Four NZ Mercy congregations agree to combine
The Sisters of Mercy from the four New Zealand congregations are preparing a petition to the Apostolic See to become one congregation.
NZ Catholic reports that the decision was made at a recent assembly in Dunedin attended by over two-thirds of the 308 sisters who will be involved in the reconfiguration.
The move towards becoming one congregation has been in process for many years, yet the assembly was an experience of unprecedented unity and common purpose that gathered momentum over the four days.
Sisters spoke of being "surprised by joy" in the common experience of oneness, and in a new courage to let go of familiar safe boundaries; and excitement in expanding trust and loyalty, wonder and delight in the sense of "sisterhood".
There was a sense of collective wisdom and openness to the Spirit, as practical steps were discussed for a later process for discernment and election of a leadership team.
The assembly was facilitated by Maureen Cleary from Sydney, who had earlier worked with a reference group of sisters. The process co-ordinators since the last assembly, Srs Josie Dolan and Teresa Hanratty, had linked with task groups and were closely involved with planning sessions for regional days.
Pictured: Assembly closing ritual
Four Sisters of Mercy congregations agree to combine (NZ Catholic 11/7/04)
Sisters of Mercy of Aotearoa-NZ } Assembly Report
Mercies working together to counter "climate of fear" (CathNews 16/7/04)
Mercy International Association
21 Jul 2004