Young Mercy Links Melbourne Retreat
On April 12, members of Young Mercy Links (YML) gathered for an overnight retreat at The Amberley Edmund Rice Centre in Melbourne on Wurundjeri land. Young Mercy Links Coordinator, Christie Tran and Margaret Moore RSM hosted the retreat and the Young Mercy Links Melbourne members were joined by Meredith Evans RSM and Gaby Kinsman from YML South Australia. The aim of the retreat was to foster relationships with fellow members and develop a foundation for their collective mission, action and spirituality.
The first session began with Sr Marg inviting everyone to describe their journeys and passion for social justice. One of their current concerns is to consider ongoing ecological conversion. The next day began with a walk through the bush to the Yarra River led by Christie.
Sr. Meredith facilitated the following session with a reflective activity interpreting a painting of Mary Undoer of the Knots, prompting the group to contemplate “What are the knots we feel within ourselves?” Embracing the Mercy charism, they delved into the deeper meaning of compassion and justice. Topics emerged such as the plight of people seeking asylum and refugees, indigenous reconciliation and environmental degradation.
Gaby shared about the formation of YML South Australia in 2017, and their work locally with refugee families in Adelaide. She also spoke about their fundraising focus for 2018 towards Sr. Denise Coughlan’s housing project in Cambodia with the Jesuit Refugee Service, and the group immersion that followed in December. Juliet informed the group about her work at Rahamim Ecology Centre in Bathurst NSW, where she is engaged as both an intern and as the groundskeeper.
The retreat wrapped up by discussing one of the most urgent issues of our time, the destruction of our natural environment. This issue underpins many humanitarian conflicts, including the continuing need for effective reconciliation with our Aboriginal communities; we acknowledged our desire to gain a deeper understanding and recognition of what those communities need. The participants collective concerns led to the collaboration and planning of an event to learn more about the proposed treaties in Australia and action that can be taken to achieve a promising outcome.
The Melbourne reconciliation week event was held at The Mercy Hub on Sunday 26th May at 2pm, all were are welcome.
This retreat time together was an opportunity to connect with one another through our shared passions for the earth and its people. The positive and vivacious energy further encourages us to act in kindness and service to our communities and ultimately to progress our society.
Written by Gaby and Juliet – Young Mercy Links
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