December 02, 2013

Remembrance Day 2013 Celebrations at Baggot Street

On Monday, 11 November 2013, over 40 Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Associates, Partners in Ministry and Friends of Mercy gathered in the chapel at Baggot Street to commemorate the life and death of Catherine McAuley.

Mary Reynolds rsm, Mercy International Association Executive Director, welcomed everyone to the Commemoration Eucharist for Catherine and for all Sisters of Mercy and loved ones who have gone before us in death. Sr Mary also spoke about the horrific events in the Philippines, which has been left devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. The congregation was asked to pray for the Sisters of Mercy and those who live in the worst affected areas.

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Eucharist was celebrated by Fr Patrick Hume SJ from the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. Fr Patrick, who has a long history with the Sisters of Mercy, expressed his delight at being asked to celebrate the liturgy on this special day. Rosaleen Hogan, rsm led the congregational singing, while music was provided by Eithne Doyle rsm on organ.

The first reading, Isaiah 61:1-3, 10-11 was proclaimed by Mary Lyons rsm while the second reading from ‘A Woman Sings of Mercy’ by Carmel Bourke rsm, was read by Helen Delaney, rsm. The Gospel was Matthew 25: 31-46.

Joan Doyle, rsm broke open the Word. In her Reflection, Sr Joan, who has recently returned from Peru, said that the need for Mercy ministry is a just as urgent today as it was in the time of Catherine McAuley. The challenge to alleviate poverty, to provide education, to end homelessness, to alleviate sickness continues she said, and this list could be endless and seem overwhelming. Sr Joan posed the question ‘how do we see our mission now and into the future, in the face of diminishing numbers’? To answer, Sr Joan drew the congregation’s attention to Ilia Delio an American Franciscan Sister who says that we must not get weighed down by aging and dying, but rather stretch our vision because God is still creating and life evolves through death and resurrection, which is at the heart of our Christian faith. Sr Joan concluded by saying that while nobody can predict the future, we all have a responsibility to do our part to help create it. God’s mercy is a gift to ALL.

Catherine's vision for the Sisters of Mercy has developed further than even she could have imagined, and it is with great joy that in the 172 years since her passing, the Sisters of Mercy can now be found in more than 40 countries. Attending the Commemoration Eucharist were Sisters from Ireland, Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, Peru, Kenya, United States and Newfoundland, giving just a taste of the width and breadth of Mercy!

The occasion offered the opportunity for Eugene Nolan rsm to present her book ‘Caring for the Nation – A history of the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital’ to the library at Baggot Street. The book covers three major aspects of the Mater hospital’s history, from its beginnings during a time when hospitals were an institution feared by the sick poor, through the fight for Ireland’s freedom, to the expansion of the hospital as a centre for cardiac care. ‘Caring for the Nation – A history of the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital’ is available directly from Sr Eugene.

The congregation enjoyed afternoon tea following the Eucharist, giving everyone gathered an opportunity to catch up and share their news!

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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