Archived News Item

Seasonal Moment of Transition for Rahamim

Rahamim Board Members, Gabriella Gresz RSM and Christine Belling RSM hold ceremonial items


Friday 29 March marked a special moment in the life of Rahamim Ecology Centre. The governance of Rahamim officially passed from the Board of Rahamim Ltd to the Board of McAuley Ministries Ltd – an umbrella organisation set up by the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea to strengthen and support vital new ministries like the environmental work at Rahamim Ecology Centre.


A ritual of transition was held on site to mark the moment. Rahamim will continue on its present site at St Joseph’s Mount, in Bathurst NSW, but its outreach will be national and international as well as local.


Earth’s current seasonal moment of Autumn Equinox was a very fitting time for the transition of Rahamim to take place. It is the moment when light and dark are in balance in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres of our planet. It is a time of thanksgiving for the harvest – with its associations of nourishment and abundance reaped. And it is also a time of leave-taking and movement towards new and emergent forms of life.


In the Christian calendar, which mirrors the pattern of the seasons, we are journeying at this time through the season of Lent. Lent too, is about transition – the transition experienced in Christian conversion. We reflect on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and open our hearts to the possibility of transformation and new life.


Those present to celebrate the transition ritual included the leaders of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea, the members and staff of the Board of McAuley Ministries Ltd and members of the Board of Rahamim Ltd, along with Bishop of Bathurst Michael McKenna, local Sisters and past board members.


Wiradjuri Elders of Bathurst played an important role during the ceremony, with a traditional welcome for Rahamim’s new governance team and CEO.


During the ritual, the diligence and leadership of the Board of Rahamim Ltd was acknowledged for assisting the resources of Rahamim Ecology Centre to be shared more widely. The Board of McAuley Ministries Ltd was also acknowledged for accepting the governance of Rahamim. All present had an opportunity to pray that all the Mercy ministries will flourish and fulfil their mission effectively.


The Autumn Equinox and Lent are times for giving thanks for our abundant harvests, as individuals, as Rahamim and Mercy communities, as a whole Earth community, and for welcoming new life. We give thanks for what has been in the first 12 years of Rahamim’s mission and look forward with anticipation to what is yet come.


The future of the ministry was entrusted to Divine Providence during the ritual. This is what was done by the Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, Catherine McAuley who said:

“If the Order be my work, the sooner it falls to the ground, the better; if it is God’s work it needs no one.”


Messages to: Rahamim Ecology Centre


Gabriella Gresz RSM signs the handover papers in front of those present for the ritual.


Those present for the handover ritual enjoy lunch.


Gabriella Gresz RSM the handover papers.


Rahamim board members symbolise the handover of governance with the exchange of naturally dyed silk scarves.


Dr Hedy Bryant addresses those present at the ritual.


Patricia Powell RSM facilitates the ritual.


Emerging Wiradjuri elder Yanhadarrambal creates the fire for the smoking ceremony.


Jenny Allen and Patricia Powell RSM


Angela Jordan RSM receives her ceremonial scarf.


Sally Neaves leads participants in a song.


Wiradjuri elder Uncle Brian Grant and emerging elder Yanhadarrambal, lead participants in a smoking ceremony.