This is a great city to walk around: flat and logical! So off I went this morning – to get the SIM card put into my ipad! And now it works – as does the keyboard! The phone is still a problem! Just lucky I don’t need to make calls! My need for the technology – my absolute dependance on it – is a bit of a surprise to me. Makes me realise how much I take it for granted, and how lucky I am that I have these tools at my fingertips (literally, and metaphorically). It makes me think about those great grandparents, and the Sisters of Mercy, who left this place in the nineteenth century, cut off from family, friends and the places they were familiar with. When I think about it, the similarity of cultures that we now enjoy globally – in the technologies we have, the brands, the global systems – things are very similar across the western world at least. But in the past, the cultural shift from Ireland to Australia, as well as the journey itself, was monumental.
This afternoon we began our pilgrimage! 35 people who are associated with Mercy facilities – hospitals, schools, aged care, community care, disability services – have come together in this place to learn, celebrate and connect ourselves to the Mercy story. A pilgrimage is a journey – but itt is more than beig a tourist. A pilgrim, in religious terms is one who is seeaching – listening for the direction to take, filled with a sense of purpose yet open to where the path will lead, open to the experiences, the surprises that enfold along the way. A pilgrimage teaches us, inspires us and motivates us.
The pilgrimage to Mercy International is a journey to the beginnings of the Sisters of Mercy – to the source of the motivation, the impetus which drove these women in the early nineteenth century, to listen to the heartbreak of the poor and disadvantaged, and offer them comfort, to suppport them and advocate for them. These women then responded to the needs of those in the Amercias and in Australia – those whose plight was perhaps even more desperate than those in Ireland.
The legacy of these women is today a group of hospitals, aged care facilities and other ministries still striving to care for those in need of care. We are here to learn, and to imbibe some of the spirit, the faith and the hope that drove those women.