'Dancing, Singing, Circling': Celebrating Mercy Day 2014
Editor: Truly, it has been the most wonderful Mercy Day! We have been so aware of each other, wherever we are, and so totally connected.
Mary Conway (Northern Province PLT) opened the morning ritual with a special greeting to the Sisters in Aotearoa New Zealand who have commenced their Chapter. Almost immediately - it was that fast - we received an email from 'the 27 of us sitting here at the end of a long day (9pm) and after a festive mercy day dinner'. The message asked, 'Love the greeting to us in NZ . Did you hear us cheering in response?' This was the first of a stream of emails from viewers in many parts of the Mercy world.
The morning ritual was powerful, prayerful and beautiful and incorporated the most stunning centrepiece. We knew we were in for something very special when the four dancers: Srs Bernie Ryan, Scholasticah Nganda, Kathleen Friel and Aine McGoldrick moved into the space, gathering us in from the East, West, North and South.
We celebrated our oneness in Mercy, our call to Mercy, the challenge of Mercy. We were blessed by the energy, the singing, the symbols and the words of A Thiarna, déan trócaire (Lord have Mercy), as Margaret Casey rsm, Congregational Leader of The Congregation reminded us that we are each 'an important part of God's plan' and prayed that 'God watch over [us] and keep[ us] safe from harm'. The ritual is online and can be viewed here.
After lunch we walked up the road to St Andrew's Church for our Eucharistic celebration. Once again, the music was wonderful and the symbolism powerful. A packed congregation heard Archbishop Diarmuid Martin remind the members of the Mercy family of our call to Mercy: ' to carry on the tradition of [our] charism, not through simply recycling it, but through resurrecting it today to respond to the trauma and suffering of those who seek a sense of meaning... and radiate joy in our lives and share it with others.'
The joy was certainly evident in the singing of the Circle of Mercy as can be seen in this feature image.
The day concluded with a celebratory meal at the Lansdowne Hotel.
Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive director MIA
Image: Adele Howard rsm (ISMAPNG). Front row. L-r: Srs Aine Barrins (The Congregation), Scholastica Nganda (The Congregation), Patricia Bell (GB Institute)