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Living Mercy

Sisters of Mercy reflect on their mission and ministry in the countries in which they live and work.

Mary Glennon rsm tells the story of how the Bethany Bereavement Support was introduced into the West of Ireland.
A death, in Ireland, in the past, was a community event accompanied by specific rites and sacred rituals. The entire neighbourhood was involved in providing practical assistance and emotional support to the bereaved. For many, today, these wise, long established practices have well-nigh disappeared. Nursing Homes, Hospice Centers, Funeral Parlours, in addition to the enormous changes in the fabric of our society have eroded some of the wholesome traditions associated with death and bereavement. Yet, death is a fact of life. All of us experience the death of someone close to us at some time, together with the grieving that follows.

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Mary O'Sullivan rsm writes about her work in the Centre for Prayer and Reconciliation in Auschwitz, Poland.
The Centre for Dialogue and Prayer where I live and work is a welcoming place with a peaceful friendly atmosphere and excellent reasonable accommodation. This is particularly helpful to people wishing to have time for reflection, prayer, sharing, thinking and questioning following their visit to Auschwitz 1 and Birkenau camps.

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Carmel Crimmins rsm writes about persistent poverty in the US and the efforts of the Sisters of Mercy to alleviate it.
In the days and months preceding the election of President–Elect Obama we heard much about change and hope. The excitement at his election has been a source of great hope for people who felt their voice would never be heard. The common good of all hopefully means better health care, a better and more stable economy, better jobs, and of course hope for a more peaceful world rid of violence in our streets and an end to war....

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Dr. Marian Dolan rsm, outlines the development of the Mater Hospital, Nairobi.
The Mater Hospital Nairobi, first opened its doors in 1962 as a 60 bed unit. That was the culmination of six difficult years of negotiation, fundraising and hard work on the part of Sr. Dolorosa and her companions from the Diocese of Dublin.
Gradually over the years the Hospital grew – significant additions being a maternity extension in 1970, the paramedical building in 1987, a consultants clinic and family life centre in 1988, additional operating theatres, Accident and Emergency and ICU block in 1994, a separate chapel in 1997, and a School of Nursing in 2004...

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Pat O'Donovan rsm reflects on hospital chaplaincy from a Mercy perspective.
Professional chaplaincy, which is part of the wider pastoral care movement, is a relatively recent and significant development within the churches and within healthcare in Ireland. We Mercy Sisters, who participate in the healing ministry of Christ by becoming specialists in pastoral care, see ourselves as part of a rich tradition of Mercy Healthcare of which we are justly proud. While honouring that tradition, we are also aware of our responsibility to creatively and effectively carry forward the torch of Mercy, offering tender care and healing presence, probably at a time when religiously motivated care is more important than ever....

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Majella Quinn rsm shares with us the story of the Manna Bakery in Winterweldt, South Africa.
Hunger is a human condition which confronts us on a daily basis in all our ministeries. In South Africa we meet this need in several ways, but the giving of loaves of bread is one of the most common. In Winterveldt we started a bakery....

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Srs. Celine Conway, Gabrielle Kieran and Miriam Brennan describe their mission in Brazil and how they are responding to the invitation in the 2007 Chapter Statement to 'prioritise areas of extreme poverty'.
Since 1982, fifteen sisters from three Irish Provinces have lived and worked here in Brazil. In a society which lacks adequate health, housing, educational, employment and social services we endeavour to work alongside the people; to accompany them in their struggle; to provide basic skills and services and to encourage and affirm them as they strive to improve their lives and give a better future to their children. Our main thrust is in the areas of health, education, environment and community development....

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