Grassroots Ministry: Creating Circles and Culture of Mercy
Anne Francis (The Congregation): 'A Circle on the Face of the Deep'
L-R: Margaret O'Brien rsm, Olive Flanagan rsm, Mae McManus rsm, Anne Francis - the Galilee Spirituality (Circle) Team

 Song of Wisdom (Proverbs 8:27-31)

When he established the heavens, I was there,
    when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
when he made firm the skies above,
    when he established the fountains of the deep,
when he assigned to the sea its limit,
    so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
    then I was beside him, as an artisan;
and I was daily his delight,
    rejoicing before him always, 

rejoicing in his inhabited world
    and delighting in the human race.

On July 6th, twenty years ago, a circle appeared on the Sligo/Roscommon border. It was a circle drawn on the face of lakes and mountains. Wisdom was present, the divine artisan, delighting in the human community making its foundation there. This circle has been a source of grace and protection for the people of the area over these years. The Mercy community has held and served the locality with creative, prayerful presence expressed in hospitality and opportunities to deepen and nourish the spirit.

I arrived in year 17, as a stranger to the west. First Olive, Margaret and Mae made room for me in their circle of mercy, prayer, spirit and care. They created a space in the Galilee ministry circle, placing me at the centre as I encountered gatherings, comings and goings whirring their gentle spin around me. It was a circle of love; a web of listening and grace. We set four axes of spirituality; creation; pastoral care and ministry support, and small orbits of exploration began to appear. Then COVID arrived and we wondered. While the garden grew and prayer persisted, and the ‘phone became a place of care, there were new circles being formed in the wider web of Wisdom:

Gallery Ministry Circles
Download the complete article (A4) Download the complete article (US Letter) Descargar el artículo completo (Tamaño de papel A4) Descargar el artículo completo (Tamaño carta, EE. UU.)

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

Dr Anne Francis has been the Director of Galilee Spirituality Centre in Co Roscommon. She has ministered for over thirty years in the areas of faith formation, theology and support for people in ministry and served in dioceses in England and Ireland.

She loves to create opportunities to explore and deepen faith in the context of life, and to support the flourishing of faith communities.

Anne writes regularly in theology, ministry, ecumenism and Church.

Anne is married to Mick and mother to three lovely adult children.

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