Archived News Item

Townsville Mercy Associates Look to the Future

Louise Doolan, Joan Neal and Marcia Chock Man at the Townsville Mercy Associates meeting


A group of current and potential Mercy Associates have met at the House of Prayer in Townsville to discuss the shape of the group in the future.


Following the Commitment ceremony held at the same location in February, Mercy Associates Executive Officer, Carmel Ross spoke to the group at the March 22 gathering about the history of Mercy Associates around the world over the last thirty years, including the groups that have formed in Australia during that time. The Townsville group, which has members in distant locations such as Winton, Proserpine, Collinsville and Bowen, is a long-standing group.


The history of the Townsville group was described by Marcia Chock Man. A particular point of interest was the badges – Marcia had retained her original Mercy Associates badge from over two decades ago, and now has the new badge presented across the Institute to Mercy Associates.


The current Mercy Associates badge (left) alongside the badge presented in earlier years to Townsville Mercy Associates.


The meeting discussed the importance of the group moving to a model where Mercy Associates each took on roles to sustain the life of the group. The roles identified included maintaining the database of current and potential Mercy Associates, booking venues for future meetings, preparing a reflection and prayer for the meeting, and being vigilant in identifying and inviting others who might be interested in becoming Mercy Associates. The other task that will arise is that of facilitating the formation programme for those at the meeting who are interested in becoming a Mercy Associate.


The group is appreciative of the contribution made by Carmel King RSM over many years. They were also pleased to have the encouragement of three other Sisters who attended this meeting. The model of involvement for Sisters, where their role changes from leading to becoming a mentor, was discussed.


Those present, who were from Townsville, agreed to meet again in July. They will maintain contact with those from beyond Townsville who have expressed an interest in being a Mercy Associate.


Messages to: Carmel Ross, Mercy Associates Executive Officer, or 0408 124 404.