The Mercy Associate Movement takes its origin from our Constitution , chapter Paragraph 44
“The laity are our associates and co-workers in the spiritual mission of the Church and we collaborate with all who make the Gospel of Mercy alive in today’s world. “
The Group called Mercy Associates was established by the Sisters of Mercy in South Africa in 1985 when co-workers and friends of all ages, races and religions were invited by us to share in our privilege of continuing Mercy Life and Ministry in this, the Southernmost tip of the Continent of Africa.
A simple directory was printed giving a brief history of the Congregation, outlining the apostolate of the Sisters and describing the requirements for engaging in the Association as well as guidelines for membership.
A commitment is made for one year and in 1987 we had the joyful experience of witnessing the pioneer group of Associates make their first commitment and received their Mercy badge.
Associates meet regularly in their local areas and under the guidance of a Professed Sister, growth in the spirit of mercy is encouraged while members are invited to become involved in some form of mercy apostolate – e.g. visiting the sick, 2 or 3 members may decide to adopt a very poor family and give support and assistance for some months or a year, a group of Associates has taken on an Old Age Home in their area another group has adopted an Orphanage and give what support and assistance they can.
The entire membership meets three times a year for a retreat day or weekend and this gives the opportunity for bonding among the members and has proved to be a very special time .
Around Mercy Day each year we celebrate Commitment Day when promises are renewed . As well as that the Mercy Representatives groups meet four times a year to seek to understand better the basis of their commitment and it is now envisaged that the Associate members will chooses among their own members a few people who will oversee and guide the association while Sisters of Mercy will join in as members of the group.