Messages Received from the Mercy World #20
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On this beautiful Sunday it has been such a joy and inspiration to see the beautiful rituals and listen to the talks by so many . Thank you so much for including us in this at a distance of over 6000 miles away!
Srs Hilda McDonagh and Susan DeGuide
San Diego, California
From the Sisters and Associates of Fifth Avenue, London
The Sisters and Associates gathered on Sunday evening 28th September 2014 to celebrate Mercy Day. The Sisters shared their experience of the MIA Celebrations in Dublin and recreated the GB Ritual prepared for the MIA Celebration on The Mercy Global Reality.
The focus for Prayer was prepared, colourful materials were placed and Catherine's Candle was lit. Each member of the group named the countries where the Sisters are working and ministering and during the singing of Mercy Seed placed the seeds. We prayed our ritual and remembered all those who have worked so hard in putting together this beautiful occasion and all those Sisters and their co-workers who throughout the world share their resources with the people.
The MIA statement was read by an Associate and we shared President Higgins address to the Sisters as well as the message from the British Ambassador. The Ritual ended with the extinguishing of the Candle by Marguerite. The Associates were delighted with the news and shared the enthusiasm of Marian Kennedy, Associate, and Sisters Margarita and Angela who were present for some of the celebration days. We continued our celebration with a shared meal.
Angela Moroney rsm
This morning was the third and final gathering of our “See and Tea” Series. We gathered in the Catherine McAuley Rooms at Parramatta to join with our sisters and brothers in Mercy around the world to focus on the theme of Opposing Trafficking. We were struck by the powerful images and graphics depicting trafficking as it is on our own doorstep. How familiar were the scenes of the nail parlours and the young women with much older husbands. We loved the inclusion of the Aboriginal didgeridoo and message sticks, representative of our First People’s culture. When we responded to the Prayers of the Community, we felt united with all gathered in the House of Mercy and Mercy women and men around the world.
Our gatherings during these days have enabled us to join with Sisters, friends and colleagues locally and internationally to reflect and pray. Even stronger is our belief that we are a strong voice for good when we stand together.
Let’s continue to stand together!
Whilst we have felt proud of all we have heard and seen, today there was an additional sense of pride to see Sisters from our own Australian Mercy family. We enjoyed the quality presentation so beautifully presented. Portrayed very strongly was the huge gap between rich and poor, hope and hopelessness, the privileged and the defenceless. We joined those in pain and suffering and desolation. How can such extremes find a middle path where mercy and justice will prevail? Liberating God, help us to help the victims of trafficking.
Monica Newman rsm,
To each of you in Baggot St and those at home, I send greetings and prayers as we celebrate these twenty years. Catherine is very evident amongst us and may we continue to walk as she did.
With much affection
Anne Hannigan rsm
Mercy Day has already dawned here – a beautiful “soft” day.
We are with you in the spirit of Mercy and the spirit of Catherine as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of M.I.A. and the 187th anniversary of the opening of “Catherine’s house”.
By “happenstance” a group of pipe organ enthusiasts had requested to visit the All Hallows’ chapel and its pipe organ this morning.
This beautiful chapel has been ringing with organ music, including the Pater Noster and, as a finale, a rousing rendition of Hail Queen of Heaven enthusiastically sung by all present.
A wonderful way to set the tone for the day.
Pauline Smoothy rsm and Helen James at Mercy Heritage Centre, Brisbane.
Saturday 20th September was a joyous occasion of prayer, song and celebration for Mercy sisters and staff members in Sydney, when over one hundred and thirty gathered in Lidcombe for Mass and luncheon. This Mercy day gathering has been a traditional coming together of the congregations in Sydney, hosted alternately by Parramatta and North Sydney Congregation. This year ISMAPNG was the host.
In her welcome, Institute leader Berniece Loch rejoiced in this annual opportunity for Mercy connection, and in the widening of the circle of Mercy with the presence of sisters from New Zealand, the Alma Mercy Congregation (USA) and recent arrivals to Australia, Missionary Sisters of the Holy Family from Barcelona, where September 24th marks a great celebration of the city's patroness, Our Lady of Mercy. Sisters also travelled from Newcastle and Bathurst to join the celebration.
Berniece drew attention to the frontispiece of the Mass booklet- a picture of a beautiful sculpture of Catherine McAuley, recently installed in the garden of the ISMAPNG offices at Stanmore.
This work by artist Gael O'Leary depicts a seated Catherine, hand outstretched in a gesture of invitation to sit beside her. It made concrete the message of the liturgy:- We are called, invited ,to contemplate and be energised by the charism of Mercy ,mediated to us through Our Lady of Mercy and witnessed to by Catherine McAuley.
As well as the focus of the centring presence of Catherine and her invitation to us to join her in mercy, and the outward ripple of Mercy connections in our local scene, there was a third focus for us.
In this year of the 20th anniversary of the opening of Mercy International Centre in Baggot St, Dublin we were reminded that we join with Mercy sisters and co workers worldwide, in remembering and giving thanks for the extent and impact of the global outreach from the first House of Mercy, established by Catherine McAuley .
In the opening of our liturgy together we prayed that with faith and prophetic boldness we may continue to search for the way to express God’s mercy, to make the gospel live in today’s world.
Through the visits and presentations earlier in the year of Mary Waskiowak and Mary Reynolds , we have been enriched by deeper awareness and appreciation of Catherine’s legacy alive across the Mercy world, and the challenges to sustaining this.
As a gesture of our sharing in this global outreach , in joining our spirit to the commemoration in Dublin we had the opportunity for a practical response in contributing personal donations to the MIA Foundation.
Daphne McKeough rsm
Here at Broughton Hall we began our celebration of Mercy Day with a special Mass, at which we were joined by some of the local Sisters. This Mass was celebrated by a retired priest, nephew of a former Liverpool Reverend Mother, who was the initiator and first President of the Federation, which, of course, was part of our journey towards today. This Mass was followed by a lovely celebratory meal.
We came together later for a Mercy Day Evening Prayer and Act of Consecration to Our Lady of Mercy, at which we were again joined by a local Sister. We followed this prayer time with a picnic-tea in the Community Room and finally watched a televised drama together.
To follow up this happy day and to link in with the Anniversary of MIA and the foundation of Bermondsey, the first Mercy Convent in England, we plan to have an evening soon at which to share the Mercy Story so far, not just with the people of the parish but with those from the whole of our Pastoral Area.
I have just listened to your presentation on the Future of Mercy . Thank you for placing our charism and call in the context of today and providing us with a springboard from which to globally move forward.
Beannnacht agus Grá.
On this Catherine's birthday
I say, thanks for all that has been
For all that will be, yes,
As we celebrate she who brought
"new vitality and promise".
May the Wisdom of the 7,036 Mercy Sisters
Over 60 years
Be but the grace of God
Nudging us to see, support and engage
With peoples carrying on-
Mercy within Mercy within Mercy.
Claudia Bradley RSM , Trim, Co. Meath, Ireland.