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Fargo Presentation Sisters celebrate foundress birthday with celebration and donation

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FARGO N.D.—The Presentation Sisters in Fargo have long been leaders in helping others get out of poverty and homelessness.

And so Thursday, June 12, as the community of sisters celebrates the 300th birthday of its foundress, a gift from one "source of light" to another.

The Presentation Sisters had plenty to sing about and celebrate Thursday.

"She (Nano Nagle) confronted the injustices of her time, and she did it with quiet strength and ingenuity," Bishop John Folda of the Fargo Diocese said of the foundress of Presentation Sisters.

First, Bishop Folda helped the sisters mark the 300th birthday of the woman from Ireland who broke the government rules back then to help the poor. Nano Nagle, the woman with the lantern.

"As the saying goes, Nano fought outside the box, didn't she. She relied on the power of God and not the power of the powerful," the Bishop said.

The Presentation Sisters have been here in our region for 136 years.

"Our sisters were here when this was still Dakota Territory," Sister Stella Olson of Presentation Sisters said.

For decades in our region, educating, helping and housing the poor and needy, and so today a surprise.

As part of this big celebration day, the sisters chose another place in town that provides that light to others, donating $3,000 to Churches United.

Dakota Medical Foundation stepped up and surprised both groups with another $10,000.

"What we love about it, is it makes it contagious. Giving is contagious when you see the light of the Presentation Sisters and you feel it when you are amongst them," Pat Traynor of Dakota Medical Foundation said.

For 300 years, here and abroad, doing what needs to be done.

For all her work, Nano Nagle is being considered by the Vatican for sainthood.

Kevin Wallevand

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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