August 12, 2016

Young Mercy Leaders Pilgrimage: Day Four

The sun shone brilliantly this morning as everyone arrived at Baggot Street for the last day of the pilgrimage and the final round of workshops.

The greater part of the morning was spent in the forward planning process with action plans created by the US and Irish delegations. Reporting of these took place after lunch.

The closing process and evaluation followed. Both of the process sessions were led by Liz Murphy rsm who has creatively and with great energy facilitated the entire pilgrimage.

Process

Liz Murphy rsm reminded the entire group that the greatest gift that we can give to others is to embody Mercy in all our interactions with them.

As a preparation for the afternoon Reporting of Action Plans,  she invited the delegate groups to meet, to reflect on their own home environment and to commit to a plan of action.

She invited them to reflect on the question: in the light of Pope Francis’ request to young people in Poland to leave their mark wherever they are, not to be couch potatoes, to put on their walking boots, to lace them up and not to let fear and paralysis cripple them - what do you feel called to now?

Following a short period of reflection, pilgrims broke into their delegate groups. Each group then chose a Mercy response to their own home environment. This will be translated into action on their return home. They reported on this plan in the afternoon session.

  • Making plans

  • Making plans

  • Making plans

  • Making plans

  • Making plans

  • Making plans

  • Making plans

  • Making plans

  • Making plans

  • Sharing Action Plans

  • Sharing Action Plans

  • Sharing Action Plans

  • Sharing Action Plans

  • Sharing Action Plans

  • Sharing Action Plans


 
Closing Liturgy


Prayer concluded the day and we celebrated the Closing Liturgy in the Chapel with Brian Shortall OFM Cap presiding.

Once again the music was superb. We sang the hymns that had accompanied us this week: There is a Candle and Healing Balm (Peter Kolar) as well as new ones: Holy is God (Liam Lawton), You are Mine (David Haas) and the Suscipe (Elaine Deasy rsm). Parts of the Mass were also sung.

The Communion Reflection, read by Mary Trainer rsm (Americas) and Lindsay Riddell (Misericordia University),  was taken from the prophet Micah and Catherine McAuley:

To act justly
Catherine says: for ourselves we ask nothing – but (for) our poor young women.... I will make one effort more in their regard

To love tenderly
Catherine says: Show fond affection every day.

And to walk humbly with your God.
Catherine says: our hearts can always be in the same place centred in God – for whom alone we go forward – or stay back.

The Closing Liturgy included a moving Commissioning of the Pilgrims. Mary Reynolds rsm addressed the gathering while 12 Sisters of Mercy who had been at MIC all week - MIC staff, university staff, volunteers and mentors- distributed 3 important gifts for the journey ahead: the candle 'to go light your world', a wrist band to be a daily reminder of the call to action, imprinted with the words #Make Mercy Real and a prayer card with Catherine's words of exhortation and blessing; 'Put all your confidence in God .He will never let you want'.

The pilgrims pledged:
As a Young Mercy leader, let Catherine's story fill my heart.
May the gift of Mercy fire me with courage to face and respond to the challenges I will meet in my life.
May I be united with other Young Mercy Leaders in a desire to welcome the diversity of persons and gifts in my community.
May I be inspired to support the Mission of Mercy in the wider world in whatever ways I can.
In this Year of Mercy and always, may I be blessed with an abiding sense of God's loving kindness.

  • YML Closing Liturgy

  • YML Closing Liturgy: Centrepiece

  • YML Closing Liturgy

  • Mary Reynolds Commissioning Pilgrims

  • YML Closing Liturgy

  • YML Closing Liturgy

  • YML Closing Liturgy

  • YML Closing Liturgy

  • YML Closing Liturgy

  • L-r: Betty Scanlon rsm and Sheila Carney rsm with prayer cards

  • Sheila Carney rsm

  • YML Closing Liturgy

  • YML Closing Liturgy

  • L-r: Ivette Diaz rsm and Mary Conway rsm

  • Bernie Ryan rsm handing on the light

  • YML Closing Liturgy

  • YML Closing Liturgy

  • YML Closing Liturgy

  • YML Closing Liturgy: Centrepiece

  • YML Closing Liturgy

  • YML Closing Liturgy

Workshops

Yesterday we reported on four workshops. Today we bring you reports on the other three workshops.

Mary Conway rsm: Mindful or Mindless – you have a choice!

Mindfulness Group.
Mary Conways rsm is far right

In the busy world of the 21st century most of us are bombarded with noise, phone calls, meetings, deadlines etc. In addition we are constantly fed gigabytes of information, much of which is bad news, through the various media outlets - whether we are travelling, working or relaxing. Our encounters with various situations in our daily lives are often stressful. As a result we may find ourselves quite stressed and unable to relax, sleep or concentrate on our work.

Mary Conway’s mindfulness workshop was designed to give the participants greater awareness of our thought processes and how these influence our daily lives. Mindfulness brings us to an awareness of the present and practicing awareness gives us a greater ability to live in the NOW. Mindfulness practices can help us with such things as a racing mind, worry, anxiety and difficulty in getting to sleep. Mindfulness offers each of us a choice of dealing with daily stress rather than being the victims of unnecessary stress. By practicing mindfulness we can become aware of and manage our stress and cope with recurring memories.

According to Mary, it takes about three weeks to break a habit/thought pattern, six weeks to develop a new habit and nine months to consolidate that new habit. No doubt the Mercy Pilgrims will find this to be a useful tool in the coming months and years.

All the mindfulness practices can be downloaded here from the MIA website.

Continuing the conversation: 'No one is excluded from the Mercy of God

Betty Scanlon rsm continued the conversation she began in her keynote address on Tuesday. Betty Scanlon rsm is Executive Director of the Visitation Community Centre in North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her breadth of ministry experience within and beyond the United States has formed her belief that the only valid way to look at Mercy is in the global context.

Sr Betty believes that each of us needs to have a Mercy passport, the outside of which should have a picture of the earth with the word Mercy below it. A Mercy Passport would help us to transcend boundaries. She recounted a life changing experience during which she saw herself as poor people in the Andes would probably have seen her and as they might see us if we had been in the same situation ie wealthy, selfish and self-pitying. She recalled how on a visit at Eastertime to a remote and impoverished community in South America, that had no running water and little food, her feet were washed by people who had no shoes.
Jesus cared for the poor and marginalised and we are called to no less. We are called to bring healing and transformation to the world of power and corruption on one side and powerlessness, illness, poverty and violence on the other.

A question for us as we examine our consciences: when we think of refugees, the marginalised, the dispossessed or the homeless how many of the images in our minds are of compassion, forgiveness, tenderness or understanding?

Mary Trainer: The Vision and Mission of Mercy

Mary Trainer rsm, a member of the Institute of the Americas, is the person who had the initial vision for making Catherine Mc Auley’s house into a centre of Hospitality, Heritage, Pilgrimage and Renewal. Mary’s love of Catherine was obvious whenever she spoke, be it in a workshop, when conducting a tour or in everyday conversation.
In her workshops Sr Mary lovingly led her listeners through the streets with Catherine, and through the ups and downs of the building of 64A Lower Baggot Street and the foundation of the congregation.

Sr Mary invited each person present to take a step alone or with friends to make a difference in the life of even one person. Her hope was that the workshops would inspire the vision of each one present and lead to mission and she drew on Pope Francis' words to young people at WYD in Poland.

The Young Mercy Leaders left Baggot Street full of life and still with energy after a week of hospitality, education, inspiration and formation in the first house of Mercy.

 

Messages to: YML Communications Team: Elizabeth, Ruth, Anne

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