January 22, 2014

About Fundraising: Mercy and Spirituality

Do you know that Mercy International Association is seeking to raise 20 million euro by 21 December 2015 to support the House of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland, as well as the Works of Mercy around the world?

Are you afraid or anxious at the thought of raising money? Do you say to yourself, “How could Mercy, a global congregation with 8,000 Members, 5,000+ Associates and 250,000+ co-workers ever ASK for what we need? We are about service, about ministry.”

Henri Nouwen, a Dutch-born Catholic priest, lived only for 64 years (1932-1996). He has left us a legacy of spirituality which continues to feed our hungry souls. He breaks apart our usual fear of fundraising by saying, “Fundraising is, first and foremost, a ministry…It’s a way of announcing our vision and inviting other people into our mission… It is precisely the opposite of begging.”

Henri Nouwen inspires us in a way that touches to the heart of Catherine McAuley and her trust in Providence. He says: "Once we are prayerfully committed to placing our whole trust in God, and have become clear that we are concerned only for the Kingdom; once we have learned to love the rich for who they are rather than what they have; and once we believe that we have something of great value to give them, then we will have no trouble at all in asking someone for a large sum of money."

We all have a role in fundraising, not matter what our age, our location in Mercy’s global village, and our “title” as Sister, Associate, Co-worker. We can pray, and we do so daily. Again, Nouwen reminds us: "From beginning to end, fundraising as ministry is grounded in prayer and undertaken in gratitude."

Mercy’s vision is as big as the world’s needs. We focus our efforts at this time on:

  • Eradicating the global trafficking of women and children
  •  Advocating for water justice, access to clean water and sanitation
  •  Addressing unjust and unsustainable mining practices
  • Ensuring the spirit and works of Catherine McAuley continue
  •  Using our voice at the United Nations and
  •  Welcoming everyone to Catherine’s House of Mercy – Mercy International Centre – in Dublin.

We cannot continue the Gospel call to compassionate service and justice-making without daily prayer and a constant awareness of God’s providential care. Ultimately, we are bound to one another in Mercy and we invite others to share in Mercy life and work through prayer and the seeking of financial support. Imagine what we can do better together than alone!

Messages to: Mary Waskowiak rsm - MIA Director of Fundraising-Development

[Henri Nouwen ’s small book, A Spirituality of Fundraising, can be purchased locally, online or by contacting Mary Waskowiak rsm ]

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