Where Sisters of Mercy Minister: Bahamas (24)
The Archdiocese of Nassau, Bahamas, celebrated its 50th year as a diocese earlier this month on July 5th. Sisters of Mercy have been serving in this diocese for 42 of its 50 years.
Four Sisters of Mercy from Portland, Maine (USA) went to serve in Mangrove Cay and North Andros, Bahamas, in 1968, five years before the Bahamas obtained its independence from Britain (1973). These Sisters of Mercy served in education, health, and social and pastoral services. Today, Mary Miller rsm (Americas) is the sole Sister of Mercy serving this commonwealth of islands located in the Atlantic Ocean, north of the Caribbean Sea.
Mary is a pastoral administrator of St. Anne Church on Eleuthera Island, Bahamas. St. Anne’s is one of 30 parishes that belong to Family Island Parishes that make up the Archdiocese of Nassau, Bahamas (see http://www.archdioceseofnassau.org/index.htm).
Several of these parishes including St. Anne’s have no resident priest, and Mary offers pastoral care to the people of the parish. St. Anne’s has had a parish school through this past 2009-2010 academic year, but it has had to make the difficult decision to close the school due to declining enrollment.
The Bahamas, comprised of 29 islands and 661 cays, has a strong economy based on tourism and offshore banking. It ranks 24th among all of the countries in the rate of the adult population infected with HIV/AIDS, and has the highest percentage of adults with this disease for all countries beyond the African continent.