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This youthful image of Nano suggests both patience and endurance and includes the image of the Sacred Heart, Nano’s central devotion. At her feet is a group of children, with buildings symbolizing the city of Cork on either side. These were the center of Nano’s apostolate toward children, many of them abused and exploited.

The side panels elaborate some of the events and symbols of Nano Nagle’s life:

  • Spiral motifs, the Celtic symbol of eternity and of God, the Father
  • The tabernacle, recalling Nano Nagle’s extraordinary devotion to the Eucharist
  • A tiny window illuminating a cramped room, suggesting the poverty-stricken conditions of the cabin schools
  • Nano holding a book, a symbol of literacy and learning
  • The four founding sisters, standing near a well of living water
  • The gallows, a reminder of the conditions in which Irish-Catholics lived under the Penal laws, which sought to destroy their identity
  • Nano Nagle caring for the sick... she personally knew every garret and tenement in the city
  • Nano Nagle with her lantern, a symbol of her joyful spirit and of her devotion to the poor, to whom she brought God’s love.

The original life-sized icon, created by artist, Desmond Kyne, is located at the Nano Nagle Center, Ballygriffin, County Cork, Ireland.

This booklet was developed by the Friends of the Presentation Sisters 2012

Nano Nagle

The Lady of the Lantern
Foundress of the Presentation Sisters
Sisters of the Preservation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (PBVM)

The Lady of the Lantern let her light shine. Likewise, her daughters – the Presentation Sisters – follow the light of Christ and help others learn to let their light shine. Presentation Sisters are women of light, of passion and imagination, working to empower the poor. The Sisters carry into the modern world the concerns and ministries of their foundress. In all of their ministries, Presentation Sisters share a common spirit, mission, commitment to the poor, and dedication to building a just world for all.

“Doing Justice in the Way of Jesus is our Mission”


The Presentation sisters in Long Beach, MS, are members of the Union of Sisters of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.




Friends of NanoWho are the Presentation Sisters?
Distressed by the ignorance of the Irish in both faith and academics due to the Penal Laws imposed upon Catholics, and without regard for her own safety, Nano Nagle opened her first school in 1754. She educated the children during the day and visited and nursed the sick by night, becoming known in Cork as the Lady with the Lantern, the symbol of the Sisters of the Presentation worldwide. To ensure continuation of her work, Nano founded the Sisters of the Presentation on December 24, 1775. The growth of the Congregation has often been described as similar to the growth of an acorn as it develops into an oak tree. There is a cycle of birth, growth, decline and death, followed by rebirth.

Presentation Sisters came to North America throughout the 19th Century to work with the immigrant populations. Eight separate congregations of Presentation Sisters were founded and continue to serve the poor, the sick, the elderly, and the young. The congregations are associated through the Conference of Presentation Sisters of North America.

With over 2,600 Sisters world-wide, Presentation Sisters can be found in 19 countries. They have become truly a world-wide Congregation and in the spirit of their foundress, are responding to her words: "If I could be of any service in saving souls in any part of the globe, I would willingly do all in my power."

The Presentation Sisters in Long Beach are members of the Union of Sisters of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In addition to working in the local communities and parishes, they support the following ministries:
Rebuild Center The Collaborative Ministry Project operates in partnership with The Vincentian Community and the Jesuits to form the Center, which opened August 26, 2007. Nano Nagle's words “spend yourselves for the poor” are lived out each day in many forms of ministry there. At the Center, Presentation Sisters operate a food pantry and free lunch program as well as providing facilities for showers, housing assistance, birth certificate and ID assistance and medical care to people in need.
Presentation Sisters Center, Shaw, Mississippi The Presentation sisters at Shaw hold After- School Tutoring Classes (K-3) four days a week and hold weekly art classes. They also join with The “Active Ladies of Shaw” to pray, share their blessings of the week, engage in various activities and community projects and socialize, followed with a snack or light lunch. In addition, they offer Adult Literacy in the evenings every week.


Nano Nagle Prayer

Lord God,
You raise up people from age to age
to speak anew Your Word to us and to show us your ways. 
Such is Nano Nagle.

In days when courage is needed,
You give us this woman of strength
to walk before us with conviction.

In days of great change,
You present us with a prophet whose faith is firm.
As the light of her lantern brought hope
into the lives made wretched by poverty and

So may she inspire us to compassionate action for those in need around us

Friends of Nano



Friends of Nano US Team First Meeting
November 2-4, 2012
Province Center - San Antonio, Texas
By Peg Nicosia

We finally meet! The US Team of the Friends of Nano: Susan Bieschke and Chelo Ibarra of California, Teresa Valdez, Charlene Wimer, Alice Jones and Sr. Jocelyn Quijano of Texas, Peg Nicosia of Mississippi and Ruth Fairbanks of Arizona.

We gathered in San Antonio for our long awaited meeting. Most of us had never met and each brought different ideas and experiences to the table. Ruth Fairbanks shared, "It was so good to finally see one another and put a face with each name."

Friends of Nano US Team First Meeting - November 2-4, 2012Early into our discussions we discovered our local groups were very different from one another. Some of the groups were well established, others just emerging and some yet to be formed. Some groups were contemplative, others focused on the activities of a center, while others worked mainly to support the Sisters. There were many questions, much uncertainty and a lot to be learned before we could realize a shared vision for the Friends of Nano, but we were up to the task!

There was much prayer, soul searching, discussion, charting and "mapping" over the course of the weekend. It was challenging, but working together gave us a real sense of being in solidarity with one another and the Friends of Nano everywhere. "We were energized knowing that as Associates of Nano and Friends of Nano we were connected on 6 Continents," remarked Charlene Wimer.

Friends of Nano US Team First Meeting - November 2-4, 2012During our meetings it became clear that we are at the very early stages of our formation and much work lay ahead, but the enthusiasm and desire to be a part of something much bigger than ourselves was apparent. Terry Valdez couldn't have agreed more, "The fact that we were able to meet one another and share our ideas, concerns and hopes for the future was inspiring."

We discussed many topics including the guidelines, our vision and direction for the Friends of Nano movement, our roles and responsibilities as a team, ways to promote the Friends of Nano, suggestions for deepening connections and communications, and much more. In the end, we made the following recommendations and plans for ourselves as team and for our respective areas:

  • schedule a follow-up meeting in San Antonio in 2013
  • plan for a larger US gathering
  • share reports on our local area activities with team members via email on the last weekend of each month
  • plan an online retreat for the team during 2013
  • development of a 1-2 yr. plan by team members
  • define common practices/formulas for the Friends that would establish a sense of connectedness with all members by February 2013
  • keep closer ties to the groups in our respective regions on a regular basis by phone and email
  • grow the movement by inviting more Friends to the movement and by continuing to study and share the life story of Nano Nagle
  • to develop more resources for use in our meetings: videos, literature, prayers, and guidance from the Sisters
  • continue discussions regarding a website
  • most importantly, to continue to support the Congregation and movement through common prayer beginning with a regularly scheduled Friday morning Team prayer

Alice Jones of San Antonio concluded, "It was a wonderful weekend! The perfect blend of comfort, business, spirituality and fun! And I couldn't have spent it with a more wonderful group of women. Thank you to Sister Jocelyn, and thank you to all who made the trip and contributed so whole-heartedly. A truly blessed (Nano) weekend!"

As our meetings came to an end, we all agreed it was a wonderful success! Chelo Ibarra commented, “I am looking forward to getting back home and connecting with the groups in my region. We are a large area, so there is much work to be done.”

We left with a more cohesive vision, friendships strengthened by our love for the Sisters, and with much excitement for the future. We are bringing home to our respective groups a much clearer understanding of our direction and a heartfelt desire for carrying the legacy of Nano forward. Until we meet again, we will be working to implement the recommendations discussed and to find more ways to grow our movement.

Susan Bieschke from California had this to say, "This first US Team Meeting was a wonderful beginning. Using the strength and guidance God has given each of us through prayer and contemplation, we brought about ideas that will direct the future of the Friends of Nano movement. We pray that the charism of Nano we share, like her lantern light, will bring light into a world of darkness."

Friends of Nano US Team First Meeting - November 2-4, 2012

Ruth Fairbanks



Unable to attend due to family commitments, Ruth Fairbanks from Phoenix joined the meeting at certain points via Skype.


Friends of Nano US Team Meeting - Flickr set



Friends of Nano in San Antonio

Friends of Nano in San AntonioThe Friends of Nano gathered at the Presentation Province Center for a morning reflection. The theme of the morning reflection was “The Heart in Ministry,” as many of them minister in one way or another at the Presentation Ministry Center. Sister Lourdes Leal, CDP, guided us in this reflection.

Sister Lourdes, in expanding the theme, emphasized that there is really One Heart to serve in ministry. In her explication towards this theme, she talked about the kinds of love outlined in Pope Benedict XVI’s Deus Caritas Est and invited us to an openness of heart that allows us to “expand our tents.” She then connected these to the Heart of Jesus and the Heart of Nano, leading us toward Solidarity with all peoples and all of creation. The morning reflection closed with a commitment ritual, using the image of a heart, and an anointing.



Friends of Nano in San AntonioOf course, being Presentation, the morning could not end without celebration. We all proceeded from the meeting room to the dining room where we partook of a flavorful and nutritious lunch and sang “Las Mañanitas” to one of the Friends of Nano who happened to be celebrating her birthday. It was indeed one grace-filled and wonderful day!







"Who Are the Friends of Nano?"

Friends of Nano are people who are inspired by Nano’s story and who are drawn in their own lives to work towards creating a more compassionate, just and sustainable world. They are men and women who have walked the journey with us and who have actively participated in living the mission of Nano; such as co-workers in our places of ministry, associates, participants in our initiatives and others who are inspired by Nano’s story and the ongoing work of the Congregation.  Contact us at