The air was filled with excitement and gratitude as Sisters of Mercy, family, friends and colleagues gathered on Sunday October 9th in Mercy International Centre, Baggot Street, Dublin, to celebrate the Perpetual Profession ceremony of Máire Hearty. From the first strains of the opening hymn, it was abundantly clear that the presence of the Lord was indeed moving in that place.
Sr. Brenda Dolphin, Provincial Leader of the South-Central Province, extended a Céad Míle Fáilte to all, thanking everyone who had journeyed alongside Máire to this day. Welcoming Máire, she acknowledged the ‘…voyage of discovery of a Love so deep and strong it can never be denied’ and this Love having drawn her to this day. It was the day on which she was to give public expression to her willingness to respond wholeheartedly to the One who in the words of Psalm 45 had ‘greatly desired’ her soul. Fr. Seán Cunningham from Tuam, Co Galway presided over the liturgy, and he was joined by Deacon Br. Giacomo. Fr. Sean spoke of how all of the experiences of Maire’s life and each of those who had been part of it have had a role in her vocation to the Mercy way of life.
A reverent hush descended as Máire lay prostrate before the altar as the Litany was sung calling on the Heavenly hosts to intercede on her behalf. The emotion and joy was palpable as Sr. Marie Louise White accepted Máire’s vows on behalf of the Congregation. Each Sister in the Chapel, sang to affirm this special moment.
In word of encouragement, Sr. Marie Louise, Congregational Leader spoke of first meeting Máire and of her infectious enthusiasm on encountering the Sisters of Mercy, having it seemed come upon ‘the pearl of great price’ she had been searching for. She acknowledged the courageous and prophetic nature of Máire’s gift of her life at this time, a step that only love could take. She encouraged Máire on this most significant day ‘…to live her life to the full, making God’s mercy visible and tangible in this time and in this culture.’