Some sisters did not like the word 'reconfiguring'. They thought it was too vague or lacked religious meaning or
that it belonged to the corporate world of restructuring, downsizing, redundancies, and so on. However, the
chapter, and subsequently the leaders charged with implementing the chapter's decisions, intended it as a disinterested reference to a new movement towards a more life-giving way of being in communion with each other for the sake of the Mercy mission.


Between 2005 and 2010 there were six major consultations. All sisters were encouraged to participate in these, as well as in processes in their home groups which demanded deep discernment and included the canonical requirements of formal voting.

Gathering at the Waters, Tweed Heads, August 2006; Reconfiguring logo; and Institute Leadership Team 2011, Sr. Caroline Ryan (Vice President), Sr. Nerida Tinkler (President), and Sr. Karon Donnellon (Councillor) with documents from Rome. i i i
Sixth National Chapter manual for delegates i

Sixth Institute Chapter, 2010

By the time of the Sixth Institute Chapter in September 2010, 15 of the Institute's members had decided to reconfigure themselves into one congregation. These groups were the Congregations of Adelaide, Ballarat East, Bathurst, Cairns, Goulburn, Grafton, Gunnedah, Melbourne, Perth, Rockhampton, Singleton, Townsville, West Perth, Wilcannia-Forbes and the Autonomous Region of Papua New Guinea

Approval From Rome

Early in 2011, the Institute and the 15 groups, each having obtained the required voting results at its own chapter, petitioned the Holy See for permission to be dissolved in order to form one new congregation.
The decrees of approval were issued in July for implementation at the commencement of the
congregation's first chapter on December 12, 2011, the 180th anniversary of the founding of the Order of Mercy by Venerable Catherine McAuley in Dublin.
The new congregation is known as Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Four Autonomous Congregations

So, for the present, the former Institute has reconfigured into four autonomous congregations. These are the Sisters of Mercy, Brisbane, Sisters of Mercy, North Sydney and Sisters of Mercy, Parramatta which chose during the reconfiguring years to retain their independence, and the new Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea.

These four groups continue to be united with each other through the enduring inspiration of Catherine McAuley, their shared history in Australia, their collaboration in works of mercy, the theological section of their
constitutions and many strong friendships among the sisters.

"When I think we are done, We seem to be beginning again"
– Catherine McAuley