What is a Cojourner?

Cojourners are baptized persons of any faith who desire to share the spirituality, values and mission of the Presentation Sisters. Cojourners, our lay associates, partner with the Presentation Sisters while they continue their own vocation and career.

In the words of Sister Mary Denis Collins, in a 1986 letter to the priests of the diocese:
“One of the main goals of the Extended Membership (Cojourner) Program is to provide both the congregation and the extended member an opportunity for a common commitment and a deeper level of Christian relationship in prayer and service with the Presentation Sisters. It also provides an opportunity for the congregation to be in greater contact with the laity. We believe strongly that the Holy Spirit calls the laity just as we are called to a deeper living of the Christian life. The membership will come from dedicated prayerful people who share the spirit of the Sisters and collaborate with us in fulfilling our mission in the Church.”

Cojourners and Sisters develop a partnership through visits, shared prayer and participation in congregation activities and gatherings.
View our Cojourner Brochure and our Cojourner Handbook.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Presentation Cojourner, contact Carrie Hansen, Cojourner Coordinator, at  605-229-8315 or cojourner@presentationsisters.org .




Evolution of the Cojourner Program

The concept of lay people being associated with Presentation Sisters to travel with us in prayer and service and carry on the charism of Nano Nagle started with conversations dating back to 1968. In 1980, the Presentation Sisters Chapter of Affairs affirmed the concept of extended membership.

In 1981, then-president Sister JoAnn Sturzl established a committee of sisters to work on extended membership. Sister Virginia Calmus became the first director of extended membership in 1984.

In May 1986, the first cojourner brochures and handbooks were compiled and printed and May 7, 1986, brought the agreements of the first two cojourners: Genevieve Bunkers and Carol Welbig. Mike and Jane Sandsmark became cojourners later that year. These four individuals are still cojourners today.