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placeholder Sisters of the Presentation first
came to Berkeley
in 1878

Annual Bishop's Appeal hits record
in 2014

• Sister Shirley
Sexton, SNJM

• Sister Lucian Marie Dusseau, OP

Ordination a
spiritual mission

Details of Pope Francis' US visit

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to graduates from
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Sister Barbara Bray, SNJM

Bishop O'Dowd
High School

De La Salle
High School

Holy Names
High School

St. Elizabeth
High School

St. Joseph Notre Dame High School

Salesian College Preparatory

HNU celebrates
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Moreau Catholic
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High School

Why I chose
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high school

SJND grad's artwork headed to Congress

Students raise
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Private school
students best public
in several subjects

Students take
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Meet Holy Names'
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SJND names
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placeholder June 8, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 11   •   Oakland, CA

Presentation High School, 2116 Jefferson Ave., Berkeley, operated by the Presentation Sisters, opened July 15, 1878 and closed at final graduation, June 11, 1988. The school's annual reunion party will be from 1-3 p.m. June 14 at University Terrace, Building 9, former site of Presentation High, indoors on the ground floor facing the grotto side. 
For more information, www.presentationsisterssf.org.


Sisters of the Presentation first came to Berkeley in 1878

The Sisters of the Presentation — also called Presentation Sisters or PBVMs — can trace their beginnings to Cork, Ireland, in 1775 and a woman named Nano Nagle. Nagle, who was named Honora, was born to a wealthy family. During this period the Irish lived under strict English laws that greatly limited or denied access to economic, educational and political opportunities. It was forbidden to practice the Catholic faith and it was illegal for Irish children to receive an education. Honora and her sister were sent to schools in France.


Year of Consecrated Life

Name: Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco

Founded: by Nano Nagle in Cork, Ireland, 1775

Arrived in the East Bay: Berkeley, 1878

Original ministry: education

Current ministries: education, parish ministry

No. worldwide: More than 2,600

No. in the East Bay: 4

Stationed at: Saint Mary Senior Center; A Friendly Manor; and Children's Hospital, all in Oakland.

For information: Sisters of the Presentation San Francisco, 2340 Turk Blvd., San Francisco, 94118. 415-751-0406 www.presentationsisterssf.org

Seeing poor and needy people in France is said to have greatly affected Nagle, who didn't realize the inequalities the Irish people were living in. She returned to Ireland and was determined to right some of the wrongs.

Risking arrest, she opened schools secretly to teach youngsters to read and write. Under the cover of darkness, she visited the families of her students and others — bringing food and medicine — often carrying a small lamp. To this day the image of Nagle running the streets and back alleys with that lamp is a symbol of the Presentation Sisters.

As word of her good deeds spread, Nagle began to attract followers. With enough women on board Nagle and three companions opened the first Presentation convent in 1775. Originally called the "Order of the "Charitable Instruction of the Sacred Heart of Jesus," the community was later called "Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary."

Thanks to the generosity of a rich uncle, Nagle's convent thrived and convents appeared in nearby towns.

By the time Nagle died in 1784, her legacy of service continued as groups of Presentation Sisters left Ireland to establish convents worlds away.

The Presentation Sisters have called the East Bay home since 1878, starting with the opening of St. Joseph School. Presentation High School and which served the East Bay community for 110 years, before it closed in 1988. The Sisters would start and operate several schools in Oakland and in San Lorenzo and Castro Valley.

After a period of growth in schools, convents and novitiates across the diocese and nation, the ministry of the Presentation Sisters changed. Sisters left the cloister and began living in small communities and much of their focus moved from schools to parishes and other ministries. In the Diocese of Oakland those have included social justice, hospital ministry and case management.

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