Living Nano Nagle's Charism
In 1791 Pope Pius VI granted papal approval. The sisters took simple vows and were not bound by enclosure, thus ensuring that Nano Nagle’s desire to be wherever the poor were to be found was treasured. Her heart was touched by the pain of those who were made poor and whose dignity was diminished. At the core of her mission was a passion for justice, a passion which remained vibrant in the Congregation of Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as it gradually grew and flourished.
Difficult historical and social circumstances of the period caused significant changes in the Institute’s manner of life. In 1805, Pope Pius VII approved new constitutions which incorporated these changes: profession of solemn vows and a rule of enclosure. At the same time the Institute was given its official title: The Order of the Presentation of Our Blessed Lady.
Historical and legal factors caused the various houses of the Congregation to develop into autonomous units, but the particular charism of the foundress, living on in persons and communities, has always been a source of life and unity.
In 1976, in response to the invitation of Vatican II, a number of autonomous Presentation Congregations came together as one Congregation. This new Congregation was established by the Papal Degree. Its title is, The Union of Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
NANO NAGLE’S CHARISM TODAY
Today, the experience of being Presentation is shaped both by faithfulness to the ongoing commitment to the Presentation tradition as well as by new understandings of how that tradition finds expression in social, religious, cultural and ecological contexts. Moved by the vulnerability of the dispossessed, the daily hunger of people, the search for meaning, the fragmentation of our universe and our fragility, we have come to a new consciousness of our inter-connectedness and our interdependence. We encourage each other to respond wholeheartedly in the spirit of Nano Nagle, as a way of living our Christian and Presentation calling in today’s world.