What Is Mercy Partners?
Since their foundations, the Sisters of Mercy of the Brisbane Congregation and the former Congregations of Cairns, Rockhampton and Townsville (now members of the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea) developed and sponsored a large range of ministries that included hospitals, aged care, schools and community services.
Over a number of years the Sisters gave consideration to future sponsorship of their ministries and what might be a suitable structure for it. They agreed to work together to found Mercy Partners and took a formal application for its establishment to Rome in September 2008. It was approved by the Vatican in November 2008. The reasons for the establishment of Mercy Partners included:
- The significance they attach to their current ministries,
- Their strong convictions regarding the call of lay people to ministry leadership at all levels and
- The diminishment they are experiencing in terms of numbers but also in that they now have many fewer Sisters able and willing to take sponsorship responsibility on leadership teams and Boards than was once the case.
The Principal Responsibilities of Mercy Partners
The primary responsibility of Mercy Partners is to ensure that each of its ministries acts in accordance with its status as a Church sponsored ministry. To this end, it will have certain powers reserved to it, and these will be spelled out in the Constitution of each ministry.
The Mission of Mercy Partners
The Mission of Mercy Partners is to contribute to the emergence of a world where the healing, liberating and life-giving mercy of God is experienced.
Expressions of the Mission
In fidelity to the Gospel and continuing the tradition of Catherine McAuley, our call to mission leads us to conduct ministries in the name of the Catholic Church, that
- Offer quality services in aged care, health, education and community services, regularly critiqued against our stated values;
- Promote the wellbeing of people, encouraging them to realise their God-given potential;
- Respect and reverence the interdependence of all creation.
- Respond compassionately and creatively to existing and emerging needs within communities.
- Advocate in the public forum on behalf of the poor and disadvantaged, in particular those associated with our ministries, so that mercy values find expression in policy and practice.
- Provide a pathway in the Catholic Church for canonical leadership of ministries by lay people.
Visit Mercy Partners at www.mercypartners.org.au