A Prophetic Call to Ourselves: Reflections on the 1991 Direction Statement

Our 1991 Direction Statement was a prophetic call to ourselves. It has stood the test of time and continues to call us forward. We invited members of the Mercy community from across our Institute to reflect upon the 1991 Direction Statement as we mark our 25th anniversary as Institute, asking them: How does the Direction Statement inspire us today? How can it guide us as we look toward our future? 

Please see the May | June 2017 issue of ¡Viva! Mercy for additional reflections. 

Sister Mary Ellen Brody 
These words are timeless. The commitment expressed in them challenges us to live in Trinitarian space:

Oneness by acting in solidarity with the economically poor, women and children, and one another;
Diversity by developing and acting from a multicultural and international reality; and
Interiority by calling ourselves to continual conversion.

We have been and continue to be inspired to continue growing in our understanding of who we are becoming and how we are in a relationship. These words gently and powerfully continue to move us into a new way of being Mercy in this ever-evolving universe.

Associate Mark Piper
After 25 years the Direction Statement could be classified as a durable guide and inspiration for Mercy Associates like myself, covenanted on this path of Mercy. It is guidance for our prayers and actions and an inspiration to serve as Catherine did. After all, if Mercy is the principal path for those desirous of following Jesus Christ, those of us on that path today (sisters, associates, women, men) should be of one accord.

Sister Taryn Stark
As a new member, I feel called to respond with our sisters to our Critical Concerns. For me, the Direction Statement is more than just words on a paper; it is a prophetic call to address the very real needs of our global community—needs I have experienced firsthand in the countries in which I have worked. I have known Mercy sisters since I was a toddler and have been inspired by their lives of contemplation and action, by their compassion and by the work of the Institute Justice Team. I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide me in my daily decisions and in my words and actions as a member of the Institute as we move forward into the future.

Sister Jan Stocking 
The curtains parted in Buffalo, New York, in July of 1991 and I walked in with hundreds of women!

I am blessed to be part of the Sisters of Mercy Alliance of Women of Color for over 25 years. All have given me hope, insight and resolve to “continue the journey.”

Today, I work at an ecozoic center where care for self and care for Earth go hand-in-hand and balance efforts at our “great work.” Mercy charism is alive and well here.

In the words of “Earth Mama” (Joyce Rouse), “I am standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before me.”

My blessed life continues to be part of our Directions as Sisters of Mercy.

Sister Deborah Watson
As I reflect anew on our 1991 Direction Statement what strikes me is that the passion of that moment has been sustained for over 25 years. At each successive chapter, it has been refined and given new impetus. We may be older, hopefully wiser, and facing many forces of diminishment, but the urgency of the call to respond passionately, in Mercy, to the Gospel and to the legacy of Catherine has intensified, not diminished. There is a consistent and faith-filled energy leading us forward to ever more merciful and creative responses in each of the areas of our Critical Concerns.