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just Mercy - Online Newsletter of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea
28 February 2014 |  Issue 4

On January 10th Sr Kathy Kettle rsm, with teachers and students from Mater Dei College north of Perth, set out on a mission experience in Kenya. The group spent 18 days living and working in various apostolates of the Sisters of Mercy in and around Nairobi.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. Abide in my love” was a key theme of the gathering for Michelle Goh’s First Profession of Vows on Saturday January 18th in St Therese's Church, Essendon, Victoria. The church was filled with many Sisters of Mercy from Australia and PNG, along with Michelle’s family and friends.

On Valentine’s Day, McAuley Community Services for Women (McAuley) asked its supporters to purchase a ‘virtual McAuley rose’ for someone special in their life to help raise much-needed funds to support women and children who are escaping family violence.

The Second Annual ISMAPNG Ministry Governance Leaders Forum was held in Sydney on 13 - 14 February 2014.  The Forum aims to provide our incorporated ministries a sense of security in reconfiguring, belonging to identity, awareness of each other and ownership of group.

It was the bright sunny afternoon of Saturday 2nd November when Beryl Amedee rsm arrived in Melbourne, Victoria from Gladstone, Queensland to minister in the Janssen Spirituality Centre. The Centre promotes Spirituality, Ecumenism, Inter-religious and Cross Cultural Relations.

From a baby’s birth to a patient’s final days, Werribee Mercy Hospital has played a pivotal role in the lives of thousands of Victorians. This year the hospital celebrates its 20th anniversary and also unveils its new two-storey building, which has been named in honour of the Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, Catherine McAuley.

Sr Mary Waskowiak rsm , Director of Fundraising-Development at Mercy International Association and a former president of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (USA), is speaking to Mercy Sisters, as well as to members of other Congregations, during her month-long visit to Australia.

The Mercy Mission Formation Network was formed over six years ago to provide a meeting place for lay and religious who are working with or are interested in formation in Mercy ethos and mission effectiveness in Mercy ministries and other groups. The most recent gathering was held in Melbourne on February 17 - 18.

Recently a significant celebration took place in Adelaide for Sisters of Mercy - Anne Cashen, Patricia Fox, Pat McAuley and Josephine Weatherald. The occasion was their Golden Jubilee of Religious Profession as Sisters of Mercy.

Mercy Services (NSW) have recently been successful in the most recent round of the Home & Community Care program funding. After many years of lobbying they have finally received funding for a day centre at West Wallsend.

Recently, Mercy Associates from the South B region gathered to plan for 2014 and consider the place of Mercy Associates in the reconfigured Institute.

On January 24th, Sisters of Mercy living in the Grafton area joined local parishioners, including a great group of Mercy associates, at Friday Mass to celebrate Foundation Day , the 130th Anniversary of the arrival of Sisters of Mercy in Grafton NSW from Bermondsey, London.

It was “back to school” for 86 new volunteers who attended training days in Sydney, Melbourne and Ballarat in February for the Mercy Connect Project , initiated and supported by Mercy Works.

On February 14, Bishop Paul Bird blessed and named the first purpose built Chapel in the history of Damascus College Ballarat. “Our Lady of Mercy Chapel” recognises the role of the Sisters of Mercy in the life and growth of the College.

Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) is launching a “National Lament” . This is in response to the fact that many people throughout Australia are disturbed by the punitive and harsh policies and conditions to which people seeking asylum in Australia are being subjected.

"Although I’m not sure that God has ‘a plan’ for our lives, I am very grateful for the many blessings that have led me to where I am today.  My Mercy connections began at birth." So begins Terry Power's profile.

Sister Joan Doyle , newly appointed Director of Initial Formation for the Institute shares some of her Mercy journey.

In 2013 Aiden Hanrahan was a year 6 student at St Francis Xavier Primary School , a school founded by the former Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy, Ballarat East. Preparing a speech is part of the curriculum and Aiden chose ‘refugees’.

The Year 6 students at St Andrew’s Primary School, Ferny Grov e in Brisbane heard about the work that the Sisters of Mercy and their colleagues, partners and volunteers are engaged in at the Romero Centre.  The children were inspired by this work and decided that they would like to donate some of the funds raised through their “Justice Day Walkathon” to the Centre.

You are invited to participate in “Earth Hour 2014” which this year has a special focus for Australians as it will focus on the Great Barrier Reef and there will be a special television event to mark the occasion. This invitation comes to you from the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea at the initiative of the online conversation group: e cologicalconversion@ismapng.org.au

On the global level we see a scandalous gap between the opulence of the wealthy and the utter destitution of the poor…  We have become so accustomed to these things that they no longer unsettle us .
Pope Francis, January 2014

In the light of the Pope's words, take some time to reflect on the culture we live in. What are the scandalous gaps you will reflect upon and take action so there can be healing? Where are we being called to be merciful to those in need of mercy?

Patricia Powell rsm reflects on the name given to this on-line newsletter 'just Mercy'.

Several Sisters recently commented on two Communications from Pope Francis. While the messages were for a specific purpose, they offer much for our Mercy reflection also.

The Mercy International Association (MIA) website offers a wealth of riches about the story of the Sisters of Mercy, from its founding by Catherine McAuley in Ireland to the many ways and means that the Sisters of Mercy continue her work today.

Fraynework Multimedia was recently engaged to create a short DVD on the life of Catherine McAuley. The production was developed for the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea as a resource for the Institute Mercy Ethos Office.

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