WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

175 years of Mercy

Mary Hepburn

This year the Sisters of Mercy, the first religious congregation in New Zealand, are celebrating 175 years as a religious congregation.

Although the House of Mercy in Baggot St, Dublin opened its doors to the poor in 1827, the congregation founded by Catherine McAuley began when she made her vows in 1831.

The Sisters of Mercy have been in New Zealand since 1850, arriving in Wellington in 1861. A special moment of grace was the opportunity to begin a new congregation in NZ which is now eight months old.

So the call of Vatican II to discover anew our founding charism is our current invitation.

Throughout the world Mercy Sisters are celebrating 175 years. Sisters of the Wellington Eastern and Southern suburbs invite you to join us at St Anne’s Church, Newtown (the parish of our first ‘branch house’ in Wellington) at 7.30 pm on Monday 9 October.

We will celebrate liturgy to give thanks for the journey of Mercy throughout the world, the ways you have been part of that journey, and to give thanks for the, as yet unknown, ways that God will want to walk with us into the future.

Catherine McAuley was a quite remarkable woman who used her million-dollar inheritance for the poor of Dublin, offering immediate shelter and support, and working for social change.

It’s a hard act to follow! Like Catherine, it calls for a keen understanding of the world in which we live, and great friendship with God.

As Catherine said, ‘We can never say it is enough!’