On the Friday, some of the visiting sisters were taken to the church to look at the focal point, it was about 5pm, and I said, “This time tomorrow it’ll all be over”. I was informed, “no dear, you’ll be making cups of tea”. This was so true, but with so many memories to be remembered and over a good cuppa tea, it was one tradition I was happy to be a part of.
The 24th September 2016 was upon us all, it was a day that will be with me for a very long time, from the beginning to the end. Starting with finalising things at the church and hall, to welcoming visitors into the house, to the most amazing church service, with so many individuals being a part of the various ministries.
I took part in the offertory procession, and the second candle: the Novitiate. Sr Agatha Collopy walked with me while the following was read: “In 1841 two postulants accompanied Mother Catherine McAuley, and the founding sisters – Juliana Hardman, Lucy Bond, Eliza Edwards and Anne Wood. From then until the 1950s, there was a flourishing Novitiate where those seeking to follow the Mercy way of life were trained.” It was emotional for me, with Juliana being a distant cousin of mine and for me, to be doing the same thing 175 years later. Some sisters’ commented, its come full circle. This is so true.
The community of St Mary’s Handsworth should be so proud of what they achieved on this most memorable day for so many sisters, the local community and myself. I am so grateful to be here at St Mary’s Convent for the first key stage of my Mercy journey, and hope that I will be half as good as the sisters here.
Thank you Sr Noreen, Sr Brendan, Sr Brigid, Sr Ita, Sr Marie and Sr Ursula for letting me join your community at such a busy time and for accompanying me on the beginning of my Mercy journey.