Creation of Mercy Partners
Mercy Partners officially came into being on 14 November 2008 when it was approved by the Holy See as a legal entity within the Catholic Church.
How it came about
In 2005, the leaders of the four Queensland congregations of the Sisters of Mercy — Sister Sandra Lupi, leader of the Brisbane Congregation; Sister Moira Truelson, leader of the Rockhampton Congregation; Sister Helen Mary Peters, leader of the Townsville Congregation; and Sister Faye Kelly, leader of the Cairns Congregation — began meeting with each other to discuss the long-term future of their ministries.
A discernible drop in vocations within each of the congregations had made them face the fact that, in time, it might not be possible for the sisters to continue as effective sponsors for institutional ministries. (In canon law, to sponsor a ministry means ensuring that ministries maintain their Catholic identity and ensuring that the properties and resources belonging to the Church are properly administered.) At the same time, the sisters were heartened by the response of lay people to the Vatican II call to take on greater leadership and responsibility within Catholic ministries.
In 2006, the sisters wrote A Statement of Vision and Intent in which they made a formal commitment to collaborate in the matter of future sponsorship. Their hope was 'to see our ministries ... flourish in the name of Jesus and remain true to the vision of Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy who founded and developed them'.
The sisters did not restrict their vision just to their own congregations. They envisioned a structure flexible enough to include other religious congregations with similar vision and purpose.
In November 2008, Mercy Partners was approved by the Holy See as a public juridic person, giving it legal status within the Catholic Church.