Bi-Centenary Celebration in Presentation Secondary School, Clonmel

The Presentation Community in Clonmel are celebrating 200 years of Presentation Education in Clonmel this year.

A wonderful celebration took place on October 4th when all the pupils of Presentation Primary and Secondary schools, gathered to participate in a moving and memorable Mass of Thanksgiving to mark the Bi-Centenary of the arrival of the Presentation Sisters to the town.

Pictured above are members of the Presentation Community.

The Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated by Bishop William Lee. It was fitting to celebrate this special Mass in St Mary’s Church, Irishtown because this is where the story started on Oct 2nd 1813.

The first three Presentation Sisters came to Clonmel on that date. They took up residence in a house right beside the church and shortly after started the long tradition of Presentation Education that has continued since in the town.

Mrs. Anne Breen, chairperson of the Bi-centenary Committee welcomed the congregation which included invited guests including the Mayor Pat English, Presentation Sisters, staff and students of both Primary & Secondary Schools, members of the Boards of Managements and Parents Councils, clergy, religious and parishioners from the local community.

Bishop Lee, in his homily, paid tribute to the Presentation sisters for their unselfish work in education in Clonmel for the last two hundred years and he thanked the lay members of the school staffs for keeping the rich heritage of Presentation Education alive in the schools.

A packed church listened to the beautiful music of the both school choirs under the direction of Ms. Alley, Ms. Williams and Ms. Conway.

Many were moved by the beautiful sound of the choirs and it was fitting that the children should be at the heart of the celebration. All who attended this Mass agreed that it was a truly wonderful occasion.

At the end of the Mass, Sr.Imelda Carew, Provinical Leader of the South East province and Sr. Marie Stella Mangan, Leader of the local community on behalf of the Presentation Sisters thanked everyone who participated in the Mass and paid tribute to everyone who has kept the light of Nano Nagle alive in the local community of Clonmel.

Sr. Imelda Carew, S.E. Provincial, reminded those present that the arrival of the Presentation Sisters in Clonmel 200 years ago was a "ray of hope in bleak times". Over the years many things had changed for the Sisters.

Sr. Imelda noted that the spirit and charism of Nano Nagle is embedded in the school community and has spread out to the wider community.

She thanked the local people for their continued support and for taking up Nano's call over the years.

This mass marked the beginning of a series of events planned by the Presentation Community in Clonmel to celebrate the bicentenary year. On Presentation day, November 21st, a student concert will be held in the schools.

On the January 6th 2014, a commemorative stone will be unveiled on the Presentation grounds as the first school was opened on that date two hundred years ago.

In March, an historical exhibition will take place in the County Museum in Clonmel in association with the launch of a book celebrating the history of Presentation education in Clonmel.

In May, a musical recital by Micheal O Suilleabhain will be held in the museum to marking the end of the exhibition.