Mercy has always been a presence in my life. The Sisters were very active in the Parish as I was growing up and I spent my primary school years at the local convent school. Having finished school I entered, becoming the first Postulant at the newly built Novitiate in Rosebank. After the years of initial formation – the second year being hands on practical experience I went to Teacher Training. This hands-on experience stood me in great stead during the years of teacher training. Having finished I started teaching Junior Primary at Rosebank/Craighall.
After some years I was asked to go down to our Holiday/Retreat House on the South Coast. This was a complete change of ministry but a wonderful experience. Imagine working in a kitchen that has a 180 degree view of the Indian Ocean. Positively inspiring. Living with the Sisters was a very good experience and over the years I have come to appreciate what each Sister has meant to me and what they gave to the collective spirit of Mercy. It was back to teaching after three years and here I stayed until 1993 when I was given the opportunity to go on Sabbatical. This was spent at St. Joseph’s, Baulkham Hills, NSW, Australia.
Sr. Peter Doyle
Somehow I missed out on knowing about Mercy Centre across the way at Castle Hill though the Mercy Sisters on the course did go over for ‘tea’ one evening. After another stint at Coolock House – South Coast it was back to teaching until I needed major surgery. Luckily I was able to return to school and spent a number of years in a ‘Writing to Read’ room where I worked with Junior Primary classes doing reading, dictionary work and learning to use the Encyclopaedia. English was a second language for the children and it was a very positive experience for me knowing that I was making a difference and giving them some skills for future use.
More moves and then things changed again. I was near retiring age so giving up school full time was not a major problem. I now spend time ‘being’ and finding ways to help out with children who are struggling at school. Reflecting back over the years I can say that the experiences, some good some bad, have all been positive and the support, example and sharing that I have experienced from my Sisters on the journey have been a blessing for which I am really grateful.
Peter Doyle rsm
South African Province