Orientation to Mercy (self paced)
The Orientation to Mercy program was originally designed for staff new to the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG) and its incorporated ministries. The program is, however, also suitable for those for whom the mercy charism is a core component in their roles, including those from non-ISMAPNG ministries and schools with a Mercy heritage.
The Orientation to Mercy (self-paced) is an 8-module program, each running for about 30 minutes. It is adapted from the one-day Orientation to Mercy seminars that were held in early 2020. Whilst in-person seminars always bring an added dimension to education and formation, i.e., the ability to interact, network and share stories with the presenter and other participants, bringing people together physically is not always possible or feasible.
- The eight topics covered are;
• the story of Catherine McAuley, the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, and the sources of inspiration for the work she did
• the early expansion of the Sisters of Mercy
• the Works of Mercy, their scriptural basis, and the traditional and contemporary manifestations of these.
• Care for Our Common Home (the 8th Work) and the interconnectedness of the Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor
• Journey of the Sisters of Mercy in Australia and Papua New Guinea and the formation of ISMAPNG
• ISMAPNG ministries
• The wider ISMAPNG family
• Mercy Values
Education and formation are not just about receiving input or even mentally processing what one has just heard. It also involves a critical reflection of the material to expand one’s views, possibly even changing initial views. Ideally, formation also moves one into action. As such, each of the modules includes input, short activities and reflective questions.
At the start of each module (each module takes approximately 30-minutes), there is a short video clip which provides information about the module. Within the body of the module, there are links to video clips and websites that cover the content of the module; short activities; and reflective questions.
From a Catholic perspective, central to formation is theological reflection – how is God revealed through what I am seeing and hearing, and how can what I am seeing/hearing strengthen my relationship with God? If participants in this Orientation programme are not Catholic or familiar with the Christian tradition of prayer and reflection, everyone can take time to think about the points in the module which have made an impact. You can do this by allowing yourself an extra 5-10 minutes of theological reflection at the end of each module. This is recommended but optional.
You will need online access whilst participating in this program as there are several links to video clips and websites to which you will be directed as key resource material.
It may also be useful to print out a copy of this document so that you are able write down your responses to the reflective questions whilst engaging with the content. It is also hoped that the links contained will be useful as resources for further exploration.
Acknowledgement of Country
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country in the inner west of Sydney, the Gadigal and Wangai peoples of the Eora Nation, and in Melbourne the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation (where the video clips by the ISMAPNG presenters have been taped) and throughout Australia. We acknowledge First Nations people throughout the world. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on this land and commit to building a brighter future together.
We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.