Our Spirituality

Presentation spirituality arises from what is known as our “charism”A charism is a deep awareness of a gospel value or values linked to a special need in the world.


Our foundress, Nano Nagle, saw a need for education and support amongst the people living in poverty in her parish in Cork. She wanted to challenge the structures that pushed people into poverty and which kept them poor.


You can read more about Nano Nagle’s life and work on our Nano Nagle page.

Four desks and blackboard in an old fashioned classroom

The journey from education to social justice

Nano began to express her passion for those made poor, and for changing the social and political structures that kept people poor. She did this by setting up schools to educate poor Catholic children, girls in particular. This challenged the norms of the day. Education was just the starting point for Nano and it became the foundation for her broader work for justice.

Our spirituality and charism today

Presentation charism is rooted in our foundations – and it informs and guides our present and our future.


In the words of Marlette Black PBVM, it is the “ongoing deep story that is developed throughout the whole community’s history, shaped to respond to particular needs in different times, places and cultures.”

Artists rendering of hospice building

Compassion in Action in Newfoundland

One of our core spiritual values is ‘Compassion’ and this can be expressed in so many ways.

Care for the dying is a particularly strong expression of this value. This moving story from Clo Martin PBVM, Justice Contact for Newfoundland, demonstrates how compassion can transform into action.

"As the Presentation face of God’s mission, our mission is about seeking out, uncovering, building on and celebrating God’s presence."

From 'Presentation Charism and Spirituality' by Marlette Black PBVM

Delving deeper into Presentation Charism and Spirituality

Presentation spirituality contains a richness which is difficult to express in a few lines on a website. To read more about how it informs our work, please read the Presentation Charism and Spirituality booklet by Marlette Black PBVM.


Our Spirituality and Charism Animator, Lancia Rodrigues PBVM, and Lisa Pires PBVM, have prepared an insightful guide to the history and lived expression of Presentation spirituality in India. You can download and read it here: “Evolution of Spirituality in our Presentation Story in India”.

Click the image to download the Presentation Charism and Spirituality booklet by Marlette Black PBVM

"At a time when the role of women in shaping society was severely restricted, she lived on the razor's edge, a woman fearless before a tyrannical world." - Anne Lyons PBVM

Charism - a poem

“Charism is the heart of the founder aglow at one period in history
beating in on us in another day and age…
Charism is tree, branch, flower, fruit.
An ever-changing, always rooted obsession
For the coming reign of God, where the reign of God is needed most,
One that develops from age to age
And then grows up in a new way in the next one.
Charism is a living passion for whatever dimension of the life of Christ ..
peace, truth, healing, mercy… is missing now.
Here, in our time.
Where we are.”

by Joan Chittister