MIA's Plans for the Year of Consecrated Life
Pope Francis announced in November 2013 that 2015 would be a year dedicated to the promotion of consecrated life, and is asking the church's religious sisters, brothers and priests to "wake up the world" with their testimony of faith, holiness and hope.
The Year of Consecrated Life officially began on 30 November, 2014, the first Sunday of Advent and will finish on 2 February, 2016, the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life.
2015 also marked the 25th Anniversary of the declaration of Catherine McAuley as Venerable. What a role model Catherine is for us in “waking up to the world” with her testimony of faith, holiness and hope!
To what will ‘Wake up to the World’ call us? Pope Francis in his homily to Seminarians and Novices in Rome on 7 July 2013 said: People today certainly need words, but most of all they need us to bear witness to the mercy and tenderness of the Lord which warms the heart, rekindles hope, and attracts people towards the good. What a joy it is to bring God’s mercy to others! How gifted we are, through the charism of Mercy to ‘wake up to the world’!
Starting with Mercy eNews on 28 January 2015 and continuing each month throughout 2015, twelve reflective processes were offered through Mercy eNews to all wishing to avail of them. While fitting broadly within the theme of the Year of Consecrated Life, we wanted to give the programme a particular Mercy flavour.
Among our learnings from the 20th anniversary celebrations is the immense possibility we have for global interconnection and the openness there is among so many to share Mercy life together – so we are availing of this particular year to offer that opportunity. The themes and process are not confined to Religious but invite all, especially members of our Mercy Global family, to participate in this process.
Each theme/focus had a 4 week cycle:
Reading, Study, Sharing, Prayer
- Week 1. Reading article with 2-3 reflection questions and further resources in print or digital/online format suggested for those interested in exploring the theme further
- Week 2. Group Study and sharing session held locally and/or online on the mercyworld.org website using reflection questions provided
- Weeks 3 & 4. Prayer using the prayer services provided each month for use by individuals or groups
JANUARY. Topic: Daring Hospitality – “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” by Elizabeth Davis rsm
FEBRUARY. Topic: Called to Compassion by Breege O'Neill rsm
MARCH. Topic: Extravagant Mercy—A New Story in an Ecological Key by Elaine Wainwright rsm
APRIL. Topic: 'Take from My Heart All Painful Anxiety': Catherine's Courage by Janet Ruffing rsm
MAY. Topic: ''God's Healing Mercy is Forgiveness' by Kathy Rule rsm
JUNE. Topic: 'Every Grace Abundant' by Sheila Carney rsm
JULY. Topic: Whakawhanaungatanga – Making Right Relationship by Kath Rushton rsm
AUGUST. Topic: 'It is a SPECIAL FAVOUR of God to be made SERVANTS of his suffering poor ("Sayings")' by Helena O'Donoghue rsm
SEPTEMBER. Topic: Respect - A ‘Looking Again’, an Enlarging of Love by Jo O'Donovan rsm
OCTOBER. Topic: Mercy Craving Realisation by Lynda Dearlove rsm
NOVEMBER. Topic: The Feminine Face of the God who does Justice by Sheila Curran rsm
DECEMBER. Topic: Is there Anything More Extraordinary than the Ordinary? by Brenda Dolphin rsm
DOWNLOAD THE COMPLETE SERIES in PDF:
[A4 Paper Size] 48 pps; PDF. 6.02mb
[US Letter Size] 49 pps; PDF. 6.321 mb
We thank all our readers who have posted responses to the series online, provided feedback in eNews or sent messages directly to the authors.
We are grateful to our authors — Srs Elizabeth Davis, Breege O'Neill, Elaine Wainwright, Janet Ruffing, Kathy Rule, Sheila Carney, Kathleen Rushton, Helena O'Donoghue, Jo O'Donovan, Lynda Dearlove, Sheila Curran, Brenda Dolphin — for thematic responses which have resonated, nourished, inspired and challenged us over the course of 2015 as we sought to address through our Mercy lens the call of Pope Francis to 'Wake up the world'.
MIA PRAYER for the YEAR OF CONSECRATED LIFE
The support of our Associates, Partners and Friends in Mercy, is especially important to us, so we are offering a prayer, which we invite all to pray as a gesture of mutual support.
We invite each member of the Mercy family - Associates, Partners-in-ministry, Donors, Friends - to pray this prayer for the Sisters and the Sisters to pray it for each other.
Let us pray also that the God of Mercy will continue to bless the Mercy family with people prepared to witness to the mercy and tenderness of our God as Religious, Associates and Partners-in-ministry in a world so in need of God’s compassion and consolation.
Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA