Our 40-day Lenten journey towards Easter

Easter falls early this year so we can be forgiven if the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday crept up on us! The challenge is not to let this potentially rich, formative time pass us by. The Church invites us into a time of spiritual growth, to be intentional in three aspects of our engagement with all of creation by:

  • Making time for reflection and prayer, perhaps as we go for a walk, sit in traffic, prepare for an important conversation …
  • Fasting from things which are or can be addictive, perhaps choosing to have a ‘device-free’ time each day, or fasting from language and behaviours which put people down rather than build them up …
  • Giving of our resources, time and expertise as a conscious commitment to almsgiving, which helps others access necessities in these tough times …

We can be hard on ourselves during Lent, perhaps in ways which are unhelpful. This reflection from Joyce Rupp offers us another way of looking at our good intentions.


Desire for Spiritual Growth

Gift of Mercy and Understanding,

All my good intentions for spiritual growth go sliding down the gutter of responsibilities.

All my hopes of deepening prayer

Get splintered and broken in the chaos of busyness.

All my desires to have a quiet haven

Are swallowed in the jaws of my calendar.


All my resolutions to rise early, to pray longer

Are lost in the blankets of an extra hour of sleep.

And all the while I fuss about this, you look at me and smile.

Are you sending me the message that spiritual growth can happen

Among the very things that seem to keep me from you?

Are you assuring me that my desire to grow

Is not lost on you?

[Joyce Rupp (2004) Prayers to Sophia Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame IN, p. 40]

Annette Schneider RSM

MMC Formation Coordinator


2024 Formation Resources

MMC has developed resources which may be helpful for ministries welcoming staff new to Mercy or new to your ministry and MMC in 2024. The Orientation to Mercy Program  and the MMC Welcome Pack are both available on the MMC website.

 Orientation to Mercy Program

The seven-Module Orientation to Mercy Program can be explored in full or in part as a self-paced program, or can be undertaken in a small group. Each Module takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.

Upon completion, educators in MMC and other Mercy-heritage schools in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia are eligible to apply for six-hours towards their accreditation from CESA, CEWA and MACS.

Access the Orientation to Mercy Program.

MMC Welcome Pack

The MMC Welcome Pack was developed in 2023 with the assistance of the MMC Mission Coordinators’ Network members.

The Pack covers eight topics relating to MMC and is designed to complement each ministry’s Induction program by giving ‘the bigger picture’ of ministry within MMC. Topics can be explored in a self-paced mode or excerpts from the Welcome Pack can be included as part of Ministry Welcome Days or Induction programs.

Access the MMC Welcome Pack.

For further information contact Annette Schneider, RSM.


Joint Formation Session with Mercy Health Board

In early February, MMC Trustee Directors met with the board and Executive of Mercy Health Australia Ltd for a half-day formation session where participants enjoyed presentations from a range of speakers.

The session focused on Climate Governance and presentations included:

  • Sr Adele Howard RSM presenting on ‘Theological exploration of Laudate Deum’: exploring a canonical/Church lens on climate governance
  • Auditors from Grant Thornton providing an update on civil climate governance reporting developments
  • Susan Pascoe, a Director of Mercy Health, and Cathy Jenkins, Executive Director Mission Leadership at Mercy Health, providing an update on the recent Church Synod on Synodality in Rome and the Australian Church’s Plenary Council.

Trustee Directors will hold a joint session with the boards of Mercy Education and MCSAL later in 2024, exploring issues which are of significance for both governance bodies. These sessions are an opportunity for mutual ongoing formation, with a focus on keeping the mission of MMC alive so that it flourishes into the future.

Sr Adele Howard

Celebrating ‘Great Women of Faith’

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2024, St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne will host the ‘Great Women of Faith’ Exhibition by German artist Barbara Skorupa. The Exhibition will open from 1-10 March and will feature 24 portraits of extraordinary women of faith including Australians St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Dr Sr Mary Glowrey JMJ and Eileen O’Connor.

The Exhibition will open from 1-10 March and will feature 24 portraits of extraordinary women of faith including Australians St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Dr Sr Mary Glowrey JMJ and Eileen O’Connor.

Representatives from Mercy Ministries and organisations across Victoria, including MMC Trustee Director, Gabrielle McMullan, have been working to bring the acclaimed exhibition to Melbourne. International Women’s Day 2024 will be celebrated on Friday 8 March.

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