Mercy Asia Pacific Gathering
The first ever gathering of Sisters of Mercy from the Asia Pacific region was held in Samoa last week.
The gathering arose from two strands – firstly, from a regional meeting of Asia Pacific Sisters of Mercy Leaders in 2017 and, secondly, from a desire to build on what has been learnt from the Mercy International Reflection Process (MIRP). Three main ongoing purposes underpinned our gathering:
- To deepen understanding of the reality in the Asia Pacific region of the two MIRP directions of Degradation of Earth and Displacement of People.
- To come to know each other, build relationships and act to take forward what has been revealed and learnt from MIRP.
- To strengthen our relationship in this region with Mercy Global Presence at our United Nations Organisation office and from the Asia Pacific region to support our Mercy ministry there.
For our personal and communal prayer and reflection, we drew on the daily Reflection Series prepared by Veronica Lawson rsm. These linked us to the gospel of the day, MIRP and the recently produced MIRP Guide for Using the Process and the Themes of Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home. Each region prepared a morning prayer time.
Australia: Maryanne Loughry RSM, Anne McGuire RSM, Ms Ellen Geraghty (Institute) and Maria Lawnton RSM (Parramatta)
Guam: Marian Arroyo RSM
Aotearoa New Zealand: Bridget Crisp RSM, Kathleen Rushton RSM
Papua New Guinea: Schola Fakiwi RSM, Rachel Waisman RSM (Institute)
Philippines: Patrocinia Angay RSM, Jean Delgado RSM, Marge Alamban RSM, Corazon Basadre RSM
Samoa:S Malia Fetuli RSM, Marieta Ifopo RSM, Salome Loane RSM
Tonga: Malia Simeone RSM, Fe’ao Kautai RSM
MIA Mercy Global Action at the UNO Office, New York, USA: Angela Reed RSM
Supported by: Judith Moroney rsm, Leadership Team Sisters of Mercy Aotearoa New Zealand Facilitator: Richard Kerr-Bell, Kaihautu Wairua-Mission Leader, Sisters of Mercy Aotearoa New Zealand. Mr Sanjay Theodore assisted with film.
The setting of St Therese Retreat Centre where we gathered is very attractive.
Ava O Le Feiloaga(‘Kava’)/Samoan Welcome Ava Ceremony
The warm hospitality and welcome of our Sisters in Samoa have surrounded us. We were inserted further into their life and community during the ‘ava’ or kava ceremony. During this ancient ritual which is performed at the beginning of all important gatherings, we were supported by the Chief of Leulumoega village, Leiataua Iosefo who has a long association with the Sisters of Mercy. His father welcomed the first Sisters in 1972. Archbishop Alapati Lui Mata’eliga presided. The fourth-year students of Moamoa Theological College, where Malia Fetuli rsm teaches, participated in this moving ceremony. We were treated to a lively Faafiafaiga (cultural performance) by St. Joan of Arc Primary School, a Mercy school where Marieta Ifopo rsm and Malia Fetuli rsm teach.
Acknowledgement – Mercy International Association’s ‘Mercy Enews’.