Lord, God of Mercy,
Who through your Son gave us a marvelous example of charity
and the great commandment of love for one another.
Send down your blessings on these and all Sisters of the Presentation,
who so generously devote themselves to helping others.
Bless their hearts, making them alert and responsive to the cries of Earth and the cries of those made poor;
Bless their eyes, opening them to the injustices around us;
Bless their minds, gifting them with an understanding of human hearts and social systems, and how best to bring about God’s transformative dream for the whole of creation;
And bless their actions, witnessing God’s tender care for all, especially those who are most vulnerable and oppressed.
When these women are called on in times of need, let them faithfully serve you in their neighbor, and be your light in the world.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


If you would like to know more about Presentation High School, San Jose, please visit their website at Sponsored Ministries then click on Presentation High School, San Jose.
 


Audrey Vaughan gives the Gospel Reflection
at the Feast of the Presentation liturgy.
 

The students raise their hands in blessing
for the Sisters at the liturgy.


THE LANTERN CENTER FOR HOSPITALITY AND EDUCATION

                                                                                             OCTOBER 16, 2006 – 2013
 

HOSPITALITY, EDUCATION, ADVOCACY, CELEBRATION, GRATITUDE

By Sister Marie Sullivan, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco

When we celebrated our fifth anniversary in 2011, we included a prayer of blessing or, perhaps, a wish list of what The Lantern could be.  As we celebrate our seventh year, these blessings/wishes are what we continue to hope for.

We hope for a safe place, a place of hospitality, a place of acceptance, a place of welcome, a place of education and learning, a place where we can most truly be ourselves,…

These blessings and the words that define The Lantern help us to realize our goals and help us to achieve our mission to serve the immigrant community in San Francisco through hospitality, education, advocacy and celebration.

At this time, approximately ninety students are registered.  Although we never see all ninety at one time, our students are consistent in attendance and participation.  Above all, they are enthusiastic and very happy to be part of The Lantern community.

We provide five levels of English, computer class, citizenship, cooking and a special class for those who do not have literacy in Spanish.  We also try to provide help for the issues that are so prevalent in the immigrant community.  We have had immigration lawyers, bankers and health care providers who have brought information and provided answers to questions regarding these areas of life.

Our volunteers are dedicated to the students and provide a great atmosphere for learning.  We are fortunate to have volunteers with staying power that adds to a great sense of security for our students.

Baby- sitting continues to be provided for those who meet the walking criteria.  At this point, the non-walkers out-number the walkers so that on some days we have 'baby land.'

During the years, we have been fortunate to develop wonderful relationships with young people.  Our first volunteers were Young Neighbors in Action, a group of high school students whose participants have come for the past eight summers.  Nueva School in Hillsborough, Presentation High School, San Jose, Mercy High School, San Francisco, Mercy High School, Burlingame, St. Anne’s School, San Francisco, St. Elizabeth’s School, San Francisco, Stuart Hall, San Francisco, St. Christopher School, San Jose and St. John Vianney School, San Jose have all been part of our ongoing program either as volunteers or donors.

Our generous friends have kept us afloat with monetary and in kind gifts during the years and our Advisory Board has been generous with time and talent as we continue to pursue our goals.

We continue to try to provide a place of welcome for our students and all who come through our doors.  We want all to feel at home at The Lantern.  We know that learning and relationships develop best in a warm and welcoming environment.

We are grateful to all of our volunteers, families, friends, all partners in ministry, the Sisters of the Presentation, and all who have enabled us to provide this place of welcome and education for many.  We are grateful for your continued prayers, support and generosity.  Please know that you are welcome to come and visit at any time.  I guarantee that you will enjoy your visit. 
 


Sister Carl Fisher, PBVM, (standing) is one of the many Sisters who
teach at The Lantern in the Mission Area of San Francisco, California.

   

Diocese of San Jose Anti-Human Trafficking Network
members met recently for a retreat at
Vallombrosa Retreat Center in Menlo Park, California.
Pictured here from left to right are Sister John Paul Chao, SMSM;
Sister Judy Lu McDonnell, OP (San Rafael);
and Sister Reina Perea, OP (Mission San Jose);
in the second row are Sister Mary Ann Foy, RSCJ;
and Sister Rosemary Campi, PBVM (San Francisco);
in the third row are Sister Dolores Barling, SNJM;
and Sister Fran Tobin, RSCJ;
in the fourth row are Sister Therese Randolph, RSM;
Marie Jeanne Gaillac, CSJO;
and Ruth Robinson;
and in the top is Lyn Kirkconnell, Coordinator.
     

Click to view article at The Valley Catholic
 


Presentation Sisters Celebrate Jubilees

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco

          Six Sisters of the Presentation (San Francisco) celebrated their jubilees
to mark significant milestones in their lives as women religious, on Sunday, August 25, 2013.
The Eucharist Celebration was followed by a brunch at Presentation Retreat Center in Los Gatos.


Sister Kathleen Healy, PBVM, (religious name Sister Mary Daniel) celebrates her Jubilee of Grace marking seventy years from her entrance into the Congregation. Sister Kathleen earned a BA degree and a MA in education from the University of San Francisco, and a MA in theology from Immaculate Heart College, Los Angeles, and a Doctorate in Ministry from the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley.

In 1946, Sister Kathleen began twenty-eight years teaching Catholic elementary school in San Francisco, San Jose, and Los Angeles.  After four years in the secondary education, Sister Kathleen served as Principal at Saint Agnes School, San Francisco, from 1962 to 1968, and at Saint Teresa School, San Francisco, from 1968 to 1974.

From 1974 to 2006, Sister Kathleen served in full time parish ministry at Saint Teresa Parish, San Francisco.  During those years, she was also involved in the Sanctuary Movement and the Bay Area Organizing Committee.  She joined several delegations to El Salvador and Guatemala to support the people of those countries in their struggles for justice. Also during this time, Sister Kathleen began visiting the poor in the residential hotels in the Tenderloin through the Saint Anthony services.   In 2006, she became a founding member of the staff of The Lantern, a literacy and hospitality center for immigrants, in the Mission District of San Francisco where she continues today.
 

 

Sister Kathleen with friends.

 

Sister Jacqueline Graham, PBVM, (religious name Sister Mary Amata) celebrates her Diamond Jubilee marking sixty years from her entrance into the Congregation. Sister Jacqueline earned her BA and teaching credential from San Jose State University and an MA in education from the University of San Francisco.

Sister Jacqueline taught elementary education for thirty years in Catholic schools in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, San Jose, Gilroy, San Pedro, Los Angeles, Montebello, and Menlo Park.  Sister Jacqueline also worked in environmental education at Montezuma Ecology Center at Presentation Center and taught art and music classes to the Presentation Sisters’ novices.

During her summers, Sister Jacqueline used her talents in the arts and her deep interest in nature studies to instruct others.  She ministered six summers with the Diocese of Juneau, Alaska, doing religious education and home visits in logging camps and settlements.

From 1980 to 1990, Sister Jacqueline worked at Green Pastures, Mountain View, a home for children with disabilities.  Following that, she worked as a Special Education aide in Santa Clara County schools, and as the music director for ZigZag Railroad Children’s Theater, San Jose.   Since 1983, she sings with the San Jose Symphonic Choir and she published two pieces, Earthtouch, and Life Cycle.

In 1999, Sister Jacqueline spent several months in Guatemala drawing illustrations for the revised catechetical text to honor the Mayan Culture. Currently, Sister Jacqueline volunteers as an Art Instructor at Blue Sky Home,  a mental health residential program in San Jose and Young Rembrandts in Milpitas and San Jose.

Six Sisters of the Presentation (San Francisco) had a wonderful Jubilee Celebration,
on Sunday, August 25, 2012, at Presentation Retreat Center in Los Gatos.
Pictured here from left to right in the back row
Sister Michele Anne Murphy, PBVM, (formerly Sister Mary John Michael)
celebrates her Golden Jubilee marking fifty years
from her profession into the Congregation and
Sister Ann Therese Lynch, PBVM, celebrates her Diamond Jubilee
marking sixty years from her profession of vows;
and in the front row from left to right
Sister Jacqueline Graham, PBVM, (religious name Sister Mary Amata)
celebrates her Diamond Jubilee marking sixty years
from her entrance into the Congregation;
Sister Joanna Bruno, PBVM, (religious name Sister Mary Nicola)
celebrates her Golden Jubilee marking fifty years
from her entrance into the Congregation;
Sister Paula Baker, PBVM, celebrates her Golden Jubilee
marking fifty years from her profession into the Congregation
Sister Kathleen Healy, PBVM, (religious name Sister Mary Daniel)
celebrates her Jubilee of Grace marking seventy years
from her entrance into the Congregation.
 

Sister Ann Therese Lynch, PBVM, celebrates her Diamond Jubilee marking sixty years from her profession of vows.  Sister Ann Therese earned a BA in English/Drama from the University of San Francisco, teaching credentials from Notre Dame College, Belmont and an MA in education and administrative credentials from California State University, San Francisco.

Sister Ann Therese began her ministry as a Catholic elementary school teacher and administrator in 1952.  She taught primarily in the intermediate and junior high grades in Presentation schools in Montebello, Gilroy, Morgan Hill, San Jose, and San Francisco.  She served as Vice Principal at Saint Lucy School in Campbell and as Vice Principal and then Principal of Saint Catherine School, Morgan Hill.

In the 1980s, Sister Ann Therese served for three years as a Pastoral Associate at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, in San Francisco’s Hunters Point.

Sister Ann Therese served in several leadership positions within the Sisters of the Presentation starting in the mid-1970s, culminating in her years as President of the Congregation from 2000 to 2004. 

Currently, Sister Ann Therese volunteers at Learning and Loving Education Center, Morgan Hill.
 

 

Sisters during the Jubilee celebration.
 

Sister Joanna Bruno, PBVM, (religious name Sister Mary Nicola) celebrates her Golden Jubilee marking fifty years from her entrance into the Congregation.  Sister Joanna earned her BSN from the University of San Francisco in 1979.  When the Presentation Sisters opened foreign missions, Sister Joanna was one of the first to respond.  As a medical missionary, she served seven years in Chiapas, Mexico, thirteen years in San Luis Potosi, and from 1999 to 2006 in Solola, Guatemala.  In those areas, she and other Sisters built hospitals and medical care services for the people and at the same time trained people of the area to take on technician and medical roles.

From 2009 to the present, Sister Joanna continues as a medical missionary at the Clinica San Jose Concepcion Tutuapa, San Marcos, Guatemala. Sister Joanna says in the three years they have been operating, they have seen over 11,293 patients from eleven different Municipals and three Department-states.

Sister Joanna also served four years on the Council of the Sisters of the Presentation from 1994 to 1998. 
 

Sister Joanna and family.
 

Sister Paula Baker, PBVM, celebrates her Golden Jubilee marking fifty years from her profession into the Congregation.  Sister Paula earned her BA degree at University of San Francisco.  Sister Paula spent twenty-eight years in the ministry of Catholic education as an elementary school teacher and principal, in Los Angeles, San Pedro and Morgan Hill.  She served as Principal of Saint Catherine School in Morgan Hill from 1977 to 1992.

In 1992, Sister Paula moved into health care ministry when she founded an Outreach Ministry at Saint Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy. She continues to minister at Saint Louise Regional Hospital and currently serves as Vice President for Mission Integration. 

Over the years, Sister Paula has served on a variety of Boards and Committees for the Congregation as well as her ministries.

Sister Paula is a musician and composer and may be best known for her song Women of the Light.  Several of her songs have been translated into different languages and are sung in many places where Presentation Sisters serve around the world.

Six Sisters of the Presentation (San Francisco) renew their vows
at their Jubilee Celebration, on Sunday, August 25, 2012,
at Presentation Retreat Center in Los Gatos.


Sister Michele Anne Murphy, PBVM,
(formerly Sister Mary John Michael) celebrates her Golden Jubilee marking fifty years from her profession into the Congregation. 

Sister Michele Anne earned her BA and teaching credential from the University of San Francisco.

In 1964, she began her lifelong ministry as Catholic elementary educator in schools in San Lorenzo, San Francisco, San Jose, and Edmonds, Washington.  In 1978, Sister Michele Anne became Co-Principal at Saint John Vianney School, San Jose, where she continues to minister for more than thirty years. 

While serving in education, Sister Michele Anne has participated on the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accreditation Teams, coordinated youth groups and taught child and adult formation classes. She is a member of the Saint John Vianney Parish Council. In addition, Sister Michele Anne has served on the committees for Justice, Education, Finance, Vocation, Ministry Subsidy and Chapter Planning for the Congregation.
 

Sister Michele Anne and family.
 


Pillow Project Kicks Off!

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications,  Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco
 


Presentation Sisters and friends show off their heart shaped pillows.
 

When Volunteer Coordinator, Cathy Pickerel asked the San Francisco Motherhouse Sisters, if they would like to take on another sewing project, (last year, they made pillow cases.) their response was without hesitation.  Yes!  This one would involve making heart-shaped pillows, just like last time, to give to children Sister Bernice Gotelli ministers to at Children’s Hospital in Oakland, California, as well as to women in safe houses and shelters.  Volunteer Karen Santiago was called upon for technical assistance.  She arrived on June 8 with forty hearts in a variety of fabrics, ready to be stuffed and finished. Volunteer Enis Amato added a few more - even a couple in the shapes of a duck and a choo-choo.  As the group of volunteers and Sisters began stuffing pillows, hand stitching the closures and adding beribboned tags (“Especially for you from the Sisters of the Presentation and their friends”), they wondered how long the whole process would take.  Surprisingly, in less than an hour and a half, they were able to enjoy the fruits of their labor!  Two more work sessions will be scheduled before distributing the pillows during the Christmas season.



Sister Maryann  Healy (left) and Sister Eileen Canelo (right)
stitch the pillows with care.
 


Sister Corinne Avila (left) and Sister Merie Louise Sandstrom (right)
work intensely on the pillows.
 


 


 


 

Band of Sisters

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications,  Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco

Since its premiere last fall, Band of Sisters has made its way to movie theaters, universities, high schools, motherhouses and parishes around the country. On August 7, 2013, it was shown at the Presentation Convent in San Francisco, California.

The approximately dozen Presentation Sisters gathered downstairs in the community room gasped and cheered as they recognized themselves in the Sisters featured in the documentary. Many more Sisters saw the film through the Motherhouse closed circuit television system. 

Band of Sisters is about Catholic sisters in the United States and their work for social justice in the fifty years following Vatican II.  The documentary film includes over a dozen Sisters from different congregations.

Last month, two groups of Presentation Sisters from two local convents saw Band of Sisters when it was shown at Yerba Buena Center in downtown San Francisco. Several Sisters remarked the documentary is so intense they wanted to see it again.

For more information or secure a copy of Band of Sisters, contact Mary Fishman, at 773-445-3311or maryfishman@bandofsistersmovie.com.


Presentation Sisters watch Band of Sisters at the Motherhouse in San Francisco.


Giving Voice Gathering

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications,  Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco

Just two weeks after the Nuns on the Bus national tour came to the Motherhouse in San Francisco, another group of Sisters came for high tea. These Presentation Sisters and women in formation shared stories and experiences. They were in the Bay Area for the Giving Voice National Gathering 2013: Mission and Ministry in the Twenty-first Century which ran from July fifth to eighth in Belmont, California. Then they spent several days at the Presentation Retreat Center, in Los Gatos, California and toured San Francisco with a stop to meet the Sisters.

Sister Jessi Beck, a thirty-two year old member of the Presentation Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Dubuque, Iowa, says, “Throughout our history, Sisters have been called to work with people living on the margins of society.” Sister Jessi teaches second grade at an inner city Catholic School in Chicago, Illinois and she is a member of the Giving Voice conference planning team. “Today, the needs are growing as the gap between the rich and the poor expands. Having the wisdom of my sisters in community and a support group of peer age sisters in Giving Voice helps me to respond to the needs of our day.”

Giving Voice is a peer led organization that creates spaces for younger women religious to give voice to their hopes, dreams and challenges in religious life.



Getting ready to tour the Motherhouse from left to right are:
Sister Ann Jackson, Formation Director and Councilor, Dubuque,
Sister Stephanie Still, President, San Francisco,
Sister Mary Catherine Redmond, Vocation Director, New Windsor,
and Jayne Pickett, Candidate, New Windsor.
 


Sister Jessi Beck (left) is welcomed to the dining room
at the Mother house by Sister Patricia Marie Mulpeters (right).

 


Sister Patricia Elower (left) shared stories with
candidate Jayne Pickett, New Windsor
who teaches high school theology and lives in the Bronx.
 


Sister Michele O'Connell talked to soon to be a novice
Sister Judah Leggett from San Antonio, Texas.

 

 


Sister Jocelyn Quijano (left) from San Antonio, Texas
and who is on the United States Province of the Union
of Presentation Sisters Leadership Team shared mission stories
with Sister Ellen Cafferty who ministers in Guatemala.

 


Nuns on the Bus

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications,  Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco

On the eve of the End-of-Trip, but Not-End-of-the-Road Rally, the Sisters of the Presentation were honored to hold a Friendraiser for NETWORK's Nuns on the Bus, at the San Francisco Motherhouse. Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco, President, Sister Stephanie Still, PBVM, welcomed the more than one two-hundred attendees, including San Francisco Auxiliary Bishop Robert W. McElroy.

Network Executive Director, Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, says awareness and support is increasing for immigration reform that reflects America's values, not its fears. She says law makers to business leaders are touting the economic benefits immigrants bring and could bring to this country. One of the facts she learned was that a legalized immigrant family is ready to buy a home in just three years.

Each of the Sisters on NETWORK's Nuns on the Bus shared one of the many stories that have touched them on the trip.  Each put a face on how added enforcement is tearing families apart and causing suffering for those who are otherwise willing and eager to contribute to our society.

On Tuesday, June 18, 2013, NETWORK's Nuns on the Bus concluded a six-day journey through California in San Francisco.  It was part of a larger 6,800-mile, fifteen state tour urging lawmakers across the country for immigration reform legislation that provides a roadmap to citizenship, promotes family unity, and protects the rights of immigrant workers. 

Click here for more details about NETWORK's Nuns on the Bus
 


On Saturday, June 15th, Sister Catherine Mary King, PBVM,
Sister Patricia Reinhart, PBVM, and Sister Rita Jovick, PBVM,
went to Delano, California to meet the NETWORK's Nuns on the Bus.
The Sisters gave a short reflection, taken from Scripture or
from their foundress, that was applicable to the issue
of immigration reform. Dolores Huerta, one of the founders
of the United Farmworkers Union, thanked the Nuns on the bus.
 


Sister Stephanie Still, PBVM, (right) welcomes
Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, (left).
 


Sister Stephanie Still, PBVM welcomed the
over two hundred attendees at the Friendraiser
at the San Francisco Motherhouse.

 


Marguerite Riordan, (right) Presentation High School,
Class of 1949 expressed her gratefulness to
Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, (left) for the work of
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby.
 


Sister Antoinette Martinez, PBVM, (left) thanked
Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, (right) for her cross
country trip for immigration reform.


Sister Michaeline O'Connor, PBVM, (left) thanked
Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Network Executive Director,
for bringing Nuns on the Bus to the San Francisco Motherhouse.
 


At the Monday night gathering, each of the Sisters
on NETWORK's Nuns on the Bus shared one of the
many stories that have touched them on the trip.
 


San Francisco Auxiliary Bishop Robert W. McElroy
came to support  Sister Simone Campbell, SSS,
Network Executive Director.


NETWORK's Nuns on the Bus, is parked next to the
corporate offices of the Sisters of the Presentation,
in San Francisco. NETWORK's Nuns on the Bus was
greeted and welcomed all across the country by
elected officials, Catholic Bishops, and other local leaders.
 


Sister Joan Riordan, PBVM, (left) and
Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Network Executive Director,
were pleased the event was a success.
Click here for more details and photos click Actions for Justice Around the World
 

Presentation Sisters helping Human Trafficking Survivors
 


Sister Darlene Terry, PBVM hold samples
of items being collected
for female survivors of human trafficking.

The Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco are involved on several levels with Freedom House whose mission is to bring hope, restoration, and a new life to survivors of human-trafficking by providing a safe home and long-term aftercare.

In August 2010, Freedom House launched The Monarch, the first safe house in Northern California for adult female survivors of human trafficking in San Francisco. Later this year, The Nest, a residential shelter for girls twelve to seventeen is set to open in Santa Clara Valley.

If you would like to help, there is a need for female personal hygiene articles which our Presentation Sisters and volunteers will be able to assemble into gift bags at the Mother House in San Francisco. There are also opportunities for direct service such as Bible studies, crafting sessions, English lessons, math tutoring, outings, and other fun activities, at The Monarch in in San Mateo County and The Nest when it launches later this year in Santa Clara County.

To volunteer or donate items email Sister Pat Davis

For more details on Freedom House
 


Presentation Sisters Celebrate Jubilees

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications,  Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco

Nine Sisters of the Presentation (San Francisco) had a wonderful Jubilee Celebration to mark significant milestones in their lives as women religious, on Sunday, April 28, 2013. The Eucharist Celebration was followed by a lunch at the Motherhouse in San Francisco.

    
Sister Catherine Knudsen, PBVM, (religious name Sister Mary of the Angels) celebrates her Jubilee of Grace marking seventy years from her entrance into the Congregation. Sister Catherine earned her nursing diploma and license at Saint Joseph Hospital School of Nursing in San Francisco.  She earned her BA degree in education at the University of San Francisco and an MA in religious education at Catholic University in the District of Columbia.  She completed her formal education with a doctorate in theology from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. For her doctorate studies, she focused on the teachings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ.
     At Presentation High School, San Francisco, Sister Catherine taught the Christian Family Living Program (a program unique to Presentation high schools) plus, anatomy, physiology, and child development. She served as Dean of Girls at Blanchet High School, Seattle, Washington.  Later, Sister Catherine also taught in California community colleges and gave workshops, emphasizing human consciousness and ecological studies. In 1986, Sister Catherine became pastoral assistant at Saint Louis the King Parish in Marquette, Wisconsin. Currently, Sister Catherine lives at the Presentation Motherhouse and is engaged in the ministry of prayer.

    
Sister Bernice Clifford, PBVM, (religious name Sister Mary Edward Joseph) celebrates her Jubilee of Grace marking seventy years from her entrance into the Congregation.  Sister Bernice earned a BS in Education and an MA in Education from the University of San Francisco.  From 1949 to 1998 served in the ministry of Catholic education as a teacher and principal at schools in San Francisco, Berkeley, Montebello, San Lorenzo and Seattle, Washington.  In 1983, she began sixteen years as Principal of Nativity School, Menlo Park.  Then she continued as a volunteer in education for two years at the Learning and Loving Center, Morgan Hill.  Since 2002, Sister Bernice has lived at the Motherhouse and is engaged in the ministry of prayer.

 Sister Virginia Espinal, PBVM, (religious name Sister Mary Sebastian) celebrates her Diamond Jubilee marking sixty years from her entrance into the Congregation. Sister Virginia earned a BA in business administration at the University of San Francisco and an MBA from San Francisco State University.  Sister Virginia taught all eight grades at different Catholic Elementary schools in Oakland, Los Angeles, San Pedro, Montebello, San Francisco, and San Jose. In 1965, Sister Virginia began twenty-one years of teaching at Presentation High School, San Francisco.  During those years besides classroom teaching, she was also involved in administration, various clubs and activities.  During this period, she also served as Formation Director for four years.
    
In 1988, Sister Virginia joined the staff at Christian Brothers Retreat House in Saint Helena.  In 1992, she became the coordinator of services as Mercy Retreat Center, Burlingame.  During this time, she received training as a certified spiritual director and continues as a spiritual director. Sister Virginia has served as the personnel director and property manager for the Sisters of the Presentation and as the Motherhouse Administrator.  Currently, she serves as Congregational Treasurer and Congregational Coordinator, plus every Tuesday morning, Sister Virginia serves breakfast to the Day Laborers in the Mission of San Francisco.

    
Sister Patricia Elower, PBVM, (religious name Sister Mary Laurence) celebrates her Diamond Jubilee marking sixty years from her entrance into the Congregation.  Sister Patricia has a BA degree and she earned a MA in religious education at the University of Saint Thomas, Houston, Texas. For thirty years, Sister Patricia taught in Catholic elementary schools in Oakland, San Pedro, San Francisco, San Jose, Montebello, and Seattle, Washington.  After a few years as a director of religious education, in 1979, Sister Patricia returned to Holy Trinity parish in San Pedro where she served as principal of the school for eleven years. In 1992, Sister Patricia served as RCIA director at Saint Joseph the Worker Parish in Canoga Park.  In 1993, she served as director of religious education for the elementary school and as coordinator of small Christian Communities in Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Ramona. In 1996, Sister Patricia became office manager in the congregational offices and a year later, she became the canonical role of Congregational Secretary until 2012.  Currently, Sister Patricia serves as a Congregational Coordinator, and every Tuesday morning, she serves breakfast to the Day Laborers in the Mission of San Francisco.

    
Sister Constance Madden, PBVM, celebrates her Diamond Jubilee marking sixty years from her entrance into the Congregation. She earned a BA in education and a MA in pastoral theology from the University of San Francisco. Her first eleven years of ministry were in Presentation Elementary schools in San Francisco, San Jose, and Los Angeles.  Following this ministry, Sister Constance did parish ministry, including parish visitations, catechetical ministry, and working in migrant camps. In the mid1990s, Sister Constance began working in retreat ministry with the Franciscans in Santa Barbara and then later with the Franciscan Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. Currently, Sister Constance volunteers at Saint Timothy in San Mateo.

    
Sister Marilyn Medau, PBVM, (religious name Sister Mary Laetitia) celebrates her Diamond Jubilee marking sixty years from her entrance into the Congregation. Sister Marilyn a BA from the University of San Francisco. She taught for seventeen years at Presentation elementary schools in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Gilroy; including, three years teaching at the novitiate in Los Gatos. 
    
Sister Marilyn worked for three years at Saint Columba, an inner city parish in Oakland and became involved in peace and justice issues for the area. For the next twenty years, she continued parish ministry focused on peace and justice issues in Oakland.  In 1995, she began her ministry at Saint Mary Center in Oakland, which serves the needs of homeless senior citizens, families, and preschool children.  While ministering there, Sister Marilyn began and continues to direct its food program. Today, she still ministers there, while mentoring her future replacements.

 


Pictured here from left to right in the back row are: Sister Patricia Elower, PBVM, Diamond Jubilee; Sister Constance Madden, PBVM, Diamond Jubilee; and Sister Judith Romero, PBVM, Golden Jubilee; in the middle row from left to right celebrating their Diamond Jubilee are: Sister Virginia Espinal, PBVM; Sister Denise Bourdet, PBVM; Sister Anita Marie Torres, PBVM; and Sister Marilyn Medau, PBVM; and in the front row, celebrating her Jubilee of Grace are: Sister Bernice Clifford, PBVM, (left) and Sister Catherine Knudsen, PBVM, (right).


Earth Day Celebration

By Sister Rosemary McKean, PBVM,  Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco

Friday, April 26, 2013, was a beautiful day in Moss Beach, on the California coastline, for twelve Presentation Sisters and Associates to gather for their Earth Day celebration. They joined together to pray an Earth Day prayer, to sow colorful flowering plants to beautify the front garden at the Presentation Sisters Moss Beach vacation home, and to enjoy fun, camaraderie, and a picnic lunch.

Thanks to the Sisters and Associates who brought or sent plants and materials for this Earth Day celebration, but most especially, to the sisters at the Motherhouse who grew lovely Nasturtium plants from seeds. 

 


 


Twelve Presentation Sisters and Associates sowed native plants at their Moss Beach vacation home. Pictured here are Earlene Dutton, Presentation Associate (left-back); and Sister Anita Marie Torres, PBVM, (right-back); Sister Lucia Lodolo, PBVM, (right) and Sister Kathleen Healy, PBVM, (left).

Get on the Bus, I Was Imprisoned and You Visited Me

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications,  Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco
 

The Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco started El Proyecto de Las Rosas in October 2006 to teach English as a Second Language in Tipton and Woodville, two farming communities in the Central Valley of California.  These communities are located in one of the most underserved areas of the state.

For its Lenten Outreach Project, El Proyecto de Las Rosas students again selected Get on the Bus which takes children to visit their parents who are incarcerated on Mother’s Day and on Father’s Day.

El Proyecto de Las Rosas’ migrant and immigrants who have very little, collected forty-eight Teddy Bears to give to the children when they leave their parents and get on the busses to return to their homes. For many of these children this is the only time they will see their parents all year.

For more details click on El Proyecto de Las Rosas

 


For a second year in a row, El Proyecto de Las Rosas collected Teddy Bears for the children
taking part in the annual Get on the Bus.

Annual Spring Gala for the Presentation Retreat and Conference Center

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications,  Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco
 

Around the World in 80 Days was the theme for Annual Spring Gala for the Presentation Retreat and Conference Center which was held on Saturday,
March 23, 2013, in its award winning green building in the Los Gatos Mountains in California.  The more than one hundred guests were entertained
with the sweet sounds of the Presentation High School, San Jose, Choir, while savoring delicious appetizers courtesy of the Saint Christopher Ladies' Guild, cocktails courtesy of Saint Christopher Holy Names Society.  For the first time, they also enjoyed live rock and roll era music by Cold Storage after dinner.


Pictured here enjoying the pre-Gala
dinner events from left to right are:
Sister Michele Anne Murphy, PBVM,
Sister Paula Baker, PBVM, and
Sister Kathleen Healy, PBVM.


The Around the World in 80 Days was in the center
pieces and on the menu.  Guests were treated to
the delicious foods from around the world prepared
by the Center’s Executive Chef Tom Fernandez.
 

The Presentation Center thanks everyone who contributed to making this year's Annual Gala a fun and festive success. 
For more details log onto Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco or Click Here to see the 2013 Gala Photo Album!


Presentation Staff Appreciated

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications,  Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco
 

On Thursday, April 11, 2013, the Sisters of the Presentation celebrated their staff members who have reached milestones in their employment with a wonderful dinner at the Motherhouse in San Francisco. 

Sister Stephanie Still, PBVM, President, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco says, “Truly, we could not promote our mission or care for our members without you, our staff.  We could not exist in some very fundamental ways without your skills, your commitment, and your belief in our mission. As you do your work for us, you are our Ambassadors to our publics, our stakeholders, our vendors, and the outside world – so we do count on you in ways that go beyond the tasks in your job descriptions.”

Those being honored this year include: for twenty-five years of service: Aida De Guzman, Director of Nursing and Care Center Supervisor; for twenty years of service, Brigida Muya, Charge Nurse; for fifteen years of service, Robin Lee-Danridge, Housekeeping, Marilyn Garcia, Charge Nurse and Chris Doan, Archivist; and for five years of service, Claire Blohm, Chief Financial Officer, Sasha Temnova, Finance Office Assistant, Monica Alcala, Babysitter at El Proyecto de Las Rosas, Cathy Pickerel , Volunteer Program Coordinator and Sonia Guzman, Housekeeper.


Aida De Guzman, Director of Nursing and Care Center
Supervisor (left) receiving a token of appreciation for
twenty-five years of service from Sister Stephanie
Still, PBVM, President, Sisters of the Presentation.

A group photo from left to right Brigida Muya, Charge Nurse, Marilyn Garcia, Charge Nurse, Cathy Pickerel, Volunteer Program Coordinator,
Aida De Guzman, Director of Nursing and Care Center Supervisor, and Sister Stephanie Still, PBVM, President, Sisters of the Presentation;
and in the back row from left to right are: Robin Lee-Danridge, Housekeeping, Sasha Temnova, Finance Office Assistant, and
Claire Blohm, Chief Financial Officer. Several employees expressed their love and appreciation for being part of the Presentation family.

Monica Alcala (center seated) received her staff appreciation award during March Birthday Celebration at El Proyecto de las Rosas in Tipton, California
from Sister Rita Jovick, PBVM (left standing) Patricia Reinhart, PBVM, (Center Standing) and Sister Catherine Mary King, PBVM (right).
Monica is the first and only staff-member to reach the five-year milestone at the Sisters of the Presentation.


A Presentation Sister Honored with The Alemany Award

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications,  Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco
 

On April 5, 2013, Sister Rosina Conrotto, PBVM, received the Alemany Award for Christian Service at a beautiful Mass, reception and dinner at Saint Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco. She was one of five Sisters in the Archdiocese to receive the Award in recognition of their ministry.

Every year, in memory of Archbishop Joseph Sadoc Alemany, OP, the first Archbishop of San Francisco Archdiocese, the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology honors men and women who have distinguished themselves by exemplary service to the church and community. This year, the school chose to honor women religious who belong to congregations who were invited to California in the 1850s by Archbishop Alemany.

Sister Rosina began her religious life as a teacher, first at the elementary level. Then, “I spent fourteen wonderful years as religion teacher and guidance counselor at Presentation High School, San Francisco.”

 In 1975, Sister Rosina studied in Rome in the ARC program, The Scriptural and Theological Foundations of Religious Life for Apostolic Religious Congregations, in preparation to serve as Director of Novices. 

Sister Rosina served two consecutive terms as President of the Congregation from 1990 to 1998.  She says highlights of her leadership time include: co-founding SafeHouse for women leaving prostitution in San Francisco; opening the Learning and Loving Education Center in Morgan Hill, California, and starting a mission in Guatemala, Central America.

Sister Rosina says she is honored to have been involved with Presentation Sisters throughout the world through the North American Conference of Presentation Sisters (NAC) and the International Presentation Association (IPA); and representing California PBVMs at the Union Presentation celebration in Pakistan.

Currently, Sister Rosina is on San Francisco’s leadership team and she serves as the Director of the Office for Consecrated Life for the Archdiocese of San Francisco.


This is the leadership photo of
Sister Rosina Conrotto, PBVM.

 


One Hundred Years for God’s Glory!

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications,  Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco
 

Sister Paschal Elvin, PBVM, Presentation High School, Berkeley, Class of 1929, turned one hundred years old, on February 22, 2013. The following Sunday, her life was celebrated with a huge Birthday Party at the Motherhouse in San Francisco. The festivities began with a Mass, followed by a delicious English style tea with finger sandwiches, desserts, and See’s candy, a San Francisco favorite.  As Sister Paschal came into the dining room, everyone sang Hello Paschal, a take-off on the Hello Dolly song.

There were tributes from guests and friends. At the end, Sister Paschal was presented an Oscar Statuette for Best Sister in a Starring Role. (Sister Paschal is holding the Oscar Statuette in the photos.) When Sister Stephanie Still, PBVM, Sisters of the Presentation, President and Presentation High School, Berkeley, Class of 1970, made the award, Sister Paschal exclaimed, “I always wanted one of these!”

Sister Paschal has a rich ministry history starting with teaching fifth grade at Salesian School, Saint Peter and Paul in San Francisco’s North Beach area in 1932. Then for the next forty-five years, she taught fifth to eighth grade in Los Angeles, San Lorenzo, San Francisco, and in San Jose at Saint Patrick, Saint Christopher, Saint John Vianney and in Gilroy at Saint Mary.


Sister Kathleen Sickly, PBVM, helps Sister Paschal Elvin, PBVM, cut a baseball diamond decorated birthday cake.
 

In 1963, Sister Paschal moved to Presentation High, San Jose, where she taught Latin, English and religion.  In the 1970s, Sister Paschal spent eight years teaching English at West Valley Community College in Saratoga.  Then, in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, until 2010, she spent many years on the RCIA team and as the moderator of the Over 50s Club at Saint Christopher Parish, San Jose.

As Sister Paschal reflected on her years as a Presentation Sister in her official biography, she ended by saying, “Through it all, my spirit sings, ‘How Great Thou Art.’”

Last fall, Sister Paschal had a dream come true. She was able to attend a San Francisco Giants baseball game and have a special one-on-one meeting with the team’s catcher and Most Valuable Player (MVP) Buster Posey. That September game was special for Buster Posey as well, because he batted in his one hundredth run – we like to think it was because of his meeting with Sister Paschal and (perhaps) her prayers for him. As the new baseball season begins she is praying for another winning season! 

At one-hundred, Sister Paschal is enjoying many of life’s blessings, especially her former students, who line up to take her to lunch. Those who call her are thrilled to speak to her and more than one has expressed how happy she sounds!  To borrow from the Hello Paschal Lyrics: “You’re still glowing, you’re still crowing, you’re still going strong!”
 

     The Motherhouse was decorated in San Francisco Giants gear and the Sisters who acted as servers wore everything Giants!
The picture on the leftin the back row, from left to right are Sister Sylvia Llerena, PBVM, Presentation High School, San Francisco, Class of 1973, Sister Máire Sullivan, PBVM, (religious name Sister Anne Marie) Presentation High School, San Francisco, Class of 1950, and Sister Pamela Chiesa, PBVM, Presentation High School, San Francisco, Class of 1973; and in the front row from left to right are: Sister Kathleen Sickly, PBVM, Sister Anita Marie Torres, PBVM, Presentation High School, Berkeley, Class of 1953, Sister Paschal Elvin, PBVM, Presentation High School, Berkeley, Class of 1929, and Sister Denise Bourdet, PBVM, Presentation High School, San Francisco, Class of 1951.

     Sister Paschal taught for many years at Saint John Vianney School in San Jose.
In the picture on the right—representing the school from left to right are: Sister Gemma Wilson, PBVM, (religious name Sister Patricia) Presentation High School, San Francisco, Class of 1955, Sister Maria Griego, PBVM, (standing) Sister Paschal Elvin, PBVM, Presentation High School, Berkeley, Class of 1929, and Sister Michele Anne Murphy, PBVM, (religious name Sister Mary John Michael) Presentation High School, San Francisco, Class of 1960. They brought a giant poster with well wishes and a prayer for Sister Paschal’s one hundredth birthday.


The Lady of the Lantern

By Rosana Madrigal, Director of Communications,  Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nearly thirty Presentation Sisters, Associates and staff attended the final performance of The Lady of The Lantern, on Sunday, January 20, 2013, at Presentation High School in San Jose, California.

The Lady of The Lantern,
actress Anne Markel (left) who
plays Nano Nagle and Sister Darlene Terry, PBVM, (right) spoke following the performance.

 

Presentation High School marked its fiftieth Anniversary with commission of The Lady of the Lantern, an original play on the life of the Sisters of the Presentation’s foundress, Nano Nagle. The two-act drama was written by the Irish-born Cathal Gallagher.

The play opens with an actress wearing a high school graduation gown singing the school’s song and concludes the same way. In between we get a glimpse into the amazing story of the courage and determination of Nano Nagle. During Ireland’s penal law period which prohibited any teaching of Catholic children, Nano established schools to teach not only reading and writing, but also about their faith.  

The acting and staging of The Lady of the Lantern was both moving and inspiring, as Nano went on to lay the foundation for the Sisters of the Presentation to carry on the mission of education and care of those made poor around the world. This was made even more poignant in the last scene when the cast was joined by Sisters in the audience in singing Who Will Light The Lantern. During the song, Nano passed the lantern to the student, as she sung the school song. Many of us were moved to tears.       

It is a fitting tribute that the Director’s notes by Jim Houle are addressed to Nano Nagle, as a thank you letter.  He also acknowledged actress and Presentation High School teacher, Anne Markel, for her excellent portrayal of Nano Nagle.
 

For more photos log onto our website.

 


The Lady of The Lantern,
Playwright Cathal Gallagher (left)
listens attentively to Sister Eileen Canelo, PBVM, (right)
comments on his play.
 


San Francisco Presentation Sisters and Associates
learn about Human Trafficking
from Sister Caritas Foster, SHF.

The Sisters of the Presentation and Associates, San Francisco continue concentrating on the International Presentation Association’s Commitment Statement: Explore ways of "widening the tent" to further the IPA justice mission...by strategic partnerships with people/groups with similar values.

In that vein, thank you to the forty-seven Sisters and associates who attended the Human Trafficking Workshop with Sister Caritas Foster, SHF, on Saturday, January 19, 2013, at the Presentation Motherhouse in San Francisco. 

The Sisters and Associates learned many facts from Sister Caritas. Among the most distressing is that San Francisco is a key transit point for human trafficking in the United States. Child prostitution is often the most recognized and publicized. However, many more are forced to work in agriculture or selling fruit on street corners to pay for travel and immigration costs. Often, at the end of a week of labor, the indentured worker/servant (modern day slave) owes more than at the start of the week. The January 18, 2013 edition of Catholic San Francisco’s features an article on page five with some of the vital data Sister Caritas shared with the Sisters and Associates.
 

Sister Caritas also presented a literal picture of modern-day slavery around the world, by sharing Humanitarian photographer Lisa Kristine’s website Human Trafficking Photography. This Mill Valley woman is opening eyes to modern-day slavery with her startlingly, yet respectful pictures. San Francisco Chronicle Reporter Meredith May’s story Lisa Kristine Photographs Slavery appeared on January 5, 2013.

The Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco will continue to explore a variety of possible justice actions, including posting on the website electronic petitions and more.

For more photos and details log onto Actions for Justice at Home and Around the World.

 


Forty-seven Presentation Sisters and associates
attended
the Human Trafficking Workshop.
 

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