He Panui


Matariki – time to ask how Mercy is making a dent – and for whom

In almost two decades of writing this monthly reflection, the most recurring theme has been the connection with our founding story, clarifying the links between our current ministries and that remarkable woman, Catherine McAuley, whose original vision must be at the heart of every genuine Mercy initiative. As time passes, social circumstances and cultural contexts change; new issues of concern emerge as older ones fade.

We are not as likely as Catherine was to be confronted by a cholera epidemic in our neighbourhood or an incidence of TB within our family, any more than she was bothered by plastic waste, Treaty commitments or climate change.

But the integrity of Mercy mission requires that as we set our agenda and plan for the future, we keep asking if our priorities are the ones that Catherinwould endorse, if she were here standing in our shoes today. While the ‘what’ of Mercy’s mission may change from time to time and from one region to another, the ‘why’ remains constant. It is expressed in Catherine’s own determination to serve the poor, and to make a difference to their lives. It is about helping people to know their dignity as images of a loving and merciful God, whose promise is of life in abundance.