Tena koutou katoa.
Nga mihi nui atawhai.
Whanau Mercy – the future of Mercy is a framework that the Sisters of Mercy are developing for the way Mercy ministries could look like in Aoteaora New Zealand in the future as a way of organising and ‘being’ that is sustainable in our local context and grounded in whakapapa Mercy.
In a recent publication by Richard Kerr-Bell on Whanau Mercy, he explores a wider understanding of the term ‘whanau’, beyond a blood link. He explains that whanau can also be used to describe a group of people who spend time together for a purpose or who share an identity due to cause or shared work/focus.
To be whanau is to belong, to know you belong and to belong in a particular way. It provides an identity and a set of symbols, stories and whakapapa, and beliefs one can stand tall with, be proud of and be confident in. Whatever the weather or circumstance, you know you can count unequivocally on this support and expect it. This is tautoko – the support offered and provided because you belong to the whanau, you are the whanau.
The strength of Mercy is whanau, Our strength is in acting as one family with a unity of purpose, collective prayerful action and unwavering in why we choose to be Mercy.
Atawhai mai, atawhai atu – Mercy received, Mercy shared.