On November 4, 22 Presentation Sisters gathered at St. Joseph Church, Upland, Calif., for a special Eucharistic liturgy that the parish planned to celebrate 62 years of Presentation ministry at the parish and the school. Sister Sheila Reen, upon the request of Father Tim Do, pastor, delivered an inspiring and rousing reflection on the Scripture readings. She also briefly shared the story of Nano Nagle, foundress of the Presentation Sisters, and the mission and charism of the Presentation Sisters with the people who filled the church. After Communion, the Presentation Sisters, together with Religious Sister of Mercy Mary Frances Coleman, who attended the celebration, renewed their religious vows – a great public witness that touched many people on the eve of the National Vocation Awareness Week.
After Mass, accompanied by the school choir, singing “One Step Beyond,” and led by the school principal, Sandra Alamo-Ng, lighting the way with a lantern, the congregation processed to St. Joseph School for the blessing of a new mural. This mural depicts the Presentation of Mary, Nano Nagle, and Presentation Sisters who served at the parish and school since 1955. The evening culminated with a delicious dinner in the parish hall. Entertainment was provided by St. Joseph School students. Sister Mary Frances Coleman, director of the Office of Consecrated Life, relayed Bishop Barnes’ greetings. Yet another surprise awaited – Father Tim and Sal Chabolla from the pastoral council presented a plaque to the Presentation Sisters, re-naming the parish hall as the “Presentation Hall.” The plaque was received by Sister Mary Kelly.
The Presentation Sisters were honored – that’s one reason for a celebration – but really, it was also a tribute to the generosity, support, and love of generations of people. It was indeed a night to remember and cherish.