July 22, 2003

Mercy Associates Celebrate the Launch of a New Formation Programme in Handsworth, Birmingham

Formation programme

On Saturday 12th April about 110 Associates and Sisters of Mercy from Scotland, England and Wales met to launch a new Formation Programme for the Associate Movement.

You may be wondering, "What is an Associate?" Basically an Associate is someone who is attracted by the Story and Spirituality of a particular Religious Congregation, and after exploring the origins of that Religious group, joins other like-minded people to become part of the Association linked to that particular Congregation. There have been Inter Congregational gatherings of Associates in Birmingham for a few years and they are an inspiring group of people in the Church.

The Mercy Congregation has a National Commission for Associates, made up of Sisters and Associates and for the last year they have been working on a "Formation Programme." It is made up of a Guide for Leaders, a Prayer Book for Associates and a detailed Programme for Pre-Associates on the Spirituality of the Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy - Venerable Catherine McAuley.

On the launch day the participants were introduced to the Programme and guided through it. All were able to share, discuss and question its contents. It was a wonderful gathering and the Centre was alive with men and women committed to living out their baptismal call in the spirit of Catherine McAuley. The Centre was decorated with Mercy signs and symbols, and the entire day was very uplifting. People left with a new enthusiasm for spreading the Gospel message of Mercy.

If anyone would like to have more information about Mercy Associates please contact:

Sister Kathleen Gooch
St. Mary's Convent
98 Hunters Road
Birmingham B19 1EB
E-mail: kathleengooch@telco4u.net

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