Mercy Partners Retreat


The Mercy Partners Retreat focussed on the theology of mission. Sr Catherine presented a short input on the life and legacy of Elizabeth Hayes, founder of the MFIC Sisters. Also presented were inputs on the lives of Nano Nagle, founder of the Presentation Sisters, and Catherine McCauley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy. Mercy Partners is the Public Juridic Person, a canonical entity, approved by the Holy See and with the blessing of the Bishops of Queensland, set up to ensure the future security of the ministries founded by the Mercy Sisters in Queensland. It is called Mercy Partners as other religious congregations are welcome to join the Sisters of Mercy in this project to ensure the long term viability of ministries established in Australia. The Presentations Sisters have joined Mercy Partners and entrusted their Colleges St Rita’s College, Clayfield,and ST Ursula’s College, Yeppoon, into its care. The Missionary Franciscan Sisters are in the process of moving Mt Alvernia College Kedron into Mercy Partners. The Leaders of the three Congregations continue to oversee the progress of Mercy Partners as Stewards. Rockhampton was showing signs of the fierce cyclone which had battered it just a week prior to the conference. It was wonderful to hear that Mercy Health and Aged Care had been an active player in the recovery effort and had opened a new facility to house the victims of the cyclone. Prior to the Retreat Sr Catherine was able to spend time with Sister Cecilia Prestashewsky, who is Pastoral Leader in the Woorabinda Parish. Sr Catherine and Sr Cecilia have just renewed Cecilia’s agreement with the Diocese to continue in Woorabinda for a further three years. Cecilia has been in Woorabinda for 13 years. She came to the parish after many decades of nursing in Aitape Diocese in PNG, and took over the ministry of the Sisters of Mercy who had been in Woorabinda for many years.