Catherine McAuley

Founder of Sisters of Mercy 1778-1841


Loving God, You chose Catherine McAuley for the service of your people who are poor, sick and uneducated. You inspired her to found the Sisters of Mercy so that these good works might endure. Give to each of us a portion of her compassionate spirit and an ardent desire to serve your suffering people.

Bless all our undertakings and grant that union and charity may always thrive among us.

Graciously, hear our prayer for Catherine and by granting the favors we ask through her intercession, hasten the day when her sanctity will be celebrated by all the Church. Amen.

Serving in the Spirit of Patience, Understanding and Forgiveness

by Naomi Borg

Sr Angela

The Fourth Archdiocesan Catechetical-Liturgical Conference held on Saturday, Sept. 6 comprised a variety of activities and workshops for catechists, liturgists, and lay Catholics. Among the items on the agenda was a break-out session where participants could choose among 13 workshops. Each of the workshops concentrated on a certain aspect of forgiveness, which was the focus of the conference.

Sr. Angela Perez RSM led a workshop titled “Serving in the Spirit of Patience, Understanding and Forgiveness.” She focused her presentation on what it means to be forgiven and to forgive. Sr. Angela is currently a vocation director of the Sisters of Mercy and works in the Mission Advancement Office at Santa Barbara Catholic School in Dededo. She also serves as a volunteer at the Department of Corrections, and is involved in helping the poor and marginalized.

Sr. Angela founded her session in the context of prayer. She explained through her own experience how patience, understanding, and forgiveness come hand-in-hand with service.

She expounded that the fruit of forgiveness — which requires both patience and understanding — is an overflow of love. Having received love through forgiveness, we return this love through service, she said.  Participants were invited to reflect on their own experiences of forgiveness and how it helped them to serve in a spirit of patience, understanding, and forgiveness.

Prayer through music and scripture played a significant role in her workshop. The session began with the hymn, “Open my Eyes Lord,” by Jesse Manibusan. All were encouraged to ask the Lord for help so that they could carry out their services with this spirit of forgiveness.

Sr. Angela emphasized the importance of the Word, explaining how it is through scripture that we get to know Jesus Christ. Meditating on last Sunday’s Gospel (Mt18: 15-20) Sr. Angela focused on the quote, “…and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or tax collector.” Calling to mind the compassion and mercy with which Christ dealt with the Gentiles, Sr. Angela explained that we, too, must do the same with our transgressors.

She also spoke on the seriousness of forgiveness. She explained how Christ gave his life for the forgiveness of our sins, stating that forgiveness is “not cheap.” A second reflection on the “Parable of the Unforgiving Servant” (Mt 18:21-35) centered on the message that forgiveness is not only important to the forgiven but also, in a very strong sense, to the person who forgives.

Concentrating on some of the essentials of forgiveness, Sr. Angela spoke on the need for fraternal correction, the importance of prayer, and our own need to be forgiven. She defined fraternal correction not as an act of aggression but as one of compassion.

Communication is important in the process of forgiveness, it helps form communion and healing, she said. The importance of prayer, which was a key message of the session, helps us move from the desire to forgive to a change of heart, conversion, she said.

Sr. Angela explained that forgiving begins with making a conscience decision in one’s own mind that with patience may move to the heart.  Sr. Angela stressed that we are in need of constant forgiveness. Forgiveness is not realized through a sudden epiphany, but is a process that requires patience, she said. It is not something we can accomplish overnight, and surely it is something that we can only rely on Jesus Christ to truly manifest in our lives, she added.

1 comment to Serving in the Spirit of Patience, Understanding and Forgiveness

  • Congratulations! Sorry I was not able to attend your session. I know you did a superb job. It was wonderful that three of our Mercy Sisters were presenters at the Catechetical Conference. Horray for Mercy! Keep spreading the good news.

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