We hope to provide you with the latest news and information relating to the Brisbane Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy. Read more on the pages listed below.
On the afternoon of the 21 July, thirty-five of us met together with Sr. Brenda Dolphin, the Postulator for the Cause of Catherine McAuley. Brenda had been in Cairns last weekend for the Symposium and, after Brisbane, was continuing on to many centres in Australia, accompanied by Sr. Caroline Ryan, the Vice-Postulator for our region.
The world-wide interest, pre-publication, in the Encyclical Laudate Si was amazing, and the introductory passages of the actual encyclical are inspiring. However, the central messages of the encyclical stem from the grim situation today of our common home, the Earth, as grounded on the conclusions of the majority of contemporary scientists.
It is reassuring that the encyclical is more than pious or purely theological rhetoric in that Pope Francis has himself a scientific background. A recent cartoon here in Australia showed an Australian Senator declaring that the Pope should leave comments on climate change to the scientists, with a counter-declaration from Francis saying that he was a scientist – he had a Masters in Chemistry!
Sixteen Brisbane Sisters of Mercy recently celebrated sixty, fifty and forty years of service and ministry with members of the Congregation.
The Sisters’ Diamond, Golden and Ruby Jubilees were held on 24 May and commenced with Mass, celebrated by Fr Michael Twigg O.M.I., in All Hallows’ Chapel.
Friday 8 May marked a significant day in the story of the Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation. The Mater Convent was damaged by storms in November 2014, and can no longer be a residence for Sisters. The Sisters were invited by Mater Health Services to a Ritual to acknowledge the closure of the Convent as a residence for the Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation, and many sisters were able to be present.
A wonderful weekend was experienced by past residents, past pupils and past teachers as they gathered in Cunnamulla, in western Queensland, 13-15 March, to celebrate 100 years of Sacred Heart School. Nine Sisters of Mercy were privileged to be attendees at the weekend, with the highlight being the Mass of Thanksgiving on the Sunday morning.
After many dedicated years, Marcia has retired from her ministry in pastoral care at Mater Redlands. A large gathering of staff, volunteers and friends of the Mater farewelled her at a morning tea in Kitty’s Courtyard, the attractive outside area she herself initiated and worked to create. Dr John O’Donnell, Chief Executive Officer of Mater Health Services, paid tribute to Marcia’s dedicated and energetic support of the Mercy vision and mission and the Mater Redlands community’s affection and appreciation were very evident.
In her newsletter of 26 February 2015, Congregational Leader Sister Catherine Reuter urged Sisters to respond to the invitation of the Care for Creation group to make a voluntary donation to an environmental fund, as one small way to offset the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere by planes and cars.
On 17 February, the Brisbane Sisters of Mercy brought together an expert panel to discuss the proposed referendum on recognition in our Federal Constitution of the prior and continuing presence in this land of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. The forum was supported by Recognize, the official movement working Australia-wide and ANTaR (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation)
A special installation ‘Recognition Place’ in the grounds of St Vincent’s Convent, Nudgee which acknowledges and honours the First Peoples of Southern Queensland was opened on Wednesday 10 December 2014.
The opening and blessing of the Holy Cross Laundry were celebrated on Wednesday 3 December 2015 (International Day of People with Disability) at the new Banyo facility.
Before the ceremony guests were treated to cool drinks and an array of finger foods. This provided the opportunity for guests to mingle with laundry staff and there was nothing but praise for the improvements in facilities from employees and interest in the processes and new machinery and capacity from the clients.
Sr Maria Teresa Shanahan, a Sister of Mercy of the Brisbane Congregation, celebrated her 100th Birthday on 27 November.
Birthday celebrations were held at Bethesda, Mercy Aged Care Services, Nudgee, where Maria Teresa is a much loved resident. The spacious area outside the Chapel had been transformed into a place of celebration, and Sisters and residents gathered to share morning tea, tell stories, pray a blessing, followed by the traditional cake cutting.
The Mercy Young Adult Network held its biennial conference in Brisbane spending the majority of time between the Mercy Heritage Centre, Ann Street, Fortitude Valley and Mercy Place, Bardon. Its chosen theme, Looking for Hope, was broken open through guest speakers, discussion and reflection, listening and sharing on action and goals happening in the various at-home groups and through a hands-on activity packing some hundreds of books supporting BOOKS4PNGKIDS.org. Participants heard that learning to read in order to learn is a basic necessity for children in developing countries especially in the remote locations where there is very little in the way of reading material. Such deprivation came as a surprise.