Celebrating 25 years of Mercy International Association: 1992-2017
Editor: 25 years ago tomorrow, 12 October, 1992, Mercy International Association Limited was incorporated under the Companies Act in Dublin. Mercy International Association (MIA) had officially come into existence! The First House of Mercy, Baggot Street, passed from Dublin Congregation to Mercy International Association by Deed of Transfer.
Image: © 2017 Mercy International Association
A few months earlier in July, celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Newfoundland Congregation, the first Mercy foundation 'in the new world', had taken place in St John's. An international gathering of Sisters —108 in all— had accepted the open invitation to participate in the celebrations. As a result, representatives from many parts of the Mercy world witnessed the signing by Sisters Paschal O'Brien (Great Britain) and Patricia March (Newfoundland) of the agreement to transform 64A Lower Baggot Street into the Mercy International Centre. The representatives for Australia (Kath Burke rsm), New Zealand (Judith Leydon rsm), Ireland (Regina Kelly rsm), and Americas (Mary Waskowiak rsm) had already signed. The Philippines (Carmela Cabactulan rsm) was to follow.
- Sr Doris Gottemoeller, then President of Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, MC, introduces the event :(00:00 - 02:20)
- Srs Patricia March (Newfoundland - seated left) and Paschal O'Brien (Gt Britain - seated middle) sign the two copies of the Agreement to transfer the First House of Mercy to MIA and hand these to Sr Doris
- Sr Doris thanks Sr Sebastian Cashen, then Leader of the Dublin Mercy Congregation 'for her courage, vision and generosity in making this moment possible' (03:19)
- Sr Sebastian speaks (03:35)
- Sr Paschal speaks (06:51)
- Sr Doris hands the documents to Sr Paulina to carry to the Philippines (08:50)
- Sr Marian Collins, then Leader of Newfoundland Congregation, invites the gathering 'to seal the Agreement' by singing Catherine's Suscipe' (09:11)
Mercy International Association is fortunate that the Sisters of Mercy Newfoundland recorded the signing of the agreement in St John's so that we are all able to experience — albeit captured on camera —something of the energy, commitment, courage, collaboration and willingness to risk that characterised the steps in the lead up to and on that day to bring the vision for MIA into reality. Writing of these events recently, Patricia March rsm said, 'As Sisters of Mercy we cannot but be astonished at how far we have come in our collaboration'.
Elsewhere, Sheila Carney rsm (Americas) has described a silver anniversary as signifying 'fidelity, forbearance, compromise, commitment, love that endures'.
We give thanks for all those Sisters of Mercy then and since whose brave hearts, generous spirits and herculean efforts have brought us this far. 'United in that spirit and story, we [re]commit ourselves to preserving the best of the past, fostering the best of the present and shaping the best for the future'.
Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
Certificate of Incorporation and the front of Baggot Street photographed in 1989. Current and original logos for MIA.
Group photo: Review of Proposals Task Force in the Baggot Street Community Room (now the International Room). August 1990.
The International Steering Committee. L-r: Srs Regina Kelly, Catherine Quane, Margaret Mary Kennedy, Kath Burke, Mary Trainer & Mary Gleeson meeting at Baggot Street for the first time in 1989
Front row: L-r: Srs Patricia March, Paschal O'Brien signing the Agreement in Newfoundland; Srs Aquinas and Gabriel watching Sr Regina Kelly signing for Ireland.