Presentation Reflection Walk | Blackwater Pond (Station 13)


Station 13 –

Blackwater Pond

Location: Blackwater Pond

Audio: Read by Sister Lucy van Kessel PBVM, Presentation Sister, Past Pupil (Class of 1961) and Past Staff Member.

The Blackwater River runs through Ballygriffin, where the ancestral farm estate of Nano Nagle is situated. With the Nagle Mountains as a backdrop, the valley and river have informed the Presentation Sisters deep connection to the natural world and our role as stewards for the earth.

Before moving away to be educated, Nano and her siblings grew up in Ballygriffin, Ireland, playing and fishing along the Blackwater River, which flowed through their family property and traversed the whole region.  Orchards, apple trees, in particular, lined the sides of the hills in regimented rows. Cows provided milk and cream, which the dairymaids churned into creamy butter. Rows of potatoes, corn and other vegetables, all neatly enclosed in hedges and stone walls, gave an impression of prosperity, stability and peace. It was an atmosphere fiercely protected by Ann and Garrett (Nano's parents) in a world where prosperity, stability and peace were rare commodities.

Water communicates the sacred value of life and has the spiritual dimension of purification, protection, and healing. Through the symbol of water, we are reminded of our Baptism as Christians and our mission to live according to the teachings of the Gospel.

The Presentation Sisters continue to role model the importance of stewardship for creation as we are all called to respond to the cry of the Earth and follow Pope Francis' call to care for our common home. As Presentation People, we reach out in faith, in a spirit of hospitality, compassion and simplicity to all of creation. The cry of the Earth and people made poor calls us to continue the mission of Jesus to bring forth a sustainable society founded on respect for the Earth, universal rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace.


Nagle Education Alliance Australia. (2016). Induction Module 1: Nano's Story. Retrieved September 2020 from

International Presentation Association. (2017). Seventh IPA Assembly "Who we are". Retrieved September 2020.

Relevant Websites for further reading: