Sister of Mercy Marian Mullen of Buffalo eagerly reflected on the "Living Mercy, Now and into the Future" gathering at the Millennium Hotel, Cheektowaga, June 28-30 saying it helped her put the religious community's Journey of Oneness into a deeper perspective.
Begun in 2016, the Journey of Oneness is an ongoing process by which Sisters of Mercy in the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas are becoming one community.
In a closing ritual on the final day, four sisters from the five-member Institute Leadership Team, based in Silver Spring, Md., provided an update on the process and "missioned" Sisters of Mercy and Mercy Associates to continue the work of Mercy as the journey moves to completion in 2023.
"The whole weekend came together for me in the missioning. I began to realize very easily that as we were missioned by the Institute Leadership Team that things had changed for a good beginning," said Sister Marian, coordinator of academic advisement at Trocaire College.
As of July 1, the ILT is now the sole canonical leadership team for all Sisters of Mercy with local leadership teams having delegated authority in specific areas, especially those affecting the day-to-day life of sisters and relationship with our ministries. Also, the religious community that includes Sisters and Mercy Associates in Buffalo, Rochester, Erie and Pittsburgh is now known as Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, New York Pennsylvania West.
Sister Elizabeth Davis, congregational minister of the Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland, Canada, presented talks on June 29 in which she addressed the Journey of Oneness.
"I am not going to tell you anything you don't already know. Deep down, you already know it," said Sister Elizabeth.
Sharing a prayer by Michael Leunig, she said, "God help us to live slowly, to move simply, to look softly, to allow emptiness, to let the heart create for us. Amen."
"This is the essence of your Journey of Oneness," she said
Sister Elizabeth reviewed shifts in today's world with respect to the economy, generational changes, politics, learning, religion, human development and social media, saying, "These are blessings and challenges."
Refugees, extremism, sexual abuse in the church, abuse of elders, homelessness and the damage to the Earth are some of the pressing issues with which we must deal, she said.
Nearly 180 sisters, associates and guests - most of whom were from Western New York and Western Pennsylvania - participated in the gathering.
"Our gathering together helped us appreciate each other more," Sister Marian said.