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The Task of Mercy: Justice

Editor: 20 February is UN World Day of Social Justice. ‘The pursuit of social justice for all is at the core of our global mission to promote development and human dignity’, says the UN. This aspiration is in keeping with our Christian and Mercy traditions and the obligations and responsibilities we each therefore have to hunger and thirst—and act—for justice.

In her reflection given earlier this month in a Mass of thanksgiving for the 160th anniversary celebrations (5pps, PDF) of the arrival of the Sisters of Mercy in Buffalo, New York (11 February 1858), Margaret Mary Quinlan rsm said: ‘Mercy also impels us to address the causes of poverty.  It draws our attention to the sources of illness like pollution of air and water and the profusion of nuclear waste.  We are anointed and sent to speak the hard truth in defense of the poor and the sick.’

In recalling the founding Sisters in Buffalo, the generations of Sisters, associates, coworkers and contributors in so many ways since and the ongoing call to be mercy, she concluded: ‘Every one of us is called to reach back through our mercy history to listen to the first one who answered the call of the Spirit in our tradition. Catherine McAuley calls us to live deeply the charity that has held us together from the very beginning.  “We must,” she says, “We must clothe ourselves…with mercy, compassion, kindness, humility… and patience, so that it may truly be said, there is in us but one heart and one soul in God…”’

Download the reflection here (PDF)

Messages to: Margaret Mary Quinlan rsm

Image: iStock. Used under licence