April 08, 2014

Reflections on Presentations Given by Mary Reynolds rsm in Brisbane

On two occasions recently, Mercy people in Brisbane were privileged to hear Mary Reynolds rsm who visited Australia at the invitation of ISMAPNG and Mercy Partners.

On Saturday, 15 March, Mary spoke to about a hundred Sisters and then on 17 March, forty personnel from Mercy ministries in Brisbane were privileged to hear her.

After a presentation on how Catherine responded to the signs of her times, Mary challenged both groups to think about how, while our historical circumstances are different from those of Catherine’s day, the big issues we are dealing with today, are very similar. How can we make the same compassionate and courageous response that Catherine did? Here are some impressions recorded by those present on one or other occasion:

  • In her lilting accent and with some quaint expressions, Mary led us in a reflection on the Mercy legacy and challenge. From the outset she reminded us that the Mercy charism in not exclusive to members of congregations. In Catherine, the charism was nurtured through her own experience of death, poverty, dislocation and care.
  • I was delighted in how easily Mary spoke of Catherine as a very dear friend – and I will try to talk about Catherine to people I meet like she did.
  • Catherine challenges us to harness our individual and corporate passion, to move out of our comfort zones, and meet the needs of our time, just as she did.
  • Preserving the dignity of the person was always central to Catherine’s practical response to need.
  • The Mercy charism needs to be imbibed and owned by all people – especially those working in Mercy ministries. We have the opportunity to be midwives of the charism for the generations of the future.
  • Mary’s presentation was a timely reminder that we have a great gift for a new world order of Mercy.
  • What a privilege to be reminded of the compassionate but tenacious spirit of Catherine McAuley! It is a powerful reminder of our shared responsibility to continue our Mercy ministry in health and education which we are so blessed with today.
  • Thank you for including me in yesterday’s gathering. I found it insightful and encouraging. My knowledge of Catherine was deepened and I enjoyed such an opportunity. Mary was a great presenter.
  • Catherine’s response to the great poverty and associated violence of her time was to: empower people, imagine life differently
  • Catherine used her middle class gifts of money, religious knowledge and education to raise up the poor to greater physical comfort and hope. I think of St Francis:” Where there is despair, let me bring hope”
  • Mary not only told us about what Catherine did in her time – she challenged us to think about what Catherine might do if she was living in our time, and therefore what we might do in the name of mercy. Her life is a lesson for all ages.
  • Global Mercy – hear the cries of the suffering world.
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Messages to:
Anne Hetherington rsm
Mary Reynolds rsm

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