Iona Presentation College

Go One Step Beyond

Location: Pond Blackwater Wall

Chorus from Who Will Light the Lantern? (Liam Lawton)

Who will light the lantern and keep it burning bright?
Who will search the darkness where shadows seek the light?
Who will find the courage to sing a different song?
Who will light the lantern and go one step beyond?

Nano's vision of meeting the needs of the church is prophetically expressed in her words, "If I could be of service in saving souls in any part of the globe, I would willingly do all in my power" (Nano's letter to Miss Fitzsimmons, 17th July, 1769). The notion of serving others, particularly the poor and marginalised, and going 'one step beyond' is synonymous with Presentation Sisters and Presentation people around the globe.

We know from the history of the Presentation congregations as they spread around the world that the Spirit of Nano and her call to action has continued to be transformational in the lives of sisters, students and staff in Presentation schools and many others over the years. The work of Presentation people in a variety of contexts, including Iona Presentation College, has challenged unjust structures, welcomed each person, respected their dignity and inspired people to 'find the courage to sing a different song' to work for an alternative society where all people are included. In order for us to continue to 'go one step beyond', we are encouraged to reflect deeply on our individual and collective spirituality. In this way, we can understand how Nano faced failure and obstacles in her life and how she was able to let go of what was not furthering the mission of Jesus Christ.

The commitment to lived virtue or action for justice is authentic to the example of Nano Nagle and the mission of God she strived to realise in her time and place. Therefore, as Presentation people, we are called to 'go one step beyond' using deeds rather than words (the Nagle family motto). Liam Lawton, in his song 'One Step Beyond', issues a challenge to all Presentation people to continue to 'light the lantern' and keep the Presentation charism at the core of all we do.

The College's longstanding commitment to Christian Service provides staff and students with meaningful and unique opportunities to keep Nano's lantern 'burning bright' in the local community.

At an international level, the Presentation Sisters are committed to bringing the light of Christ to the world through three units:

  • The Union of Presentation Sisters that includes Africa, Canada, England, India, New Zealand, Latin America, Ireland, Pakistan, Philippines and the United States.
  • The Conference of Presentation Sisters of North America that includes the Congregations of Aberdeen, Dubuque, New Windsor, San Francisco and Staten Island
  • The Australian Society of Presentation Sisters that includes the Congregations of Lismore, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, Wagga Wagga, Western Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Together, they comprise the International Presentation Association (IPA). The mission of IPA is to channel the resources of the various congregations of Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary so that they can speak and act in partnership with others for global justice. It is the IPA's NGO status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the United Nations in New York, that provides a structure to speak and act about global justice issues, specifically those related to Environment and Sustainable Living, Human Rights, Indigenous People and Women and Children.

Another way that the legacy of Nano Nagle continues is through the Nagle Education Alliance of Australia. The NEAA provides leadership to school communities across Australia in their endeavour to identify with, express and live out the Presentation charism and mission by sharing resources and experiences. Its mission is to bring Australian Presentation People together through education and social justice.


Text and Music: Liam Lawton

There was a time, such a time when hearts were hurting,
Longing to find some peace of mind, find an open door.
I knew a time, such a time, one heart kept searching,
Trying to see the darkness to free a heart without its soul.


Who will light the lantern and keep it burning bright?
Who will search the darkness, where shadows seek the light?
Who will find the courage to sing a different song?
Who will light the lantern and go one step beyond?

We knew a place, such a place in the future
Where someone is lost, always accost with uncertainties.
We know a space, such a place in our future
Where love heals the pain, love lights the flame through the nights of years.


 Liam Lawton

Adapted from Sources:

  • Presentation Society Website
  • NEAA Module 2 Presentation Spirituality
  • NEAA Module 3 Presentation Charism
  • Liam Lawton Song – One Step Beyond