In 1991, a house in York was needed for four Sisters who were moving there to take up various ministries in the Diocese of Middlesbrough, Sisters Andrea, Anne, Clare and Margaret Mary. The house, situated in the parish of St George, opened on 1 September 1991. Our different apostolates began immediately: teaching in the parish school, co-ordinating the Diocesan RCIA programme, ministering to deaf people, and joining the Chaplaincy team at the local college. Our small house proved rather cramped for four Sisters. So, in 1994, when the Daughters of Charity moved out of their larger house next door, the Mercy community was able to move in.
Over the years, our apostolates have changed, as existing needs were being met by others. Our community has also had some changes, with Sisters moving on, and new members bringing in their own experience and new initiatives. During our time here, our ministries have included Bereavement Counselling, LIFE Pregnancy Care and Counselling, and work with ‘Faith and Light’, Jean Vanier’s movement for those with learning disabilities. In 1995, a second Sister Margaret came to York, where, as a member of the Ecumenical Chaplaincy Team at the York District Hospital, she soon became heavily involved in visitation of the sick. She has also worked in both Saint George’s and Saint Wilfrid’s parishes, on visitation and helping with various parish groups. In 2003, Sister Mary Vincent joined the community, to work in our own parish, as a Eucharistic Minister visiting the sick in their own homes.
We have recently welcomed Sister Michelle to York, bringing our number up to four. Sister is involved in Saint George’s parish, helping to staff the repository and as a reader.
Sister Margaret Mary is working on the Pastoral Care Team at the nearby Multiple Sclerosis Respite Home. She is Leader of the York ‘Faith and Light’ Group and is also one of the Vicars for Religious in the Diocese of Middlesbrough.