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Mercies working together to counter "climate of fear"

67 Sisters of Mercy from all states in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Pakistan have resolved to work together as a single entity - the Institute of Sisters of Mercy - "to respond to the current climate of fear being generated in our country and globally".

The Institute is made up of many state and diocesan based congregations which individually focus on local issues and ministries. Last week's meeting recognised that issues such as global and national security require a more broadly-based response.

Institute President Sr Patricia Fox said: "We want to work at creating a culture of reconciliation and peace."

Last week's meeting was the fifth Chapter of the Institute. It took place at Baulkham Hills in Sydney from 2-11 July. The 67 participant sisters represented 1600 sisters of the Institute of Sisters of Mercy.

This gathering, a once-in-six-years event, elected a new leadership team and chose a focus for mission for the future. The leaders elected were Nerida Tinkler, President, Caroline Ryan, Vice-President, and Karon Donnellon, Councillor. The new leaders take up office in January 2005.

The gathering took account of the culture of fear experienced nationally and globally. The sisters responded by
choosing to collaborate actively with worldwide movements.

Goals chosen include "reconciliation and embracing difference", and well as the replacement of "fear with hope, suspicion with trust, violence with peace". The sisters committed to furthering partnerships with Indigenous and refugee peoples, acknowledging that they are an organic part of an unfolding universe.

Sr Fox said: "We have realised that our choice to embark on a new journey of 'making room for the other' within ourselves and within our Institute will enhance our capacity for this action of mercy and justice."

Reconciling, and Embracing Difference (Sisters of Mercy of Australia, Papua New Guinea and Pakistan 11/7/04)

Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia

16 Jul 2004