Remembrance Day Virtual Good Cup of Tea International Gatherings
Editor: More than 70 Sisters, Associates and co-workers, many with their cups and mugs of tea (and coffee and water), participated in one or more virtual good cup of tea international events on Remembrance Day. The 'good cup of tea' event takes its name from Catherine McAuley’s words in her final moments of life: 'Will you tell the Sisters to get a good cup of tea…when I am gone and to comfort one another'.1
Participants were from Ireland, Canada, Australia, United States, Aotearoa New Zealand, Argentina, Peru, Kenya, England, Wales and South Africa.
Since the first international Good Cup of Tea event was held in 2011, gatherings have been held each year in Baggot Street and many other parts of the Mercy world. These celebrate the life and legacy of Catherine McAuley and raise funds for the ongoing work of Mercy International Association (MIA).
Following the Welcome and Introductions and sharing of the origin of the name of the event, Emma Horgan, MIA Development Manager, gave an explanation of plans for the heritage area upgrade -the focus of this year's fundraising- and the digitising of archival items using an online platform called Preservica. These pandemic days have emphasised for MIA the importance of making the rich Mercy heritage held at MIC available to those unable to visit the Centre in person. Enhancing this capacity will be central to the re-design of the heritage space.
When registering for the MIA virtual Good Cup of Tea events, participants were invited to bring and share a story about a favourite tea cup, tea pot or indeed anything tea related.
We heard warm, comforting as well as amusing stories about tea:
the tea of hospitality
the tea of sympathy
the tea of generosity
the tea of ministry
the tea of remembrance
the tea of conversation
the tea of learning
the tea of healing
the tea of volunteering...
In the words of one tea-drinker: 'It all happens over a cup of tea'. Said another, 'Every issue could be solved with a cup of tea'. Said a third, and for which there was much nodding and many murmurs of agreement: 'The best part of a cup of tea is the meeting up and good talk'.
Due to the success of these three gatherings, it is planned to hold virtual Good Cup of Tea international events again next year. We will keep you informed through Mercy eNews.
Messages to: Emma Horgan - Development Manager
1Letter of Mary Vincent Whitty to Cecilia Marmion in Mary C. Sullivan, Catherine McAuley and the Tradition of Mercy, p. 243