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New Portrait of Nano Commissioned


A new portrait of Nano Nagle by local artist Jen Norton, was gifted to the San Francisco Sisters and Associates by the outgoing leadership team during the Installation of New Leaders and Commissioning Day, Sunday, June 26.

“We wanted to leave a gift that symbolizes what brings us all together, the life, spirit, and mission of our foundress Nano Nagle,” said Sister Stephanie Still, outgoing President.  “We hope this new rendition will provide yet another understanding of Nano and her endeavors for the people of God, especially those made poor.”


Who Is Nano Nagle?

Nano (full name Honora) Nagle was born in Ballygriffin, County Cork, Ireland in 1718. This was the period in Irish history when the English had imposed the oppressive Penal Laws, which severely limited the Irish people. The Irish were denied access economically, politically, socially, and educationally to the rights and means that would have raised them from the imposed poverty and oppression. It was a crime of treason (punishable by death) to educate the Irish and it was forbidden to practice the Roman Catholic faith.

Because of her family's position and wealth, Nano was sent to be educated in the Irish community then living in Paris.

According to Sister Rose Forest, PBVM, one biographer of Nano, her "stay in the midst of Irish Parisian society was brief, but during this time an incident took place which has become a classic episode in the Presentation story. One morning the charming, wealthy, and beautiful Miss Nagle...was returning from an all-night ball. As her carriage rattled over the cobblestones of a silent street, she saw a small group of poor working people waiting in front a church...for the door to open for early Mass. The contrast between their useful lives and her own empty one devoted to pleasure made a lasting impression on the girl of twenty-two".

Returning to Ireland, other events lead Nano to consider a way that she could help the poor she saw everyday in Cork and on the family estate. Distressed by the ignorance of the Irish in both faith and academics, she opened her first school in 1754 with an enrollment of thirty-five girls in a two-room cabin. This began her great work of education and as some historians have noted, her important work in saving the Irish culture.

Without regard for her own safety, she selflessly educated the children during the day and visited and nursed the sick by night. As a result, she became known in Cork as the Lady with the Lantern, the symbol of the Sisters of the Presentation worldwide. Today the people of Ireland, especially in Cork, who attribute their freedom to her, revere her.

Eventually, realizing the need for a group to continue her work after her death, Nano founded the Sisters of the Presentation on December 24, 1775.

Nano died from tuberculosis, Monday, April 26, 1784. According to Sister Rose’s account, "On her deathbed Mother Nagle gave to her daughters the following injuction: 'Love one another as you have hitherto done.' As her legacy she bequeathed to them the treasure which she prized above all the wealth of the earth - the love of the poor of Jesus Christ. She bade her Sisters 'Spend yourself for the poor.'"

In the years since Nano's death, the Sisters of the Presentation have carried her spirit around the world in a variety of ministries.


Nano Nagle has been declared Venerable by Pope Francis

Vatican website announcement 

Vatican City, (VIS) - During a private audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Francis authorised the Congregation to promulgate the following decrees:


Servant of God Honora “Nano” Nagle (John of God), Irish foundress of the
Union of the Presentation Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1718-1784) and all Presentation Sisters around the world.


The Cause for Canonization of Nano Nagle

Nano Nagle was declared Venerable by Pope Francis. This announcement brings the Canonisation of Nano Nagle one step closer as it is the second of four stages in the Canonization Process. Nano Nagle’s Cause for Canonization was officially initiated at the bi-centenary of her death in 1984. In 2004, the Central Leadership Team set up a Nano Nagle Commission Office, to help in promoting Nano as a woman of faith and courage, in the hope that she may soon be declared Venerable. The Commission comprises three Presentation Sisters, one from each Irish Province. The Commission has worked to make Nano better known and to promote the Cause of her Canonization. To forward the Cause of Nano, it is imperative that people cultivate devotion to her, and pray to her for favors. Any favors received, no matter how small, needs to be reported to the Commission:

The Nano Nagle Commission Office
Presentation Convent
Portarlington, Co. Laois

Prayer Request link

Nano Miracles - The Miracle of Anne Wallace

This story is one of our most important in the line of miracles for the Canonization of Nano.  For those of you who are not aware of the details of Anne’s story, the following account will be of interest to you.

On the morning of 9th December 1990, Anne Wallace, a physiotherapy student in St. Vincent’s Hospital, Merrion, Dublin, was cycling to class there, when she was involved in a collision with a car.  A doctor, driving to St. Vincents, came on the scene and stopped to administer medical attention.  Anne was very badly injured.  An ambulance came and took her to the Accident and Emergency of the same hospital.  Immediate attention was given.  Anne was unconscious.  She had multiple very serious injuries, external and internal.  She was admitted to the hospital and brought to surgery immediately.  In the meantime her parents, living in Dooradoyle, Limerick, were informed of the accident, and travelled to Dublin in the most dreadful weather conditions. They prayed all the way to Nano, to bring them safely to the hospital. The prognosis was not good.  Many friends of Nano were alerted to pray continually for a miracle.

The medical teams continued to work around the clock administering care and attention.  Anne’s parents kept vigil.  Eventually the doctors told the family there was nothing more they could do.  Anne’s father had grown up with a great love of Nano and consequently a deep - deep devotion to her.  Anne was in and out of consciousness, had further surgery and hung by a thread to life.  Her father always carried the relic of Nano in his pocket, and decided to place it in Anne’s hand while he kept vigil beside her bed.  He entered deep prayer, and sometime in that prayer felt a tip on his shoulder.  No one, only Anne was there.  She was semiconscious. She suddenly spoke and said:  “I am allergic to penicillin”.  That was the changing force.  The medics were informed and they changed her treatment.  Anne began to improve.  That “penicillin idea” came from nowhere, only from Nano, as there had been no talk about it at all.  Anne made a full recovery.

Today Anne is married and has two children.  This in itself is a miracle as she had so many internal injuries.  This miracle in its full details is with the Postulator and also in Rome.

Please continue to pray To Nano for any favors, and let us know if you receive these favors.

For more details contact the Union of Presentation Sisters


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".

For more information regarding Nano Nagle and the early Sisters of the Presentation, visit the Archives.

Writings About Nano Nagle

Play about Nano Nagle

Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco
Women of light. Women of passion and imagination working to empower the poor.
281 Masonic Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94118-4416

Sisters of the Presentation Website

Mission Statement
We, Sisters of the Presentation, (San Francisco) are a community of Catholic women religious committed to living and transmitting the message of Jesus Christ through prayer and service. In the tradition of our foundress, Nano Nagle, we seek to promote a society which respects the dignity of all persons with emphasis on compassion and justice for the poor and oppressed.

Join the Legacy of Sisters of the Presentation of San Francisco.

November 13, 1854, Five Sisters of the Presentation travel from their native Ireland to establish a foundation in San Francisco, California.
Read more in With Hearts of Oak.
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December 1, 1854, The Sisters of Presentation of San Francisco open their first school on Green Street. Between 1930 and 1960, Sisters of Presentation establish and staff nineteen schools. Sisters of the Presentation continue to minister in all levels of education.

1968, The Second Vatican Council called women religious, including the Sisters of the Presentation, to renewal and more engagement in the society in which they lived. The Sisters of the Presentation embraced this call.
You can learn about each Sister’s unique response in Presentation Women, a Legacy of Vision, Faith and Service.
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1984, Sister Cleta Herold helps co-found the AIDS Support Group at Most Holy Redeemer parish in San Francisco to offer volunteer services to patients with HIV and AIDS.

November 20, 1999, a corporate stance against the death penalty is accepted by the congregation of the Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco.

In 2001, Sisters of the Presentation begin their Day Laborer Project, serving breakfast and monthly lunches to the day laborers on Cesar Chavez Street, San Francisco. ROI- more than one thousand five hundred are served a year.

November 13, 2004, San Francisco, California proclaims The Sisters of the Presentation Day to honor their service and mark the 150th Anniversary of their arrival.

September 18, 2006, The Project of the Roses/El Proyecto de Las Rosas, is established in Saint John parish in Tipton, California by Sisters Rita Jovick, Catherine Mary King, and Patricia Reinhardt to provide adult education to the immigrant and migrant worker communities in the San Joaquin Valley, one of the most underserved areas of California. ROI- more than one thousand two-hundred are served a year.

October 2006, Sister Maire Sullivan opens the Lantern Center for Hospitality and Education/La Linterna to provide English and computer classes, as well as hospitality for men and women in the immigrant community of San Francisco’s Mission District. ROI- more than one thousand have been served since its inception.

Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit charitable organization, Tax ID #94-2209052




Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco
 Enhancing lives in countless ways. A continuing presence in times of need since 1854.
281 Masonic Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94118-4416
 Sisters of the Presentation Website


Partner with the Sisters of the Presentation of San Francisco.
2009-2013, The Sisters of the Presentation are featured in WOMEN & SPIRIT: Catholic Sisters in America sponsored by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). The traveling exhibit had a stop at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. where it was recognized by the United States Congress. It received numerous accolades and awards along the way, including a proclamation from the California Assembly.
November 12, 2011, Plaque dedication ceremony honors the presence and role of the Sisters of the Presentation in the educational history of the city of Berkeley.
January 14, 2012, Holy Trinity Catholic Church in San Pedro dedicated the Fireside Room of its Parish Center in honor of the Sisters of the Presentation of San Francisco.

January 2013, the Sisters of the Presentation commit to working on Comprehensive
 Immigration Reform and Stopping Human Trafficking.
In November 2014, the Sisters of the Presentation will mark their 160th Anniversary of their arrival in San Francisco, California and serving the needs of the Bay Area. The Sisters of the Presentation continue to partner with the community to promote the Gospel’s Justice Issues of Peace and Caring for God’s Earth and to directly help those  made poor locally and globally.
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Presentation 160th Anniversary Newsletters and Video

The Sisters of the Presentation invite you to share in their joy of marking their 160th Anniversary of their arrival in San Francisco, California. Former Presentation Archivist Chris Doan has assembled four online Presentation Roots newsletters looking back at the many ways the spirit of Nano Nagle has been made live in the Sisters’ ministries to the people of God. The Presentation Roots newsletters feature historical photos, interesting facts and insights which you may be delighted find similar to those in your Congregation’s history. You can access these newsletters here: Presentation Roots Newsletters.

160th Anniversary Video


You can learn more about our amazing foundress of the Sisters of the Presentation by reading One Pace Beyond. It is available for $15.00 at our shopping cart at Sisters of the Presentation Shopping Cart. This biography by Sister Raphael Consedine, PBVM, tells the story of Ireland under the Penal Laws and Nano Nagle’s courageous and unique response to the poverty and oppression. For the millennium, the Irish people voted Nano Nagle, the most influential person in Irish history from 1,000 to 2,000!


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