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Day 2 of YML Pilgrimage: Another Great Day was had by all!

Day Two of YML Pilgrimage 2018 brought with it an overcast sky. And by midday the rain came.  After an unusually long, very hot Summer, we wouldn't complain because Ireland needs rain after suffering 'absolute drought'. The rain stopped for the afternoon —an answer to prayer—which was perfect for the Mercy Race around Catherine's Dublin. More of that later.

 Arrival and Early morning activities at Baggot Street

  • Avril and Liz serving breakfast to residents

  • Art work from day one reflection activity

  • Staff/Chaperone Briefing

  • Madeleine (Receptionist) at her desk

  • Angela (MIA Team secretary) at her desk

  • Sr Carita in the Gift shop

  • Arriving

  • Arriving

  • Arriving

  • By Catherine

  • Arriving

  • Arriving

  • Arriving

  • Arriving

  • Arriving

  • Arriving

Pilgrims had been asked to wear their 'Mercy begins with Me' T-shirts today. They looked great! Check out the Gwynedd Mercy group

The day commenced with an Opening Prayer and Reflection. The theme was The Beatitudes, the focus Catherine Callaghan's witness of the works of Mercy. Once again we were delighted by the music: 'Blest are They' (David Haas) and 'How can anyone ever tell you?'(Libby Roderick).The theme led very well into the keynote address.

Opening Prayer and Reflection in the Chapel

  • Chapel Setting

  • L-r: Srs Patricia, Frances and Marie

  • The Group Together

  • Another view of the group

  • Pilgrims including Sr Sheila Carney

  • Pilgrims

  • Pilgrims including Srs Sheila and Angela

  • Singing with gusto

  • Anna Nicholls rsm reading reflection on Catherine Callaghan

  • View from the gallery

  • Another view from the gallery

  • Close-up from the gallery

  • Sr Phyllis and pilgrims

  • Pilgrims at prayer

  • Pilgrims at prayer

  • Pilgrims at prayer

  • Pilgrims at prayer

  • Mercy wristband

  • Mercy wristband and prayer sheet

  • L-r: Sr St John and Sr Angela

Angela Reed rsm, MIA-MGA Coordinator at the UN, gave this morning's keynote address on the theme of the pilgrimage 'Mercy begins with Me'.

She addressed 6 questions in her talk:
1. What is the experience for Earth and people?
2. Who am I and where do I place myself in this ever evolving world?
3. What tools do I have for advocacy?
4. Whom do I advocate for/with?
5. Who is with me on this justice journey?
6. What action does this justice journey lead me to?

Sr Angela challenged us all to develop in ourselves: a great sense of hope about the future and our world, the skills of critical thinking to navigate our world and a merciful heart as our way to be in the world.

Download Sr Angela's presentation here (9 pps, PDF)

The depth of her presentation which was very well received evoked questions and responses from the pilgrims and left us all with much to reflect upon as the 6 questions (above) indicate.

Following morning tea, pilgrims split into two groups for a workshop focussed on addressing human trafficking. Read more about the work of the Sisters of Mercy in this area here. Denise Boyle fmdm, Team Leader Mercy Global Action facilitated the group in the International Room while John P. (JP) O’ Sullivan, the Research, Network and Communications staff member at MECPATHS (Mercy Efforts for Child Protection Against Trafficking with the Hospitality Sector) facilitated a group in the Doyle room. Read more about MECPATHS work here

Keynote and Workshops on Addressing Human Trafficking

  • Anna Nicholls rsm introducing Angela Reed rsm

  • Angela Reed rsm delivering keynote

  • A full house!

  • Question Time

  • Question time

  • Thanking Sr Angela for her words about the Philippines

  • Denise Boyle fmdm and JP O'Sullivan

  • Denise Boyle fmdm with group

  • JP O'Sullivan and Group


The afternoon was devoted to the Mercy Race around Catherine's Dublin, a creative way for pilgrims to find their way around the city to visit places of importance in Catherine's story. Mixed teams of 4 visited 8 significant sites at each of which they were required to complete an activity under the direction of the chaperones/staff/volunteers who were stationed at each site.

In the crypt under the altar where framed plaque identifies the burial place
Led in prayer by Sr Sheila

At  St Teresa's in Clarendon Street, for example, they were privileged to visit the crypt (see above) where they learned from Sheila Carney rsm why the early Sisters were buried there. The activity was to recall the lives of the 13 early Sisters and be led by Sr Sheila in prayer with and for them.

Gallery: Photos taken by participants the the Mercy Race around Catherine's Dublin,

  • Site 2: Dublin Castle

  • Site 2: Dublin Castle

  • Site 2: Dublin Castle

  • Site 2: Dublin Castle

  • Site 3: Copper Alley

  • Site 3: Copper Alley

  • Site 3: Copper Alley

  • Site 4: Fishamble Street

  • Site 5: Arran Quay

  • Site 5: Arran Quay

  • Site 6: Abbey Street

  • Site 6: Abbey Street

  • Site 6: Abbey Street

  • Site 7: Mary Street

  • Site 8: Pro-Cathedral

  • Site 8: Pro-Cathedral

  • Site 8: Pro-Cathedral

  • Back at Baggot Street

Meeting Catherine McAuley at Stephen's Green

The finishing point for the Mercy Race was Stephen's Green. Pilgrims were surprised and delighted to be greeted by Catherine McAuley aka known as Karen Schneider rsm. Karen was dressed in the habit. Interestingly enough, in the hour or so we were at Stephen's Green, she was approached for conversation and with requests for prayers for ill relatives.

  • Catherine and group at Stephens Green

  • q

  • Catherine and the winning team

  • Catherine and her 'Sisters': Anna, Sheila, Mary

  • Catherine in conversation with a local citizen

  • Gathered around Catherine


 Catherine McAuley, Sr Sheila and the leaders from Carlow

The team that finished the Mercy race first was rewarded with a carriage ride with Catherine McAuley back to Baggot Street

Carriage Ride with Catherine

  • Coach Ride

  • Coach Ride past Stephen's Green Shopping Centre

  • Arrival at Baggot Street

  • Catherine and the winning team

  • Disembarked at Baggot Street

Pilgrims were given dinner vouchers for fish and chips from Beshoffs, the local excellent fish & chip shop, or for Freshii, the local health and wellness brand of nutritiuous food. By choice they returned to MIC for the evening prayer session.

Taize Prayer

An optional Taize Prayer session was held in the Chapel this evening led by our Mercy musicians Srs Patricia, Frances and Marie. This took place around the illuminated Cross in the chapel at 7pm. Some sat on cushions on the floor and others on chairs during the Taize chant. There was an opportunity for intercessory prayers and time to reverence the Cross for any who wished.

  • Catherine's cross was the centrepiece

  • L-r: Srs Patricia, Frances, Marie

  • Pilgrims gathered at prayer

  • View from the gallery

  • The Mercy Window

The Chapel was full and the glorious music and harmonies resounded through the house. The pilgrims left the Chapel in silence.

So ended today.

The programme runs until Friday night. You are invited to follow online the life and energy of these days with our daily updates on the website, on Facebook @mercyinternationalassociation and on Twitter using the hashtags @mercyworldwide and #YML2018.

Messages to: YML Communications Team: Elizabeth McNamee rsm and Anne Walsh