November 12, 2007

The Mercy International Association Visioning Process

Mercy International Association Vision Statement

At its August meeting the Board adopted the following statement of vision:

God's gracious and compassionate Mercy is the wellspring, the source of never failing supply, for all those who cherish and seek to live out this gift of Mercy.

Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, used her inheritance in service of the needs of her time. Today, Sisters of Mercy, through Mercy International Association, use their resources to respond to issues of global poverty demonstrated in the massive displacement of persons worldwide.

The house built by Catherine to connect those who were rich with those who were poor forms part of Mercy International Centre, a place of rich heritage and hospitality.

To integrate the activities of Mercy International Association and in service of the mission of Mercy today, Mercy International Centre is expanded to offer a diversity of programmes, enhanced communications, outreach efforts, and appropriate accommodation and conference facilities.

This vision keeps alive the founding spirit of Catherine among peoples of the world most in need of God's compassion and mercy.

The Story of the New Vision

The development of a new and fresh vision for Mercy International Association has evolved over the past two years and is grounded in the founding vision of the Association. Mercy International Association (MIA) was founded in 1992 to serve the Sisters of Mercy, their associates and colleagues in ministry. It is an organisation of the Leaders of Mercy Congregations, Institutes and Federations throughout the world.

The Association was established "To stimulate and inspire Sisters of Mercy, their associates and colleagues in ministry, to continue the work of Catherine McAuley, Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, in ways which are both creative and appropriate to the needs of the world for the time being" and "to respond to the cry of the poor" (Memorandum of Association of Mercy International Association).

In 2005, because of changing realities in member congregations and in the world, MIA recognised the need to refocus its vision. They conducted a Visioning Exercise in Dublin in May 2006 with Mercy leadership teams and leaders of current MIA Projects to discern a way forward for the Association. From this discernment an emerging vision was articulated and a Working Party established to find a structure that would carry the vision into the future. The Mercy International Association Board built on the outcomes of the Working Party to develop the material presented here.

Structure to Serve the Vision

In order to support the vision with an appropriate organisational framework, the structure in the diagram below has been developed. It is envisaged that a new Board of Directors will appoint a Director of the re-visioned Mercy International Centre. The Director will work with a Management Team of four people. Focusing on Mission, Communication, Administration and Resource Development their role will be to manage the Centre in a way that tells, lives and supports the Mercy International Association vision.

Gift of Catherine McAuley Centre

To facilitate the new vision of MIA regarding Mercy International Centre, the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy (Ireland) has made the Catherine McAuley Centre available for use by the Association. This extraordinarily generous gift will enable MIA to respond creatively and courageously to the needs of our time.

The two Centres will be known as Mercy International Centre and will be transformed in a way that gives expression to the vision, hopes and aspirations of international Mercy today.


The implementation of the new vision will take some time. Until the new model is fully operational, the current projects, except the Mercy International Justice Network, will continue and current staff and volunteer positions will operate as usual. MIJN in its current structure will come to a close by 31 December 2007 and will be replaced by a network of appointees from each canonical congregation.

August – December 2007: Name members of MIA Board of Directors
May 2008: MIA members appoint and meet with new MIA Board Members.
December 2008: Director of Mercy International Centre is chosen.
From January 2009: Board/Director search for Management Team members.
June 2009: Implementation of new vision and model.

Messages to Helen Harding rsm President Mercy International Association

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