March 07, 2020

Message from Berneice Loch rsm, CEO MIA

I write at the end of my first week as Chief Executive Officer at Mercy International Association.  There has been much to learn and there is still much to learn, but Mary Reynolds rsm and so many others have been tremendously helpful.

The Board asked that I would arrive in Dublin in mid-January to be sure I had some time for orientation.  One very real benefit was to be able to attend the February board meeting and the meetings that cluster around such an occasion.  It has really helped me to be present and to experience the commitment and wise counsel of these leaders in MIA.

I am very conscious that I am not Irish and lack much of the historic and day-to-day knowledge that is ingrained in our Irish Sisters.  I hope I will have the insight to know when I need to ask for their help when I am out of my depth.   It is a delight to get to know those Sisters who are regular volunteers here and who do so much to run the house and make it a place of welcome.

As I write, we are very aware of the virus scare which is real and beginning to impact on MIA. The MELF (MIA-MGA Emerging Leaders Fellowship) programme is due to commence in New York at the end of the week and Angela Reed rsm, Head of MGA,  is hoping it will be able to go ahead.  We have agreed that in New York and Dublin both the planned programmes will go ahead if at all possible.  We wait, we learn, we hope and in the end we will do what we need to do.  Any effect on us will be minor compared to what is happening for some individuals and their families who are suffering greatly. 

I want to promise all our Sisters, our Associates in Mercy Ministry and our friends, that I will do all I can to maintain and foster in Mercy International Association the wonderful sense of Mercy ministry that has been established and is continually nurtured in ‘Mercy’ places throughout the world.  May our evolving sense of Mercy Global Presence help us to treasure Catherine’s legacy and bring it into our world today.   

—Berneice

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