Sabbatical for Senior Sisters from New Zealand and overseas

Te Ngākau Waiora Mercy Spirtitualiry Centre is an entity of the Sisters of Mercy Aotearoa New Zealand. The space has meeting rooms for hire for conferences, seminars, meetings and workshops. The Centre is set in quiet, reflective surroundings conducive for contemplation and reflection.This is the sixth year Te Ngākau Waiora Mercy Spirituality Centre has offered a six week Sabbatical for Senior Sisters from New Zealand and overseas.

The theme of the Sabbatical for 2018 (24 January – 10 March) is ‘Joy and Grace in Life –‘Moments’ of Blessings.’


This time will provide opportunities to:

  • live, listen, pray, and celebrate life,
  • enjoy a community experience of enrichment with Sisters from a variety of backgrounds and ministries
  • experience the ‘Joy & Grace in Life.’

Before the programme began the sisters had a couple of days settling into their new surroundings and having a day for orientation and introductions.

The following is an outline of the six weeks:

Week 1         The programme starts with asession facilitated by Cathryn Wiles-Pickard rsm, looking at the gift of years that have brought them to this place and have opportunity to share with and get to know companion travelers on this journey. Laetitia Puthenpadath will share input on Spiritual Companioning and the week finishes with Anne Warren chf exploring  some understandings of the process of transitions in the later years.

Week 2        An introduction to Catholic history in Auckland – visiting Pompallier Diocesan Centre Archives; sharing Eucharist and lunch with the Sisters at St Mary’s Convent; visiting St Patrick’s and St Joseph’s Cathedral where Mary Neven rsm gave a most interesting talk about the early life of the Diocese and also the connections with the Sisters of Mercy. The week continued with reflections on our life’s journey and awareness of God in our lives through the personal experiences and realities of these later years. Presenters were Margi Montagu-Fryer and Sr Cathryn Wiles-Pickard.

Week 3        Retreat facilitated by Anne Warren.

Week 4        A Pilgrimage, following in the footsteps of the pioneer missionaries in Northland of New Zealand. This journey includes visiting Russell and Waitangi Treaty House in the beautiful Bay of Islands, Motuti Marae and Bishop Pompallier Shrine and visits to the Hokianga with its ancient forest and the great kauri tree Tane Mahuta before returning to Auckland.

Week 5        This week begins with a review of the Pilgrimage experience.
Sharon FitzGerald rgs will delight the sisters with a session on Celtic Spirituality.

Teresa Anderson rsm will facilitate two days “At Home in the Community of Life”.

Week 6        In the final week Beate Matthies will speak on ‘Mary, Untier of Knots’ and Mary Barker, ‘Spirituality & Art’.   Anne Warren and Cathryn Wiles-Pickard will then facilitate wind down activities and preparation for the return to community.

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