Mercy in a Basket
By Sister Cynthia
Mercy in a Basket is what the Sisters of Mercy call the sacred place where we hold in prayer the names of all the women who are discerning with a vocation minister about the possibility of becoming a sister.
Close your eyes and think for a minute…
How many names do you think are in the basket right now?
If you said 4, that’s a good number, but it’s not what’s in our basket. But four is the number of women who are currently becoming candidates. That’s a good number! These women have been through at least a year of discernment with their vocation ministers and are ready to take the next step to enter the Sisters of Mercy.
If you said 8, that’s a good number, too, but there’s more than that. Eight is, however, the number of young women who are attending Mercy Challenge in May. They are anxious to “Awaken the Dreamer” as they participate in this special program that teaches about and celebrates justice for Earth and all her life systems.
Perhaps you thought there might be 28 names in the basket. But 28 is the number of candidates, novices and temporary professed sisters throughout the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. Sixteen of these live in the US, 3 in the Philippines, 6 in Central and South America and 3 in Jamaica.
Or maybe you said 34. If so, you are getting closer, but still not close enough. Thirty-four would be the number of inquiries that came to the New Membership Office through our website in February 2012. Each of these inquiries receives a response and some of them (8 in February) are ready to be handed on to a vocation minister to begin discernment.
Actually there are 57 women who are currently in touch with our vocation ministers. Sometimes these are exploratory conversations; sometimes they begin and then go on hold. And sometimes they move ahead and the woman becomes a potential candidate for the Sisters of Mercy.
We are praying hard for all of the women in our basket, as well as those who have made the leap out of the basket and into candidacy. We trust in God’s loving providence that there will always be women who want to follow Jesus Christ by doing the works of Mercy in the good company of others and in the tradition of Catherine McAuley.
Please join us in our prayer for all women and men who are listening for God’s voice in their hearts. Let’s pray together on Sunday April 29 the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.