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 5 December, 92 Sisters from the Brisbane Congregation gathered at Mercy Place, Bardon for the annual Advent Ritual.
This year our ritual included 'Opening the Door' for the year of Mercy and accepting the invitation to participate in the Mercy International Reflection Process. The front cover of the ritual booklet featured many doors including the red door of Baggot Street and All Hallows Convent door – our foundation house.
Thirty five years ago Pedro Arrupe sj, a man of great spiritual depth and committed to justice, founded the Jesuit Refugee Service as a response to boat people fleeing Vietnam and Cambodia. To mark the anniversary, JRS USA has chosen to have an award dinner and honour three JRS team members. Denise Coghlan, a member of the Sisters of Mercy, Brisbane Congregation is one of those being recognized. In Denise’s own words, “amazingly I am one of them and will travel with Srun Sony, our wonderful social worker for 20 years, to New York for an award dinner on 1 December”. Sr. Denise has served the displaced in Cambodia for the past 25 years, being one of the founding members of JRS Cambodia. She serves asylum seekers and refugees who seek protection in Cambodia, including the Montagnard who are not yet registered for the refugee status determination procedure, and stateless Rohigya and ethnic Vietnamese people.
Niamh Conway was announced as the Mercy Captain for 2015 at the conclusion of the Mercy Mass for St Mary’s College, Ipswich. This student leadership position recognizes a Year 12 student who has shown commitment to the Mercy Tradition and who has communicated its values in her life at the College during her Senior year. The position, nominated by staff members, is awarded annually by St Mary’s College community in recognition of the student’s qualities which have emerged throughout the year as she has responded to the challenges of Senior life at St Mary’s College. In announcing Niamh as the 2015 Mercy Captain, recognition was given of her outstanding contribution to her College community, and also to her home Parish, Sacred Heart, Booval.
Mrs Judith Finian, Principal St Mary’s College, Ipswich extended an invitation to Sisters of Mercy who had lived or worked at St Marys, to return to the college to view the new building extensions. Seven Sisters enjoyed the tour of the new buildings and shared a comfortable cup of tea with the College Leadership Team. The extensions include facilities for music, art and home economics, as well as additional classrooms.
On the morning of Sunday 13 September I attended a Commemorative Mass which was held to celebrate 125 years of Catholic Education in the Lutwyche Parish. The Mass was held at the Holy Cross, Wooloowin and was followed by a ‘pilgrimage walk’ through the grounds of the Holy Cross Primary School established in 1890 by the Sisters of Mercy, Brisbane.
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.