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HISTORY < 1 | 2 | 3 >

THE HISTORY OF THE CONGREGATION OF PRESENTATION SISTERS

The Congregation of Presentation Sisters was founded by Nano Nagle in Cork, Ireland, in 1775. The founding of this Congregation was the fruit of her loving and compassionate service to the poor of Ireland.

Nano Nagle grew up with all the advantages of one born into a wealthy family. But her sensitive heart heard the call of God in the cry of the poor, who were ignorant, ridden in superstition and had no faith in God. Nano responded to this call and in doing so, discovered a whole new reason for living.  She dedicated the rest of her life to the cause of Catholic education and the relief of social ills wherever she discovered them.

Nano believed that education was a powerful means of transforming Society and hence, began her mission among the poor in the little School in Cove Lane, Cork. From these small beginnings, the Presentation Sisters spread to many towns in Ireland and thence all over the world.

They came to India in 1842. During the first hundred years, schools, dispensaries and hospitals were opened in Tamil Nadu, Goa, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir. Since 1976 a new dimension was added to the Presentation Mission as sisters were missioned to some of the rural areas and city slums.

In the spirit of our Foundress, Nano Nagle, the task of the Presentation School today is to accompany the students to discover the light within themselves and share it with others; to make them God-centred and other person centred; to enable them to be responsible citizens in the world of our times and play their unique role in the transformation of society.

ST. THERESE'S HIGH SCHOOL, VASCO DA GAMA, GOA

WE REMEMBER WITH DEEP GRATITUDE, OUR BEGINNINGS AT VASCO:
[On the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of our Convent]
From the Archives…

This is how it all began…

The opening of a second convent in Goa, happened by chance. The three Sisters in Orlim (salcete), Goa, needed company and support. In the course of a conversation with the three sisters, Fr. Lawrence, a Portuguese priest, invited the Sisters to begin a convent in Vasco, since the presence of religious Sisters was required there. Prior to this, three different communities had come to Vasco, but for some reason or other did not stay.

The request was made to Mother Lourdes in Pakistan who being a woman of vision, immediately missioned three Sisters to start the foundation. Prior to their arrival, the Sisters in Orlim had to find a house. They walked the streets of Vasco for hours, but their efforts were like looking for a needle in a haystack - they knew neither the people nor the language, and besides they were not even sure if they were welcome. But the Lord was good to them through the kind assistance of a well-wisher, a Mr. Furtado, who helped them to get a rented house.

On the 16th of May 1958, Sisters Patricia Kelly, Aloysius Smith and Sr. Ciaran arrived from Rawalpindi, via Karachi. The 5th of June 1958 was chosen for the official opening. Formal classes began on the 16th June with only 16 children on the roll. By July the pupils increased to 26, with 10 music pupils. Music was taught after school to help make ends meet. God's Providence was experienced in the difficult beginnings through the generosity of many friends and benefactors. The early days were hard - no electricity, no running water supply, neither money nor even enough food to eat as the Sisters could not receive financial aid either from Pakistan or India. The numbers in the school remained very low, so in order to meet the expenses, Sr. Aloysius taught music before and after school whilst newly- arrived Sister Christine engaged in private tuition. Inspite of all the hardships, the Sisters struggled on. The situation at one point had become so difficult, that Mother Lourdes, fearing for the Sisters, asked them to prepare to leave - but God had other plans up His sleeve.

December 1961, saw the dawn of a new aeon - the era of Goa's Liberation. On 18th December, the first bomb fell, off the airport, and all traffic was stopped. The Sisters quickly locked the convent and set out on foot to Orlim. Late that evening they arrived footsore and tired, though kind folk gave them a lift part of the way. Within a fortnight, the Sisters were back to work, and when school re-opened on the first day, new children from the Indian Army and Navy Officers swelled the numbers.

By 1964, the number of students had steadily increased and the rented building was found too small to accomodate all those who sought admission, and so a double shift was started. For the teachers and students that was fine - but for the Sisters this meant two days work - however, they kept the flame alive. The numbers continued to increase and more accomodation was sought. A building across the road was rented. The school was also recognised by the Board of Education (Pune), and permission was granted to send children for the S.S.C. The Sodality of Mary was started for the older children, whilst the younger age group joined the Eucharistic Crusade. At this time too, the Legion of Mary was introduced in Vasco - members of this group were mostly teachers who were untiring in their zeal. Sister Dominic conducted First Holy Communion Classes for Catholic children, whilst Sisters Bernardine and Loyola assisted with the Catechism instruction.

(Continued on page 2…)

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Principal: Sr. Anice George

Convenor's Message:
"Welcome past pupils, teachers and parents."


PTA Pres.: A. Henriques

President's Message:
"We are going to make this the best school Golden Jubilee ever!"


Gen-Sec.: Gustavo D'Souza

Gen. Sec.'s Message:
"On behalf of the 2008 50th Jubilee Committee, welcome back to Vasco


Co-ordnr.: Electra Rebello

Coordinator's Msg.:
"We're bringing all your memories together of the last 50 great years."