June 29, 2010

Keeping the Founding Spirit of Catherine Alive

Central to the MIA Vision is keeping alive the Founding Spirit of Catherine. One of the ways in which this is done is through offering programmes at MIC that are experiential and reflective. The hope is that as participants in these programmes drink deeply of her spirit, they will be inspired to face the critical concerns of today with her depth of imagination and courage. Over the coming months the following programmes, relating to Catherine are on offer at MIC.

Come Home to Catherine: July 4th -10th

Engaging with the spirit of Catherine to look at Mercy today: July 30th – August 1st

Catherine’s Suscipe: Prayer of a ‘Social Mystic’: August 8th – August 14th

Affectionately Yours: Meeting Catherine in her Letters: August 22nd – August 28th

Going Deeper with Catherine: September 19th – 25th September

Catherine McAuley: Blessed in Life and Death: November 7th – 12th

For those who wish to engage with the Spirit of Catherine but who cannot join us in Baggot Street, we are offering a series of six presentations on Catherine which will be accessible through e-News. Each presentation is accompanied by a reflection process. The first of these Formed and Reformed is offered this week.

These presentations were first offered by Mary Reynolds at a programme in MIC and later in Parramatta, Australia. They were published in Listen, Journal of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia, Vol 28 No1, 2010. As the original presentations were primarily for reflection, the quotations were not referenced. However, LISTEN has made every effort to locate sources, but realises that a few remain elusive.

The most recent ‘Come Home to Catherine’ programme, June 13th-19th had among the participants a number of Sisters who were either preparing for or had recently made their Perpetual Profession. The following is an extract from one of these Sisters, Patricia Vagg, Ballarat, Australia:

We came from Central America, the U.S.A, the Philippines, New Zealand, Newfoundland and of course Ireland, the home of our presenters, two women steeped in the spirit and intense love of Catherine.

During the programme, we walked the streets of Catherine’s Dublin, visited the places where she lived and worked, renewed our vows or commitments at the presentation Convent, George’s Hill, where Catherine herself was professed and touched into the Mercy story from its beginnings. Reflecting on Catherine’s letters gave us an intimate insight into her personality and spirituality and broadened our understanding of the strong, practical, compassionate, and affectionate and joy filled woman who was our foundress.

The programme was neither a retreat nor a seminar, but rather an immersion into the life and spirituality of Catherine McAuley, so much so that at times participants were moved to tears. Mixing with sisters who had experienced such different challenges in their Mercy Apostolate was most inspiring and added greatly to the richness of the programme.

'May the Spirit of Catherine, the Spirit of the God of Mercy, live on in us and shine forth in our world!'

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