Involvement in social justice had always been a central part of the ministry of the Sisters of Mercy. However, in our changing times and through Congregational Chapter discussions and statements it was becoming apparent that a more integrated vision of ecology and justice for the care of all God’s creation, both human and nonhuman, on planet Earth was evolving. In 2003 the Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice was established.
The Mission of MCEJ is rooted in the ongoing story of creation and in the mandate of the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy. The Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice provides education, inspiration, leadership and advocacy in the ecological and justice issues facing our world in the 21st Century.
- The focus of ecology and justice embraces the interconnectedness and interrelatedness of God, self, others and Earth.
- The mission of MCEJ is grounded in the Gospel values of justice and equality.
- The mandate is guided by relevant justice and ecology resources (i.e. Social Teachings of the Catholic Church and the Earth Charter).
- Collaboration with international, national and local networks is central to our work.
- The involvement of youth is essential in the work of ecology and justice.
In its beginning years, the Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice operated its office and work space out of different Mercy locations in St. John’s, NL.
From its establishment a vegetable garden was deemed to be an essential component of the Centre. Though suitable growing space was not available at any of the earlier locations the Centre was generously supported by local farmers who each year donated a large portion of their farmland.
An important milestone in this ministry of ecology and justice was the official opening and blessing of the permanent site for this work in Pippy Park on Mount Scio Road, St. John’s on September 12, 2010.
From its inception, the MCEJ was supported by a coordinator with a committee until 2011 when the Leadership Team of the Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland appointed a Board of Directors with the coordinator acting as ex-officio member.
The current Board of Directors includes:
- Annette Mallay
- Rev. Dale Careen
- Dan Rubin
- Daniel Griffin
- Sarah Carew
- Diane Smyth, RSM, Chairperson
The logo for the Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice, portraying the dream of the mission and mandate of MCEJ, consists of an image of planet Earth as viewed from space, without borders or boundaries, depicting the interconnectedness and interrelatedness of all creation. This image of the oneness of all creation which first touched and inspired astronauts in outer space with such power that some reported it changed their deepest feelings and attitudes now inspires and motivates us in our work for ecology and justice. The Mercy Cross with its rays of energy encompassing the planet speaks to us of the oneness envisioned by Catherine McAuley as she went about bridging gaps – connecting the rich with the poor. In today’s world there is little doubt that Catherine’s vision would be extended to cosmic justice – connecting the oneness of all creation both human and other than human in an evolving community of life with the struggle for a more just social order for all.
“Give us new eyes to see how we are all connected – people, animals, plants and the earth itself.”