September 28, 2013

Celebrating Mercy Day 2013

Sharing plans for, and stories from, Mercy Day Celebrations 2013. We welcome your  stories and images!

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Mercy Day in Kiunga, Western Province, Papua New Guinea

"The circle of Mercy is timeless, it is the Spirit of life itself ..."
We invited friends and partners in our ministries to share prayer and a simple unpretentious food sharing together. Everyone joined myself (Maureen) ,Catherine and Mariana, lingering long into the sunset.

Maureen Sexton for the community here in Kiunga

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Today, Saturday 28 September, approximately one hundred members of the Brisbane Congregation gathered for our annual celebratory meal and Mercy reflection.

Our special guests and leaders of our reflection were four women from the Brisbane meeting of the Society of Friends (Quakers) who explained to us some of their history and practices.

It was enlightening to hear how much our different approaches intersect, not just in the areas of prayer and reflection but also in our quest for peace, justice and non-violence.

We also wondered anew just how much influence, direct or indirect, Catherine's time with Mrs Catherine Callaghan may have had on her spirituality and style of prayer and discernment, especially in the way she led and nurtured our earliest communities and foundations.

This morning's time of reflection also provided an excellent preparation for our formal Chapter which commences this coming Monday with two days of prayer and discernment before the formal gathering for "business" on Wednesday.

We are reassured by your promises of prayer during these important days.
Mercy Blessings to all,
[Pauline Smoothy rsm]

Messages to: Mary Lawson rsm


Once again Mercy Day was a wonderful day of celebration for the Academy of Mary Immaculate College community. The day began, as usual, with Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral celebrated by our Chaplain, Fr Peter Varengo, who in his homily reflected on our 2013 College Theme,' If Not Us, Who? If Not Now, When?' and challenged all present to make that theme a reality in our daily lives.

The students were fully involved in the Mass - the Concert Band performed beautifully and the glorious voices of the Chamber Choir and Cantors soared throughout the Cathedral.

After the Mass we all celebrated with lunch and dancing. And as the list below indicates we celebrated well.!
• 90kgs of sausages
• 35kgs of chicken tenderloins
• 270 veggie burgers
• 80 loaves of bread
• 750 Prima Drinks
• 6-8kgs tomato sauce

The Mercy Spirit that was celebrated on Mercy Day must, of its essence, find its expression in practical ways. Thus an important part of Mercy Day is fundraising for a worthy cause. Mercy Day fundraising is still continuing and the hope is that we can build on the $9,000 that has already been raised. This year the focus of our fundraising is on two works of Mercy - the educational work of Sr Marilyn Lacey in South Sudan, and at a local level, McAuley Community Services for Women – a Mercy organization that provides much needed services for women and their children who are escaping family violence, and for women who are homeless.


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Reflecting on Mercy - Parramatta Congregation Mercy Day celebrations continued at Parramatta when Sisters and staff of the Congregation office gathered for a half day of reflection, facilitated by Anne Ferguson, Mission Animator.

The morning began with a focus on what had happened 125 years ago, when nine Sisters of Mercy arrived in Parramatta from Callan in Ireland. We know from the Annals that on their first day in Parramatta they attended Mass, instructed some of the local people in their faith and then went to visit the sick in the hospital. So we set off from the Congregation Centre in the footsteps of these young Sisters and travelled to the site of the original hospital. We were fortunate to be given a guided tour at the hospital museum where we learnt about the conditions in which the Sisters ministered. We then travelled to the sites of the Catholic Orphanage and the Industrial School where we pondered on the conditions in these institutions. Excerpts from the Sisters' Annals gave us an insight in to how it had been for them. We were very aware of the difficulties the Sisters would have experienced and the pain of the young women who were in these institutions.

 Catherine McAuley, Sisters, Staff At the Hospital Museum

After a visit to the Wisteria Gardens, we returned to the Congregation Centre to share our reflections and to ponder how we are being challenged to follow in the Mercy footsteps of the early Sisters in our context today



Celebrating Mercy in Parramatta

On 21 September the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta hosted the Annual Mercy Day celebration for Sisters living in Sydney. The Parramatta Sisters were joined by Sisters from North Sydney and ISMAPNG. The celebration commenced with Eucharist in the Mother M. Clare Dunphy Memorial Chapel. The theme chosen for the Mass was ‘Breathing Mercy’ . This theme was symbolised in various ways throughout the Celebration. A ‘Breathing Mercy’ candle, together with incense rising from a swaying thurible, led the entrance procession. At the conclusion of the homily by celebrant, Rev John McSweeney, three Sisters - Monica Newman, Marie Butcher and Jennifer Ryan - continued the theme with their sharing of Mercy given and received through their Mercy ministries. It was a celebration of joy, warmth and recognition of the qualities shown by the Mother of Mercy.


Afternoon tea was a time for meeting new people, renewing relationships and sharing the Eucharist of community. The theme of this part of the day was the Shawl of Mercy taken from the inspiration of Mary Sullivan rsm during her tour of Australia earlier this year and the sculpture by Meliesa Judge, commissioned by All Hallows School in Brisbane. Tables were decorated with shawls of multi colours with a tag featuring the sculpture and the symbolism behind it. The Sisters were invited to select one and wrap themselves in it as Sister Antoinette Doyle gently danced to the hymn,’ Pour out Compassion and Mercy’. The shawls were gifted to the Sisters as part of 125 years’ celebrations of the Parramatta Congregation.



Catherine McAuley Westmead, New South Wales, Australia, School Captains for 2014 Announced at Mercy Day Celebrations

Representatives of the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta joined with students, staff and other invited guests at the special Mercy Day Mass held at Catherine McAuley on Friday, 30 August. At the completion of the Mass the school captains for 2014 were announced with Elizabeth Eid and Clare Cox both acting as co-captains. Also announced were the seven House Leaders who will be responsible for leading their school House. Other student leadership positions include Leaders of the following areas: Culture, Environment, Hospitality, Liturgy, Social Justice, Sport and Technology.


From left – Margery Jackman, Catherine McAuley Westmead School Principal; Mary Louise Petro rsm, Vicar General; Catherine Ryan rsm, Congregational Vicar; Claire Cox, School Captain; Elizabeth Eid, School Captain; Margaret Sheppard rsm; Patricia Bolster rsm, Noni Ball rsm.

 Misericordia University will offer a series of events for the campus community and the public to celebrate its heritage and founding by the Sisters of Mercy. Mercy Week 2013 will be observed Sept. 22-28 and will include a special Mass, a “Stuff the Bus” donations collection and service fair for students. - See more at:

Misericordia University will offer a series of events for the campus community and the public to celebrate its heritage and founding by the Sisters of Mercy.

Mercy Week 2013 will be observed Sept. 22-28 and will include a special Mass, a “Stuff the Bus” donations collection and service fair for students.

Mercy Week 2013 will commence with a Mass on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. in the Misericordia University Chapel in Mercy Hall. Sister Regina Ward, RSM, vocation director, Sisters of Mercy Mid-Atlantic, will be the guest speaker. Find out more


On Mercy Day, 2013, Friends of Mercy, a group of 4th and 5th graders at Mercymount Country Day, Our Lady of Mercy and St. Mary Academy-Bay View schools in Rhode Island (USA) will publicly commit themselves to a deeper understanding of Mercy and a living out of the spirit and tradition of Catherine McAuley. The Friends of Mercy received its impetus from Sister Patricia Bell’s youth group in Great Britain which began in 2000 and was named Youth Mercy Associates.


Mother of Mercy in Cincinnati, OH once again looks forward to celebrating the school's annual walk in combination with Mercy Day. We will start the day with an all-school Mass, followed by breakfast and our all-school walk. I will be sure to send pictures from the days activities.

Additionally, several religion classes will be hosting a Tea Party late next week and the following week to learn about the tea cup and hospitality as it connects to Catherine McAuley.


Mercy Day has been a significant day at our school, Mercedes College in Perth, for many years now. It is an exciting time for all the students and teachers alike as we celebrate the College Mercy Values and celebrate our 167 year heritage.

Over the years our Mercy Day has evolved into a day consisting of a whole school Eucharistic Liturgy followed by a Feast Day Fair and then a Concert. The School Fair involves each of the homerooms setting up stalls of all varieties, from games to food; and all the profits made from these stalls go towards a chosen Mercy Day Charity.

Last year we supported the Romanian orphans and elderly in the care of the Sisters of Mercy. This year we have chosen to focus on the good work of the Sisters of Mercy in Kenya. We are incorporating some Kenyan elements in our celebrations, African Drummers will lead us in our Liturgy, the local Kenyan Community will provide a Kenyan food option at lunch.

The last most important event at our school’s celebration of Mercy Day is our Mercy Day Concert, this is where girls and staff with all sorts of talents such as singing, dancing and comedy, perform for the whole school. The day culminates with the announcement of the 2014 Year 12 School Prefects Mercy Day has always been an event in our school calendar that everyone looks forward to, as it is a day of fun and celebration that enables the College to contribute to a great Mercy Cause. To this email I have attached an example of one of many posters our student Mercy Day Committee that have been made to promote our Mercy Cause.

From Mai Nguyen

Year 11 member of the Mercedes College 2013 Mercy Day Committee


Mercy Day was celebrated at McAuley Life Center Farmington Hills, MI on Sunday evening, using the Mercy Day prayer prepared by the WMW Prayer & Ritual Committee. As an extra special part of the evening, a new associate, Colleen McMaster Rozman made her first covenant and Judi Griggs-Dennis renewed her covenant during this celebration. Both will be attending Mercy Secondary Education meetings in October and could not participate in the celebration that will be held on October 11.


Regina Doelker rsm, mentor to Judi Griggs-Dennis,                         Signing her covenant: Associate Colleen McMaster- 
Colleen McMaster-Rozman, and Nancy Thompson rsm
                  Rozman, with local leaders Mary Forintos, Deb
                                                                                                         Murray, and her mentor Nancy Thompson rsm



Mercy Day Celebrations at Mother of Mercy High School in Cincinnati, OH, USA

1. In preparation for Mercy Day, freshman religion classes took part in a "Tea Party" where students learned about the tea cup and hospitality as it connects to Catherine McAuley. They also gave iPad presentations on how they connect to Catherine, enjoyed tea and cookies and wore their finest tea party hats! Photos attached.

2. Dozens of students took part in the Sisters of Mercy "Mercy in Six Words" campaign. Please visit our link  to see submissions from students - note we will continue to add more submissions through September 24.

3. On Mercy Day, we will celebrate with an all-school liturgy that will be streamed live at, inviting parents, alumnae and friends of Mercy from around the world to tune into.

We will follow Mass with an all-school breakfast and then celebrate our Walk fundraiser which raised funds for students scholarships as well as a Global Action Project. This year's Global Action Project will donate $5 from every students pledge to "The Bilum Project" in WeWak, Papua New Guines to fund education for young women.


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