Nano's Nine Associate Group
"Being at a point in my life where I had decided to let God lead me, I found myself in the midst of eight beautiful women," claims Associate Sharon Loeffelholz. "As we read the inspiring story of Nano Nagle, I knew I wanted to be part of continuing her dream. Nano's Nine brings me inner peace, spiritual growth and opportunities to serve others."
Sharon is a member of Nano's Nine, an associate group composed of seven associates and two Presentation Sisters. The group meets regularly for prayer, discussion, community and service.
The group assists at the Dubuque Food Pantry each Christmas in preparing baskets for the poor. Associate Delynn Fangman states, "To me, being an associate means following in the ways of Nano Nagle - working with the Presentation Sisters in assisting and being kind and caring to those in need and looking for ways to better our world for tomorrow." Delynn was instrumental also in obtaining supplies and directing the group in making tied blankets for the needy in our community the past several winters.
For the past six years, the group assisted with the annual Garage Sale, the profits of which benefit the Presentation Sisters' ministries. Sister Carmen Hernandez appreciates what Nano's Nine have been able to accomplish together. Sister states, "Our united desire to serve God and others is what has centered us and given us the strength to accomplish our tasks."
Associate Dawn Olberding feels a deep connection with the group, whether it is in prayer, discussions or various service projects. "Helping others by following the mission statement of the sisters, and growing spiritually, is what being an associate means to me," proclaims Dawn.
Sister Lynn Fangman shares that it has been heartwarming for her to share the Presentation charism with associates. She says, "I appreciate the fact that our associates are willing and eager to walk with us in our mission of today. Their energy and insights continue to call me one step beyond."
Fun projects that Nano's Nine completed were the making of stepping stones for each of their gardens symbolizing the Presentation Sisters/Associate partnership and designing and purchasing logo T-shirts. "Family - that is what being a Presentation Associate means to me," states Associate Darla Budden. "It has become a spiritual awakening in my life. The weaving of my family and the family of Presentation Sisters and Associates has become a beautiful tapestry. I am truly grateful for the Lord's blessings and now I want to share these blessings with my broader family and the world."
The group studied the Earth Charter and identified ways that they as a group and individually can make a difference in "saving Earth."
Associate Mary Drees enjoys being an active member of the Associate Partnership whose beliefs and actions she respects and honors. She states, "The Presentation community challenges me to look beyond my small day-to-day world and consider the larger community. As an associate I'm able to work with Presentation Sisters towards their commitment of helping those in need. The opportunity is truly a gift to me."
"The hand of the Lord feeds us," sings the Psalmist; "He answers all our needs." Often, however, it is with the open hands of generous stewards willing to share God's many gifts that God's people are fed and their needs met. Nano's Nine are truly partners in the Presentation mission of serving the poor.
Pictured below: left to right, back row: Sister Lynn Fangman, Mary Drees, Deb McClimon, Dawn Olberding and Sharon Loeffelholz; front row, DeLynn Fangman, Darla Budden, Sister Carmen Hernandez and Karla Berns.