NEWS CENTRE

Mercy Leadership Program and Dublin Pilgrimage

Baggot Street beckoned….and many women and men, religious Sisters and their lay colleagues have responded. In fact this year 27 participants were able to participate in the Mercy Leadership Program and Dublin Pilgrimage. From the beginning of the program in 2001, a total of eleven programs have been conducted offering more than 290 Sisters of Mercy and ministry leaders the opportunity to participate. Originally the program was sponsored by the Melbourne congregation in partnership with Mercy Education but as sponsorship of the program now rests with the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea there are even more opportunities for ministry personnel to take part in this cross ministry formation experience.

The experience will live with me forever. It will allow me to grow as a person and gives me confidence to lead in the way of Mercy.  Mercy school principal. 

The Mercy Leadership Program and Dublin Pilgrimage is designed to provide an opportunity for formation in the founding story of Mercy and inspiration for leadership in Mercy mission today.  The six day module in Dublin is a key component of an ongoing strategy to offer formation and support for ministry board directors, principals, deputy principals, executive staff, senior managers and mission leaders. The presence and participation of a number of Sisters of Mercy in each group is important as all in ministry strive to understand how best to lead the mission of Mercy today. 

It has been both a privilege and an inspiration being in Dublin, the time spent in Catherine’s house, the walking tour and Coolock have been real highlights for me providing and ‘encounter’ that will infuse every aspect of my work from this week on.  Mercy educator.

The Mercy Leadership Program and Dublin Pilgrimage is designed to provide an opportunity for formation in the founding story of Mercy and inspiration for leadership in Mercy mission today.  The six day module in Dublin is a key component of an ongoing strategy to offer formation and support for ministry board directors, principals, deputy principals, executive staff, senior managers and mission leaders. The presence and participation of a number of Sisters of Mercy in each group is important as all in ministry strive to understand how best to lead the mission of Mercy today. 
 
As part of an ongoing strategy to offer formation to ministry leaders, the six day module in Dublin forms the centrepiece offering an inspirational and truly transformative experience. This year’s group facilitated by the Institute Mercy Ethos Coordinator Carmel Crawford and Karon Donnellon RSM, currently working in a part time role as educator with the office included five ISMAPNG Sisters and one Sister from the North Sydney Congregation.  Other participants are board directors and executive staff with Mercy Health, Mercy Works, Mercy Education Ltd schools, Damascus College Ballarat and Mercy Support Services. We were joined by two executive staff from the New Zealand ministries, and mission leaders from OLMC Parramatta and North Sydney each person bringing a wonderful presence and adding to the rich experience of Mercy.
 
….space for us to walk with Catherine. I have been inspired by the faith, fun and friendship shared by the early Sisters and have reflected on how these factors shape my own life in Mercy. Mercy school principal.

We are blessed to have presenters including Mary Reynolds RSM, Mary Kay Dobrovolny RSM, Aine Barrins RSM and Anne Reid at MIC provide inspiring insights into the history and heritage of Mercy through story, exploration of Catherine’s life and work at Baggot St, visits to significant sites such on the streets of Dublin, Coolock House, St Teresa’s Church and George’s Hill. Along with the inspiring founding stories the week spent in Catherine’s House provides an extraordinary experience of welcome and hospitality where we find a ‘home’ as pilgrims. 

The main thing that stays with me is the stories, so many stories and the way Mercy still draws on, and is nourished by these stories today.  Archivist.

Apart from the inspiring and challenging input and discussion our participants value time and space for quiet and reflection to further nourish the spirit.  Each day there are opportunities for guided reflection, prayer and space to just ‘be’.  The day at Glendalough including a guided reflective walk with the Sisters ministering at the Hermitages provides a much needed opportunity for deep personal reflection.
 
The pilgrimage was exactly the right balance of ‘time to be still’, intellectual challenges and spiritual enrichment. Mercy school deputy principal.

For Mercy leaders understanding how to apply this inspiration and ethos for leading in Mercy ministries is challenging. Sessions presented by Dervilla Byrne RSM and Maria McGuiness RSM on leadership in Mercy, mission and values offer the opportunity to tease out the implications and challenges for contemporary ministry.  The staff at MIC are in the unique position of knowing what’s happening on the global scene and so a session on ‘Mercy in a Global Context’ with Denise Boyle FMDM (Assistant Director, Global Action) calls participants to think beyond their own current situations.
 
I feel sure this experience will significantly shape my approach to my future in Mercy and with time, I feel sure there will be more answers and most likely more questions.  Executive staff Mercy Health.

It has been an unusually affecting experience – one I will treasure. Board Director.

Photos:
1. Arriving at Baggot Street
2. The group at Coolock House
3. Anne Reid and participants
4. A reflective moment

Messages to: Carmel CrawfordInstitute Mercy Ethos Coordinator