An Ordinary Irishwoman with an Extraordinary Vision
A Dream Unfolds recounts the true story of Nano Nagle, the founder of the Presentation Sisters. Combining accurate historical detail with fiction, it is a moving testimony to both Nano Nagle’s life’s work and the woman herself. We encounter the qualities that make her such a remarkable and trailblazing figure in Irish history: her strength, audaciousness, prudence, compassion, persistence and, above all, her unshakable conviction that God would bring her dream to fruition.
The story begins during Nano’s childhood in the early eighteenth century, when the rights of Irish Catholics were severely curtailed by the Penal Laws. Restricted from education in Ireland, Nano travels abroad for her studies, after which she is temporarily bewitched by the glamour of Parisian society: however, a chance glimpse of he poor and destitute on the city streets has a profound effect on the young girl, and alters her life forever.
Following her return to Cork, Nano’s awareness of the poverty in her society deepens, and she decides to defy the social, economic and religious sanctions of the time by educating poor Catholic children and improving their living conditions. As her charitable works grow, she gradually forms a plan to establish her own religious order, and she sets about doing so at great personal risk.