UPLAND—On Nov. 4, 22 Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary gathered at St. Joseph Church in Upland for a special Eucharistic liturgy to celebrate 62 years of Presentation ministry at the parish and the school.
Sister Sheila Reen, P.B.V.M., upon the request of Father Timothy 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 Sister Mary Frances Coleman, RSM, Diocesan Director of Consecrated Life, renewed their religious vows—a great public witness that touched a lot of people on the eve of National Vocation Awareness Week.
After Mass, the congregation processed to the parish school accompanied by the school choir, singing “One Step Beyond,” and led by School Principal Sandra Alamo Ng, who lighted the way with a lantern. At the school they celebrated the blessing of a new mural that 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. Sr. Coleman relayed Bishop Gerald Barnes’ greetings. Then, yet another surprise awaited – Fr. Do and Sal Chabolla from the Parish Pastoral Council presented a plaque to the Sisters re-naming the parish hall as “Presentation Hall.” The plaque was received by Sr. Mary Kelly, recently retired principal of St. Joseph School.
The Presentation Sisters were honored—one reason for a celebration—but it was also a tribute to the generosity, support and love of generations of people. It was indeed a night to remember and cherish.