Annual Gathering, July 18-19 2014
Our annual gathering in Cairns around the value of “respect – giving voice” was a very valuable experience for those who participated.
As usual it is always good to catch up with former graduated participants as well as current participants.
Our time together began with respect for the Cosmos which Sr Mary Anne Casanova rsj led us through the billions of years of evolution and concluding with the area of Australia where we were situated – Cairns. She did this via input and reflection.
Our next reflection was led by Jenny Rossiter from Mt. St. Bernard’s school in Herberton. Jenny spoke about her own experience of working with indigenous students and seeing their confidence and strength build up after being encouraged by these dedicated teachers.
As time ran out with these sessions two other stories were handed to participants for their own reflection.
Terry Power then has us transported down to the main business area where we embarked upon a “Walk of Faith” visiting such places as “Hospital Precinct – Healthcare and Wellbeing”, “Cairns Regional Council – Governance and Leadership”, “Munro Martin Park – Marginalised” and several other places of interest and significace. We stopped at each, prayed, noted the focus of each and then prayed for an outpouring of God’s grace in our community. We concluded our walk at St. Monica’s Cathedral – Community of Faith” and here Terry told us the story of the magnificent “Creation Windows”. The central philosophical tenet of these windows is to bring together religion and science, through art.
During our celebration dinner we heard the story of the Mercy Mission and Charism Board, enjoyed each other’s company and stories.
Our keynote address “Who do you stand with? Respect, Advocacy, and Ministry” by Mr Peter Pearce was a first in our Mercy Partners story in that this main address was delivered by one of our graduates. Peter presented a very well researched, informative address mingled with reflection and interaction.
Our 24 hours together was a very enriching, enjoyable and reflection experience.