Foundation Day 2014 at Mercy International Centre
Sisters, Associates and Friends of Mercy gathered together on Friday, December 12th in the Chapel in Baggot Street to celebrate Foundation Day 2014. People from all provinces of Ireland, the U.K. and Australia gathered to celebrate the 183rd anniversary of the foundation of the Sisters of Mercy.
Mass was celebrated by Fr Fachtna McCarthy, parish priest of St Mary’s Haddington Road. The first reading, Isaiah 48:17-19, was read by Bernard McPeake rsm, from the Institute of Our Lady of Mercy, Great Britain. The second reading was a letter from Catherine McAuley to Frances Warde, dated 17th Feb 1838, and was read by Margaret Bannon rsm, ISMAPNG. Prayers of the Faithful were read by Jean Kelly rsm, Northern Province, while Patricia Bell rsm, Institute of Our Lady of Mercy, Great Britain and Michael O’Sullivan, Mercy Associate presented the offertory gifts. Beautiful music was provided by Ailish O’Brien rsm on violin, Eithne Doyle rsm on Organ and the congregation was led in song by Rosaleen Hogan rsm.
Noreen Foley rsm gave the reflection. She began by speaking about the first reading, Isaiah 48:17-19, which proclaimed – “If only you had been alert to my commandments...” Sr Noreen said that these words spoke to her of a yearning on God’s part, to be attentive to the life we are living, to be alert in our world. Sr Noreen drew on the work of Irish poet and philosopher, John Moriarty. John was interviewed on RTE Radio 1 shortly before he died, and he said that when asked the question ‘Am I happy?’ he believed that wasn’t the right question. Rather, the question should be – “Am I still growing? Have I become a finished creation? And is my life still an adventure, an adventure full of trouble, full of joy, full of pain, full of cataclysm? Am I still living dangerously?” Sr Noreen spoke of how this attitude was visible in Catherine McAuley, who never stopped learning and growing.
Sr Noreen spoke too of the second reading, Catherine's letter to Frances Warde:
“You have given all to God without any reserve. Nothing can happen to you which He does not appoint. You desire nothing but the accomplishment of His holy will. Everything, how trivial soever, regarding you will come from this adorable Source. You must be cheerful and happy, animating all around you.”
Sr Noreen said that we all must be aware that there are quiet profound almost unseen happenings and blessings taking place daily and that God’s Spirit is always stretching us beyond the comfortable limits we set ourselves, opening us to a new challenge.
Sr Noreen concluded by saying that the question we must always ask ourselves is “Am I still Growing?”
Following the Eucharist, everyone gathered in the Dining Room at Baggot Street for lunch. The day also offered the opportunity for a wonderful display of Icons, hosted by the Association of Iconographers of Ireland. The beautiful artwork was put on display in the Callaghan room, where it was enjoyed by all the visitors to Catherine's house!
Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm – Executive Director MIA