In the Beginning...
- Born in County Cork, Ireland
- 1776 – Founded the Religious Order of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- Mission: to educate the poor and care for the sick and aged
- Lovingly called the 'Lady of the Lantern' for the faith she rekindled in Ireland
It was through divine intervention that God led the Presentation Sisters to Dakota Territory and later end up managing three hospitals in South Dakota, including Avera McKennan and one hospital in Montana.
- In 1880, the Sisters arrived in Dakota Territory from Dublin, Ireland, to teach the children of the Lakota Indians and the French settlers in Dakota Territory.
- In 1882, after a harsh winter, the Presentation Sisters found a temporary home in Yankton, S.D.
- In 1886, Presentation Sisters Convent established in Aberdeen.
- By 1890, the Sisters had formed the Presentation Academy in Aberdeen, S.D.
- But in 1900, diphtheria struck the Academy and the Sisters converted part of the convent into a temporary hospital.
- That is how St. Luke’s Hospital was formed and became a pioneer of this health care mission, which would become Presentation Health System.
- In 1906, St. Joseph’s Hospital formed in Mitchell, S.D.
- In 1910, Bishop Thomas O’Gorman persuaded Mother Joseph Butler, Superior of the Presentation Sisters, to operate their fourth hospital - McKennan Hospital.
- In 1978, with four successful hospitals running and administered by the Sisters, the Presentation Health System (PHS) was formed.
- In 2000, the Presentation Sisters joined with the Benedictine Sisters of Yankton, S.D., in sponsorship of Catholic hospitals throughout the region under the name of Avera.
Throughout the years, the Sisters have played an integral part in Avera McKennan’s history. Below are just a few of the women who made a difference in the quality of health care found at McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls.
Mother Joseph Butler
Opened St. Luke’s Hospital, the pioneer of the Presentation Health System
- Invited by Bishop Thomas O’Gorman to manage McKennan Hospital
Sister Ligouri Lloyd
Joined Presentation Sisters in 1910
- Graduated from Presentation School of Nursing at St. Luke’s Hospital in 1913
- Served as Director of Nurses at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Mitchell, S.D.
- Went to McKennan Hospital in 1924 as administrator and was in charge of the medical-surgical units and assistant administrator
- Served at McKennan Hospital for 47 years
- Lived to be 101 years old
Sister David Dorn
Joined Presentation Sisters in 1932
- Worked as a housekeeper at McKennan Hospital prior to joining the Congregation
- Supervised the laundry and linen services for nearly 40 years at McKennan Hospital
Mother Raphael McCarthy
Became Superintendent (1913-1921)
- Secured a loan for McKennan Hospital, taking full control of hospital
- Established a uniform bookkeeping system to improve the Presentation’s financial position
Sister Colman Coakley
Joined Presentation Sisters in 1949
- Began career in the business office in 1952
- Served on McKennan Hospital Board
- Served on the board of the Presentation Health System
- Director of Pastoral Care
- Retired in 1996