The Nano Nagle Centre has been designed primarily as a performing arts centre. St John Vianney’s Primary Manly strongly supports student participation in music and drama. The Nano Nagle Centre provides an excellent venue for students to learn and perform. In addition the parish and wider community are able to access the facility for a wide range of events.
Nano Nagle was a courageous Irish woman who founded the Presentation Order. She had a mission for the order like no other congregation : to go out and work amongst the poor.
Nano Nagle was born on the 9th of April, 1718. She and her family lived in Ballygriffin in County Cork, Ireland. She was the founder of the Presentation Sisters and a pioneer of Catholic education in Ireland.
Nano Nagle made the decision to enter an Ursuline Convent in France. During her time in the convent she realised that her life would be more usefully employed among her own people in Ireland. She returned from France in 1749 and set up her first school around this time. The proceedings had to be kept secret as her actions were outside the law. She started teaching children in a mud cabin. She went from home to home each day to gather the needy people to teach. She ministered to the elderly and sick in her hometown at night-time. This gave her the nickname The Lady with the Lantern.
Nano Nagle received the habit on 29th June 1776, taking the name of Mother Mary of Saint John of God. They made their first annual vows on the 24th June 1777. She founded the first convent in Ireland; which was opened on Christmas Day 1777.
Her first order was called the "Sisters of Charitable Instruction of the Sacred Heart of Jesus" but it was later changed to "Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary", or the "Presentation Sisters". Today lay people and sisters work in carrying out Nano's vision. Nano Nagle died on 26th April 1784.