Celebration of 100 Years: Presence of Sisters of Mercy on Bell Island

On Monday evening we attended a most impressive celebration on Bell Island at the invitation of St. Michael’s Parish.  Exactly one hundred years ago, on 19 September 1917, four Sisters (Sisters Mary Consilio, Mary Cecily O’Reilly, Alphonsus McNamara and Mary Aloysius Rawlins) crossed the Tickle and founded our community at the Front.

The people of St. Michael’s Parish invited any Sisters who could attend to join them for Mass, dinner and music. Twenty-one of us joined them for the special evening.

(Going around the table beginning on left)  Srs. Charlotte Fitzpatrick, Maureen Lawlor, Eileen Penney, Barbara Kenny, Rosaline Hynes, Ruth Beresford, Marcella Grant, Sheila Grant, Theresa Boland, Rosemary Ryan- 10 of the 21 Sisters who attended.

The crossing on the new ferry, the Legionnaire, was beautiful – calm and sunny.  The Archbishop and eight priests joined us for the trip.  We were met at the ferry by several Knights of Columbus who offered us drives if needed.  We went directly to Church and joined the parishioners and many others who had come back home for the occasion.

The bell, used at the original St. Michael’s Church and preserved by St. Michael’s High School, was relocated to the grounds of the modern St. Michael’s Parish Church (build on the site of the Immaculate Conception Church after it had burned to the ground).  Archbishop Currie blessed the bell, rang it and then invited a small choir from St. Michael’s School to lead us in O Canada and the Ode to Newfoundland. The bell has so much significance in joyfully in linking our built heritage with the geography of this Island.

We then went into the Church for Mass at which the Archbishop presided.  The sanctuary was lovely, adorned by a single vase of red roses and new white altar cloths with gold embroidery.  The School choir joined the adult choir to lead us in song.  Members of the parish led the Liturgy of the Word.  The Archbishop, in his homily, recalled some of our history on Bell Island right up to the present day with a special mention of Sister Phyllis’ pastoral presence.  He reminded us that the Ode to Newfoundland was sung for the very first time at the opening of the first Catholic school on the Island in 1901!

Parish hall beautifully prepared for the celebration
Display: Timeline showing some of the events
of the past 100 years









Read more about the wonderful celebrations on Bell Island. Download the report here

From the Postulator to the Mercy Family Worldwide

The Mercy Family has been asked by the Postulator for the Cause of Catherine McAuley’s Canonisation, Sr Brenda Dolphin, for continued support of prayers for a diocesan inquiry into an alleged miracle of healing through Catherine’s intercession. The task of the Postulator is to guide the case (cause) for canonisation through the processes required.

In October a diocesan process of inquiry will begin in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA to gather materials about an alleged healing through Catherine’s intercession. It is hoped that the proceedings will be finished in November.

Sr Brenda writes: ‘This is the first time we have proceeded to a diocesan inquiry and while we cannot be certain that this will lead to beatification we continue to keep faith and trust in the power of God and the intercessory power of Catherine McAuley.’

She then continues: ‘We are very grateful to each and every one of you for the constant support of your prayers and for the marvellous way by which you give witness to Catherine McAuley’s fame for holiness which is very evident and continues to spread to so many places throughout the world.’

The Sisters of Mercy Newfoundland thank you for the support of your prayers for this inquiry.

We invite you to post a prayer in our online chapel

Download and share this invitation for prayer support:

English: A4 Paper Size (PDF); US Letter Size (PDF)

Spanish: A4 Paper Size (PDF); US Letter Size (PDF)

Opening of Greenhouse at The Gathering Place

On August 25, 2017 a number of people were part of the official opening of a brand new greenhouse at the Barnes Road garden of the Gathering Place.

Representatives of the Gathering Place, staff, volunteers and guests along with the President, teacher, students and parents of St. Bonaventure’s College, Presentation and Mercy Sisters, Archbishop Martin Currie and others watched as students cut the red, blue and gold ribbons.

The greenhouse and the raised bed gardens are part of a collaborative ecology and food project between St.Bonaventure’s College and the Gathering Place that will provide a teaching and learning environment as well as an array of health foods for the cafeterias of both facilities. Today the beds were lush with cabbage, kale, lettuce, zuchinni, peas, herbs and more yet to grow. Marigolds and sunflowers added some color to the garden whilediscouraging grubs and encouraging bees!

Thanks and appreciation was expressed to the teachers, parents and students involved in the building of thegreenhouse, to the summer students and Roger who build the raised beds that had been planted earlier in the summer and the stairway, and to the donors of soil, gravel, wood, plants.

After the cutting of the ribbons a beautiful chocolate cake decorated to look like a kitchen garden was served to those present.