We move and work with our pain, our frailty, our smallness, our deep faith and step out in confident HOPE to where we are called to be MERCY.

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1 CHAPTER PRAYERS

2 The image of the flame, supported by the powerful sense of HOPE has inspired and enabled the creation of the Chapter Logo, with all its different elements. We move and work with our pain, our frailty, our smallness, our deep faith and step out in confident HOPE to where we are called to be MERCY. 7th GENERAL CHAPTER 2013

3 Lord as we continue to strive to be animated by our Mercy Call, enable each of us to step out in hope, as we prepare for the coming Chapter. Help us to be open to the Holy Spirit and allow him to work within us for the good of the Institute, so that our deliberations will be life giving and grace-filled. Amen 1

4 Father of Mercy, your providence has allowed us to reach a point of crisis in the religious Life. Send your Spirit to guide us in renewed growth along the path of Mercy taught to us by your beloved Son, our Saviour. Inspire us to discern in humility a way forward which reflects the goodness and mercy at the heart of the Trinity. We pray in faith, hope and love. Amen 2

5 Lord, as we prepare for our Chapter, light a beacon of love in the hearts of each one of us, that as we step out in hope a fire may be kindled in the hearts of others. May we be a sign of unity and may your message of unity and hope spread wide across our land. Amen 3

6 Holy Spirit, Renew the hearts of your faithful. Enkindle again the fire of your love. Encircle us with your grace. Let it strengthen each step we take as we seek to know your will for us. In you we trust. In you we hope. We surrender to your will for our Institute. Amen 4

7 Inspire us with your Spirit, as we listen to you in our lives. Open our hearts Lord, as we journey towards our Chapter, united in Faith and love. Fill us with Hope and Courage - to trust in your providence - to trust in your loving care - to trust in hope, for the future of our mercy Institute. May our journey be rooted in the Gospel values. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord Amen 5

8 God of love and Mercy, as we step out in Hope on our journey toward our 7 th General Chapter, we ask for an outpouring of your Holy Spirit on all our deliberations and decisions. We ask Mary, Mother of Mercy and Catherine McAuley to be with us on this journey Fill us with trust in your mercy, and help us to keep the flame of mercy alive in our world. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen 6

9 Holy Spirit, come renew in us courage for our Chapter journey that we may step out in hope towards the future to which you are leading us. Come Holy Spirit fill us anew and guide us. Amen 7

10 Come Holy Spirit Guide us, lead us to the truth. Wherever we go help us to go with your inspirations. Be with us each day in everything we do. Help us move out of shadow. Take away all fear so that we may greet the new with peace and joy. Give us the courage to go forward and engage in life with confidence. We praise and thank you for your goodness. Amen 8

11 God our Father, we place ourselves in your loving providence. We pray that our preparation for our forthcoming Chapter may be thorough, reflective, prayerful, compassionate, just, respectful and hope-filled. We pray that those qualities which Catherine McAuley treasured so much will be our driving force in taking our ministry of Mercy into the future. We pray that we are enabled to meet the needs of our Sisters and your people at all levels of society, locally, nationally and globally. We pray too for reverence and care for all your creation. We ask this in your name, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in union with Jesus. Amen 9

12 O Holy Spirit, we implore you to guide our Sisters meeting in Chapter. Help them to focus on the needs of our people today and to step out with hopeful hearts to make wise decisions for the future. Amen 10

13 God of Mercy, we give thanks for your enduring self-revelation drawing us into your mystery in a spirit of awe and wonder. We pray now for openness to the continuing unfolding of your mysterious being expressed in a future full of hope for all that exists. May we recognise your creative invitation to step out in hope and co-operate in the realisation of the new heaven and new earth. Amen 11

14 God our Father, we rely on your providence and the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we prepare for our General Chapter. Free us from fear and anxiety. Give us the courage to move forward in hope as reflective listening people with hearts free and open to be channels of your love and mercy to your people whose lives are often fragmented and broken. Give us the generosity to respond to the needs of our time following the example of Catherine our Foundress. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen 12

15 God of Mercy, as we step out in hope make our footsteps sure and our striving steadfast. Help us at this time of uncertainty to be strong and to try new things, trusting in your deep concern for each one of us. Help us to grow into people you want us to be merciful women serving your poorest and best beloved. Amen 13

16 Lord, in this shared time we offer ourselves to each other. We offer our understandings and insights - not to dominate or over throw one another but that we ourselves might be challenged and changed. We offer our skills and talent not because of pride in our abilities but in joyful recognition and sharing of your overflowing bounty. And as we celebrate and offer our common humanity, the very flesh and fabric of our lives, may you, the Incarnate one, be once again embodied here in our individuality and our community. Amen 14

17 STEP OUT IN HOPE- In the footsteps of Catherine, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit go forth into a New Resurrection of Mercy. Amen 15

18 Heavenly Father, your love for us knows no bounds and your goodness knows no end. As we prepare for our Chapter, we humbly ask you to pour out your spirit on each and all of us. As the Olympic flames were lit by the torch, so may your gifts of Faith and Hope be rekindled in us. Strengthened by your love and renewed by your grace, we step out in hope, as we pray that this chapter will plant many seeds and bear much fruit through Christ our Lord Amen 16

19 Lord, we know that the three virtues of Faith, Hope and Love endure and the greatest of these is love. Bless our love for you and for one another. Bless us with all the gifts of heaven, as we step out with hope and courage to prepare for our Chapter. Through Christ our Lord Amen 17

20 We ask for God s blessing on our Chapter and on our preparation for it. May the Holy Spirit guide and give us the courage to step out in hope and take risks, so that we can transform our world and empower those around us. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord Amen 18

21 God of joyful hope and faithful love you call us as Sisters of Mercy to share more fully in the mission of your Son. Inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit may we spread your Kingdom in our present time and be true witnesses as followers of Jesus. Amen 19

22 Lord, give us the grace and the courage to face the future with confidence. May we trust you in all circumstances and be ready to play our part in building up God s kingdom amongst those with whom we come in contact in our local area. Lord increase our faith. Our Lady of Mercy pray for us. Catherine McAuley be our inspiration. Amen 20

23 Heavenly Father, you are a God of Love and tenderness. We step out in Hope. Confirm us in that Hope. As we gather we ask you to keep your promise- I will give you a future full of Hope We believe in you, we love you, we hope in you. Amen 21

24 God of Mercy, Spirit of Wisdom we praise and thank you for your life in us and for your love which is our source of unity. As we prepare for our General Chapter, we humbly ask you to pour out your Spirit of discernment over our Institute, so that we may hear and act upon Your call to act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with you, with your people and with all creation. We make this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen 22

25 Our hope is all in you Lord God. Fill our emptiness with seeds of new life. Jesus meek and humble of heart move our hearts to live and move in you and for you and, thus empowered may we become beacons of hope in our Institute and in the Church through the power of your Holy Spirit as we journey in mercy and hope towards our heavenly home. This we ask through the power of your Holy Spirit and in the name of Catherine McAuley. Amen 23

26 God of Mercy pour out your Spirit upon the Institute of Our Lady of Mercy as we prepare for our next Chapter. Holy Spirit inflame our hearts, enliven our hope and open our minds so that we may discern together the way forward. Animated by Catherine McAuley s passion to serve your suffering people, may we have the courage to step out in hope and minister with compassionate hearts to the marginalised. We ask this through Christ our Lord Amen 24

27 O God, source of all goodness and light send us your Holy Spirit to help us prepare for our General Chapter. May your Son, our Risen Jesus, be our life and our hope as we try to spread your mercy to all men and women of our day, especially to those in most need as did Catherine McAuley after the example of your Mother Mary. May they help us to give thanks for the beauty of your creation and for the kindness of your Creation and the kindness of your people. Amen 25

28 Lord, our God We thank you for your constant presence in our changing world. Lead us in Hope in our General Chapter, in the decisions which affect our lives and the lives of those we serve. Amen 26

29 Holy Spirit, empty us of all that is not of you. Guide us in our Chapter preparations and decisions. Amen 27

30 Lord, as we prepare for our Chapter, help us to step out in Hope bringing Mercy to all by embracing the social dimensions of the Gospel. Guide us in Catherine s footsteps in taking up the challenge of making personal, corporal and corporate choices to live out a preferential love of the economically disadvantaged. Enable us to live a simple life style and develop a critical attitude towards socio-economic policies. Help us to reverence the earth and its fragility, and to trust our provident God to be with us as we discern in Hope, our Mercy journey. Amen 28

31 God of Hope and Promise, help our strivings to be an Institute of Promise, searching for a strong, clear and positive vision of our future. Keep Hope alive in our hearts by appreciating moments of Beauty, Truth and Gospel Values. Teach us to step out in hope together as we trust in a God of promises. We can remind our world about the gift of the God of Hope, in spite of war, sickness and poverty. Help us to take one step at a time and tread softly on Mother Earth, knowing we are walking on Holy ground. May our Chapter be a rainbow of Hope-filled Sisters searching out and reverencing each step of our Mercy journey. Amen 29

32 As we prepare for the Chapter, we entrust the whole process to the Father who created us and who called us to follow Him. We ask Him to empower us to respond creatively to whatever He calls us to do and be. We call on God the Son who became human as we are and showed us how to live and relate in a God like way as we proclaim His Gospel. Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us we ask for all the gifts of the Spirit to enable us to be open to a new way of being mercy for our world. May we move forward in hope and generosity, as Catherine McAuley did, prepared to make sacrifices for the spread of the gospel. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord Amen. 30

33 Father of all mercies, we sisters of mercy step out in hope as we plan our future in our forthcoming Chapter and humbly ask for your help and guidance. We know we are called not to step out of this world but to be out of step with false values. Our vow of poverty means standing for and with the poor, to conserve and share the gifts you have given us and to act with justice. Our vow of chastity is a vow to love tenderly, with compassion and mercy. Our vow of obedience flies in the face of self-centeredness and our vow of service to those in need is as essential today as in the days of our Foundress. Be with us God of Mercy and Compassion as we plan for the future and search for ways of serving your people. Help us to step out in hope and follow the advice given Step out into the darkness And put your hand into the hand of God. That will be to you better than a light and safer than a known way. Father of mercies we place all our trust in you. Amen 31

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