February 02, 2010

Where Sisters of Mercy Minister Series

Just as in Catherine’s time her desire to connect those who were rich with those who were poor resulted in the building of a House of Mercy on Baggot Street, so in this time of global interdependence, we seek to create ways of bridging the increasing gap between the rich and the poor by using our global Mercy network.  The same vision of Catherine McAuley to meet the compelling needs of her day continues to drive Sisters of Mercy as we struggle for justice, work passionately to respond to the needs of the poor and sick, advocate for systemic change, and pray for peace.  Through the generous response of daring women to the call of God and Catherine in their lives, the vision of Catherine has been spread throughout the world.

In this coming year, Mercy International Association is going to profile each week one country or territory in which Sisters of Mercy minister.  At present, Sisters of Mercy minister in 47 countries or territories, spanning every continent of the world with a myriad of languages and cultures represented in the various areas.  A visual map of the geographic spread of Sisters of Mercy can be accessed here.

The choice to feature each country or territory in which Sisters of Mercy minister is an effort to promote one of the purposes of Mercy International Association: “To foster unity of mind and heart among Sisters of Mercy and to increase awareness and experience of their global interdependence.”  With a greater awareness of the work being done in the various parts of the world, we are more able to build strong partnerships to mobilize our vast networks, pray for each other and the work being done in the name of Mercy, and bring about sustainable change.

Some of the countries or territories where Sisters of Mercy minister have hundreds or even thousands of Sisters of Mercy in ministry there while other countries or territories have only one member or a small handful of members.  It is helpful to keep in mind the truth of the common statement: “Where one Sister of Mercy is present, we all are present.”  There is a corporate nature to our lives and ministry and the building up of the body of Christ takes all of our efforts.  In addition, the Mercy community extends exponentially beyond the vowed members to incorporate the ministry and witness of the lives of our associates, companions, partners-in-ministry, and volunteers.  These men and women of Mercy further the mission of Mercy and vision of Catherine throughout all of the countries or territories named, and possibly a few more places of the world.

Mercy International Association has nine member congregations, institutes, and federations.  The following link is to a chart that summarizes where each Mercy congregation, institute, and federation ministers.  In some countries, all of the Sisters of Mercy present are members of the same congregation, institute, or federation, while in other countries many different Mercy families are present.  For example, England, Ireland, Kenya, Peru, and the United States all have either four or five Mercy families present in that country.  In the country profiles that will follow in each week’s Mercy World E-News, an effort will be made to show the collaborative nature and expanse of the ministry in each country.

Messages to Mary Kay Dobrovolny rsm, MIA Assistant Director, Spirituality and Heritage.

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