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Southern Province

Provincial Chapter Statement 2007

HOW WILL WE BE FAITHFUL TO THE CHAPTER FOCUS?

Realising that every Sister makes a difference, we will each take responsibility to refocus our Mercy Mission by making our Chapter Statement central to our lives.

The principles of collaboration and partnership will guide us as we make the journey of Chapter 2006 a reality .

HOW WILL WE ENGAGE WITH OTHERS AROUND THE QUESTIONS AND STRUGGLES OF OUR TIME?

As Sisters of Mercy living in a multi-cultural society we acknowledge and use our corporate voice and influence in challenging unjust systems to bring about systemic change.

HOW WILL WE SHARE GENEROUSLY THE RESOURCES WE HOLD IN TRUST?

Resources at Congregational and Provincial levels are held in trust for Mission. Gospel values, Catherine’s example and our Mercy charism will guide us in identifying needs. These resources will be shared generously in ways that respect people and the integrity of the Earth. This will be reflected in all the decisions we make.

HOW WILL WE DEEPEN OUR AWARENESS OF THE INTERCONNECTEDNESS OF ALL LIFE?

Care of the earth and our environment is no longer an aspiration but is an integral part of our living. This calls for personal commitment and the responsible use of the earth’s finite resources.

HOW WILL WE INVITE AND SUPPORT NEW LIFE?

We commit ourselves to deepen our awareness of the call to live and radiate Mercy. In our search for new ways of living Mercy, we discern prophetic efforts and welcome new life.

HOW WILL WE ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER IN COMMUNITY FOR MISSION?

Community is for mission. We acknowledge the diverse ways in which we live and experience Mercy as we grow into understanding community as communion.

HOW WILL WE NURTURE THE HUNGER FOR GOD?

Centred in the God of Mercy, we nurture the contemplative dimension of life, joining with others in the search for meaning.

Provincial Chapter Statement 2007 - Supplementary Document

HOW WILL WE ENGAGE WITH OTHERS AROUND THE QUESTIONS AND STRUGGLES OF OUR TIME?

We are encouraged to educate ourselves in relation to social and ecological issues at local and global levels. We continue to support the enterprise of education, health and health care, broadening our understanding of these, and embracing new forms.

While acknowledging the need for systemic change in the wider society we recognise our daily personal and communal struggles.

HOW WILL WE SHARE GENEROUSLY THE RESOURCES WE HOLD IN TRUST?

The Chapter supports the development of a Congregational Mercy Policy on Resources to ensure their appropriate use for mission. The policy will be communicated in ways that call for personal and corporate ownership.

The Stewardship office, drawing on the expertise of Sisters and others, and building on information already available will develop a Provincial Stewardship Strategic Plan to ensure appropriate use of resources for mission. The Plan will be informed by the cost to the entire earth community and how that impacts on world poverty. It will cover

  • our current and future investments
  • our property and land and their value and use for ministry
  • our present and future accommodation needs
  • our ministry sites
  • our Trustee responsibilities
  • Trust Funds
  • Insurance Policies

The plan will be communicated to the Sisters and processes will be put in place for its implementation.

HOW WILL WE DEEPEN OUR AWARENESS OF THE INTERCONNECTEDNESS OF ALL LIFE?

Recognising the connection between the alleviation of extreme poverty and our life style, we call one another to a simple, eco-friendly way of living that impacts on our use of energy and water, waste management, buildings, travel and shopping. A group to continue exploring, alerting and educating us in relation to this.

We acknowledge the differences of understanding in relation to our faith. To enable a deepening of our communion with one another we will engage in processes similar to The Journey of Exploration, as we explore together our theologies and our understandings of Eucharist, Christology and our vows.

HOW WILL WE INVITE AND SUPPORT NEW LIFE?

In local communities reflect on how we can be cells of Mercy within the wider community. Where possible include our co-workers and employees in our reflective processes.
Develop and resource the Circle of Mercy and appoint a full time co-ordinator.

Commit ourselves to openness and welcome for Sisters who join us from within or outside the Province. Ensure adequate preparation for the receiving community.

Chapter recommends exploring the establishment of a community of welcome where Mercy can accompany younger people in their search for meaning.

As an international congregation invite and prepare young adults with necessary skills to live and work with us at local level and in the developing world.

HOW WILL WE ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER IN COMMUNITY FOR MISSION?

We will initiate a process to deepen our understanding of community for mission. This will include prayer, faith sharing, and diverse rituals. It will address

  • our desire to live out of our founding values
  • the need to recognise and call forth the potential of each Sister
  • the cry for more life-giving community
  • the need to evaluate all our ministries

We recommend that each Sister is affirmed and supported in her Mercy mission.

We support the networking of communities and cluster groups and encourage the extension of existing link groups and formation of others.

The PLT will

  • Ensure the pastoral care of all
  • Address the crisis in local leadership in our communities
  • Evaluate all forms of leadership
  • Encourage communities to avail of facilitation and mediation

Recognising our current realities and in planning future building or reconstruction ensure that structure and design accommodate a variety of forms of living community that may include collaborating with other congregations and lay people.

HOW WILL WE NURTURE THE HUNGER FOR GOD?

 As we nurture the hunger for God we will:

  • engage in courageous conversations about our understandings of God, our spiritualities and the diversity among us both personally and in community.
  • create healing rituals.
  • avail of centres or spaces for quiet and reflection, in different parts of the Province, for Sisters and others.
  • expand our website to include a database in the spirituality section to provide information for those who are seeking meaning in life

In light of living in multi-faith societies we will inform ourselves about other religions and engage in interfaith dialogue.

We will continue to explore ways of supporting and resourcing faith formation.
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