Sisters involved in on-going ministry in north-east Victoria and the Riverina area of NSW gathered in Yarrawonga on 14/15th November to continue reflecting on the Mercy ministry possibilities in the region and along the Murray River and the fruits of the meeting are shared here.


Sisters Theresa Foley, Tricia Johnson, Maureen Sexton, Liz Rothe, Shirley Garland Carolyn Nolan, Agnes Murphy, Eileen Dowling , Helen Glasheen, Bernice Keane and our facilitator, Sr. Eveline Crotty were joined by our guest, Veronica Lawson rsm, in gathering around an inviting lunch table to renew contact since our July meeting.


The ageless praising of our Common Home in the hymn: ‘Sing a New Song’ has increasing relevance in this time with Pope Francis’ introduction of the 8th Corporal Work of Mercy “To care for our Common Home”. [Laudato Si  # 214]


Veronica translated this concept into “Showing Mercy to Our Common Home”. Using an eco-Wisdom approach (Habel), she led us to an understanding of the need to acknowledge our long emphasis on the superiority of humanity at the cost of de-valuing of other members of our Earth community. [Text: ‘Finding Wisdom in Nature: An ecological Reading of the book of Job’]


Veronica also stressed the importance in the meaning of words, illustrating the word ‘ forgiveness’ with our need to consider it in relation to our ‘wounded self’ as  well as the person/s doing the wounding… at the end of life, the wish to be forgiven is ultimately the chief desire of almost every human being. In refusing to wait; in expending forgiveness to others now, we begin the long journey of becoming the person who will be large enough to receive, at the very end, that absolution ourselves. [Consolations 69, David Whyte]


The psalms as a prayer format and their use of the language of Mercy in its various contexts are present in the Lectionary, with Ps. 103 and 145 being rich sources. Veronica suggested Ps. 30, 33 and 118 as good preparation for the Advent Season.
The evening was spent enjoying each other’s company and ‘mercy’ stories over a tasty meal. Veronica’s generosity certainly was much appreciated given that she was to fly off to Texas the next day.


The second day began with time to enjoy God’s creation and following guidance from Eveline in the French ‘Pantoum’ form of reflection. This form uses repetition of phases or images to record one’s reflection. Some samples follow and the method will present itself. The focus of the exercise was based on the 8th work of Mercy—Gratitude.


Some planning for next year set the 5th and 6th February as our first of possibly two /three gatherings in what will be a very busy year. We thanked Eveline for guiding us into what is seen as a beneficial and worthwhile gathering. Shirley and Maureen have offered to plan our first meeting and Liz will prepare a liturgy.


Messages to: Carolyn Nolan rsm


Examples of the French Pantoum  

Poured out empty
Shattered but not destroyed
Poured out, emptied, to be filled with the good.

Poured out, emptied to be filled with the good,
Evolution is slowly done
Poured out, emptied to be filled with good
Into the future soaring.

Evolution is slowly done
Shattered, but not destroyed
Into the future soaring
Broken shattered.  [Tricia]

Walking in the Land
Water rippling, stirring, flowing, cascading
Birds, winging and singing
A beloved Lamb quietly nibbling,

Water rippling, stirring, flowing, cascading,
Red geraniums swaying in the Wind
A beloved Lamb quietly nibbling
Compost feeding the Earth

Red geraniums swaying in the Wind
Birds, winging  and singing,
Compost feeding the Earth
Walking in the Land   [Agnes]

We wait upon the promise of the Lord
Knowing we have endangered the existence of the earth community
The earth / cosmos which is integral to our future

Now we are called to be open, compassionate, to advocate
Knowing we have endangered the existence of the earth community
The Holy Spirit hoovers over all.

Now I am called to be open, compassionate, to advocate
Attentive to FIRE, WISDOM, WATER
The Holy Spirit hoovers over all

The earth / cosmos which is integral to our future
Attentive to fire wisdom water
We wait upon the promise of the Lord  [Maureen]