The response to an invitation to labour in the land consecrated by the tears and sweat of St. Francis Xavier brought the daughters of Nano to the shores of India in 1842. The team led by mother Frances Xavier Curran took charge of the Orphan House (Estd. 1840) and transformed it to a regular school. On 2nd Jan. 1863, reinforcements came in the form of Mother Mary Ignatius Moore, Mother Mary Agnes Walton and a number of young sisters from Ireland. Soon the school came under grant-in Rules and students were presented for public Examination. In 1899 land was purchased and the foundation stone for the present school was laid. The new school was opened in 1900
The history of the Congregation of the Union of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary springs from a response to the spirit at a particular time, in a particular culture. Nano Nagle founded the Institute of the Charitable Instruction of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, on Christmas Eve, 1775 in Cork, Ireland. She was born into a wealthy, catholic family and had the advantage of an education in France, at a time when unjust laws deprived the less advantaged of schooling and education in Ireland.Nano heard the call of God in the cry of the poor, condemned as they were to ignorance, superstition and loss of faith.Conscious of her own weakness, she resisted the call, but after much suffering and heart searching Nano responded.Nano, true to her family’s coat of arms, “NOT WORDS, BUT DEEDS”, began her mission among the poor in the “Little School” in Cove Lane, Cork 1754 – 1755.
Her concern for her people, her courage and her perseverance inspired her to establish other schools in different parts of the city and to support charitable works for those who were poor and oppressed by unjust and social systems.While Nano’s immediate mission was confined to her native city, her understanding of mission was universal: “For I can assure you, my schools are beginning to be of service in saving souls in any part of the world, I would willingly do all in my power”.
Nano’s desire was to ensure the continuation and extension of her mission for the education of the poor and the relief of those exploited by the penal laws.She lived this mission until her death on 26th April 1784.Difficult historical and social circumstances of the period caused significant changes in the Institute’s manner of life.
In 1805, Pope Pius VI approved new constitutions 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. The new Congregation was established by a papal decree: Its title is, The Union of Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
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. 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.