December 17, 2015

More Mercy Doors Are Opened!

In Silver Spring, Maryland, the Institute Leadership Team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and Institute staff celebrated the opening of the Jubilee Year of Mercy with a prayer service on December 9.

During the Year of Mercy the “Mercy door” sign will be traveling among our offices, gracing a different office door every few days! This way each person will have the opportunity to reflect on how her or his work contributes to the global work of mercy in our world.

The Mercy door sign, on the main entrance to
the Institute office in Silver Spring.
Cynthia Serjak rsm, Composer of 'What Mercy May Yet Be'
displays the Mercy door sign at the December 9 prayer service

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Institute Offices


Te Ngakau Waiora Mercy Spirituality Centre, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand

When the planning was done for the 2015 programme we decided to offer a lecture on the book 'Mercy' written by Cardinal Kasper. The German Cardinal had received the Spanish translation of his book on the day that the Cardinals went into Conclave. When he met Cardinal Bergoglio, he gave him this copy. Little did he think that this book would make a huge impression on the future Pope. As Pope he later said that “this book has done me so much good”.

A few days after this lecture presented by Dennis Horton and myself, Pope Francis proclaimed the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. Consequently, it seemed opportune to repeat the lecture on 3 December, just before the start of the Jubilee Year.

With this lecture we were well prepared for the deeper meaning of Mercy and the opening of the “Door of Mercy”.
We chose Friday 11 December for our ceremony - the day closest to the Mercy Foundation Day and not too far away from the beginning of the Year of Mercy.
Waiting outside the doors can be challenging if it is rainy and windy. Even though we are in summer, the weather was not very nice to us.

After a hymn to Mary, Cathryn Wiles-Pickard rsm welcomed us and blessed the door. Almost all staff was present, including one Spiritual Director and one Board member.

When the door was opened, everybody was relieved. Getting out of wind and rain into the shelter of the Centre building makes one feel grateful Mercy received. The opening of the door was like opening of our hearts, and we were thinking of the people who come through this door into our Spirituality Centre in the search of peace, harmony and personal renewal.

We gathered in our McAuley Room around a focus point with a Mercy candle, a Mercy card and a lectionary. There we prayed together and listened to the Scripture Reading.

After the ritual I acknowledged Catherine McAuley and the Foundation Day of the Sisters of Mercy which - following the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy in New Zealand, we celebrated with strawberries and ice-cream.
At this occasion we also sang Happy Birthday to one of our Staff members!

What a great morning: Opening the Door of Mercy, Foundation Day and a Birthday.

We all felt truly blessed and inspired for following the theme Atawhai Mai – Atawhai Atu Mercy Given – Mercy Received.

Messages to: Beate Matthies


Back to All News