Mercy Day – St. Xavier’s, Ennis, Sunday, 24th of September 2023
Year of Mercy
We cast our minds back to 2015 when Pope Francis announced a year of Mercy. “We want to live” he reminded us, “in the light of the word of the Lord: ‘Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful’ (cf. Lk 6:36).”
Celebrating the Vocation of Sisters of Mercy
- That Jubilee Year,
- every Mercy Day,
- foundation day,
- every day of your lives
is a celebration of the vocation you have received and the mission you and your forebears have carried out since the Sisters of Mercy were founded by Venerable Catherine McAuley in 1831.
The Work of the Sisters of Mercy
This is something you as Sisters of Mercy have always done. I think of your outstanding contribution in education, and in that setting, your particular outreach to the children who came from poorer and more socially deprived backgrounds.
Healthcare and Social Work
Similarly, I think of the generous contribution made by sisters in the areas of healthcare and social work. Jesus himself acknowledges the sterling work you have done in these areas when he says: “I was hungry and you gave me to eat, naked and you clothed me, sick and in prison and you came to visit me… Whatsoever you did to one of these, the least of my sisters and brothers, you did it to me.”
Distinguished Tradition in Killaloe Diocese
The Sisters of Mercy have a proud and distinguished record of service in Killaloe diocese down through the years. Your contribution under the banner and cross of Mercy has been immense.
Description of Mother McAuley – to Rev. Gerard Doyle
We recall the words of Mother McAuley on what she called the requisites for a sister of Mercy in the famous letter to Fr. Doyle:
“Besides an ardent desire to be united to God and serve the poor, she must feel a particular interest for the sick and dying; otherwise the duty of visiting them would become exceedingly toilsome. She should be healthy, have a feeling, distinct, impressive manner of speaking and reading; a mild countenance expressive of sympathy and patience.”
Conclusion of Mercy
To conclude, I return to Pope Francis. He said: “We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it.
- Mercy: the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity.
- Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us.
- Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life.
- Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.” (MV 2)
Mercy is your name!
Mercy is your vocation and your work!
Today, in joining you it is my privilege to celebrate all that you are and all that you do in the name of Mercy!