Advent Week 1: 175 Years of Mercy Preparing the Way
November 29, 2018
By Sister Jane Meuse, RSM
Even before the Sisters of Mercy arrived in North America 175 years ago, our founder Catherine McAuley had been preparing the way for young women in order to instill confidence and self-sufficiency. It began when she taught sewing, lace making, china painting, laundering and cooking skills to young women in order to prepare them for better employment opportunities. The spirit of this work continues today in ministries focused on improving the lives and futures of women and their families.
For the last 175 years, young women, adults and children have been educated by the Sisters of Mercy in schools, parish R.C.I.A (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) programs and sacramental programs nationwide. With a strong foundation, Catherine McAuley believed the people she served could take on the challenges of the future. Today’s Sisters of Mercy continue that work in her example through ministry and prayer.
In addition to education, the Sisters of Mercy have made great contributions in the area of healthcare. Since arriving in North America in 1843, the Sisters of Mercy have faced the challenges of the day, such as the outbreak of diseases like cholera or, in more recent decades, the AIDS epidemic and the horror of human trafficking. The Sisters of Mercy continue to be a strong presence in their communities all these years later, working to keep people safe, healthy and prepared to take on life’s challenges with faith. In working with individuals who most need God’s Mercy, the Sisters of Mercy have been preparing the way of the Lord and making straight His path.
- In what ways, formally or informally, have I worked with those in need and prepared the way of the Lord?
- How can I reach out to those who may be isolated, ostracized or forgotten so that they may feel mercy this Advent season?
- How have the Sisters of Mercy touched my life?
Merciful and compassionate God, as we enter the season of Advent, help us to be mindful of all your gifts to us in the past, now and in the future. We thank you for all your gifts, which have helped us to teach, nurse and pray for those in need. We ask this prayer in the Name of Jesus, Your Son. Amen