Limerick Bishop celebrates 125 years of Presentation Sisters

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Bishop Brendan Leahy tells Presentation students and staff to 'be happy' at ceremony. Picture: Keith Wiseman
PRESENTATION Secondary School was full of celebrations for a number of reasons as a ceremony was held in the sports hall during the week.

PRESENTATION Secondary School was full of celebrations for a number of reasons as a ceremony was held in the sports hall during the week.

To mark 125 years in Limerick and the announcement that Nano Nagle - Presentation Sisters foundress - will be made a saint by Pope Francis, Bishop Brendan Leahy delivered a speech to all students and staff.

As he was being guided through the school corridors, where students greeted him, he told the Limerick Leader that Nano Nagle was an “inspiration”.

“She set up the Presentation Sisters and she taught people at a time in Ireland where there was a lot of need. She had the vision to do it and also the practical sense of how to do it. It wasn’t always easy for her but she kept going. As a result, there is a huge inheritance in Ireland and also here in Limerick.

“The Presentation school has a wonderful reputation here. They have been here for many, many years, so loads and loads and loads of girls have literally gone through this school, and as a result they are women carrying very important roles all over Limerick.

“And I think we can be very grateful that the influence of Nano Nagle and the sisters and the teachers goes right throughout society and Limerick,” he explained.

To celebrate 176 years of Presentation Day, students of all ages spoke about the Nano Nagle’s history; growing up as an upper-class Irish woman in France, she used her wealth to contribute to society and to help the poor.

A special feature of Thursday’s Mass was the Prayer of the Faithful, which was spoken by individual students in Irish, Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian, Congolese French and Thai.

“Diversity is a great gift. It means you can know and get to learn about other people and their ways, their traditions and their culture. It can also expand your perspective, and I think that’s an absolute gift,” Bishop Leahy said, commenting on how the school has changed culturally over the past few years.

Rachel O’Regan, one of the school’s head girls, greeted the Bishop with fellow head girl, Ciara Judge. She said it was a proud moment to be part of this occasion.

“It’s been great being a student here over the past six years. It’s also a huge honour to represent the school as year head with Ciara,” she said.