Gladstone Mercy Associates Celebrate 30 YearsAugust 30, 2022
On Tuesday June 28, Gladstone Parish Community celebrated 30 years of Mercy Associate presence in Gladstone. Mass was celebrated in Star of the Sea Church with Father Ashwin Acherya presiding over a congregation of over 40 people. The Mass was a true celebration of this significant milestone and the hymns chosen and beautiful singing made it a memorable occasion.
Mercy Associates in Gladstone was initiated by Sr Maria Goretti RSM who unfortunately was unable to travel from Rockhampton for the occasion. However, Sisters Beryl Amedee RSM (who took over the role as mentor after Sr Maria) and Sr Grace Bartolo RSM travelled to join us. Sr Noreen Dunne SMSM, who ministers in Gladstone, also joined in the celebration. There were friends of the Associates with us.
A luncheon was followed in the Harbour Room of the Reef Hotel where many memories were re-lived. Three members of the inaugural Mercy Associates group were present – Norma Reynolds, Trish Lynch and Annette Rowe plus Trish Lindner whose mother was an original member i.e., Pat Keen RIP., and Geraldine Laird, daughter of Nola O’Reilly RIP. The luncheon was enjoyed by 36 Associates and friends. Unfortunately as COVID 19 is still in our midst there were quite a few people who were in isolation and unable to join in the celebration.
Memorabilia and photos of the 30 years was displayed and the resounding ‘just who was that’ or ‘I wonder where she is now’ was heard quite frequently. It also brought to mind just how many Associates are now resting in the arms of our heavenly Father.
Most of our Mercy Associates have had the experience of knowing, or being taught by, a Mercy Sister but with the decline in vocations the real task ahead is to continue as a group and to pass on the message of Catherine McAuley to the younger generations. A group of Associates a few years ago travelled to Dublin in Ireland to ‘walk in the shoes’ of Catherine and yesterday shared their ‘never to be forgotten’ experience of what that trip meant to them.
May we continue to Celebrate (Gathering Hymn from Mass) as Companions on the Journey (Recessional Hymn) today and into an uncertain future.
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Find Out More About Mercy Associates – https://institute.mercy.org.au/become-involved/become-a-mercy-associate/