Nano (full name Honora) Nagle born in Ballygriffin, County Cork, Ireland in 1718 is the foundress of Presentation sisters from 1775. Nano nagle lived at a time in Irish history when the English had imposed the oppressive Penal Laws, which denied economic, political, social and educational 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 Nagle to consider a way that she could help the poor she saw everyday in Cork Ireland 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 wicked children in a two-room cabin.
Without regard for her own safety, she selflessly educated the poorest and wicked children specially girls of Ireland 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 worldwideEventually, realizing the need for a group to continue her work after her death, Nano founded the Sisters of the Presentation on December 24, 1775.
In the years since Nano’s death, the Sisters of the Presentation have carried her spirit around the world through different ministries.
They came to India in 1842. During the first hundred years schools, dispenseries and hospitals were opened in Tamil nadu, Goa, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir.
The Presentation sisters began their mission in Goa from 1958 by opening two schools one at St. Pius Xth High school Orlim Salcette and the second at St. Theres’s High school Vasco.
Since 1975 a new dimension was added to the Presentation sisters Mission that is education in social justice to be regarded as an essential element in all the programmes . As a response to this new concept sisters were missioned to some of the rural areas and city slums in different parts of India.
In Goa our successful endeavour in the socal development had been bringing the lesser privileged children of migrants Murmugao Taluka to the main stream of education.
1975 Our Compassionate Justice was expressed in getting involved with less privileged people of migrants living in Mangor Hill slums specially for Children who had lost the opportunity of education due to their migrant status .
In 1981 with great efforts educational doors of St. Theres’s school Mangor Hill was open to children of the slums .About 50 children who were from the dirty lanes, residing in shanty houses were enrolled in the school. Such move made great impact to the rest of the migrant children in Goa. Gradually other educational institutions welcomed such children to their education.
The Jeevan Jyothi Social Service Centre at Vasco was a response to the direction of the Presentation sisters General chapter inspirations of 1997.It is lighting up lives of children, women,men and youth who are excluded from the main starta of society to HIV/AIDS.
Every human being is created in God’s image…Accordingly all persons have worth and dignity. This conviction about preciousness of every life grounds the foundation for the sisters to reach out to those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.