“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”
– Mahatma Ghandi


History of the International Presentation Association

History of IPA


17 May 1981

Informal Meeting in Rome of Presentation Superiors General

The aim of this meeting was to discuss ways to:

  • promote a world-wide concept of Presentation life and mission in order to strengthen each Sister in her vocation and to increase the effectiveness of each Congregation in its mission within the Church
  • be a forum for the interchange of ideas, insights, experience and vision for the future, in aspects of religious life and apostolic activity
  • be a first step towards establishing some visible links between Presentation Sisters throughout the world, for example
    • examining possibility of once again sharing a common Constitutions (exclusive of government)
    • examining possibility of setting up some kind of Conference of Major Superiors of Presentation Congregations to meet at intervals (e.g. 4 or 5 years)
    • adopting some system of circulating Presentation newsletters inter-Congregationally.

January 1984

Assembly in Melbourne – Look to the Future: Presentation Women in the Church

April 1985

Second International Assembly, Ireland
The aim of this Assembly was to develop a better understanding of the issues relevant to Presentation women throughout the world through a dialogue between the various cultural traditions reflected in the Conference.

May 1986

Core Group Meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe to plan the India Meeting

October 1986

Third International Assembly, Puhe, India
The aim of this Assembly was to discover whether or not we have a common understanding of charism and to make further recommendations in the light of these. The formation of an international association of Presentation women was proposed.

May 1987

Meeting of Coordinating Team in Rome
The aim of this meeting was to prepare a consultative process to be used with Sisters in order to determine the support for an international association.

January 1988

Meeting of Leaders of North America, Society and Union

October 1988

Fourth International Assembly, Los Gatos, California
The establishment of an Association was agreed to in principle and an Identity Statement was formulated.

January 1989

Leaders meet at Mill Hill, England
The aim of this meeting was to clarify the structure of the Association, work out a job description for a coordinator and prepare an advertisement for the position.

26 April 1989

IPA ritually established at a liturgy prepared by the Indian Sisters and celebrated in every Presentation Community

May 1989

Meeting in Rome to select the Coordinator

August 1989

Meeting in Whittler CA with the Coordinator
The aim of this meeting was to clarify the Coordinator’s role and consider ways of implementing the goals of the Association.

March 1990

Meeting in Delhi, India
The aim of this meeting was to plan the 1991 Assembly and its preparatory activities.

September 1991

First IPA Assembly in Perth, Australia – Beyond the Possible

September 1995

Second IPA Assembly in Ireland – Walking in the Footsteps of Nano
The Purpose and Expressions of the Purpose of IPA were formulated. (The Expressions of Purpose were rewritten at the 1999 Assembly)

December 1997

IPA granted accreditation by the United Nations Department of Public Information

December 1998

Gathering of Justice Contacts in Cebu, Philippines – Hearing the Cry of the Poor … Journeying Together in Justice towards the New Millenium
The purpose of this gathering was three-fold:

  • Enlightenment – global consciousness-raising
  • Education – intercultural exposure
  • Empowerment – prophetic action for justice

November 1999

Third IPA Assembly in Esopus, New York – Jubilee Justice: Restoring Right Relationships
The Expressions of Purpose of IPA were rewritten and a new IPA structure was established in order to achieve the unique purpose of IPA which is to channel our resources so that we can speak and act in partnership with others for justice.

March 2000

United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) granted consultative status to IPA

February 2001

Gathering of Presentation Formators held in Aitape, Papua New Guinea
Participants came from Chile, India, New Zealand, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The purposes of the gathering was:

  • to gain a deeper understanding of our Presentation Mission
  • to provide opportunity for sharing our lived experience and exchanging information
  • to explore ways to make justice education and action for justice an integral aspect of initial and ongoing formation
  • inculturation
  • contextualised formation in and for mission
  • to find ways of supporting each other in this ministry, making connections and networking
  • to plan a direction for the future.

November 2003

Fourth IPA Assembly held in Australia

The theme of this Assembly – A New Dreaming … Seeking Wholeness of Creation – drew the members to plan for the future in response to the cry of those made poor by oppressive systems and to the cry of the earth. To strengthen our global network for justice, the Identity Statement and Directions for Mission were reviewed and revised to include our call to be in right relationship with all of creation.

November 2007

Fifth IPA Assembly held in Bangalore, India

The theme of this Assembly Listen, the Cry of the Earth, the Cry of the Poor challenged Presentations around the world to listen deeply to the cry of Earth heard most loudly in the cry of those made poor and to attend with urgency to the woundedness of the global community. In particular, Presentations were challenged to address the root causes of poverty, especially by confronting personal and corporate greed which exploit Earth, her people and the whole community of life. For a reflection on the Fifth IPA Assembly read the letter from the IPA Leadership Group to Presentations around the world.

November 2012

Sixth IPA Assembly held in St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

The theme of this Assembly, Consciousness Evolving, invited Presentation people from around the world

  • To affirm each sister’s contribution to the IPA’s mission
  • To deepen our sense of oneness in the spirit of Nano, lived out in diverse ways
  • To deepen consciousness of the Universe Story and of our interconnectedness with the whole community of life
  • To become more aware of the ways in which IPA’s mission has evolved over the past five years and implications of this for the future
  • To nurture a contemplative stance throughout the Assembly.

May 2016

Gathering of Presentation Formators held in Lusaka, Zambia

Sisters in attendance came from Africa, India, Ireland, England, Latin America, New Zealand, Newfoundland, Pakistan, United States, Philippines, and Thailand.  The group included formation directors, unit leadership team liaisons, sisters up to ten years perpetually professed, and sisters in temporary vows, along with the gathering planning team.  The African sisters graciously hosted the group at Kasisi Retreat Center