Meet the Associates
Meet Jean Holsten
“I currently serve as the Co-Director of the Bread of Life Center primarily in charge of the Spirit in the Arts Program. Spirit in the Arts offers open art studio space with materials and supplies for free in an area of Sacramento with high poverty, crime and addictions. Art is the medium for bringing together people of all ages, ethnicities, abilities and lifestyles in a place where all are recognized as God’s Beloved. As people create together they connect with each other and with ‘that something bigger than any of us’. I also work with groups seeking to improve leadership and communication in their organizations, communities, churches and families. We work on learning to be more undefended, mindful, non-violent and contemplative in interactions. That work is called “Contemplative Dialogue” and it takes me to various places in the United States and Canada.
The Presentation charism is an important force in my life, as I seek to serve those made poor and God through creatively seeking justice, especially for women and children. The more I have learned about different San Francisco Presentation Sisters and their work the more I actually see the charism in action. The more I get to know the sisters the more I feel the presence of God in their service and through the congregation.
I was born and at least partially raised in San Francisco. My parents attended St Anne’s of the Sunset (my Dad after a few years at St Agnes) and one of my aunts went to Presentation High in SF. My mother was in the same class as Father John Cloherty (Sr. Patricia Anne’s brother). So for generations my family has intersected with the Presentations. I got to know some of the sisters through the women’s retreats Monica Miller as the Vocation Director hosted at Presentation Center. Shortly after that I was introduced to Associates and invited to participate in the program.
Happily, I continue to become more involved in the community and cherish relationships with other Associates and the Sisters. The community is in transition like all Catholic communities right now. It is an exciting and important time, for me a great time to be thinking about commitment, God, charism and community with people who are living the questions and learning the answers.
Meet Lorraine Delia
Lorraine is one of our newest Associates, received at the congregational commissioning service in June, 2008. She had a long career in public service, having been on the staffs of the City Manager for Daly City and State Senator John Foran before retiring as the City Clerk for Daly City. Retirement hasn't meant taking it easy, however! Lorraine is currently the Director of the Gellert Foundation and a member of the Presentation Alumnae Advisory Committee as well as their Scholarship Committee.
“In looking back, I see three important factors in my path to becoming an Associate. First of all, there were my years at Pres SF. Since my graduation in 1952 I have tried to live out 'Not words but deeds,' the school motto that every Pres grad remembers.
Second is the influence of Sister Nancy McLaughlin, whom I met in 1984. She taught me about service by living it out, and I, in turn, have made an effort to do the same.
Finally, I have made retreats at the retreat center in Los Gatos for over 25 years. Even though many of those retreats were silent, I heard the Nano Nagle message loud and clear in them. A message that speaks to my heart every day.
I am very grateful to the Sisters for choosing me to be an Associate and pray to be able to fulfill whatever is asked of me.”
Meet Laura Ramey
“I was not raised Catholic and therefore had no idea about different religious communities or charisms. I was, however, drawn to the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe from the age of twelve. When I converted in 1995, I went to the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. There I was taking a class from Sr. Gloria Loya and it was she who first introduced me to the concept of Association and to the Presentation community. So, I guess you could say I learned first about Association and only through the years about the charism of Nano Nagle and the Presentation Community.
When I was accepted as an Associate I was a bit lost as I am very shy and a high introvert. But I remember that not too long afterwards, Sister Helen Prejean was speaking at St. Joseph the Worker in Berkeley and I recognized Sr. Nancy McLaughlin there. I think she pushed me towards Cathy Pickerel, another Associate. Well, needless to say, that was the beginning of feeling part of the community.
Even though I may not be able to do well at Catholic trivia games, I am learning what it means to be associated with Presentation. I have to say that the best times for me have been at the annual retreat. I get to know people better and really get to understand the charism and the courage of Nano Nagle. What I love about her is that she was a lay person when she began all her great work. Whew! There's a place for folks like me! I also enjoyed serving on the justice committee when I was able to do that.
I am so grateful to the Presentation community. While I sometimes seem to stand at the fringes because of a hectic schedule that accommodates being a wife, Mom, teacher, doctoral student and one involved in prison ministry, I really want to continue to know each and every one of us on a deeper level.”
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