Sisters of Mercy in PNG
CATH NEW REPORT: Australian Mercy congregations and their sisters from Papua New Guinea will form a newInstitute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea, on the 180th anniversary of the founding of the order next month, the sisters said in a media release.
For many years, but particularly since 2005, the 17 Australian congregations and the Autonomous Region of PNG, which have been federated in the present Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia since 1981, have been searching for the best way to nurture their unity and to strengthen their capacity for engaging in God's mission of mercy in this 21st century, said the media release.The new institute, which includes 14 of the 17 Mercy congregations, is to take effect on December 12, the anniversary of the founding of the Sisters of Mercy by Venerable Catherine McAuley in Ireland.
"This search has involved much prayer, frequent theological reflection on the social needs of our time, careful study of the life and ministry of our founder, Catherine McAuley and her vision for religious life, and several comprehensive consultations in which all sisters were encouraged to participate," said Sister Nerida Tinkler, President of the current Institute.
"Eventually it led us to the point where 14 of the congregations, as well as the Autonomous Region of PNG, decided to petition the Holy See for permission to relinquish their independence and to come together as one new congregation."
On July 20 this year, the Holy See approved the petition for the new Institute to take effect at the commencement of its first chapter on December 12. On that day, each of the 15 groups will cease to be a separate canonical and legal entity and its sisters will become members of the new Institute.
The 15 uniting groups, comprising some 930 sisters, are Adelaide, Ballarat East, Bathurst, Cairns, Goulburn, Grafton, Gunnedah, Melbourne, Papua New Guinea, Perth, Rockhampton, Singleton, Townsville, West Perth and Wilcannia-Forbes.
The foundation of the new Institute will be celebrated with a Eucharist in St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, on December 18 at 2:00pm.