Dubuque Sisters Honor Nano’s Legacy by Passing on the Lantern Light

Above, Sister Joy Peterson presents Colleen Pasnik from Mary’s Inn with a certificate.

On Monday, November 12, the Dubuque Sisters of the Presentation hosted “Passing on the Lantern Light,” an event honoring the 300th anniversary of the birth of Nano Nagle. The event recognized 10 organizations who bring light to women, children and immigrants in the Dubuque community with an honorary gift of $3,000.

“This gift is our way of partnering with other local organizations in their work of offering hospitality to those who struggle to live in dignity and security and in honoring Nano’s legacy as, together, we all work to brighten the lives of others,” states Sister Joy Peterson.

One of the recipients was the children’s division of the Dubuque public library who responded to the invitation by saying, “What an incredible gift!  Just today we were struggling to come up with a grantor for a program we’ve been wanting to do for months.  We were going to try Alliant Energy, but they won’t accept grants until February.  And, our program idea is so in keeping with your mission. Our idea is to partner with the Teresa Shelter, specifically with those residents with children.  We want to provide resources, books, and have staff go to the shelter for story times and homework help.”

Teresa Shelter, a safe place for all women and children who find themselves homeless due to circumstances beyond their control, was initiated by Dubuque area Catholic sisters in 1997. The library is right across the street from the shelter so it was a perfect fit.

Dressed as Nano with a lantern in hand, Sister Rita Menart led the recipients into the chapel for the ceremony.

The event was a huge success and the support was appreciated by all recipients. Below are a couple of the organizations’ expression of gratitude.

The Dream Center shares, “We were gifted $3,000 to help us to continue serving people in need and we are very humbled to be recognized for our work with all of the other organizations present. We love that we are able to provide a safe place for our students to grow and learn, all while developing intentional relationships with our School Connectors. It is because of our “In Your Life Mentoring” model that we can serve our students in the way that meets each of their individual needs. Thank you, Sisters of the Presentation for this wonderful gift.”

Resources Unites expresses, “We are sincerely grateful that we were one of those organizations that was recognized. Everything we do at Resources Unite is centered around Nano’s passion for caring for the vulnerable while transforming systems that continue to oppress those in need. We’ve done a pretty good job of reaching out to and connecting with the people that need us to meet them where they are versus waiting for them to show up in our office. We can do so much more though. And with this kind of support, we can’t wait to get started! We can become so much more proactive for those in need.”

Today Nano’s story is being shared and lived out by countless women and men throughout the world who have been captured by Nano’s vision, her passion and her commitment to education, to the care of the vulnerable and powerless and to the transformation of unjust systems. Nano would be so proud.