Find More Mercy Projects

Cosmology & Eco Justice

Spread the word

Mercy Global Action Aotearoa New Zealand report for June 2017

June 11, 2017

Sustainable Development Goals:
The year began for Nga Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa Sisters of Mercy New Zealand and their partners in ministry with a focus on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The goals were the focus of the year’s first issue of Imaging Mercy Today, a monthly reflection developed for the management and staff of Mercy’s ministries in New Zealand. The February issue described sustainable development for all as “Mercy’s hope for the year ahead”, and noted that Mercy Global Action had identified eight of the 17 SDGs as ‘most relevant to the mission of the Sisters of Mercy.’

Each of these eight goals will feature in forthcoming issue of Imaging Mercy Today, inviting all those involved in Mercy ministries to reflect on the issue and identify ways of connecting with and pursuing it.

The April issue of the reflection featured Mercy’s voice of advocacy at the United Nations and included as a highlight SDG6 - access to clean water as a basic human right. In the two following months, the focus has been on SDG 1 - ending poverty for all (May issue), and SDG2 - zero hunger (June issue).

Resources produced by Mercy2Earth were incorporated in two fliers circulated among the ministries of Mercy Aotearoa. The first of these promoted a fast day for climate change, with a quotation from Pope Francis, noting that ‘water is the most essential element for life.’ The second drew attention to the linkage this year between Earth Day (April 22) and Divine Mercy Sunday (April 23). The flier offered a choice of short rituals, tied either to purchasing Fair-trade chocolates at Easter, or to planting a tree as a way of reducing carbon emissions.

MIRP final report:
Some 30 separate groups throughout New Zealand and the Pacific participated in the year-long international reflection process held throughout the Mercy world during the Extraordinary Year of Mercy.

Within the first broad category of ‘displaced persons’, three groups focussed on refugees and asylum seekers, five on homelessness, two on poverty and one on domestic violence. In the second broad category, ‘degradation of Earth’, six groups considered ‘environmental devastation’, two looked at issues relating to water, six focussed on sustainable living and five on garbage and pollution.

The Congregation will continue this year to analyse these responses and to discern programmes of action which Sisters and partners in ministry may wish to pursue.

Maori and Mercy linked by spirituality:
A conference held in Auckland at the end of May and attended by more than 70 Sisters of Mercy and partners in ministry looked at the links between Maori and Mercy culture and values. One keynote speaker, the first Maori to serve as a high court judge in New Zealand, noted that Maori were first attracted to Christianity because its spirituality addressed the whole of life. Key points in his presentation are summarised in the latest issue of Imaging Mercy Today, June 2017.

MGA Think Tank:
With the return of Bridget Crisp rsm from a year-long sabbatical which included an internship of almost five month at Mercy Global Action at the UN headquarters in New York, the Congregation Leader has invited a small group of Sisters and the writer of this report to join her in a think tank to reflect on how Mercy Global Action and its programmes might be explored with greater cohesion and unity of purpose.

Compiled by Dennis Horton, Mercy Ministries mission team