Mercy Partners Formation Program focuses on three key areas and offers opportunities for further enrichment.
1. Catholic Identity
We clearly articulate what we mean by a Catholic identity and examine the role of the lay people within a ministry. We explore Catholic social teaching, which lies at the core of any Catholic ministry, and give participants opportunities to develop their own personal spirituality as a leader, through discussion, reflection, and prayer.
2. Theology of Mission and Sponsorship
We explore the biblical foundations of Catholic ministries and the theology of mission. Participants are given opportunities to connect their work in education, health care, or community care to the Gospels. Led by experts in the fields of mission and biblical studies, participants gather together the threads of the Church’s healing, liberating, and educative traditions. We focus particularly on the prophetic role of leadership in ministry today to help participants understand the theology of sponsorship, which underpins the relationship of their ministry to Mercy Partners and the universal Church.
3. Leadership and Governance in a Catholic Ministry
We turn to the practical elements of leadership and governance in a Catholic organisation. We look at canon law and how it intersects with the civil law obligations of leaders, particularly in relation to the sponsorship obligations of Mercy Partners. This leads participants to reflect on the mission of their particular ministry and how it fits in to the wider mission of the Church through Mercy Partners. We acknowledge the tensions that sometimes exist when balancing the mission and business of complex organisations in the corporate context.
Opportunities for continued growth include:
- Mercy Partners gatherings (retreats, special programs)
- Local peer support groups to deepen understanding of the philosophy, mission and Catholic identity of Mercy Partners, its theory and practice – organised locally with Mercy Partners support
- Board of Directors induction and on-going formation and training
- Seasonal Prayer Resources
- Websites (www.mercypartners.org.au, www.mercymissionnorth.org.au, www.mercy.org)
External opportunities to support leaders:
- AICD directors training
- Catholic Health Australia conferences and courses
- Catholic Religious Australia courses
- Broken Bay Institute eConferences, short courses and formal study options
- ACU Leadership and Catholic Identity courses
Our formation activities hope to see leaders committed to a mercy culture and equipped to:
- engage in the Biblical, Catholic, individual, and organisational stories
- develop a reflective stance — engaging wholeheartedly in conversion with hearts centred in God, as we live in a world longing for God’s mercy
- experience mercy in action — integrating learning into ministry, responding with gospel justice to local and global concerns
- contribute to the growth of a just and compassionate community — fostering relationships and partnerships that enliven and enrich the communities to which we belong.