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Sr. Anita   McKenna

Northern

My life as a Mercy Sister in today's world is a daily call to be an instrument of God's loving kindness and compassion to God's people, sharing my gifts and relying on God to give the increase.

In 1945 when I embarked on my high school education with the Sisters of Mercy, Enniskillen, N.Ireland, little did I know that it was the initial call to follow in the footsteps on Catherine McAuley: to devote myself to the 'service of the poor, sick and uneducated.' Thank you God that I responded to that call in 1950.

Reflecting on my Mercy journey, I feel humbled, privileged and deeply grateful as I am now celebrating 50 years of vowed Mercy commitment - 'God who is mighty has done great things for me'.

Believe me, Mercy life has been filled with surprises! When in August 1959, responding to the call to serve at Immaculate Conception School, Hialeah, Florida, never did I envision how enriched my life would be by those whom I would serve, and who, in turn, served me by their prayers, support and encouragement. Interacting with parents and students, who, though very welcoming and supportive, challenged me to broaden my vision. The arrival of Cuban immigrants in the early 60's, and later other immigrant groups, opened a new phase of my life and theirs. It called for a willingness to experience and appreciate the richness of each other's culture and values. This reality brought out every possible gift and talent in all of us as a Mercy community.

Moving from daily teaching in the classroom in 1968 to be a Parish Director of Religious Education brought further challenges. Working with parents, catechists and students, I needed to be further educated by learning Spanish and also Post Vatican 11 religious studies.

In 1078, my journey took another direction when I moved to St.Bernadette parish, Hollywood, Florida to continue working in Religious Education until 2000. Currently I have the privilege of ministering to the sick, homebound and bereaved, where I am daily inspired by their faith and prayer life in spite of the loneliness, poverty and pain many of them experience.

It's 2003 and I journey on to 'act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with my God'. (Micah 6:8)

Anita McKenna

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