Sisters of Mercy

Last Monday was the Feast of Our Lady of Mercy, which is the particular feast-day of the Sisters of Mercy, who have been present in Naas for almost two centuries, with a particular role in education and in outreach to the marginalized, alongside the work of the Parish and the Christian Brothers in these fields.
Many of us have memories of sisters from that congregation, either in the classroom or in hospitals, members of our family or friends who became sisters, or even just the presence of sisters from whom we asked prayers in a moment of grief. In this parish, we are still blessed with the presence of sisters who continue that tradition of a consecration in prayer and in service to the wonder of God’s mercy.
In recent years, as the darker aspects of our recent church history have loomed large and the numbers in all forms of consecrated life have dwindled to a trickle, we are challenged to look again at this tradition in our church and in our country. Neither nostalgia for a false utopian view of the past, nor self-pity and sullenness because of the mistakes, are a worthy response, but a hope for the guidance of the Spirit beyond the failures and a thankfulness for what has been good.
The prayer used for Evening Prayer on Monday (the feast-day), asked God, who looked upon Mary, to raise us all up so as to share with her the joy of being children of the Father. In that simple prayer, we might rediscover something of the enthusiasm and the prophetic boldness of Catherine McCauley and others who opened a new door into the Father’s house particularly for those who were excluded and left behind. Rediscovering that excitement and that faithfulness happens now and will happen, somehow, in the future, under the guidance of the Spirit.
Happy Feast Day, Srs. Anne, Brigid, Peggy and Maureen! Thanks for the faithful prophetic witness you continue to offer here!
Every blessing!