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.
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 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.