Archived News Item

Untiring commitment to the Mercy mission

Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation leader Sr Sandra Lupi reflects on a special week of celebrations for 150 years of the order’s presence in Queensland

Uppermost in my heart and mind is gratitude – gratitude for the wonderful week of celebrations we have shared with so many.

To have so many Sisters of Mercy from around Australia and Papua New Guinea join with us for the Living Mercy Conference at All Hallows’ School, from September 21-23, was a testimony to the unity of spirit and vision among us.

To have so many of our co-workers and partners in ministry and Mercy Associates present was testimony to the fact that our Mercy-sponsored ministries are in safe hands for the future.

The Cathedral of St Stephen was packed with sisters and friends of Mercy for the Mass on September 24 for “Celebrating 150 years of Living Mercy”.

The music and singing from the three-fold choir (Sisters of Mercy Choir, All Hallows’ students and members of the ACU choir) still reverberates in my memory as we sang with full voice God’s Mercy is from Age to Age.

Among those present at the celebration of Eucharist led by Archbishop John Bathersby were religious women and men from other congregations, former members of the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Associates, co-workers from Mercy-sponsored ministries and parishioners from places where sisters live and minister.

The 150 Anniversary dinner held at the Brisbane Exhibition and Convention Centre that evening was our gift of hospitality and thanks to the people who have supported Mercy ministries in countless ways.

It was an evening of superb entertainment and the message of Mercy was told in a variety of ways from people living mercy today.

I am deeply grateful to our sisters, our congregation office staff, our partners in ministry, our 150 year ambassadors (drawn from Mercy Ministries) and our 150 year project manager Andrew Beiers who have worked so hard to make all these events the success they were and to make sure that we not only celebrated well but throughout the events we acknowledged and paid tribute to our past, present and our future.

A special highlight of the week for me was the launch of the book The Correspondence of Mother Vincent (Ellen) Whitty 1839-1892 which tells the founding story of the Sisters of Mercy in Queensland through the correspondence of Mother Vincent.

This book of letters compiled and edited by Mercy Sisters Anne Hetherington and Pauline Smoothy is like the personal journal of a great Mercy woman who describes her hopes and dreams, her worries and fears, her strong conviction in her mission to the fledgling colony and her total reliance on Divine Providence.

At the beginning of the year I encouraged our sisters and ministry partners to pray that this sesquicentennial year would see us – like our founding Sisters – unwavering in our commitment to God’s mission of mercy – so that our passion for Jesus Christ, for humanity and all creation may impel us to become bearers of hope and of life as we create the future.