The Canvey Island Mercy Associates was founded by Sr Agnes Gleeson and myself (Valerie Ham) at Our Lady of Canvey and the English Martyrs, Canvey Island where I made my commitment on 12th December 2000 with two other ladies who left the group soon after.
Other members followed
Avril Bowden Oct 2004 Baggott St, Dublin
David Ham May 2004 Frinton
Phyllis Johnstone May 2004 Frinton
Cathy Lockwood July 2010 St Johns Wood
Anne Poole 2016 Baggott St, Dublin
We meet monthly at Val and Dave's Home, after the meeting we always finished with "a nice cup of tea". Sadly, our January meeting will be the final one.
Over the 18 years the group has financially supported the "Women of Peru" since 6th November 2006. So far we have sent £3899.31 (more to follow after our final meeting on 21st January 2019) - first via Sr. Sue Morrison and then via Sr. Agnes Prior and now Father Jonathan Hart, Leeds Diocese Peru Commission.
We raised this money by having coffee mornings, charity Indian curry nights, we have sold Peru Crafts since 21st November 2010 sending our cheques for Peru Cupboard to Shelia Davy totalling £1,385.
We have also financially helped:
Woman at the Well, London.
Project KAVU KAVU health centre Zambia.
Aid to the Church in Need.
St Columbus Missionary Society
Father James Mackay Garden Project (Canvey Island)
Father Eammon Power Grotto Project (Canvey Island)
Our Lady of Canvey and the English Martyrs Church
Our Mercy Associates group has also been active in our Parish as Eucharistic Ministers, Altar servers and running stalls for the parish bazaar, choir, volunteering in the Parish office and organising Annual Parish Pilgrimage to Aylesford . We have also given talks to the congregation after Mass about Mercy Associates and about the work of the Sister of Mercy in Peru and the "Women of Peru". We have been active giving talks about Catherine Macaulay and her life and work with the women in Dublin.
As a group we have made Pilgrimages/Retreats to Mercy International Baggot Street, Rome, Knock, Lourdes, Fatima, Walsingham and yearly to Aylesford for our Parish Pilgrimage .We did a retreat with Sr Bridie and Sr Betty at Newcastle upon Tyne and visited Handsworth with Sr Agnes Gleeson.
We have visited Bermondsey (the 1st Convent of Mercy in England ) twice and several times to St John's Wood for regional days.
We also held our own Retreat for Mercy Associate groups at Our Lady of Canvey Church, where we honoured Sr Agnes Gleeson. Fr. James Mackay blessed a bench which we donated and now sits in the Grotto in front of church.
We are all sad that we are now closing the group but we are all in our seventies and one member has family commitments, another member was recently widowed and all are slowing down now so we feel this is the right time to do it.
Our last meeting will be on 21st January 2019, please pray for us.
WE HAVE ALL BEEN VERY PROUD TO BE MERCY ASSOCIATES AND WILL ALWAYS BE MERCY ASSOCIATES BUT NOW RETIRED
Article kindly provided by Valerie Ham
on behalf of CANVEY ISLAND MERCY ASSOCIATES