04 October, 2015

One of the stories that has fascinated me from my youth was the story of the Russian Pilgrim, in English, “The Way of a Pilgrim”. It presents our inner journey as a pilgrimage with God, who is made present through constant prayer. The pilgrim has only three things in his bag: the bible, a bread roll and a book with the teachings of some spiritual leaders. 
Looking at our personal life as a pilgrimage, from both an interior and exterior perspective, has a powerful effect on the way we live and relate to one another and to nature. It helps to create in us an attitude of humility, gratitude and dependence on God, who sustains our being and acting from within.
In line with the encyclical letter of Pope Francis, “Laudato Si”, this pilgrimage is not only made with people, but with the whole creation, realizing that we are in communion with God and all that he has created: “We need to strengthen the conviction that  we are one single human family. There are no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalisation of indifference. (LS  52)  In personally addressing the United Nations, our Holy Father appealed to the whole of humanity to act with urgency, not only to establish global peace, but to respect our God-given environment and take strong action to prevent its destruction. 
Father Jeremias Martins

The life of Mercy House can be compared with a swiftly flowing river: always surging forward, always fresh, always new. The items below can show our readers some examples of this. 

On 3rd November 2015 our much-loved Father Jeremias will transfer to Rome, for atleast 6 years, maybe more.  He will be the Assistant to the. Father General of his community.

No one can ever really step adequately into the shoes of a truly great  human being, and this is what Father Jeremias is for us. We have had the privilege of having had Father Jeremias work with us for refugees for around 6 years. Not only is he a holy priest, but a man of great integrity with an amazing nearness to life and so humble and unassuming. Apart from all his commitments to his duty as Provincial, he still managed to find time to do so much for our Mercy work. He even knew all  our refugees by name.  We shall miss our regular Masses at Mercy House with Father Jeremias so much, as also the Recollection Days he prepared for our co-workers with great devotion. 

Above all, Father Jeremias, it is you we will miss and thank you with all our hearts for what you have done for us. We will not forget you and of course keep you in our prayers always. May God bless you in your privileged new task: our loss but Rome's gain. Keep us in your heart

On the evening of Thursday 29th October, we said goodbye to Father Jeremias.
We invited all the refugees and co-workers who have known Father to a Farewell Mass, followed by a supper for all. It was a very special occasion, held at our play centre in the fresh evening air. The darkness around us made it all the more intimate and meaningful. It was a fitting tribute and way to celebrate who Father Jeremias is and what he is to us.
What made it all the more special was, that at the end of the mass, he gave out Comboni rosaries to everyone present, which meant so much to everyone. The photos below were taken on the occasion and also show Father giving out the rosaries.

On 24th September, we welcomed Clare Giuliani, our new volunteer from Italy, who will stay for 3 months. The Mercy House family received her with much love and warmth and within a few hours she had already fitted into our community and is completely at home.  Clare will live at Mercy House, whilst working in the Bienvenue crèche during the day.  The photos show her arriving at the airport and already involved in the work of the crèche.  Clare is like a breath of fresh air and we wish her a joyful and fulfilling stay with us.

On Wednesday, 9th September, we had a visit from a manager and employee from NEDBANK; Manager Mervin Fritz and Thope Khahane. They brought a donation to Mercy House and it was reason to celebrate. Through her efforts Thope got R15 000.00 for Mercy House which is being put towards financing the huge renovations we are busy with at present. We thank Mervin, Thope and Nedbank for their wonderful generosity.  

On the 29th of August we had another enjoyable morning with the Malvern Youth, who provided us with a delicious lunch and gave our children lots of joy. We thank them for their concern and generosity to our Mercy House family

It was with very heavy hearts that we had to say goodbye to Father John Maneschg on 24 May.  He has been associated with our Mercy work since its inception, which means around 20 years, and is one of our most loyal supporters. Father we miss your gentle fatherly warmth and thank you for the example you have set us of true holiness yet nearness to life.  Father John is now a superior at a Comboni House in Italy, our loss but their gain.  Go well Father and thank you.

Two relatively new co-workers, Felicity and David Borland, have been doing wonders in regard to helping our ladies to market their beautiful handcrafts.  Felicity and David organized our first sale after Mass at Edenvale and it proved to be a great success. Then it was Maryvale, then other opportunities presented themselves and more are in the pipeline. This is an enormous help and provides encouragement to our ladies and we thank Felicity and David most sincerely.  See photos of the sale at the Edenvale Catholic Church.

Recollection days for our co-workers have proved to be very valuable and community building.  They are now in fact half days: 1.30 to 5.30 p.m. We thank Father Jeremias who has not only housed us at Comboni House, but who also has gone to great pains to make our recollections really beautiful and meaningful. The photos show some of our attendees.

Thanks to Innocentia, Thope and Blanche, we have continued to give our refugee children extra lessons on Saturday mornings. The photo above shows some of the scholars with the three teachers, whom we thank very much.

These classes continue to be blessed and prosper. The 3rd course of 2015 ended in mid-September and a new Beginners’ course, the 4th of the year, commenced on 21st. 

We welcome two new arrivals at Mercy House, Angelo from Chad and Ivan from Rwanda. We wish them both a grace-filled and joyful stay with us.


We extend our very warm gratitude to Father Paul, Father Andrew and the Mercy House Team at St Richards parish in the UK led by Mrs Judy McGregor, for raising funds for us once again. This parish has helped to keep us alive for around 18 years and we could never thank them enough. They held a mid-year luncheon for us, which has helped towards covering the costs of the extensive and very necessary renovations currently being done at Mercy House.  On Saturday, 27th September, one of our former residents who came to us with her family at the time of the genocide in Rwanda, visited the parish and was able to represent us in thanking everyone there personally for their help.  She was very warmly received

11 April, 2015

Easter celebrates the resurrection.  It is the victory of life over death, grace that overpowers sin, mercy that replaces judgement. It is our Christian celebration par excellence.
The paschal candle for 2015 has been lit.  It stands for the risen Christ who brings light and warmth to the world. Jesus is the new fire, prefigured in the burning bush that appeared to Moses; he is the column of light that marches ahead of the Israelites on their journey through the desert; he is the fire that burns in the hearts of the two disciples of Emmaus. He is the blazing flame that bursts into our darkness and warms our cold nights.

Jesus lives, he defeats death, he blots out our sins and heals our wounds. He is with us until the end of times. He walks with us and precedes us in the most unexpected corners of the world. He meets us in the face of the poor and challenges us in the suffering of the refugees and asylum seekers; he strengthens us when we are discouraged and encloses us in his embrace of love and mercy.  We rejoice and we are glad, because Christ is alive.
Father Jeremias



Holiday Braai Friday 4 December 5.30 p.m.

Picnic at the park Thursday 17 December depart 11.30, a.m.

On 16th December there will be Holy Mass at Mercy House at 10.00 a.m.

For more info please contact:
Diana (072 4374 009)

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Diana Beamish

Eddie Dunia

Diana Gordon Grant

Peter Holding

Judy Dumbutshena

John Faller

Michael Jacobus

Sister Clementine

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To all our benefactors and co-workers, not only in South Africa, but also overseas in the USA and UK, thank you so much for your encouraging loyal support: all this is possible through you. May God reward you in the ways you need it most. Happy New Year.