In the 1880’s, Bishop Martin Marty asked the Presentation Sisters in Ireland to come to Dakota Territory and teach children of the Lakota Sioux and European settlers. In 1886, Father Haire invited the Presentation Sisters to open the first school in Aberdeen. An education ministry that began when the Presentation Sisters responded to this invitation. Two hundred thirty-two Presentation Sister teachers have touched the lives of over 300,000 students over the years.

Today the Presentation Sisters can be found ministering to the needs of those in all walks of life, yet they remain grounded in their first ministry: education. Their education ministry has grown from primary and secondary schools to include colleges, parishes, ESL classes, hospitals, seminars and other venues where education is a key component.



Nano Nagle, our Irish foundress, began her ministry by teaching children when Ireland’s penal laws forbade it. Her belief in the power and importance of education has spanned the centuries and continues to shape the ministry of Presentation Sisters around the world. Through education people are better equipped to answer the challenges with which they are faced. Education is the underlying fabric that weaves itself into all of the Presentation ministries.

Our mission is to go where there is the greatest need for apostolic service. When the Presentation Sisters came to South Dakota, the greatest need of the people living in the area was for education. As the years have passed, many other needs have arisen that have led our sisters to a broader spectrum of service. In addition, as more teachers came to the area, the need in education was able to be met by non-vowed religious, allowing us to concentrate more of our resources on additional needs of the people.

Catholic Scholarships

In 2009, the Aberdeen Presentation Sisters, with the assistance of generous donors, began offering scholarships for students in South Dakota to attend Catholic primary and secondary schools in the Sioux Falls Diocese.  A scholarship committee consisting of four people located throughout the state, read each and every application and essay. Since its inception, more than 1,400 students have applied for the opportunity to receive a scholarship.  In the beginning, 25 – $500 scholarships were awarded.  Since this time, the Sisters have increased both the number of scholarships awarded as well as the scholarship amount.  For the 2016-2017 school year, 40 – $750 and 3 – $1,500 scholarships were provided to students. In its eight years, over $160,000 in scholarships have been awarded to 254 student recipients.

2017 Catholic Scholarship Information               

Catholic Scholarship Application Form              High School Scholarship Application Form




The Presentation Sisters Sponsor Presentation College in Aberdeen

Presentation College is an independent Catholic educational institution, sponsored by the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (PBVM).  It has origins in Mitchell, South Dakota, in 1922 when the Right Reverend Monsignor J.M. Brady, Pastor of Holy Family Church, established Notre Dame Junior College, a parochial junior college.  Notre Dame Junior College continued to operate in Mitchell until 1951, when Monsignor Brady gave sponsorship of the school to the Presentation Sisters who had staffed Notre Dame Junior College since its beginning.

The name was changed to Presentation Junior College and it was relocated to Aberdeen, South Dakota.  For three years (1951 – 1954) it was housed in Butler Hall on the same location of the Presentation Convent of that time.  Upon completion of the new convent and college of the Presentation Sisters it was moved to the 100-acre property located in North Aberdeen.  The property was also known as Presentation Heights.  Its primary function continued to be the education of sister-students and young women who aspired to teaching.  In 1962 the Presentation School of Nursing affiliated with Presentation Junior College and in 1965 the title was officially changed to “Presentation College” and became co-educational in 1968. 

Today the Presentation Sisters continue to play an active role the lives of the students and sponsor the college.



The Presentation Sisters strive to share their faith and religious life experiences with Presentation College students in an effort to help them reach their fullest potential and develop the whole person. Worldwide, Presentation College is the only college sponsored by a congregation of Presentation Sisters. Since 2012, Sister Marilyn Dunn has inspired Presentation College students, staff, co-workers and other Presentation People with her weekly reflections. Her digital reflections titled, “Lighting the Way,” share the philosophy, mission, values and history of Presentation Sisters and Presentation College.