May 27, 2019

150 Years of Mercy in Conception Harbour, Newfoundland

The Sisters of Mercy have provided ministry in Conception Harbour for over 150 years.  On Tuesday May 21 about thirty of us attended a grand celebration in the parish of Eucharist followed by a hot roast beef dinner.  Sister Roisin Gannon represented the Presentation Sisters.  Bishop Anthony Daniels surrounded by seven priests of the Grand Falls Diocese celebrated Eucharist in St. Anne’s Church with participation of the sisters and parishioners in readings, music and other moments in the liturgy.  The church was sparkling and beautifully decorated with roses.  A large banner hung in the church acknowledging the 150 years’ anniversary – Our Journey Together!  At the end of Mass, a plaque was presented to the Congregation which will be placed in the church to commemorate the anniversary.  In his homily Bishop Daniels connected the call and ministry of the sisters to that of the early disciples of Jesus and gratefully commended their life and ministry among the people of Conception Harbour and surrounding area.

Almost 180 friends and parishioners were seated at the banquet tables in St. Anne’s Hall and were served a delicious meal catered by Tiny’s Restaurant.   Mrs. Agnes (O’Driscoll) Richard recounted her memories of going to school to the sisters and told wonderful and humorous stories of her experiences in the various grade levels.  Sister Elizabeth Davis responded with a little of the history of the foundation and proud commendation of the support and collaboration of the people during all those years and up to the present.  She included a remembrance of the five sisters who are buried in the convent garden and in the receptive soil of Conception Harbour.  The Mayor presented Sister Geraldine with a plaque to commemorate the anniversary.  A huge cake baked and decorated by the niece of Sister M. Damien Morrissey was served to the crowd at the end of the dinner. (The small statue of Mary on the cake was salvaged from St. Anne’s School when it closed!  The baker told me she couldn’t find a ’nun’ statue!)

Congratulations to the Sisters who currently live and minister in Conception Harbour, Sisters Geraldine Mason, Ruth Beresford and Ellen Marie Sullivan! 

Congratulations to the Sisters of Mercy especially those who ministered there, and to the generous, faithful and loving people and church of Conception Harbour!  Congratulations and thanks to all who prepared the details of the celebration! Congratulations on this 150th anniversary celebration!

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