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Presentation Sisters Honored at St Joseph’s Parish, Upland, CA

On 4 November, twenty-two Presentation Sisters gathered at St Joseph’s Church, Upland, California for a special Eucharistic Liturgy that the parish planned, to celebrate sixty-two years of Presentation life and ministry at the parish and the school. Sr Sheila Reen, PBVM, upon the request of Fr Tim Do, Pastor, delivered an inspiring and rousing reflection on the Scripture readings that were chosen. She also briefly shared the story of Nano Nagle, Founder 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 Sr Mary Frances Coleman, RSM, who attended the celebration, renewed their religious vows – a great public witness that touched many people on the eve of the National Vocation Awareness Week 2018. 

After Mass, accompanied by the school choir, singing “One Step Beyond” (L. Lawton), and led by the school principal, Ms Sandra Alamo-Ng, lighting the way with a lantern, the congregation processed to St Joseph’s School for the blessing of a new mural. This mural depicts the Presentation of Mary, Nano Nagle and the 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’s School students. Sr Mary Frances Coleman, Director of the Office of Consecrated Life, relayed Bishop Barnes’ greetings. Yet another surprise awaited – Fr Tim and Sal Chabolla from the Pastoral Council presented a plaque to the Sisters, re-naming the parish hall as the ‘Presentation Hall’. The plaque was received by Sr Mary Kelly, PBVM. 

The Presentation Sisters were honored – that’s one reason for a celebration – but really, this presentation was also a tribute to the generosity, support and love of generations of people. It was indeed a night to remember and cherish. 

Eighth Grade Mission Project

At St Joseph’s School, Upland, CA, the Eighth Grade class has taken its first steps on an exciting adventure! This year, the class decided to help a primary school in Sampa, Ghana, by fundraising to complete a small but necessary project the school needs. In collaboration with Change the World of One (CWOO), a non-profit organisation that connects people who want to help with people around the world. The Eigth Grade has a unique opportunity to change the world of the students of this one primary school. SDA Primary School, Sampa, Ghana is a very poor, rural school, lacking in most basic amenities. With the first installment of $85, SDA Primary was able to build three new desks, big enough for two students each. On the front of each desk the students wrote “Donated by St Joseph’s School (USA).” 

Hand in hand with the fundraising, the students from both schools will participate in a cultural exchange program. Already, the Eight Grade students have received questions put to them by the SDA Primary students and have enthusiastically replied. Each month the sharing of questions and answers through writing, videos and photos will give both schools ‘a peek’ into their different cultures. At the end of their Eighth Grade year, the students will have gained an incredible amount of knowledge, understanding and appreciation for a culture totally different from their own. They will have taken a special journey with children from the other side of the world, growing together while making an impact on their lives.