November 16, 2011

Commemoration of the Life and Death of Catherine McAuley at Baggot Street

The life and death of Catherine McAuley was commemorated at Baggot Street on the historic 170th anniversary of her death on 11-11-11. Sixty-five Sisters of Mercy, Associates, partners in ministry, and friends of Mercy participated in a Eucharistic liturgy followed by afternoon tea. Mary Reynolds rsm, director of Mercy International Association, welcomed the congregation, which included persons from Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain, Ireland, and the United States.

Patrick Hume sj presided at the liturgy. Patrick, a solicitor with the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, was educated by the Sisters of Mercy in his primary school years in Swinford and is the nephew of two deceased Sisters of Mercy and cousin to a third Sister of Mercy. All Sisters of Mercy who have gone before us in death were remembered in prayer throughout the liturgy.

The scripture readings selected for the liturgy were 2 Timothy 1:6-14 and Matthew 25:31-46, and the second reading was from the epilogue of Catherine McAuley and the Tradition of Mercy by Mary C Sullivan rsm. [Click here to access the text of the readings.] Scripture scholar Kathleen Rushton rsm (Aotearoa New Zealand). [Click here to access the Reflection].

All Sisters of Mercy who have gone before us in death were remembered in prayer throughout the liturgy.

Afternoon tea and lively conversation followed the liturgy.

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In the evening as the specific time of Catherine’s death approached (7.50 p.m.), a dozen Sisters of Mercy and friends of Mercy who were staying overnight at Baggot Street, or are on staff with Mercy International Association,  gathered in Catherine’s Room for evening prayer. Readings were taken from the letters and early manuscripts of the sisters who detailed Catherine’s final hours. As Catherine’s light was extinguished, all present lit a candle with the commitment to carry on Catherine’s legacy in our world today.

Messages to Mary Kay Dobrovolny rsm - Assistant Director, Heritage & Spirituality.

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