The Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary were founded by Nano Nagle in Cork, Ireland, for the purpose of educating poor children.
Four pioneering sisters carried Nano Nagle’s vision and spirit to the shores of Newfoundland, the first Presentation congregation in North America.
Ten communities of Presentation Sisters were founded in North America over a 57-year period.
Pope Pius XII invited the North American religious communities to converge at the University of Notre Dame, Inidiana, with the intention of encouraging stronger connections within and among them.
The Conference of Presentation Sisters began under the title of North American Conference. A meeting was held at Mount Loretto Motherhouse in Dubuque, Iowa and ten Presentation communities began to communicate on issues of ministry, spirituality and social justice.
Presentation Superiors General met in Rome to discuss ways to promote a worldwide concept of Presentation life and mission and to establish more visible links between Presentation Sisters throughout the world.
Collaboration went beyond North America with the first international assembly of the Presentation Sisters in Melbourne, Australia.
After many meetings and the establishment of a coordinating team, each congregation indicated their willingness to be a prt of the International Presentation Association. IPA was ritually established at a liturgy, prepared by the Indian Sisters and celebrated in every community on April 26.
Fitchburg, Mass. and Newburgh, NY congregations merged to create New Windsor Presentation Congregation. With this merger, the Conference now consisted of eight congregations. Watervliet, NY chose not to belong to the Conference.
North American Conference (NAC) became Conference of Presentation Sisters of North America (CPS). The new structure included executive director and executive team, consisting of three members of the Conference. Sister Monica Miller (San Francisco) served as executive director.
Monica Miller was hired as the first Conference executive director. Her role was to build relationships, set up and office and prepare for the Convergence. She would leave this position following the Convergence of 2006.
The eight congregations of the Conference began a collaborative ministry project. The common values of living among the poor and living simply lent themselves to a collaborative ministry in New Orleans, Louisiana called Lantern Light.The collaborative aspect of this ministry meant all the congregations shared funding responsibility and sisters serving in ministry there. Hurricane Katrina shifted some of the ministry focus, but the sisters were able to adjust their ministry presence to meet the immediate needs of the area.
The Convergence gathering was held in St. Paul and brought together over 400 Presentation Sisters and their lay associates. Time was spent in meetings, prayer, music, conversations and general rejoicing.The gathering ended with renewed enthusiasm and commitment to carry on the mission of Jesus as it was exemplified in the life of Nano Nagle, foundress of the Presentation Sisters. Over 125 recommendations for further collaboration were presented to the leaders of the Conference for consideration.
The Conference added Fargo Associate Julie French as executive assistant to support the executive team of the Conference. The leadership structure now includes a three-member executive team and the executive assistant.
Lisa Olson was hired as Conference coordinator to replace Julie French. Lisa had previously worked with the Aberdeen Presentation Sisters.
In 2014 the Conference sponsored an eco-spirituality retreat in Los Gatos, California. Every Conference congregations was represented in participants.
A Gathering of Presentation Sisters was held in Brookings, S.D. The purpose of this gathering was to bring together younger members to explore possibilities for the future. Over 50 sisters attended.
The Conference secured a three-year grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation for the development of a collaboration online formation program for Presentation People.