The memory of this long history of service to the sick is cause for rejoicing on the part of the Christian community, and especially those presently engaged in this ministry. Yet we must look to the past above all to let it enrich us. We should learn the lesson it teaches us about the self-sacrificing generosity of many founders of institutes in the service of the infirm, the creativity, prompted by charity, of many initiatives undertaken over the centuries, and the commitment to scientific research as a means of offering innovative and reliable treatments to the sick.
Pope Francis, World Day of the Sick 2018
Touched by God’s mercy and compassion and fired by the inspiration of the Gospel and Catherine McAuley, Sisters of Mercy accompany, advocate, educate and collaborate with others in support of persons with dementia.
At their Chapter in 2015, Sisters of Mercy of the Union of Great Britain made the following commitment: ‘In honour of the forthcoming Jubilee Year of Mercy, we mandate the Congregational Leader and Team, in consultation with the membership, to research all aspects of Dementia Care, taking into account the financial resources on the Donations Fund and that this Mercy initiative begins within the Jubilee year’. (The Chapter Act). This commitment arose as a ‘cry of the poor’ that the Sisters heard and as experienced in many communities and in society.
As a result, dementia care was the issue addressed by the Sisters in the Mercy International Reflection Process and continues to be a central focus of their ministry.