Building a Greenhouse at Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice

For many year the Association  of New Canadians ( English School) has been planting and tending the garden at the Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice (MCEJ) on Mount Scio Road.  During covid all of the programs came to a stop except for the planting of the garden which was tended during those years by Amhed and his family.   Sister Mary Tee and Marcella Grant also retired just before covid. 

Last year a new Board of Directors the Centre hired Jeff Ronan who has been working on the various programs.  The New Canadians have again planted the garden and this year have a new project of training involving carpentry, concrete work, building.

The video (below) shows how the restoration of a greenhouse that was once on the property is taking shape thanks to this project.  The group of students and instructors came at 8:00 am yesterday and after they had lunch were gone by 2:30.  The video shows the great work they did in those few hours – the power of many, many hands and feet and strong backs!.  Next week they will return to build the greenhouse!  Lot’s of excitement!

Durante muchos años la Asociación de Nuevos Canadienses (Escuela Inglesa) ha estado plantando y cuidando el jardín del Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice (MCEJ) en Mount Scio Road. Durante la crisis, todos los programas se interrumpieron excepto la plantación del jardín, que durante esos años estuvo a cargo de Amhed y su familia. La hermana Mary Tee y Marcella Grant tambien se jubilaron justo antes del covid.

El año pasado un nuevo Consejo de Administración el Centro contrató a Jeff Ronan que ha estado trabajando en los diversos programas. Los Nuevos Canadienses han vuelto a plantar el huerto y este año tienen un nuevo proyecto de formación que incluye carpintería, trabajos en hormigón y construcción.

El video (abajo) muestra cómo la restauración de un invernadero que una vez estuvo en la propiedad está tomando forma gracias a este proyecto. El grupo de estudiantes e instructores llegó ayer a las 8:00 am y después de almorzar se habían ido a las 2:30. El vídeo muestra el gran trabajo que hicieron en esas pocas horas: ¡el poder de muchas, muchas manos y pies y espaldas fuertes! La semana que viene volverán para construir el invernadero. ¡Mucha ilusión!

Kiwanis Music Festival

The Kiwanis Music Festival is an annual event that began with a two-day event in 1952 with 193 entries and two adjudicators; in 2010 it spans 12 days, with well over 6,000 participants and nine adjudicators. It is the largest festival in eastern Canada.

Musical rehearsals before the concert during the Christmas period. Life of musicians and classic holy music.

Musicians young and old have come to appreciate the “Festival” and enjoy this competitive opportunity to showcase their musical talent and their love and commitment to voice, instrumental and choral music. Every performer or group has the opportunity hear and learn from the instant evaluation of their performance by the expert and professional adjudicators. The adjudicators speak to them in order to teach and encourage. Marks are given, even though sometimes an adjudicator admits difficulty in giving marks to one group over the other.

Sisters of Mercy and their students in St. John’s and area schools have been part of the Kiwanis Music Festival since its foundation. Thousands of the sisters’ students – solists, duos and trios and combinations of the same, choirs, choral speech groups, instrumentalists, orchestras and bands from St. John’s, Bell Island, Goulds, Bay Bulls, Brigus, Conception Harbour and from as far as Marystown have entered the festival and have excelled.

Much is owed to the music teachers of our Congregation and of the Presentation Congregation for their commitment to music and culture and for nurturing the innate talent of the youth of our province. They are the true and consistent pioneers of our musical heritage. Some of them have rightly been inducted as members of the Hall of Fame of the Music Festival Association. There are no sisters taking groups to the Festival these days but their many students are doing that now. The baton has been passed and is calling forth the best of music in the next generations!

Ministry to Individuals, Groups, Families

The Family Life Bureau, established in the Archdiocese of St. John’s in 1976, offers counseling in a whole range of areas including individual, marriage, and family counseling. Clients of the staff of the Bureau are either self-referred, referred from the courts, from physicians, various community agencies, and from priests throughout the Archdiocese.

Discovering and using your strengths to deal with personal and family life issues . . . Support to see you through . . .

Pastoral counseling is healing the mind, spirit, and relationships through the wisdom of behavioural sciences and spiritual values.

The goal of the Family Life Bureau is to foster positive changes in the lives of persons. Every person has within him/her the energy for growth. Troubled people seek out help when external circumstances lead to distressing separation from others, internal conflicts that cause pain and inner division, and when the life force within them is blocked from healing and growth.

Sister Loretta Walsh, rsm, Executive Director of the Family Life Bureau, is a facilitator and counselor. She and two other certified counselors provide individual, couple, group and family counseling. They also organize and facilitate workshops and marriage preparation seminars. The workshops deal with issues related to family life, parenting, interpersonal relationships, separation and divorce, personal growth, youth, dealing with drugs, assertiveness and self-esteem.

One interesting program brings married couples together for a candlelight dessert and facilitated conversation about their relationship. This marriage enrichment component is facilitated collaboration with the West End Baptist Church and some Anglican parishes in St. John’s.


Mercy Ministry in Ontario

SoulWinds is a small piece of land – about three acres –  located on the Little Kennisis River in the Algonquin Highlands of Haliburton County in  Ontario’s near north in Canada.

SoulWinds is the home of Brenda Peddigrew, RSM, Ph.D. and Joan Weir, N.D., who tend the land in all its seasons and offer consultations, teaching and guidance in their respective fields and in many ways to be in nature’s presence.

Joint courses are offered on the SoulWinds property, though other accomodations are used for personal guided retreats with Brenda, and other consultations.

Visit their website to learn more about this Mercy ministry

Ministry in Africa

In 2007 two Sisters of Mercy from Newfoundland took a bold and courageous step to join Sisters of Mercy from Ireland in their ministries in Africa.

One sister cared for people in Kenya, men, women and children, suffering from HIV and AIDS. She served as a unit coordinator in an AIDS center for the poor. During 2007 a second Sister ministered among others suffering from HIV/AIDS in Zambia. These two Newfoundland sisters were the first to have taken on the adventure and challenge of ministering on the African continent.

Food Programs

Breakfast and lunch programs are a reality in the richer northern hemisphere. Sisters of Mercy support these programs financially and volunteer their time and energy to help feed the poor. We have recently ventured into ministry in Africa. Our sisters have participated with the Irish Sisters of Mercy in providing food to children and families in Kenya and Zambia.

Food Banks have evolved in our society to serve the needs of the poor and those who find themselves in a financial crisis and lacking food. Many of our sisters throughout the province of Newfoundland and Labrador commit themselves on a regular basis to setting up, managing or volunteering their time in food banks.

Kitchens have been set up in the many small pueblos where our sisters minister in the Andes of Peru or on the Pacific coast. With grain, oil and flour that is provided by world relief agencies many children are fed a nutritious breakfast or lunch during their school day. Sisters of Mercy help support this program and offer their time working in them. One such centre in Monsefu has been named after one of the early Mercy missionaries, Sister Mary Dorothy Carroll.

Outreach to the Poor

From its foundation the Mercy Congregation has had a special ministry to the poor. Care for the poor and oppressed was especially dear to Catherine McAuley’s heart and the driving force behind her decision to found a religious order. “Service of the poor, the sick and the ignorant” is considered to be a fourth vow of the Sisters of Mercy.

Immediately on their arrival in St. John’s the three founding members of the Newfoundland mission, Sisters Ursula Frayne, Rose Lynch and Francis Creedon, began the visitation of the poor and the sick in their homes.

Over the years even though many of the sisters have been fully occupied in their teaching and nursing ministries they found time to visit individuals and families in need. In addition to the more “informal visitation,” ministry to the poor has taken on a more structured format in facilities like the Gathering Place, Food Banks, Prisons, Women’s Centres, Breakfast or Lunch Programs, Family Care Centres.

Whether formally organized or not, care and attentiveness for the poor has been part of our Mercy culture: a poor child in the school, a poor patient in the hospital or nursing home, poor families in the neighbourhood, or a poor person begging food at the door. Love and care for the poor and a congregational option for the poor is the challenge and the blessing of the Gospel and of our Mercy charism.

Desde su fundación, la Congregación de la Misericordia ha tenido un ministerio especial para con los pobres. El cuidado de los pobres y oprimidos era especialmente querido en el corazón de Catalina McAuley y la fuerza impulsora de su decisión de fundar una orden religiosa. El “servicio a los pobres, los enfermos y los ignorantes” se considera el cuarto voto de las Hermanas de la Misericordia.

Inmediatamente después de su llegada a San Juan, los tres miembros fundadores de la misión de Terranova, las hermanas Úrsula Frayne, Rose Lynch y Francis Creedon, comenzaron a visitar a los pobres y enfermos en sus casas.

A lo largo de los años, aunque muchas de las hermanas han estado plenamente ocupadas en sus ministerios de enseñanza y enfermería, han encontrado tiempo para visitar a personas y familias necesitadas. Además de las “visitas informales”, el ministerio con los pobres ha adoptado un formato más estructurado en lugares como el Gathering Place, los bancos de alimentos, las prisiones, los centros de mujeres, los programas de desayuno o comida y los centros de atención familiar.

Organizado formalmente o no, el cuidado y la atención a los pobres ha formado parte de nuestra cultura de la Misericordia: un niño pobre en la escuela, un paciente pobre en el hospital o en la residencia de ancianos, familias pobres en el barrio, o un pobre pidiendo comida en la puerta. El amor y la atención a los pobres y una opción congregacional por los pobres es el reto y la bendición del Evangelio y de nuestro carisma de la Misericordia.

Sisters’ Art at the Residence at Littledale

These artworks by the Sisters can be found hanging on the corridors of the Residence at Littledale. Enjoy browsing this online gallery and spending time with your favourite landscape, floral arrangement, or scene.

Estas obras de arte de las Hermanas se encuentran colgadas en los pasillos de la Residencia de Littledale. Disfrute navegando por esta galería en línea y pase un rato con su paisaje, arreglo floral o escena favoritos.

Caribou tufting

McAuley Convent

McAuley Convent was opened in 1991 to provide a residence and center of care of the sick and infirm members of our congregation.

This modern and tastefully decorated building is built into the hillside of the Littledale property in the Waterford River valley in the west end of St. John’s. Every floor of the three-storey building has a ground level entrance. The center courtyard, which can be viewed from every room on the back of the building and which can be entered from the community room, is lavishly landscaped with flowers, shrubs and trees. Sisters can safely walk around the garden or sit in the swing chairs or other chairs that are provided. A statue of Mary stands at the centre of the garden and the Stations of the Cross are located on one side of the garden.

There are three other smaller community rooms for different groups of sisters, including one for the sisters who are part of the staff at McAuley Convent. In addition to this there are two large dining rooms, individual bedrooms, a physio-therapy room and a few multi-use rooms for arts and crafts, games, meetings or solitude. A very large kitchen, storage and laundry take up the lowest floor of the building. The crown of the building is the beautiful chapel with a wall of windows that look out to the Southside Hills of the Waterford Valley. The Sisters are blessed to have mass celebrated every morning and those who cannot go to the chapel may hear the celebration in their bedrooms.

Besides being the residence for sisters who need care in their old age, McAuley is a place of recuperation for sisters who have surgery or injury that requires more care than is available in their own convent. Our sisters are given the best of care and receive wonderful attentiveness from the many lay staff and sisters. Some have lived to see 100 years or more. When a sister is dying the sisters who are able, keep day and night vigil. Sisters are prayed into God’s kingdom at the end of their lives.

McAuley Convent is a place of care, safety and nurturing; it is a place of faith, joy, freedom and celebration. It is a powerhouse of prayer for the many needs of individuals and for our world.

McAuley Convent closed in October, 2020 when the sisters needing care moved to the Residence at Littledale, a new facility owed and operated by a local businessman Fred Cahill, on the Littledale Property where we are renting the entire third floor.

El Convento McAuley se inauguró en 1991 para proporcionar una residencia y un centro de atención a los miembros enfermos y desvalidos de nuestra congregación.

Este edificio moderno y decorado con gusto está construido en la ladera de la propiedad de Littledale, en el valle del río Waterford, en el extremo oeste de St. Cada planta del edificio de tres pisos tiene una entrada a nivel del suelo. El patio central, que puede verse desde todas las habitaciones de la parte trasera del edificio y al que se accede desde la sala comunitaria, está profusamente ajardinado con flores, arbustos y árboles. Las hermanas pueden pasear sin peligro por el jardín o sentarse en los columpios u otras sillas que se proporcionan. Una estatua de María se alza en el centro del jardín y el Vía Crucis está situado en uno de sus lados.

Hay otras tres salas comunitarias más pequeñas para diferentes grupos de hermanas, incluida una para las hermanas que forman parte del personal del convento de McAuley. Además, hay dos grandes comedores, dormitorios individuales, una sala de fisioterapia y algunas salas multiusos para manualidades, juegos, reuniones o soledad. Una cocina muy grande, el almacén y la lavandería ocupan la planta más baja del edificio. La corona del edificio es la hermosa capilla con una pared de ventanas que dan a las colinas del sur del valle de Waterford. Las hermanas tienen la suerte de que se celebre misa todas las mañanas y las que no pueden ir a la capilla pueden oír la celebración en sus habitaciones.

Además de ser la residencia de las hermanas que necesitan cuidados en su vejez, McAuley es un lugar de recuperación para las hermanas que han sufrido una intervención quirúrgica o una lesión que requiere más cuidados de los que pueden recibir en su propio convento. Nuestras hermanas reciben los mejores cuidados y una atención maravillosa por parte del numeroso personal laico y de las hermanas. Algunas han vivido 100 años o más. Cuando una hermana se está muriendo, las hermanas que pueden velan día y noche. Al final de sus vidas, se reza por las hermanas para que entren en el reino de Dios.

El convento de McAuley es un lugar de cuidado, seguridad y crianza; es un lugar de fe, alegría, libertad y celebración. Es un centro de oración por las muchas necesidades de las personas y de nuestro mundo.

El Convento McAuley cerró en octubre de 2020, cuando las hermanas que necesitaban cuidados se trasladaron a la Residencia de Littledale, una nueva instalación propiedad de Fred Cahill, un empresario local, que la gestiona, en la propiedad Littledale donde estamos alquilando todo el tercer piso.

Explore the Sunday Gospel Readings of Ordinary Time (after Pentecost)

Each week on our website Elizabeth Davis rsm provides a written reflection on the Sunday readings. These reflections contain insights and images, poetry and prose, wisdom and scholarship.

Sister Elizabeth’s reflections are published online in the Spirituality section under the appropriate liturgical season. They can be read online or downloaded.

As we journey through Ordinary Time, Sr Elizabeth will open up for us these scripture readings in a fresh way using modern biblical scholarship.

We invite you to join us in this exploration here


Cada semana, Elizabeth Davis rsm ofrece en nuestro sitio web una reflexión escrita sobre las lecturas del domingo. Estas reflexiones contienen ideas e imágenes, poesía y prosa, sabiduría y erudición.

Las reflexiones de la Hermana Elizabeth se publican en línea en la sección de Espiritualidad bajo el tiempo litúrgico correspondiente. Pueden leerse en línea o descargarse.

A medida que avanzamos en el Tiempo Ordinario, la Hermana Elizabeth nos abrirá estas lecturas de las Escrituras de una manera nueva, utilizando la erudición bíblica moderna.

Le invitamos a unirse a nosotros en esta exploración aquí