New Leadership CommissionedNovember 27, 2023
The Institute’s new leadership team was commissioned at a joyous ritual in Sydney on November 11, the anniversary of Catherine McAuley’s death.
More than sixty sisters from around the Institute, joined with hundreds of sisters and colleagues online, to ask for God’s blessing on the Institute’s new leadership team – Karon Donnellon (Institute Leader), Elizabeth Moloney (Institute Vicar), Duyen Nguyen, Margaret Madden and Theresia Tina (Institute Councillors) .
Gratitude was expressed to the outgoing team of Sisters Eveline Crotty (Institute Leader), Caroline Ryan (Institute Vicar), Gaye Lennon, Elizabeth Moloney and Maureen Sexton (Institute Councillors) for their leadership of the Institute over the past six years.
In prayers offered, the new team was encouraged to follow in the way of Jesus the Servant Leader and through their wisdom, love, care and courage, enable all in the Institute to advance the reign of God.
The ritual provided a mix of both prayer and symbolism, with the outgoing team handing the incoming team a Chapter candle, a globe and a confirming prayer.
The incoming team was invited to accept the Chapter candle as an acknowledgement that the future-shaping work of the Institute’s recent Chapter is ongoing.
Those gathered prayed for the new team that, “in their precious ministry of leadership, may it also remind them often of Christ in whose light you can see light”.
The globe was handed over as a reminder of the wider Mercy world as all prayed:
“Through your leadership, may you contribute to the maturing purpose of Mercy International Association, the critical work of Mercy Global Action and the strength of our universal Mercy sisterhood with its diversity of cultures and many ways of participating in God’s mission”.
The confirming prayer was composed for the First Institute Leadership in 2011 and has now been prayed at the commissioning rituals of each of the three leadership teams.
In her first address as Institute Leader, Sister Karon Donnellon drew on the prophetic words of the Institute’s Constitutions.
“Our Constitutions have proved to be prophetic over time and again, as we see the displacement and fracturing of our world and Earth community, they invite us to act with love, to widen our tent pegs and always to hope.”
She acknowledged the numerous responsibilities listed in the Constitutions for designated leadership and focussed on three, namely:
• Promote the vision and integrity of Mercy religious life;
• Foster the Mercy charism and Spirit of Catherine
• and promote the Mission of Mercy with primary concern for the most vulnerable [6J:22].
“These three cannot be done by any one part of our Institute alone – they are the very essence of all that we are. We invite you to engage with us in living what this is in our lives,” said Sister Karon.
“Our Chapter has invited us, as members of the Institute, to continually reflect on the legacy we have and are creating to ensure that at all levels of our life as an Institute we are guided by and live into wisdom as the weaver of a future bright with hope and born of prayer…. a sacred fabric – peace with justice.
“We look forward to discovering with you the mission God calls our Institute to at this moment. We ask that you continue to pray with and for us as we begin this journey”, she said.
The ritual fittingly ended with the singing of Catherine McAuley’s Suscipe.
Click on the video below to watch a recording of the Commissioning Ritual.