OCEANIA/NEW ZEALAND - Four congregations of Sisters of Mercy decide to become one to face challenge of new evangelisation more effectively

Thursday, 24 February 2005

Wellington (Fides Service) - The four congregations of “Sisters of Mercy” in New Zealand announced that they will merge to form one new order “Sisters of Mercy of New Zealand”. The respective superiors have made a special request to the Holy See for approval and it is hoped that the four congregations will become one in December this year. The possibility of the merger was taken into consideration during a meeting for women religious in New Zealand last year. The matter was then examined by each congregation separately. The aim of the merger is to “strengthen unity for mission to meet more effectively the challenge of new evangelisation in New Zealand today”, the Sisters told Fides. There are a total number of 303 Sisters of Mercy in Zealand working in education, healthcare, caring for the elderly and for children as well as pastoral activities.
The religious are inspired by the experience of Catherine McAuley, born and died in Dublin, Ireland in 1778 - 1841. The charisma of mercy reached New Zealand with the immigration of Irish Catholics. Sr. Catherine McAuley was declared Venerable by Pope John Paul II in 1990.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 24/2/2005 righe 18 parole 234)