20th General Chapter

The Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland celebrated their 20th General Chapter, June 16 – 21, 2013.  The Chapter, titled Tending the Fire of God’s Mercy, was declared “Open” by Congregational Leader, Sister Elizabeth Davis on Sunday evening.  There were almost 200 present in the Corpus Christi parish hall, among whom were about 80 Sisters, as well as Associates of the sisters, and colleagues and friends. The sisters of the two communities in Peru were in attendance.  Earlier that afternoon a prayer of remembrance was held in the Sisters’ Cemetery at Belvedere and also at McAuley Convent where the sick and infirm sisters reside. Relatives of the deceased sisters were present for the prayer. 

The same large group came together on Monday to reflect on where the Mercy of God is experienced and where it is needed.  Ms. Judith King of Donegal, Ireland was the Chapter facilitator and guided the group through the proceedings of the day.  In the evening the Archbishop of St. John’s, Martin Currie, presided at the celebration of the Eucharist.  The next day the sisters gathered to continue their reflection and discussion and to build on the work of the previous day.  On Thursday the Chapter of Election took place and the sisters elected four of their members who would lead them for the next four years.  The leadership team for 2013 – 2017 will be Sisters Elizabeth Davis (Leader), Sheila O’Dea, Elizabeth Marrie, Diane Smyth.  Friday was the last day of the Chapter and the session ended at noon. 

The reflections and conversations over these days provide guidance for the direction that the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland will take over the next four years. The 20th General Chapter was one of prayer, reflection, discussion, visioning and celebration.  Fun and humor also found a place in the days and evenings, especially a very well planned and fun-filled “kitchen party”.  A good cup of tea was always part of the day-to day events!

Big Plans for Future of The Gathering Place

News Release

For Immediate Release – June 11, 2013    Expansion of Programs and Services at the Gathering Place
St. John’s, NL – Today co-chairs of the Board of The Gathering Place and a group of dedicated volunteers introduced a special project to enhance and expand much-needed programs and services to help ever increasing numbers of people with complex physical, mental or social difficulties. Intended to be ready late in 2013, the Gathering Place at 172 Military Road will serve more people with improved meal service, health, social and learning programs, in spaces that are accessible and safer.
Originally established in 1994 by the Sisters of Mercy and the Presentation Sisters in response to the needs of those seeking food, The Gathering Place receives widespread support within the community.  Many service organizations, church groups, foundations, corporations and individuals make financial and in kind donations towards the operation of Gathering Place
The Gathering Place is a registered charity and is managed by a Board of Directors with members from the founding organizations and members from the community at large. The programs and services are offered through a volunteer-driven operation of more than 150 people committed to ensuring that programs and services are available on a consistent basis.
In recent years, programs and services have been added to address the needs of guests. These include foot care, a clothing supply boutique and hair care service.  In addition, through collaboration with other agencies, guests of Gathering Place have access to housing experts, nurses and social workers who help address complex needs.  Guests may avail of other services to include advocacy, literacy and computer programs.
Through the guidance provided by a consultation process, the Board has made plans to enhance and expand programs and services. The Gathering Place of the future will better meet the needs of people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless, promote equality and provide nourishment for those seeking respite from isolation and loneliness. Plans for broadening the programs and services include:
·         Increasing space for noon meal and breakfast programs
·         Providing an identification clinic for Guests (many people are transient and don’t have adequate identification and need to have a place to secure their documents)
·         Establishing a message centre or post office boxes
·         Making the facility accessible to those with disabilities
·         Adding laundry service areas
·         Facilitating a home-start kit program
·         Designating specific spaces for women and seniors
·         Allocating adequate space for creative pursuits
·         Providing facilities for showering
·         Providing education and training in health and wellness, literacy, computer skills and social development
Capital Campaign Inquiries:
(709) 747-0868  (709) 747-0868 FREE  
The Gathering Place
172 Military Road
PO Box 1761
St. John’s, NL    A1C 5P5
Those wishing to make online donations to The Gathering Place Inc. (BN: 140263005RR0001) can visit www.CanadaHelps.org. Credit card donations can also be accepted by emailing: gatheringplace@nf.aibn.com

See video: http://vimeopro.com/user8266455/gathering-place-internal-review