FROM DREAM TO REALITY
Located on Nicholson Street, the Mercy Hub will be a gathering space, a meeting place, a work space, a prayer place where hospitality and mercy are present. The doors of Mercy Hub capture and state the heart and purpose of what we are about together: Mission, Action and Spirituality. The diverse usage of this space is limited only by the imagination with theologians, poets, artists, and others who will share their stories and continue to show us the path of mercy.
Nicholson Street carries a special place in the history of Mercy in Melbourne, for a few minutes down the road from the new hub is the place where Sr Ursula Frayne established the foundation house and began the Mercy Mission in Melbourne. Paying homage to this history and all of the Sisters and partners in Mercy who have carried on the Mercy mission since then, the ceremony included the sprinkling of blessed water from the convent.
Following a welcome by Sr Faye Kelly, the South C Community Leader, the Institute Leader, Sr Berneice Loch rsm said because this is an opening and a blessing it is easy to think of the new hub primarily in terms of the bricks and mortar.
“Those who have worked to make this a lovely place would be the very first to acknowledge that the centre will primarily be created, sustained and developed through the energy of those who are already ministering from this spot and who will find here a place of ministry in the years to come.
“It is a helpful feature of this place that a wide variety of ministries are already calling this home. The variety is just so characteristically Mercy and in an age which recognises that diversity is a gift essential to life, it really helps to experience this diversity as integral of the hub,” Sr Berneice said.
Sr Berneice paid tribute to Sr Faye Kelly and the group of Sisters who dreamed and created this special place.
“I hope they feel today that their dreams are fulfilled and their efforts rewarded. We congratulate them all,” she said.
Executive Leader, Mission and Ministry, Sr Elaine Wainwright rsm gave a reflection on Matthew’s Gospel 9-13: ‘10 And as he (Jesus) sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples…”.
Acknowledging that it may seem to some to be a strange text to choose for the opening, Sr Elaine said “those for whom this will become their Mercy Mission Hub will similarly welcome the strangers, the displaced, the outcast; there will, no doubt, be those who judge, who comment, who critique as did the Pharisees who witnessed Jesus’ shared table hospitality. Why do these Mercy women eat with the outsiders? Why are they bringing these people into our respectable neighbourhood? Why….? The question who will you eat with in this mercy hub seems to resonate across the sacred narratives that have informed this space from the Jesus story through Catherine to today. Who will you eat with? Who will you welcome…?”
The ceremony also included an expression of thanks by Sr Margaret Moore and the enthusiastic singing of the Blessing Song: Amen we affirm, Amen we encourage, Amen we bless and celebrate, Amen.
Given the welcoming nature of the new Mercy Hub and the ministries which have already begun under its roof, there was a lot to celebrate and say ‘Amen’ about.
Messages to: Faye Kelly rsm
Click HERE to read the full text of Sr Elaine Wainwright’s reflection
Click HERE to read Sr Berneice Loch’s reflection