Sharing the Mercy Story
The Mercy story is being received with renewed vigour in Perth through the combined work of the students of Mercedes College, the volunteers of Mercy Heritage Centre and St. Catherine’s House of Hospitality, McAuley Ministries and the Mercy Ethos Team.
Mini Mercies and Mercy Heritage
There was an excitement in the hallway of the Mercy Heritage Centre Perth as the Mini Mercies proceeded to take their families on guided tours of the 1871 convent. It was the evening of Tuesday of November 18th and they had gathered for their final meeting of the year. The girls proudly walked through the rooms sharing the knowledge that they have gained this year in the program ‘Mini Mercies’. 2014 has seen the girls become familiar with the convent and at home in its kitchen and dining room, so it was no effort for them to brew a “comfortable cup of tea” in the best tea pots for their parents and grandparents.
‘Mini Mercies’ is a new initiative introduced at Mercedes College in Perth for any Year 8 girl who wants to know more about the Mercy Story. Teacher Tania Merrey who brings the girls to the Centre every fortnight says that “Mini Mercies aspire to develop an appreciation of Mercy heritage and charism and maintain a respectful presence within the Heritage Centre.”
On their visits the girls have been shown through different rooms of the convent by Cultural Collections Curator Annie Medley. They are encouraged to ask questions and discuss aspects of the lives the Sisters would have lead in colonial times and the lives the Sisters lead today in a variety of ministries.
This ‘Mini Mercies’ program begins the foundational work of a sound formation in Mercy and next year these girls will continue their journey in the Just Leadership program at the College. But in 2015 at the Mercy Heritage Centre we will eagerly await the new group of year 8’s who will come to our door for that first cup of tea and the beginning of their journey into the Mercy Story.
Volunteers Spent Time Together
“We are becoming quite a little community” [from a volunteer]
This year the volunteers from the Mercy Heritage Centre Perth and St Catherine’s House of Hospitality have been spending some time together. The reason is that they are now both administered by McAuley Ministries which oversees all the small ministries of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea.
The Volunteers have been meeting to share stories of Mercy and get to know more about each other’s ministries. Two gatherings at the House of Hospitality have been truly “extravagant hospitality” with morning teas of fresh scones and cream and lunches with hearty homemade pies.
At the recent gathering at St Catherine’s House of Hospitality in Tuart Hill in October the guest speaker was Craig Dowsett from the Mercy Ethos Team. Craig’s workshop on Mercy Mission and values generated many conversations around the life of Catherine McAuley and how this calls all to give and receive hospitality. These gatherings are fostering a sense of connectedness and unity amongst the different volunteer groups, as well as being a very enjoyable way to learn what else is happening around Western Australia in the McAuley Ministries.
The next gathering will be in February 2015 when the staff and volunteers of the Mercy Heritage Centre Perth will take their guests from the House of Hospitality on a walking tour of the Catholic Precinct of Victoria Square in Perth.
Messages to: Annie Q. Medley – Cultural Collections Curator