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Book Launch of new book on Nano Nagle edited by three Presentation Sisters



Over one hundred people gathered on a warm evening on 9 June, in the wonderful surroundings of Mount St Anne’s Retreat and Conference Centre, Portarlington, Ireland to celebrate the launch of a book on Nano Nagle.

Nano Nagle and An Evolving Charism is edited by Srs Bernadette Flanagan (North East Province, Ireland), Mary T. O’Brien (South West Province, Ireland) and Anne O’Leary (Congregational Leadership Team) with contributions from leading scholars linked to Presentation from across the globe on Nano’s life and mission and the Presentation vision.

Subtitled ‘A guide for Educators, Leaders and Care Providers’  it also provides a rich insight into the social milieu in which Nano lived and presents a fascinating exploration of her enduring legacy for Christians and all people of good will across the globe today.

The event got underway with a Procession of authors, contributors and speakers to the refrain of Who Will Light the Lantern, with a Ritual Lighting of the Lantern from the Paschal candle. A reading from Scripture (Jn 8:12), a sung Lumen Christi, Alleluia was followed by a prayer for the Feast Day of St Columba read by Most Reverend  Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin.

Then there was a warm welcome to everyone from Sr Anne McDermott, local leader of the resident Mount St Anne’s community. In her role as MC for the evening, Dr Oonagh O’Brien, newly-appointed Director and CEO of the centre invited special guest and keynote speaker, Dom Christopher Dillon OSB to address the group.

Dom Christopher Dillon OSB addressing the
launch with Ms Oonagh O’Brien (L) and
Sr Mary T O’Brien PBVM (R).

Dom Christopher, who is related to Nano on her maternal side – spoke about the influence of this ‘woman of faith and indomitable courage, who pursued a visionary mission, against a backdrop of prejudice, persecution and constant insecurity, in the eighteenth century Ireland of the Penal Laws’. He also encouraged the major Religious Congregations in Ireland to collaboratively fund a University Chair for the study of the social and religious history of Ireland from 1700 until modern times.
Read the full text of Dom Christopher Dillon’s address here.

Watch an extract of Dom Christopher Dillon OSB’s address:

In her response, Sr Mary Deane, Congregational Leader, thanked Rev Dillon and using  the analogy of the Dawn Chorus, noted that the Presentation Charism in today’s world can act as ‘a wake-up call to creation that spreads across the world’.
Read the full text of Sr Mary Deane’s address here.
Watch an extract of Sr Mary Deane’s address below.

All three editors also spoke and presented gifts in thanks and appreciation for their support and the support of their respective Leadership Teams to the Srs Mary Deane, Margarita Ryan (Provincial Leader, North East) and Sheila Kelleher (Provincial Leader, South West); to the Sisters at Mount St Anne’s and to the Veritas team, who published the book.

(L-R): Srs Bernadette Flanagan, Anne O’Leary and Mary T O’Brien .

Formal proceedings completed, there was plenty of chat, greetings of friends and book signing and a delicious buffet reception rounded off a wonderful gathering.

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