Archived News Item

Institute Candidate Programme

The first Institute candidate programme was conducted in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in January 2009. Candidates and formators gathered in Goroka to explore culture and the living of vowed Mercy life.

And we launched a journey across the cultural bounds… On January 11, Barbara Broad and I began an adventure into the land of PNG, complete with all the essential ingredients: travel, joy, fun, community novelty, confusion, frustration, sadness, learnings and friendship.

We completed a six-week formation programme with other candidates and formators from Melbourne, Rockhampton and PNG. Undoubtedly, it went better than we could have hoped for and we emerged enriched, intrigued and challenged. We learnt about culture, the Mercy story and the vows, while getting to know the other new members.

Together we found the strength in community that identifies a sister; whether pig-spotting on the highway, preparing a Catherine McAuley play or uniting in grief over the death of the first PNG Sister of Mercy, Petronia Gawi.

The poverty and violence of the country moved us as much as its extraordinary beauty and generosity. However, Papua New Guinean, Vietnamese or Australian sisters alike, we discovered the charism and story that inspires and connects us all.

From: Elizabeth Young