Archived News Item

Mercy – the Business of Our Lives

Recently 27 Mercy ministry leaders and sisters were in Dublin participating in the second module of the Leadership program – Mercy, the Business of our Lives- facilitated by the Mercy Ethos Office. The programme is offered to those identified in their ministry as having Mercy leadership qualities and who are seeking further formation.
If you are interested in what the group are up to there is a Facebook page  – From Dublin to…- recording their ‘exploits’ and learnings. Please join it. 

This program is just one of many offered by the Institute’s Ethos Office who work alongside the ministries of the Institute facilitating programs and opportunities for exploring Mercy in the context of both the founding and contemporary story. Programs assist participants to develop strategies and ideas for fostering Mercy ethos in their workplace. A brochure of available programs can be obtained from the Ethos Office. The office also designs and delivers programs for particular formation needs in individual ministries.

The simplest way to understand the impact of these programs is from the participants who saw the direct parallel in their work with that of Catherine. The examples that come immediately to mind are: the participant from the Mercy health sector who with his co-workers goes out each day to nurse terminally-ill people in their homes paralleling closely the work of Catherine McAuley and the early Sisters. Someone even suggested he was the current face of Catherine! The staff member who when given a choice opted to work in the carpark of a hospital because people arriving there needed to see a smile and feel welcome when they may be facing difficulties. Or the teacher so fired by Catherine’s story that she’s planning to write a song of Mercy for teenagers. Or the administration assistant who returned to her workplace and created a ‘Catherine corner’ to welcome those who came in. And there are hundreds more!

Oh, you say how wonderful, but who constitutes this Institute Ethos Office? Carmel Crawford is the coordinator of the Ethos Office and also a Mercy Educator. She can be ‘found’ at the Ethos office in Alphington with Dee Grass and Sue Manester, who offer invaluable administrative and creative assistance to all programmes. Camel has worked for some years in this area and shares a wealth of wisdom and skills with the Institute.
In the past twelve months Natalie Acton and Karon Donnellon have begun work as educators also. Natalie works from the Tighes Hill office of the Institute and is primarily responsible for creating and conducting the orientation and initial formation programmes. Karon operates from Ballarat and is involved in the leadership programme as well as some of the one day specialised workshops. An exciting and new initiative of the office will be an exploration of the “leadership beyond…” programme which it is hoped will create connection and community between those who are seeking to contribute to the life of the Institute beyond their current role. Keep your eyes peeled for it!

If you would like to know more about the significant work this office does they would welcome any contact you make. Email:,  phone 03 94991577

As well as offering formation and support for Mercy ethos values and culture in the  47 incorporated ministries of the Institute, the Institute Mercy Ethos office also works with the Administration and Finance sector of the Institute and participates in the on-going life of the Institute through its membership and coordination with groups such as the Institute Mission Team and Mercy Mission Formation Network.


Article prepared by: Karon Donnellon RSM

Photo: Participants in a Mercy Ethos session.