Gathered as One
On Sunday, July 31, a group of twenty-nine gathered for a barbecue lunch at the Sisters’ House at in Light Street, South Casino. They came together to meet Sophie and Schola, Sisters of Mercy from PNG, who had come to Casino for a Mediation workshop. Both were about to finish the Mercy Newlife program run by the Parramatta Sisters of Mercy at Marymount, Castle Hill. Sophie, a nurse from Kunjingini, will go on to do the CPE program at St Vincent’s in Sydney. Schola will return to Mt Hagen where she works with the Sisters in formation.
The National Formation Council has suggested skills training as a way of supporting the young Mercy Community in PNG so Bev Whitton, who worked in PNG for many years, decided a workshop was also a way for the PNG sisters to meet some of the Mercy family in this area. She arranged for Maureen Lynch (an ex-student of St Mary’s College, Grafton) and Clare Heaton, a Woman for Justice in the Richmond River area and active in Greenpeace, to conduct a Mediation workshop. Three members of the National Formation Council, Barbara Bolster, Bev Whitton and Sue Smith attended.
The gathering included the facilitators, seventeen Sisters from Tenterfield, Kyogle, Ballina, Lismore, Evans Head, Casino and Grafton, two from Brisbane who had worked in PNG – one of them originally from Vietnam. Local priests with PNG associations, a visitor from the PNG National Seminary, and others from India and the Philippines enhanced the cultural richness of the gathering.
Local sisters, with able assistance from guests, provided a very tasty meal in a pleasant setting – on such a glorious day! The interaction within a group so varied in background, lifestyle, culture and ministry was enjoyable and enlivening.