Mother Zofia lived and worked almost 400 years ago in the renaissance royal city of Cracow. She was born and raised in a noble family which took care of proper upbringing and education of their sons as well as daughters, and it needs to be remembered that educating girls was not common at that time. In fact, it was available only to elites. Zofia got married at the age of 16, but after just 6 years she became a childless widow.
Which path to choose in my young life filled with dreams?
Surely, she often asked herself this question and by divine inspiration she resolved to establish a school for girls, where both gentlewomen and poor orphans would sit at the same desk. The school had its origins in Zofia’s family house at 18 Szpitalna Street. However, it wasn’t an ordinary school. It was rather a home which gave a better start in life: here is a place where they gained education, knowledge of manners and skills which were indispensable for each young lady who applied for the position of governess or wished to marry well. For every woman in these days of those times the experience gained in Mother Zofia’s school was priceless. That wise and remarkable woman cared equally for the intellectual, emotional and spiritual development of those under her care. She was certain that knowledge and skills weren’t everything. A human being is also a spirit and an immortal soul redeemed by the blood of Christ.
Mother Zofia showed us how to follow the path of Virgin Mary. As a patroness of her creation, she chose Virgin Mary in the mystery of Presentation in the Temple. The Latin name of the celebration – praesentatio – was an inspiration for the name of both the Virgin’s House of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (in short: the Presentation Sisters) and the name of the school run by the sisters.
We have been operating continuously since 1627, shaping and educating new generations of young people in the spirit of Christian values. The creation of Mother Zofia survived many hardships: numerous wars, partitions and associated dissolutions of Church institutions and estates. Despite the fact that the school had undergone many transformations, continuity of the teaching process was never stopped. Initially, only girls could study there, but in 2004 the history changed its course and the school’s door were open also for boys.
The school is well received by students (“I wouldn’t change the school to any other, and I honestly recommend it!”, “In retrospect, I can state that the Sisters had a significantly positive influence on who I am now”, “The great atmosphere that we create together is what I like the most about our school. In the school corridor there is joy and mutual respect”), their parents (“Competent teachers and pedagogues, excellent management, dialogue with the students and parents, prospective direction of children development and school values which go hand in hand with practice”, as well as teachers (“I am fond of the school for its solidity, smile and respect to students, parents and teachers”).
The extensive offer of the Presentation Sisters’ school includes, for example, mandatory savoir-vivre classes and also numerous extracurricular activities: theatrical, language, art, mathematical, sport, psychology, music (choir, flute band), music and dance (Early Music Band), School of Debate, and many others. We benefit from student exchanges with Germany, Hungary and Israel.
Apart from the offer connected with gaining knowledge and skills, the school also pursues a mission of introducing its students into the world of universal Gospel values, gives an opportunity to deepen faith and experience encounter with God according to the words of the Cardinal Karol Wojtyła: “To help each young soul to experience its own mystery of “presentation”, to help it stand in face of the living God who is Love and shape life out of this consciousness as a response to the Love – it is a calling which is worth personal sacrifice…”
In the school year 2019/20 the Public Primary School and Public High School teaches children and young people aged from 7 to 19.