Congregation Welcomes Five New Associates

Recently our Congregation was blessed and inspired as we welcomed five more women into a Mercy Associate relationship.
On Sunday, December 13, 2009 in the presence of a large group of Associates and Sisters, Betty Pomroy and Margaret Hall made their commitment and received their pins and certificates of Mercy Associate membership from Sister Elizabeth Davis, Congregational Leader. The setting was the beautiful chapel of Mercy Convent, a space so appreciated and loved by all of our Associates over the years. The occasion provided an opportunity for all to mingle with the Sisters of Mercy Convent community, with the members of the Congregational Leadership Team and with other Associates who were present.

On Tuesday, February 16, 2010, Sue McDonald, Mary Taylor and Alice Whelan made their commitment as Mercy Associates in a moving ritual service in the chapel at Conception Harbour. Sister Elizabeth Marrie accepted the statement of commitment of the new Associates, presented their pins and certificates of membership and welcomed them on behalf of the Congregation.


Sister Betty Morrissey brought to light the life, vision and charism of Catherine McAuley as she shared her recent experiences at Baggot Street. Referring to the 2009 Chapter Proclamation, Sister Maureen O’Keefe remarked that the “growth of our Associate relationship could be seen as part of the ‘something new’ that God is doing in our midst. In these challenging times, Sisters and Associates of Mercy together are called to bring to fruition the commitments of our Proclamation – to deepen our relationships, enhance our ministries and strengthen our visible presence as instruments of God’s mercy in our world. The energy and dedication of new Associate members give renewed impetus to our efforts”.

At the conclusion of both ceremonies, all gathered for a sharing over our traditional ‘cup of tea’ and generous spread of treats to share stories and to enjoy each other’s company.

Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice Celebrates

February 11 is special for the Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice. There are a few reasons that make this day so special.

This year February 11 was an occasion to welcome sisters to the newly opened Centre. The building is located in area of the former parish of Our Lady of Lourdes at Mount Scio in St. John’s. As the prayer of the day notes: “Water is a sacred gift, a necessity for life and a source of life. It is a sacred symbol that carries a profound sense of mystery and is a manifestation and experience of the sacred that has spoken to all peoples down through the ages. Water is the focus of devotion to the Virgin Mary at Lourdes and a source of healing at the shrine in France.” Water from Lourdes was used in today’s ritual.

The statue of Our Lady of Lourdes that was the centerpiece of the prayer service also has a fascinating story to tell. First of all, the bid to purchase the property at Mount Scio was made on February 11, 2009. Second, on the property there was a stone grotto lined by an old bath-tub, but the statue was missing. In the ensuing days the owner of the property told the committee who came to examine the house and land that a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes that was in the grotto had originally come from the local parish school, which had been administered by Sisters of Mercy, Our Lady of Lourdes School. The owner said that he had just recently offered the statue to one of the Mercy Convents because of the pending sale of the property.  A short while after that the sisters learned that the statue had been warmly and gratefully welcomed at McAuley Convent and would eventually be ensconced in the garden there. When the Mount Scio property was finally purchased plans were made that the statue would be sent back to be installed in the empty grotto. Our Lady of Lourdes has returned to her former abode. Through her intercession we pray that the Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice will be blessed in its ministry in care for the earth and for all of creation and in its efforts to promote the cause for peace and justice locally and globally.   (The Centre is ideally located in Pippy Park, a huge green space in the center of St. John’s.)

Celebration of World Day of the Sick

February 11, feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, is aworld day of prayer for the sick and those who care for them. Today Archbishop Martin Currie, Archbishop of St. John’s, presided at a celebration of the

Eucharist in the Basilica of St. John the Baptist in St. John’s. The priests, religious and lay people who share in the church’s ministry to the sick in hospitals, nursing homes, or at home were invited.   Over a hundred people, Priest Chaplains, Sisters of Mercy and Presentation, and other pastoral care workers participated in the celebration. The

Archbishop commended and thanked them for their ministry and asked God’s special blessing for them. Prayers were offered for those who are sick and suffering. Following Mass a lunch was served in the historic Episcopal library/museum.

Values Posters Unveiled

On December 11, 2009 the cafeteria of St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital was the setting for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting as well as the unveiling of eight Values Posters. The posters are complementary to the front-entrance mural, For Mercy Has a Human Heart, which was unveiled in December 2004. The project was the work of St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital Advisory Council and is a gift to the hospital from the Council. 
The values represented through the posters – Healing, Caring, Respect, Compassion, Excellence, Collaboration, Integrity – flow from the mission of St. Clare’s in its care for sick and suffering people. The posters are testimony to the commitment and service of so many dedicated staff, physicians and volunteers in carrying out the mission of St. Clare’s. The setting for the photography was St. Clare’s; the people in the posters are  staff/volunteers/patients of the hospital. Seven of the posters will be displayed in various areas of the hospital; an eighth poster, a composite of these seven, will be placed in the main entrance area. 
During the ceremony Sister Charlotte Fitzpatrick, chair of the Advisory Council, noted that the “values delineated in these seven posters speak to the very essence of St. Clare’s and represent both the ideal that has been at the heart of St. Clare’s from its beginnings, as well as the ongoing commitment to make these values come alive in the everyday life of St. Clare’s”. Charlotte expressed gratitude to the working subgroup of the Council, to the photographers (Mannie Buchheit and Sharmaine Hearn) to the graphic artist (Melissa Valverde of Eastern Health) and to the local artist (Gerald Squires). The border at the lower section of each poster, an artistic sketch by Mr. Squires, is a compilation of the theme depicted in each of the seven posters.  
In her greetings to the assembled group, Sister Sheila O’Dea expressed gratitude and congratulations on behalf of the Congregation. Noting that the unveiling was taking place on the day previous to the 178th anniversary of the founding of our Congregation in 1831, she commented that these values we treasure as Sisters of Mercy are intensely human values and thus, they are very significant in all health care. 
Before the unveiling, St. Bonaventure’s school choir, under the direction of Brenda Gatherall, entertained the assembled guests with a number of beautiful choral selections.