Facilitators Guide: Presence to Self & Others
Guiding Group

The Facilitators Guide offers three of many possible approaches to using these resources and may be of interest to individuals as well as groups.

The role of the Facilitator will necessarily include organising the group’s access at the session to the resources on screen or in print.

A suggested structure for each Session is:

  1. Preparation of the Focus Space
  2. Prayer
  3. Introduction
  4. Content Explored
  5. Reflection and Discussion
  6. Closing

As this is the fourth and final theme of the third Segment, most groups will have already explored the context for Mercy Global Presence as “global” (Segment One) and its spirit as “mercy” (Segment Two), and so will be familiar with the process and the microsite.  

Whichever presentation you, the Facilitator, or group first choose to engage with,  commence your work using the introduction by Elizabeth Davis rsm. Sr Elizabeth commences her presentation by recalling key moments from last month's theme, 'Presence in Community & Ministry'. before beginning her exploration of 'Presence to Self & others' with a prayer from John Philip Newell. She proceeds then to address the theme under four headings: 'Presence to Self & Others', 'Presence to Each Other', 'Reflection on the Culture of Encounter' and 'Presence to Self' before concluding with John O' Donohue's presence-centred blessing. Patricia McMahon rsm and Annette McCartan rsm in their reflective prayer also include this 'Blessing of Presence'.

Elsewhere John O'Donohue wrote: 'Absence is alive with hidden presence, nothing is ever lost or forgotten'.

Homelessness is one of the six issues that emerged from the Mercy International Reflection Process (MIRP) under the theme 'Displacement of Persons' and a deep concern for Sisters of Mercy as we have seen already with MGP presentations. Ali Roach rsm, this month's Grassroots Minister shares from her lived experience in a day centre in Perth, Western Australia ministering with the homeless, while Siobhán Golden, the current MGA intern quotes Jessica Powers who describes  personal struggle for belonging as “the homelessness of the soul in the body' .

Edia “Tita” Lopez rsm, this month's Grassroots Minister, is a member of the Prophetic Voice Commission of the Caribbean, Central America and South America Community of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. The work of the Commission was the featured Grassroots Ministry in 'Faith Traditions and Mercy, the first theme in Segment Two, 'Mercy'.

Once again, we offer three of many possible approaches to using resources from this theme, implementing the suggested structure (nos. 1-6). The approach used will depend on the needs, interests, abilities and situations of the group members. At this present time, groups that are able to meet are using video conferencing. Our suggested approaches take account of this and of face-to-face-meetings becoming possible again in the future.

Facilitators may, of course, use their own approach with the resources, or choose elements from these three suggested approaches to create a different approach. At the conclusion of the Session the Facilitator or another group member is encouraged to send on ‘what is too good for the group to keep to themselves’ to mgpfeedback@mercyinternational.ie

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Spanish translation using DeepL Translator. Traducción al español con DeepL Translator