Jubilee Year of Mercy Begins
Sisters of Mercy around the world have commemorated and celebrated the start of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, which Pope Francis announced in April this year to commence on December 8th 2015 and conclude on November 20th, 2016.
In Parramatta, on December 12th, 150 Sisters of Mercy and co-workers, gathered in the Mother Mary Clare Memorial Chapel for a Eucharistic Celebration to mark the beginning of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Mass was followed by lunch in the Edith Angel Hall in Our Lady of Mercy College, next door.
The music chosen for the Mass reflected the central themes of Mercy and the Care of Creation as articulated in Laudato Si. Musicians and singers, drawn from OLMC Parramatta current and former students, Sisters of Mercy, family and friends, themselves reflected the wonder of creation in their sharing of their gifts to enhance the liturgy with beautiful singing and music.
In his homily, Fr Peter Confeggi, reflected on the counter-cultural nature of Mercy - particularly in the present space in which the world community finds itself. He challenged us with both the Gospel imperative that is always before us, and the invitation this Year of Mercy offers to each of us, to be Mercy, to live Mercy, to give and receive Mercy, in a world which desperately needs Mercy.
Following lunch, all present joined in a ritual where our "Local Doors of Mercy" were opened, symbolic of our desire to open our hearts, homes and places of ministry to those seeking Mercy, and in so doing to receive the Mercy that we also need.
This celebration marks the beginning of a year of activities in which Sisters of Mercy, and our ministry and mission partners, will join with the Universal Church, in celebrating, reflecting on, and living Mercy.
One way in which the Sisters of Mercy and our ministry and mission partners, locally and Internationally, will focus on Mercy is through the Mercy International Reflection Process, which also began with the commencement of the Year of Mercy. Through this four Stage process, Sisters of Mercy and all those with whom we partner in ministry, will have the opportunity to engage in a process of theological reflection, which leads us to action grounded in, and in response to, the needs of our times and the demands of the Gospel.
The Sisters of Mercy Parramatta, as with other Sisters of Mercy around the world, will encourage, support and participate in small reflection groups drawn from our various communities and ministries.