Living Mercy in life and into the future
The theme chosen for the sesquicentenary of the Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation is Living Mercy – a theme that encompasses past, present and future.
This theme has given us the opportunity to rejoice and celebrate the vision, courage and fidelity of the past; to acknowledge our past and present limitation in living mercy in our actions and our structures and to honour the passion for mercy that sustains and motivates us in the present.
It offers us the opportunity for renewal and deeper commitment – as we reflect on what living mercy is, and can be, in our life and ministry now and into the future.
During 2011 the Living Mercy story has been told in many and varied ways by the sisters and our mercy ministries.
All Hallows’ School which was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1861 also celebrated 150 years and held major celebrations in July.
The Living Mercy Conference held at All Hallows’ School from September 21 – 23 was organised by the Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation as part of the sesquicentennial celebrations.
The theme of the conference Living Mercy – Past, Present and Future was in keeping with the theme chosen throughout the special celebratory year.
The keynote speakers invited participants to ponder deeply the tradition and the vision of Catherine McAuley for today, the contemporary issues of concern to people of Mercy within the complexity and diversity of our world and what does it mean to be Catholic and Mercy in a pluralised and multi-faith culture.
More than 30 workshops were offered by local and interstate presenters over the three-day conference.
Workshop topics included relevant issues for today such as interfaith dialogue, environmental responsibility, indigenous concerns from the perspective of indigenous women, and mission integrity in times of challenge and opportunity.
On Saturday, September 24, the feast day of Mary, Mother of Mercy, a public Eucharist was celebrated by Archbishop John Bathersby at the Cathedral of St Stephen to mark the 150 years of the presence of the Sisters of Mercy in Queensland.
The culmination of a busy and exciting week of celebrations for the Sisters of Mercy was the 150-year Anniversary Dinner held at the Brisbane Exhibition and Convention Centre at South Bank.
Joining the many sisters from around Australia and Papua New Guinea were their ministry partners and Government and Church leaders including Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, Federal Minister for Trade Craig Emerson, delegating for Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, Archbishop John Bathersby, Bishop Brian Finnigan, Bishop William Morris and indigenous elder Uncle Joe Kirk.
Guest speakers invited those present to continue to build on the tradition of 150 years of Mercy mission and to forge ahead addressing new and emerging needs in our world.
Sr Sandra Lupi rsm
Sisters of Mercy