Postulator and Vice-Postulators meet in Baggot Street (Canonisation Cause)
Traditionally the first day of February, the feast of St Brigid, is hailed as the first day of spring in Ireland. While the weather in Dublin that day showed little sign of ushering in a new season and clung tenaciously to the old one, inside Mercy International Centre in Baggot Street there was light and life aplenty.
The three Vice Postulators and the Postulator for the Cause for Canonisation of Venerable Catherine McAuley started their three-day meeting on the evening of the first of February. This was the first time that the group had met face to face since the inauguration of the Mercy World Committee for the Cause for Canonisation of Catherine was established in April 2007.
(l-r ) Sisters Mary Duffy, Sheila Carney, Brenda Dolphin, Anne Hannon meeting at Mercy International Centre
All the work done to date was through conference call and email. The purpose of this face to face meeting was to take stock of the last few years, to see what was working well in making Catherine and the Charism of Mercy better known throughout the world and what was not working.
On a personal note each of the vice postulators Sheila Carney (Americas), Anne Hannon (Europe/Africa) and Mary Duffy (Australia, NZ, Philippines) were unanimous about how they are touched by the stories of faith that people share with them – people who confide in Catherine and who trust absolutely in her power to care for them and help them in their need.
Another source of joy and gratitude for all the members of the committee is the witnessing of a “new spring” of Mercy through the enthusiasm and yearning that colleagues, collaborators and associates show for things Mercy and for Catherine. Lay people especially, men and women drink deeply from well of Mercy through their connection with this valiant Dublin woman who was so thoroughly human and also very holy. A “formation” in Mercy that continues to deepen and widen is like a great delta river which finds so many varied outlets as it flows inexorably towards the sea.
There are retreats and seminars, prayer times and reading circles, school plays and youth rallies. You name it; it is being done in Catherine’s name.
In Sydney Australia, a newly elected congresswoman who proudly proclaims her “Mercy education” roots was the keynote speaker at the Catherine McAuley Symposium. The respondents were all lay people collaborating with or associated with Mercy Ministry in one way or another. The depth of their commitment to a Mercy Ethos in their lives and works is truly uplifting and challenging.
The USA is one of the places from which stories of alleged healing, through Catherine’s intercession continue to pour in. There is no doubt that graces and favours are received in abundance by people who seek Catherine’s intercession with God and we continue to rejoice and give thanks while waiting for the time when one of these will be accepted officially as a miracle that will enable Catherine’s beatification.
In Ireland another Catherine McAuley Symposium has been organised and will take place on April 25th 2009 in Castleblayney, County Monaghan, Ireland. With Sheila Carney as the keynote speaker and the respondents chosen for their love of Catherine, the occasion promises to be a memorable one.
At the meeting it was agreed to continue using the conference call as the main means of communication for the whole committee and to share stories of what is happening in the different areas around the world with a broader forum like Mercy e news.
Gratitude was expressed for the continued and consistent support given to all members of the committee as well as to the Postulator and the Vice Postulators by MIA and by leadership right around the globe.
There is a very good DVD available on the Australian Symposium. A CD on the letters of Catherine McAuley is due to be launched at the Catherine McAuley Symposium in Ireland in April. It is also our dream that any money made on the sale of the CD will be re routed as a seed fund for making a really good film on the life and work of Catherine McAuley that continues in so many ways and in so many places in our own day, nearly 168 years after her death in Baggot Street. He fame for holiness and power of intercession has never abated; in fact it goes from strength to strength, surely the greatest miracle of all.
Messages to Brenda Dolphin rsm- Postulator for the Cause of Catherine McAuley
Editor: Details of the DVD on the Australian Symposium and the CD on the letters of Catherine McAuley will be published in Mercy E-News and on the mercyworld.org website once these items become available for purchase