Fifth Annual McAuley Ministries Gathering
On Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 August in Melbourne, McAuley Ministries Limited (MML) held their Fifth Annual Gathering.
This year MML welcomed 63 participants including Sisters and employees of MML, MML Board directors, and guests from the ILT, Professional Services and Mission Integration Units, and the Community Leaders.
On Tuesday guest speaker Dr Kathleen Williams RSM presented a workshop entitled “Grace, Conversation and Forgiveness: You can’t have one without the others”. Kathleen raised the question of “What is grace – God’s own Life, Love and Knowledge given us to live”.
Kathleen noted because of the gift of grace, we can know how to forgive (knowledge), want to forgive because it matters to us (love), and actually forgive (life). Kathleen noted this lived response is hard work all the way!!! She challenged us with stories from real life that illustrated “Forgiveness benefits the forgiven and the forgiver”.
Margery Jackman, Safeguarding Officer for the Institute, facilitated a Code of Conduct Safeguarding training session including workshopping possible scenarios that may arise within our ministries. This proved to be a very popular workshop with attendees wishing it had been longer.
Dr Mary Sullivan RSM
On Wednesday, Mary Sullivan RSM joined the Gathering via Zoom video conference call from New York to present “Catherine and the Heart of Mission” – the story of Catherine McAuley and what was at the heart of mission for Catherine.
Mary shared wonderful insights about Catherine’s daily challenges gleaned from letters Catherine had penned. The room was bemused at the recounting of a particular tale of Mrs Harper and the mice she kept hidden in the pocket of her apron escaping. We were equally moved at Catherine’s despair at having to turn away two young girls that she was unable to take in as the Baggot Street house was already at capacity, Catherine herself having given up her bed to others who sought refuge. The challenge to each of us in our ministry is to be ‘reviving, invigorating and warming’ – a house of Mercy.
Climate Crisis and Solutions
Sally Neaves Education Coordinator at Rahamim and Chris Hill Environmental Sustainability Manager ISMAPNG (Al Gore Workshop Ambassadors) shared a presentation on Climate Crisis and Solutions. It is hoped that Mercy people will take the opportunity to invite Sally and or Chris to present the Climate Reality workshop in other locations to spread the truth and raise awareness of the climate crisis.
A significant part of the conference time was reflecting back on the first five years of McAuley Ministries to assist in shaping the future for the next five years. Prior to the Gathering participants had reflected on an interview with Joyce Rupp on Compassion, and the themes of that conversation influenced the sharing together. It is essential to keep a vision and to support and strengthen and inspire one another as we live that vision (Joyce Rupp, Living from Boundless Compassion. LCWR Occasional Papers Winter 2019).