We continue our partnership with Sioux Falls Woman Magazine, promoting the mission of the Presentation Sisters. In honor and recognition of the 300th anniversary of Nano Nagle’s birth, each article focuses on a different characteristic of Nano. The June/July issue focuses upon Nano’s trait of Foresight.
by Sioux Falls Woman Magazine writer Natalie Slieter
“If I could be of any service in saving souls in any part of the globe, I would willingly do all in my power.”
Venerable Nano Nagle
Looking back on Nano Nagle’s life, it is apparent that she had foresight; she cared for uneducated children and the sick, hoping to make the future better for others. She dreamed of the sisters going forth into the world to help others. While she was unable to do this in her lifetime, the foundation she established in Ireland allowed the Presentation Sisters to plant themselves across the world to keep her dream alive.
Nano’s ministry was established in Cork. In her heart, she desired to serve beyond Ireland. With a deep love and trust of her God, she carried the hope that her sisters would fulfill this call. Much of this realization came through Nano’s prayer time, which was a priority for her when she wasn’t teaching the children or caring for the sick. She would sit in St. Finbarr’s Church to pray and wait to hear God’s voice. “She was listening to what God was calling her to do. She was listening to the Spirit, being attentive to what the needs were, and then finding a way,” Sister Vicky Larson said.
Nano heard God and responded. Then took one-step at a time and planted one school at a time. The way wasn’t revealed to her all at once, but slowly over time.
Sister Vicky is a member of the Aberdeen Presentation Sisters. She said that the Presentation Sisters also take time for prayer and do what they call communal discernment so they can have foresight. The sisters will gather in small groups and discuss a need or an injustice to consider. She said it is a slow and methodical process. They quiet themselves internally to listen to one another and focus on getting the head and heart connected to make wise decisions.
“The head part is the logic; what’s the injustice that I notice and what steps can I take? But it’s really the heart piece that gives it energy,” Sister Vicky explained.
Sister Vicky encourages readers and the city of Sioux Falls to have foresight by focusing on what will make things better for the children. To realize our dreams, it’s important to nurture our hearts and our spirits, and listen to what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you. Sister Vicky says to take a few minutes each day to embrace the quiet to listen. You can do this while praying or going for a walk. It’s also necessary to discuss with others what injustices you see and what you can do together to work on them.
“We won’t have the best foresight if we’re not listening to everybody in our community,” Sister Vicky said. “Nano believed in a living future, a future filled with hope and love.”
Sister Vicky Larson is the baccalaureate nursing program director and associate professor of nursing at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minn. Additionally, she serves on the Presentation Sisters’ Leadership Team working to help strategize for the emerging future. To learn more about Sister Vicky or the Presentation Sisters, please visit: www.presentationsisters.org
“The Presentation Sisters first saw the diversity vision in Sioux Falls, better than many of us, partly because of their direct work with the people in Mexico and Central America. When the Sisters see a need, they act upon it in a mission, prayer- filled way. Their vision has helped many companies today plan and better understand the diverse cultures that make up our community.”
Jim Woster, founder and board president of the Stockyards Ag Experience