by MARIETTE POORTMAN
The Sisters of Mercy were farewelled from Atawhai Assisi Home and Hospital in Hamilton with a eucharistic celebration of thanksgiving held the facility’s chapel on August 31.
Hamilton Bishop Stephen Lowe, Father Patrick Keane and Father Danny Fraser-Jones celebrated the Mass.
In his homily, Bishop Lowe thanked the sisters for their gentleness and graciousness, saying that their presence has been an authentic witness as they prayerfully assisted the sick and dying at their time of need.
A large group of Mercy Sisters, together with staff and friends of Atawhai Assisi, were also present to thank Sisters Jocelyn Wilson and Paulinus Karl, who have offered pastoral care to the residents, families and staff for the past 21 years.
Earlier, the Mercy Sisters decided to pull out of the home, with which they had been involved for the past 26 years. The Franciscans began this work in 1974, and the home is now owned by a trust.
As the final hymn stated beautifully, ”in mercy, we touch the hearts of those who are in misery. In mercy, we’re touched by them and feel their strength and courage. In mercy, we heal the pain of those who are in sorrow. In mercy, we’re healed by them and see the face of hope”.
A widespread sentiment was one of thanks to Sisters Jocelyn and Paulinus for walking with people and their loved ones over the years. They gave people strength and courage when it was needed. Many will be forever grateful for the precious journeys that have been shared. The gift of the Mercy Cross is received with much gratitude too. This will be treasured, and the sisters will be remembered in the prayers of many.