Mercy is in so many communities and our Mercy Day Celebration on Thursday celebrated what Mercy is about. Mercy ministries serve people and communities around the world. There are hundreds of Mercy schools, hospitals, aged care homes and missions. These reach from Asia to Europe, the Americas and Africa. In Australia thousands of people are employed, educated or cared for by Mercy.
The Challenge of Mercy
Today, at our Staff Spirituality Day we are investigating Mercy and church sustainability policy. One of the key missions in Mercy is to promote and support sustainability. The Sisters of Mercy aim to be at the forefront of developing and leading initiatives in this area. They are setting standards and developing innovative programs They are raising awareness of how to improve sustainability and reduce our waste, energy use and carbon footprint. The Mercy Sisters have a seat at the United Nations and constantly promote environmental awareness.
Never has this need been greater. There are events happening around the world that are unique and unprecedented, such as the massive fires across the rainforests of South America caused by burning and logging.
Yet there is hope, inspired by education and creativity… the re-vegetation of Indonesia, Central Africa and parts of Canada.
But what can we do about it? There are seven billion people in the world. It can seem hopeless!
Mercy in Action
The solution is to act locally, which has the potential to grow and move outwards. Today, for example, students are flocking to join the ‘School Strike 4 Climate’, in Bendigo, in Melbourne, around Australia, across the world. Tens of thousands of students protesting global inaction on climate change.
Over the next term, and beyond, we will be seeking support from students, staff and families to improve our performance, consume less and set goals for 2020. We want to reduce our waste. We want to reduce packaging and the number of bottles… use less paper, reduce power consumption and increase education…this is what Mercy wants and it makes sense.
How passionate are YOU? Being present and making a stand is Mercy In Action.
Mercy Day is about awareness and compassion… taking time to think of those in our community and beyond who need our care.
Last week we marked Mental Health Week. There is evidence that a growing number of young people are suffering in many different ways. It might be illness, physical, social, emotional, mental. The reality is we all suffer, that is life, that is a human condition. BUT many suffer in isolation and loneliness, in shame because it isn’t cool and we don’t share with friends and community for fear of being judged. We tend to choose to be passive bystanders, we know that we could do or say something, but that is taking a risk.
On Mercy Day, and each term, we present the Spirit of Catherine Awards, recognising students and staff who live our Mercy values in their daily lives – service, hospitality, courage, respect, compassion and justice. They take the risk… they are braver than many of us. Congratulations to those who have the humility to recognise others.
“We have ever confided largely in Divine Providence and shall continue to do so.” (Catherine McAuley)
In Providence we trust and in the values we trust. If we have something to base our lives around then we have something to help us overcome the hurdles of life. We all need values that matter, so they guide us. These values and virtues are ancient and have been a great guide to so many. So, when you are suffering hardship remember Catherine’s quote, trust divine providence and the Mercy values. And like Catherine always take time to notice those around you. You need them and they need you.
There have been bereavements in our community recently. We extend our condolences to the Bier, Graham and Driscoll families who have all lost loved ones. We think of these families in their grieving.
We also send our prayers and thoughts to Adrian Drane’s family. Adrian was a Campus Director at Catholic College Bendigo before he moved to Notre Dame College, Shepparton as Deputy Principal. Adrian was a compassionate person and wonderful listener. Amongst his many qualities, his passion for education and advocacy for students stood out.
God is tender and merciful. Let us turn to the Lord who hears the cry of those in need.
For Adrian, may he be held securely in God’s loving embrace now and for all eternity.
We pray to the Lord:
For all of us, Adrian’s family and friends: may we be comforted in our grief and strengthened by our faith in Christ.
We pray to the Lord: For those who suffer pain in mind or body, may they never feel alone.
We pray to the Lord: For those who have gone before us, especially Adrian, that they may rest peacefully in Christ, their eternal home.
We pray to the Lord: For the carers and all who have looked after Adrian. physically and spiritually, may they be blessed for their kindness and compassion.
We pray to the Lord: For all who have completed this earthly pilgrimage and entered eternal life, may they see Christ face to face in glory.
We pray to the Lord: Loving God, your Son Jesus has given us the hope of eternal life in you.
Hear the prayers we offer for Adrian and grant him your lasting peace.
Comfort us in our sadness and give us renewed hope.
We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.
May we all enjoy a safe holiday and enjoy the spring warmth. For our senior students keep persevering and make sure that when you are studying it has your full attention and is productive time.
Mr Brian Turner, Principal