Today, December 3 2021, is an historic day for the Catholic Church in Australia as it marks the commencement of Mercy Ministry Companions, a new ecclesial entity that incorporates ministries in education, health and aged care, and community services.
Mercy Ministry Companions, a ministerial public juridic person of pontifical right, has been established by the Holy See in response to a petition from the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Sister Eveline Crotty RSM, Institute Leader, said her feelings today were of excitement and gratitude.
I am excited for the more than 15,000 women and men employed throughout Australia by the ministries of Mercy Ministry Companions and the more than 250,000 people who access vital services provided by them each year.
Mercy Ministry Companions will enable these ministries to respond into the future to the ever-growing need for services underpinned by Gospel values, Sister Eveline said.
Sister Eveline said she was grateful to the women and men who have been integral to the establishment of the new entity, through their membership of the various taskforces and committees on the four-year journey to get to this day.
Mercy Ministry Companions would not be a reality if it wasn’t for the women and men who have so generously provided guidance and support with our petition to the Holy See and its implementation following the approval.
Each and every one of our sisters is incredibly proud of the ministries we are entrusting to Mercy Ministry Companions and looks forward to them flourishing in the years ahead, Sister Eveline said.
Margaret Bounader, Chair of the Mercy Ministry Companions Trustee Directors, paid tribute to the Sisters of Mercy for their vision and action in establishing Mercy Ministry Companions.
In forming Mercy Ministry Companions, the sisters of today have responded to what is a clear call by God for lay women and men to participate directly in God’s mission of Mercy.
The sisters’ actions of involving lay people are in keeping with those of their founder, Venerable Catherine McAuley, who, I am sure, would warmly welcome the establishment of Mercy Ministry Companions if she were alive today.
The Trustee Directors are cognisant of the enormous trust placed in us, and the responsibility given to us, by the sisters and are mindful of the fine Mercy tradition of which Mercy Ministry Companions is now part”, Margaret said.
Mercy Ministry Companions includes five incorporated ministries founded by the Sisters of Mercy in Australia – Mercy Connect, Mercy Education, Mercy Health, Mercy Services and McAuley Community Services for Women. MacKillop Family Services, that was co-founded by the Christian Brothers, Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart and the Sisters of Mercy, is also now part of the new entity.
The Trustee Directors of Mercy Ministry Companions are – Margaret Bounader (Chair), Tony Goad, Margery Jackman, Gabrielle McMullen AM, Rowena McNally, Des Powell AM and Carmel Ross.
A Liturgy of Entrusting is planned for March next year.
For further information – John Rochester (ISMAPNG) 0417 627 904 or firstname.lastname@example.org