February 23, 2020

Formal Mercy Ministry Ends on Bell Island

For the Sisters of Mercy, as they seek ways to be faithful to the call of the poor; uneducated; and the sick, as they continue to plant their seeds of Mercy in our lives and the world. Water them with the rain of compassion so that they might enjoy a harvest of justice and peace. Give them, Lord, the grace of joy and perserverance in their holy vocation. —Prayer of the Faithful, 22 February 2020

On Saturday evening, Diane Smyth rsm represented our Congregation as she spoke to the people of Bell Island at the Saturday evening Mass.

Address by Diane Smyth rsm at Mass

After almost 103 years the Sisters of Mercy are withdrawing from our formal ministry on the island. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to say a formal and grateful “farewell” to the people and to the mission. While we grieve the ending and the loss, we will maintain association with Bell Island through our Associates, Kitty’s Partners Overseas, and our sisters who are ‘Bell Islanders’ by birth and by association. We have one sister buried there in the cemetery at the Front, Sister M. Gabrielle Carter. Our legacy will continue to thrive in the faith, giftedness, talent and social engagement of the men and women whose lives were touched through the presence, teaching, encouragement and nurturing leadership of the Sisters of Mercy over the past 103 years.

We pray that we will hold happy memories, maintain relationships and contacts with the people and church of Bell Island for many years to come.  We use Sr. Elizabeth Davis’ prayer

We thank our God that we not only had the privilege
of sharing our charism of Mercy with the people of this holy place,
that we not only had the gift of so many of the Bell Islanders entering our community,
but we also had the wonder of the mercy shown us by the people for over a century.
How blessed we were and are to share our journey in Mercy
among such fine people in such a special place!

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy Newfoundland c/- Diane Smyth rsm

Having served 102 years in our community and due to changing times and circumstances, they are moving on.
Their dedication in their ministries of religion, education, music, arts and pastoral care have surely enriched our lives in many ways. These women of mercy committed themselves to the improvement and change to our way of life in a small mining community. Such selflessness and dedication has produced greatness among us in the many walks and careers of life we have followed. And through it all we have remained faithful and attentive to God because of them. —Mary Jewer, Chair St Michael's Parish Council
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