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'Time For Mercy' Launch

4 August 2017

Northern

‘May our lives be a hymn of praise O God’.

                 
                              Srs. Teresa Martin and Olive McConville

The banqueting Suite in Newry Parish Centre was indeed a hymn of praise as we celebrated the launch of ‘Time for Mercy’ – a CD of songs and chants composed by Sr. Teresa Martin to commemorate the Year of Mercy.

In a room festooned with spring flowers and elegantly laid out for afternoon tea, guests arrived to beautiful harp music. Among those present were members of Sr. Teresa’s family, some of her former work colleagues and friends and the musicians, singers and technical team who collaborated with her on the creative venture. Sr. Ann Brady and the Provincial Team, as well as Sisters and members of the Circle of Mercy from the surrounding area, completed the festive gathering.

Pope Francis proclaimed 2016 a Year of Mercy calling all to be witnesses to God’s compassionate and merciful love in our time. It was this call that prompted Sr. Ann Brady, Provincial Leader, to suggest to Sr. Teresa that she compose a CD to commemorate the special year. The call and the response culminated in the joyful launch of ‘Time for Mercy’ on May 6th 2017.

Appropriately Sr. Ann Brady delivered the keynote address at the launch. In an impressive speech, she congratulated Sr. Teresa on her giftedness and thanked her for bringing her gift to Mercy and to the wider world. Sr. Ann also used the occasion to honour the gift of music itself by giving an interesting insight into the history and the power of music: ‘music-making is part of what makes humans human’; ‘humans sang out their feelings long before they were able to speak their thoughts;’ ‘music creates strong feelings and creates memories;’ ‘music says things that cannot be said in words’. These were some of the memorable statements that must have been music to the ears of the musician’s present.

At this point Sr. Teresa was invited to speak to the gathering. She provided an overview of the CD, the background, the inspiration and the creative response. The texts were chosen from some of her favourite scripture passages and from the words of the Venerable Catherine McAuley, all giving expression to the compassionate and merciful love of God for humanity. Sr. Teresa paid special tribute to the talented musicians, singers and technical team, thanking them for their commitment and for their sensitive response to the project. A short table ritual highlighted the themes of the songs by a reading of the inspirational card on each table and noting the accompanying flower symbol. Three tracks from the CD were introduced by Sr. Teresa and played during this ritual.

                 
                       Srs. Gabrielle Stuart and Mary Harrington

The next part of the programme provided an opportunity for the guest musicians to perform live for the gathering. We had instrumental solos and songs that created a truly festive mood. And then there was afternoon tea, waitress-served, with dainty finger sandwiches and delicious fancy cakes, all reminiscent of Mercy parlour days.

The final vote of thanks was followed by the ‘Song of Blessing’ from the CD with Sr. Teresa, Mark and Maria singing too and thus bringing the joyful event to a close.

                 
L-R:  Mark Mageen, Katie King, Sr. Teresa Martin, Maria Hoye, Brian Green
 
‘May the God of Mercy bless and protect us all’ was the parting chant and one felt blessed to have been present at such a happy and inspirational afternoon. Congratulations and thanks to Sr. Teresa and to all involved in the creation and production of this inspirational work of art. May ‘Time for Mercy’ spread its message across the Globe! 

Olive McConville rsm
Northern Province

Copies of 'Time For Mercy' available directly from Sr. Teresa Martin.
Email:  ctxmartin@aol.com
Mobile:  07909610315
Also from MIC Gift Shop, Baggot Street, Dublin 2

 

 

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