Founder of the Presentation Sisters, Venerable Nano Nagle set up her first school in Cork, Ireland, in 1754 and founded the Congregation on Christmas Eve in 1775. Presentation Sisters have maintained a continuous presence in Cork city since the founding of the Congregation 240 years ago. In 1976 the South West Province joined the Presentation Sisters Union during its formation. To learn more about the Presentation Sisters in Ireland South West see below or visit their website here.
An Diseart, Co Kerry
The Presentation Convent in Dingle no longer is home to a community of Sisters, but it is home to An Díseart.
The Díseart acts as the centre for a lively community giving expression to and promoting Celtic Culture and Spirituality as an integral part of our local heritage.
Housed in the former Presentation Convent premises in Dingle, founded in 1996, an Díseart developed as a centre for the research into all areas of Irish Spirituality and Celtic Culture including theology, language, literature, art, laws, folklore, values, spirituality, history, music, archaeology and customs led by the late Msgr Pádraig Ȯ Fiannachta and associated with his valuable collection of manuscripts and books now housed in the Dingle Library.
With the support of the Presentation Sisters, An Díseart is in the hands of a community managed by a voluntary board who make provision for the care and maintenance of the building and grounds. The building is available to the community for the development of spiritual, artistic and cultural activities. The organisation develops volunteerism in the community. The gardens are a location for family picnics and cultural gatherings. An Díseart organises and promotes cultural and Heritage events throughout the year.
Feidhmíonn An Díseart mar ionad do phobal bríomhar a chuireann an Cultúr agus an Spioradáltacht Cheilteach chun cinn mar dhlúthchuid d’ár n-oidhreacht áitiúil. Tá sé lonnaithe sa Daingean I seanChlochar na Toirbhirte. Ȯ cuireadh An Díseart ar bun I 1996, d’fhorbair sé mar ionad taighde as gach gné den Spioradáltacht Eireannach agus den Chultúr Ceilteach, ina measc an diagacht, teanga, litríocht, ealaín, dlithe, béaloideas, luachanna, spioradáltacht, stair, ceol, seandálaíocht agus nósanna. B’e Msgr. Pádraig Ȯ Fiannachta, trócaire air, a bhí ina cheann air agus tá ceangal ag an nDíseart lena chnuasach luachmhar lámhscríbhinní agus leabhar atá I dtaisce I Leabharlann an Daingin.
Le tacaíocht Shiúracha na Toirbhirte tá An Díseart á stiúradh ag bord deonach a thugann aire don fhoirgneamh agus dá thailte is a dhéanann iad a chothabháil. Tá an t-ionad ar fail don phobal le haghaidh gníomhachtaí spioradálta, ealaíonta, cultúrtha agus Gaelacha agus is áit é gur féidir le daoine a mbuanna a thabhairt i lár an aonaigh agus iad a roinnt. Eagraíonn An Díseart féin imeachtaí cultúrtha, spioradálta agus oidhreachta I rith nab liana agus tá na gáirdíní as fail le haghaidh picnic, teacht le chéile cultúrtha nó paidreoireacht phríomháideach agus machnamh.
The Sensory Garden was opened to the community on 10 August 2020. Biodiversity is the central theme in the choice of plants and the layout of the areas, some of which are planted with wildflowers and will be left unmowed to provide habitats for butterflies and bees and many other insects, while other areas of the garden will be mowed to allow people to sit and enjoy the natural environment.
The kiss of the sun for pardon
The song of the birds for mirth
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
than anywhere else on earth.
Dorothy Frances Gurney
The development of the sensory garden is the final stage in the development of the gardens which were first planted in 1894. The late Msgr Pádraig Ȯ Fiannachta had a plan to develop the garden in stages – Family Tree Garden, Labyrinth Meditation Garden and Sensory Garden. This development was made to heighten our sense of place and deepen our connection with the earth. Over time the trees will develop into a balanced ecosystem with wildflowers, all creating a haven for wildlife as well as for people who can come to enjoy the everchanging landscape.
The Presentation Sisters’ burial ground occupies part of the garden. A magnificent copper beech tree grows here, and its branches extend over the white painted crosses marking the burial spot of 75 sisters, the first of whom was interred in 1832 and the last on 7 April 2021.
The Presentation Sisters’ involvement in West Kerry continues as trustees of Bunscoil an Clochar and as members of the Board of Directors of An Díseart.
Diseart Garden - Pres Convent
Tralee, Co Kerry
Tralee, the 8th largest town in Ireland, has a population of 23,691 people (2016 census) from many countries with various cultures. Presentation Sisters have been in Tralee since 1809 and during the Bicentenary the people honoured their presence and work.
We live in a large Convent on spacious grounds which call for high maintenance, ensuring a place of reflection and quiet. We focus on living simply and constantly aim to live more sustainably, increasing efforts to reach best practice in lessening our carbon footprint and reducing waste.
Living beside the Church, we are closely connected with the Parish of St John the Baptist. It is an active parish and as a Community we are supportive and involved in activities including preparation and organisation of Rituals.
The Convent is on the same grounds as The Sacred Heart Primary School. Whenever the opportunity arises we collaborate with the teachers and respond to requests, ranging from information on Nano Nagle, to the history of the school, to personal interviews on our vocation and experience living as Presentation Sisters.
We provide space for AA meetings.
Due to failing health, many of us are not as involved as we were. We continue to participate in the Mission of the Congregation, grateful for our faith in a living and active God. We support one another to live contemplatively and in fidelity to daily community prayer and hospitality. We participate in discernment processes and engage with the Presentation communication network. We keep up to date with happenings around us, both in the world and congregation, and support many needs through donations to worthy causes e.g. the work of Trócaire, Red Cross, the Green Belt Africa, Syria, India . . .
We share responsibility within our community, conscious of our vulnerable Sisters and ensuring the best care for all. We support the ministry of local leadership within community and in another community in the SW Unit.
While Covid has restricted our movements and involvement, we have been enriched by participation in online events from local to global, from Unit to IPA. We promote these events, mindful of people who do not have access to the same resources.
Many of us have lived in different communities, involved in various ministries in the congregation over the years and now as we enjoy the Autumn of our lives, we support one another to feel at home in Tralee and continue to minister in whatever way we can to one another, to staff and others who may need help in crises.
St John’s Care of Creation Group
A member of Castle Street Community works with St John’s Care of Creation Group, while our community as a whole supports the group’s efforts in promoting education and awareness raising on spirituality, biodiversity and all things related to sustainable living.
A Hub beside the Church is used for display, disseminating information and prayer resources. Study sessions and workshops have been offered on e.g. Laudato Si and Fratelli Tutti. During Lent Stations of Creation were set up in the nearby town park.
In the church grounds a small biodiversity garden is being developed to model care for our earth and for all its smaller flora and fauna species.
Founded in the late 90’s by a group including Presentation Sister, Anne McNamara, there continues to be a member of Tralee Presentation Community connected with KERRY DIOCESAN JUSTICE, PEACE & INTEGRITY OF CREATION COMMITTEE, which promotes Catholic Social Teaching in the Diocese – by providing resources, organising workshops/events, encouraging action and building networks to work towards creating a more just world and care for our earth.
A member of community collaborates in an inter-congregational group ‘FUTURE WE NEED’ (FwN), a faith-based justice group comprising of members from Columbans, Franciscans, Josephites, Mercy, Presentation and Salesians. This group works on issues of justice and ecology, raising awareness and engages in advocacy and lobbying.
One of our community is on the SOUTH WEST UNIT JUSTICE COMMISSION, which consists of Sisters from Cork (Eleanor Sugrue & Anne Marie McCarthy), Kerry (Miriam Pollard & Maureen O’ Connell) and Limerick (Helen O’ Brien), with a link Sister (Pauline Casey) from the Leadership Team. The group organises resources and workshops to raise awareness in the Unit on local, national and global issues of poverty, injustice and care of earth and on what Sisters and colleagues are doing in those areas. There is also collaboration with the Ireland/ England Justice Desk (Brian O’ Toole) and the North East and English Units.
One of our Sisters is on the CONGREGATIONAL COORDINATING TEAM FOR JUSTICE (CCT-J) whose role is to support and strengthen the Union Justice Network within and between Units/Mission areas, to promote greater and more effective engagement with the International Presentation Association. They are supported in their work by a link person (originally Sr Fatima Rodrigo and currently Sr Anne McDermott) from the Congregational Leadership Team.
A member of the Tralee Community represents the Congregation on the ETHICAL CRITERIA REVIEW GROUP of State Street Global Advisors Ireland, based in Grand Canal Dock, Dublin, which provides guidance for policy on ethical investments.
Care of Creation, St John's, Tralee
Care of Creation, St John's, Tralee
Farranree, Co Cork
Sr Ena Lehane shares…
Farranree Family Resource Centre
In 1988 a Family Resource Centre was planned to provide a network of support services for families in the Farranree/Fairhill/Commons Road and surrounding areas, to enable people to become involved in their own human, social and spiritual development. The driving force behind this initiative was Sr Lelia Karr.
Temporary accommodation was made available in the local Convent and Boys Primary School. A Community Committee was set up to raise funds for a new building. The Department of Social Welfare, under the then Minister, Mr Michael Woods, gave a substantial grant towards the project. The Cork Diocesan Trustees and Trustees of the Local Presentation Convent gave the site gratis and work on the present Family Centre began in November 1990. It was completed in January 1992. The Farranree Family Resource Centre was officially opened on the 18 May 1992. President Mary Robinson officially opened an upstairs extension to the Centre on the 26 of February, 1996. To read more please click here
Parent & Toddler setting
Parent & Toddler setting
Samples of art
Samples of art
Samples of art
Ministry Report from Roxboro Road Community, Limerick
Josephine’s Reflection on the Garden
We ask how do we care for the world, our common home in this age? Do we see it as a thing to be used and abused, or as something that is valued, cherished, preserved and protected? We can learn from the Native Americans – our world is loaned to us and must be cherished and preserved for posterity. How can we achieve this in our little patch? To continue reading, please click here
Rainwater collection tank for watering
Castleisland, Co Kerry
We are a Community of five Sisters who strive to create a happy environment and to live in the love of Christ and one another. Having retired from active ministry in education, we realise that we have plenty of time and opportunity to devote ourselves more and more to a life of prayer and contemplation. This we regard as a priority in our work and ministries. We consider ourselves very fortunate in this time of the pandemic to be able to assist at Mass in our little side-chapel adjoining the Parish Church while also obeying current restrictions and safety measures.
We are also very mindful of the needs of our parishioners and beyond who seek our prayers for various needs and requests. In times of family bereavements in the parish we convey our condolences online which, we hope, is some measure of consolation in their sorrow and grief. Frequently, we also forward a Mass card for the happy repose of the deceased loved one.
One of our Sisters is a member of the Church choir and another is a Eucharistic minister. We assist the local Parish Deacon with readings during a Family Service which he conducts every Wednesday night.
This past year we donated a beautiful statue of Christ the King to the local Church and provided an explanatory picture of same. We also donated some pews for the creation of sacred spaces in the Church. Following the downsizing of the Convent, our altar and Stations of the Cross were donated to the parish of Brosna, Co. Kerry which greatly enhanced their recently renovated Church.
Our dedicated management and staff continue the good ministry of education in our schools after the retirement of all Presentation Sisters after many years of teaching. Following the provision of Primary and Secondary education in our schools, we were happy to announce the building of a special unit in 2015, to cater for the needs of pupils within the autistic spectrum. This was surely an addition which must have been dear to the heart of Nano Nagle, who always gave priority to the disadvantaged.
Today, we keep in contact with our schools on special occasions like Presentation Day, Graduation Days, and school Masses. We had a lovely experience this Presentation Day 2020 when, due to Covid -19, students could only connect with us through personal letters wishing us well and telling us the little stories of their lives. Gifts were exchanged between the schools and convent while observing social distancing.
On the occasion, of the celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Convent in 1996, the Congregation saw the need for a Day Care Centre in Castleisland and kindly donated a site for same. The elderly, enjoy the many benefits of this facility, in a loving and caring environment. Land has also been donated to the parish for a community garden. This is well utilised and gives pleasure to people to grow their own vegetables for the household.
On the 22 June 2016, Kerry County Councillors and local politicians honoured us by dedicating a new library in Castleisland town to our Founder, Mother Joseph Harnett. Mayor Bobby O’Connell addressed the meeting and outlined how the library was being dedicated to the legacy and memory of a remarkable local woman. Present were Sr Pauline Casey from the Unit Leadership Team and Sr Maureen Kane, Sr Theresa McAuliffe and Sr Mary Buckley from the Castleisland Community. The Parish Priest, Fr Dan O’Riordan, and many parishioners also joined the happy occasion. Sr Pauline Casey delivered a gracious and heartfelt vote of thanks.
Community Sisters reading Presentation Day Greetings from the students
Fermoy, Co Cork
Our ministry situation has changed enormously during the past twelve months. Last year Eucharia did voluntary teaching, particularly with regard to foreign nationals. She also has, over the years, built up a wonderful connection with foreign national families and local people in need of material and advice assistance. But now, as a result of four deaths in thirteen months, our numbers in the house have gone from six to two, and we also have one Sister in a Nursing Home. In addition Eucharia is 78 and I’m 86. Eucharia still carries on her ministry to, and interest in, those in need in the local community. However the needs of her religious community take up most of her time. We both see the ministry of prayer as most important and, being leader, Eucharia sees to our welfare. Physically I am unable to do very much, but I do look after the accounts and things of that nature.
We are very aware that the above is a ministry of aged people but for us that’s how life is, we have no regrets! We had our day, let’s hope we did our best.
Catherine Barry & Eucharia Fenton
Killorglin, Co Kerry
Sr Noreen Quilter
I am based in Killorglin Co Kerry in the South West province. My ministry is being part of a Diocesan team with my main role being Diocesan Advisor to 159 primary schools in the diocese for Kerry. It involves school visits, supporting and resourcing teachers in the teaching of Religious Education. Providing in service to teachers and supporting our Catholic schools and their Boards of Management.
- Ministry of Accompanying and being accompanied by Homeless Persons.
- Accompanying people who need to be accompanied on their spiritual and personal journeys
I’m a Presentation Sister living in Cork City. I taught in Primary school for twenty-six years, where I had the privilege of imparting knowledge and awakening students to their inner potential. Now the shoe is on the other foot. The homeless people become my teachers. I have been privileged to accompany and be accompanied by homeless people, from all walks of life, on their spiritual and personal journeys, for almost twenty-seven years in the Cork Simon Community, on the streets of Cork and in the Retreat Centre at Nano Nagle Birthplace in Ballygriffin, Mallow, Co. Cork.
Some homeless people never had a home. A house is not necessarily a home. Houses provide shelter from the elements, an address, somewhere to lay our heads. Homes offer so much more – security, love, warmth, support, understanding and a place where we feel free to be ourselves and where we are accepted for who and what we are.
Homelessness is about more than housing. It is also about physical and mental health, drug and alcohol abuse. For some street people though, their days become an endless grind of finding food, money for drink and a safe warm doorway, old shed, under a bridge, derelict house etc., to sleep, especially when the temperatures drop below freezing.
I have found their stories and their way of life, at a deeper level so fascinating, that I began to keep a diary on my daily meetings with them. This diary is now a published book – “For you are Beauty-Full”. My privilege over the years has been to be there as a listening presence, offering meditation/mindfulness training to many.
Funds provided by my Presentation Congregation helps with Soup Run, emergency shelter, bedding, food, education and training, housing, care of women to name but a few.
I continue to keep a daily diary which has formed the basis for several more books, these will soon be available to the public to read in the Reading Room at Nano Nagle Place;
Sr Catherine Fenton
Youghal, Co Cork
Presentation Community in Youghal, Co Cork dates back to 1834. The years of Prayer and Ministry celebrated here add up to one hundred and eighty-five year and the combined age of the four Sisters here now adds up to almost three hundred and sixty years, so we have much to remember and give thanks for, and still more opportunities for mission.
We are closely associated with Youghal Parish and have a lovely sense of Eucharistic Community with many at morning Mass, funerals and other celebrations. Because of age and health factors we are not as active in ministry as previously, but are on the inward journey, awake to the Mystery of God and supportive of the work of the Congregation worldwide.
Sr Stanislaus Kent
In my 98th year my chief ministry is prayer. I help with household duties, I do the accounts and I pay the staff.
Sr Margaret Cashman
- Link-person with house-staff providing for the needs of Sisters, shopping for kitchen and dining room.
- Driving Sisters where necessary
- Assistant gardener and refuse collection and recycling
Sr Carmel Ryan
- Sacristan duties – preparation for celebration of Mass, care of Alter Vessels and linen, buying wine, breads, candles etc for Mass
- Visitation of hospital and Nursing homes. Visiting and meeting with the old and homeless in Shalom House and St Francis Court – i.e Respond Housing projects
- Doing weekly adoration in the adoration Chapel
- Visits to Blessed Sacrament and presence at morning and evening prayer to increase my appreciation of God’s love in our lives and to give us the opportunity to pray for our loved one and the whole world
- Daily recitation of the Rosary – with the odd duplicate thrown in – assures us of the special care of Mary Our Mother. We intercede for the needs of the local church and of those far and near, particularly those in the troubled parts of the world.
Sr Placida Barry
My ministries here are many – simple and changeable depending on need and opportunity.
I organise meetings, write reports, communicate outward by letter, email and phone calls. Immigrant workers accept my voluntary work for English (TEFL) and social integration of their families.
Ministry to community and others needs cars, so I renew, repair and service the cars and tend to daily and annual specifications. I find people to maintain and repair our residence and I engage house staff. I still have an interest in safeguarding children professionally, based on long-term experience. Now I help with necessary edits of materials for circulation of the Communication Office of the Congregation .
Midleton, Co Cork
Presentation Midleton – Recent News/Events
Currently there are ten Sisters in Midleton, three of whom are not in residence – Sr Joseph Darmody in Conna Nursing Home, Sr Máire Manning in Ballincurrig Nursing Home and Sr Úna Burke in Marymount Hospice Care in Cork.
Areas of ministry include:
• Visitation of hospitals – Srs Carmel Hartnett and Agnes Manley
• Associates – Sr Clare Fox
• Adoration in Parish Church – Srs Carmel Hartnett and Agnes Manley
• Parish music ministry when requested – Sr Carmel Flynn
• First Communion programme with parents – Srs Clare Fox, Carmel Hartnett and Carmel Flynn
• Cathecetics in Cloyne diocesecan primary schools – Sr Clare Fox
All significant events are celebrated
Sr Aurea Dias visited recently and a celebratory lunch was enjoyed by all three communities in the diocese – Midleton, Fermoy and Youghal. Photos of this special event below.
Srs Angela and Agnes
Srs Evelyn, Eucharia, Catherine, Lelis, Mary Jane
Srs Placida, Evelyn, Margaret, Carmel
Srs Stanislaus and Mary
Srs Margaret, Carmel, Aurea and Placida
Srs Aurea, Catherine, Eucharia and Angela
Lixnaw, Co Kerry
We are a community of six Sisters living in a little village called Lixnaw (Leac Snámha, swimming flagstones) in North Kerry. The first Presentation Sisters arrived here in 1877 at the invitation of the Bishop, a native, and who was very worried about the fierce faction fighting which had become a very negative feature of life in the area. He hoped the Sisters would have a calming and good influence on the people.
As with all Presentation Sisters and new foundations, school began the day after arrival with 50 children.
This commitment to education continued down the years at primary level and eventually secondary level with Lixnaw gaining a reputation of offering the best and most well-rounded education in the north Kerry area. Students came from far and wide.
The Sisters who joined the community came not just from local families but from as far away as Waterford, Dublin, Tipperary and Limerick, all bringing with them many gifts in the areas of learning including art, music and languages.
The following is a little note on one of the founding Sisters:
DEATH OF A NOTEWORTHY IRISH NUN.
The Sacred Heart Review, Number 5, 18 July 1914
In the Convent of the remote little village of Lixnaw, in the County of Kerry, there has just passed to her reward (says the Dublin Freeman) one of the most remarkable nuns in Ireland, and known in religion as Mother Mary Dympna. The Lixnaw Convent is well-known to Gaelic Ireland. Few, if any, convents in the country have done so much for the Irish language and for Irish history.
More recently in 1975 the Sisters were responsible for offering the first school for special children in North Kerry. The Nano Nagle school which later moved to Listowel.
Presently we are all on the retired list and no longer directly involved in the local schools – but a lovely link is preserved, with the school children celebrating November 21 with a lively and creative Mass, which always includes a little drama on the life of Nano.
As a community we continue our outreach to the local people, and further afield, in many ways. Pre Covid, Sisters were involved in the local Active Retirement group. Vincent the Paul. Prayer Ministry in the Church, including the choir, and with small prayer groups during Advent and Lent. Sisters travelled to Tralee to offer their service in the St. John of God centre, and the local Asylum outreach. One Sister was involved with Leadership roles in Tralee and Dingle.
This summary of Sisters involvement in daily life in no way takes in the constant interaction with so many who contact us through visits, letters, phone emails etc. And more recently the magical Zoom meetings!
What is happening in the family lives of the Sisters, and in the local community is shared and those who are struggling in any way are carried in our prayer.
Many people contact us to ask for prayers for their loved ones, and a list is kept of these requests and is remembered each day as we gather for prayer.
We had the lovely experience recently of one man who had recovered from serious illness coming to the door with a box of chocolates. His sister had asked for prayers and told him we were praying for him.
When the Sisters first came to Lixnaw a local land owner gave them a gift of 25 acres of bog. This was a very precious gift – it meant the Sisters always had turf for heat and cooking and rent from others who also saved turf in this bog. When asked by Leadership to allow the bog to go fallow and no longer ‘cut’ it for the sake of good climate action – it was not an easy decision to say yes. This decision not only affected the Sisters but also many neighbours – but the Sisters worked hard at bringing all on board and are now very proud of the results. It is hoped to continue to develop this bog area and open it to the public for their enjoyment. You can read more about this project in the following link – https://www.ecocongregationireland.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Lixnaw-Bog-November-2018.pdf
The reality of ageing and all that it brings with it is very much with us – but it does not define us as a group. Sr Ailbe who at 93 is our elder Sister has been in Lixnaw over 70 years and is our go to person when we need to know who is related to whom! She is in constant contact with past pupils through visiting and letters. All the rest of us have had varied life experiences in different parts of Ireland and the World before finding our home in Lixnaw.
Finally the Presentation charism of hospitality is very important to us – so come visit and stay awhile and discover this beautiful Kingdom of Kerry but especially Lixnaw.
Convent, Church and School in Lixnaw.
A Wall Plaque unveiled in 1977
Lixnaw Community - Ailbe is seated in front then from left to right; Dorothy, Mary, Kyran, Úna and Evelyn.
Sr M Annunciata Forde: Various duties within the Community; involvement in Scripture Group which meets in the convent each week; Associates / Friends of Nano; involvement in St Joseph’s Young Priests’Society; Prison Visitation with St Vincent de Paul; taking Holy Communion to house-bound in the Parish; visitation of Nursing Home.
Sr Claire Sheehan: In a nursing home – prayer
Sr Margaret Mary Galvin: Parish ministry; Rosary Groups; Minister of the Word in Parish Church; involvement in Scripture Group with lay people which meets in the convent each week; visitation of house-bound / semi-invalids; member of Ecumenical Prayer Group “Maranatha” (British); visitation of Nursing Home.
Sr Maeve O’Sullivan: Various duties within the Community; hospitality to those who come to stay in this convent; visitation of Nursing Home; prayer.
Sr Marie Fox: Within the Community House: Maintenance; grocery shopping; petty cash. Outside the Community House: teaching English and Maths to Non-Irish children in Togher Girls’ Primary School (involved there as a volunteer for 12 years); Minister of the Word in Parish Church; visitation of Nursing Home
Sr Jennie Clifford: Various duties within the Community: a member of the coordinating group of Global Education Experience Project; Formation Work; teaching English to non-Irish student in Secondary School; member of the Board of Management of Secondary School; Spiritual Direction; member of Advisory Group of SHEP (Social and Health Education Project)/ EARTH AWARE, Nursing home visits.