Iona students send messages of gratitude around the world
11 October 2021
The Iona Presentation College Student Ministry Group, a co-curricular opportunity for students in Years 7 to 12, recently completed a project entitled ‘#BeNano’, which put them in touch with Presentation contacts around the world.
#BeNano was a Presentation Gratitude Project named after Presentation Sisters Founder, Venerable Nano Nagle, and inspired by the #BeNano Twitter campaign by Presentation Sisters in north-east Ireland.
For their project, the students wrote messages of appreciation on postcards featuring an image of the College’s Presentation Women mural.
Dean of Mission and Catholic Identity (and postcard designer), Gemma Thomson, said that the College seeks to inspire students to engage in acts of gratitude on a regular basis.
“This postcard project offered an opportunity for reflection on the importance of service to others; which was role modelled by both Jesus and Nano,” Miss Thomson said.
“Venerable Nano Nagle is known widely as ‘the lady of the lantern’ – she walked the laneways of Cork in Ireland bringing light, physically and metaphorically, to those living on the margins,
“The symbol of light is very important for Presentation schools and communities, as we are called to be ‘bearers of light’ in our daily lives through our deeds and words,
“The term ‘lantern work’ is synonymous with Presentation people around the world,” she said.
The students sent gratitude postcards to International Presentation Association (IPA) Justice Contacts in countries around the world including, but not limited to, Australia, India, Ireland, New Zealand, the United States and Zambia.
They also had the opportunity to learn about the mission of IPA Justice Contacts and different ways the Justice Contacts carry out ‘lantern work’ in their respective contexts.
In response to their postcards, messages came back from around the world, including:
Thanks a million for your words of appreciation and your thoughtfulness in sending a beautiful card to us. I am delighted to hear from you. May God and Nano bless you and your family. I pray that you may be blessed and continue to draw the inspirations from Jesus and Nano. All the best for your studies. Take care. (India)
Thank you for the lovely surprise you gave me with your words of appreciation for the efforts of International Presentation People in promoting a more just world. You and the other students at Iona Presentation College have certainly put a smile on my face! I hope you all keep well and safe despite the continuing pandemic, which has been a wake-up call for us humans who have been taking the natural world and all it contains for granted. (Ireland)
I was thrilled to receive your beautiful #BeNano card. Amazing art and so attractive. Your project is amazing. I teach at Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania. Our students learn a lot about systemic injustices and also reach out to serve in the city of Philadelphia and marginalized countries. Thanks for being a Presentation person and for your Lantern work! (United States)
As well as the international contacts, the students also sent postcards to Presentation Sisters in Western Australia, learning a little about the contributions that each Sister has made in shining the light of Jesus and Nano.
Matilda, one of the students involved, sent her card to Sr Gabrielle Morgan, one of the International Presentation Association Directors and Congregation Leader of the Tasmanian Presentation Sisters.
Sr Gabrielle was recently in Perth, and was able to hand deliver her response to Matilda while visiting the College.
Matilda was thrilled with the response:
“I thought sending a postcard to Sister Gabrielle in Tasmania was pretty special as Miss Thomson had told me about her justice work, but to meet her in person when she visited Perth and receive a hand-written thank you card really made my Monday!”