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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 554  |  26 February 2014
Featured Story

Editor: Stories paint a vision, share a lesson, capture an insight, give shape to experience, hold memory, supply a guidepost, forge a connection and unify us.

On Saturday, 22 February at a Conference Centre in the city of Ballarat, in the south east of Australia, Mary Waskowiak rsm told stories out of our shared Christian and Mercy traditions (biblical and theological foundations of fundraising; mercy in action) and her own human experience that focussed our attention, recalled our history, gave voice to the 'invisible ones' and invited us to take action on their behalf.

Sr Mary, Director of Fundraising-Development at MIA, a former president of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and of LCWR, is speaking to Mercy Sisters, as well as to members of other Congregations, during her month-long visit to Australia, co-sponsored by CLRI (NSW) and ISMAPNG

Messages to: Mary Waskowiak rsm


Image: l-r: Mary Waskowiak rsm (Americas) and Ursula Gilbert rsm (ISMAPNG) at the Ballarat Mercy gathering. In 1994, at the opening of Mercy International Centre, Sr Mary, then Chairperson of Mercy International Association, commissioned the First MIC Team of which Sr Ursula was a member. The title of the above article 'The shortest distance between two people is a story' is a quote from Terrence Gargiulo (2007). Photo: Anne Walsh.

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Vision in Action

‘This is our beginning this is our sacred ground. Gathered together, we have come home’. Susanne Toolan rsm

The refurbished building which had originally been built and opened in 1827 by Catherine McAuley was formally handed over by the architects, builders and other workers to the care of Mercy International Association on 31, March, 1994.  Mercedes McCarthy rsm (GB Institute) Archivist had been working since February on preparing the Heritage display and organising the Archives. Josephine Grey rsm (Irl.) and Ursula Gilbert (ISMA) arrived to assist with the preparations and to help with the increasing number of visitors arriving at MIC.

Between April and the official opening in July, 680 had signed the Visitor’ Book and this was less than half of those who had actually come!

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Article includes image gallery of the blessing and opening (part 1,19 images)

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In the two years of considering the co-sponsorship of Baggot St, members of the Steering Committee grew to appreciate this forum as a means of Mercy discovering itself in a global context, with potential for multiple fruitful linkages across the world.

This forum also provided an experience of mutuality, wherein large and small groups sat as equals with a single vote per country (national conference) regardless of the size of the membership. Mutual influence from the perspective of each of the countries and cultures represented was the desired norm, rather than control exercised in proportion to size and/or financial contribution...

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Article includes image gallery of the blessing and opening (part 2, 16 images)

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The spirituality of fundraising assumes relationship: relationship with the Holy One, the Beloved, and with one another. 

Catherine McAuley was a woman of relationship. She knew the ups and downs of relationships, the struggles and joys.  What a statement she made when asked about the founding of the Order:  'It began with two, Mary Anne Doyle and I.'  No new foundation was started by one. Catherine sent her Sisters in small groups, so that the Works of Mercy could be accomplished.  More importantly, she wanted the people to see the Sisters in relationship, to invite them to be present at a Sister’s Profession of Vows. More women joined the fledgling community, inspired and motivated by what they saw...

Messages to: Mary Waskowiak rsm - Director of Development-Fundraising

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Watering the Roots at the Wellsprings of Mercy

For the fourth consecutive year Mercy International Association is offering a month-long renewal programme for vowed Mercy women who are seeking refreshment and renewal. It offers participants the opportunity to take time out in an atmosphere of warmth, hospitality, and internationality in order to discern more clearly the invitation of the Spirit in how to live out the mission of Mercy in our church and world.

This year's presenters are: Helena O'Donoghue (The Congregation), Elizabeth Dowling rsm (ISMAPNG), Sheila Carney rsm (Americas), Avis Clendenen (Mercy Associate, Americas). Facilitator is Clare Vaughan rsm (ANZ)

Participants in the month long programme have the opportunity to live in or to be non-residential. If undertaking two weeks of the programme then participants are non-residential.

Download the flyer for Wellspring (PDF)
Book online to reserve your place.

Messages to: Mary Kay Dobrovolny rsm - Assistant Director Heritage & Spirituality

Editor: Since 2010 when the MIA team first offered the 6 week Lenten Luncheon series 'Soup and Substance', attendees have been able to enjoy a simple lunch fare while learning about current injustices of our global society and exploring ways of responding that promote a more just and peace-filled world. For those unable to attend these sessions in person, the informative reports published in Mercy E-news have provided insight and opportunity for reflection.

Beginning in 2013 this series is offered each Wednesday in Lent under the banner of the Inter-congregational Religious on Eco-Justice in Ireland on the themes of Cosmology/Eco Justice & Human Trafficking which are the two issues which MGA addresses globally.

Learn more about the presenters and programme for 5 March.

Download the flyer here (PDF)

Messages to: Mary Purcell - Assistant Director Mercy Global Action

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Oxfam International has released a critical briefing paper

The statistics are staggering:

  • Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population. 
  • The wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion
  • The bottom half of the world’s population- 3.6 billion people-  own the same as the richest 85 people in the world 

The reality is grossly unjust.

Mercy Global Action is needed.

The report in English and in Spanish is linked to this item.

Messages to: Aine O’Connor - Mercy Global Action Coordinator at the UN

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MIA Intention for the Coming Week

MIA invites prayers for the safety and security of the peoples of the countries where there is tension, internal conflict and violence.

While we can name the Ukraine, Thailand, Iraq and the Central African Republic (CAR), as centres of unrest, because of news reports we receive on our screens, we are aware that in other parts of our connected world there is division.

We echo the words of Fr Aurelio Gazzera, Director of Caritas in Bouar Diocese, CAR, who is reported this week as having said, 'For a peaceful future, the people must realise that one injustice cannot wipe out another, and that we should not rejoice over the sufferings of others.'

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

As a Mercy community we pray with those in need of prayer. We pray this week with the intercession of Catherine McAuley for all whose have previously asked us for prayers.

Messages to:
Anne Hannon rsm - Vice postulator Europe and Africa
Sheila Carney rsm - Vice postulator Americas
Caroline Ryan rsm - Vice postulator Australia & PNG, Aotearoa New Zealand, Philippines

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Some Key lines from the World Mercy Centre Story-

'The very first day that I came to the house here, I felt this house doesn’t belong to us at all It belongs to all the Sisters all over the world. Every one of them should have admission to the house, a key to come and go as they please.’

-Sr. Victoire, Superior of Baggot St ,1989

‘How could we expect our lay colleagues to carry the mission forward, when we were letting the very source of inspiration for Mercy mission and formation in the charism deteriorate?

-Mr. Bob Laverty (CEO of Detroit Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan wrote to Sr.M.Concilia Moran (VP for Sponsorship of the Sisters of Mercy Health Corporation)

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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Have we heard your Mercy story? Have we viewed your Mercy story? Have we told your Mercy story?
Send us your news and help build the global Mercy community online.

We welcome contributions for publishing in the following areas

  • Mercy news items of general or broad Mercy interest
  • details of resources on, by or about Sisters of Mercy, Associates or Partners in Ministry which convey the spirit of Mercy and the charism of Catherine McAuley
  • Mercy weblinks
  • Mercy events, ideas, actions, connections, opportunities
  • reflections on Mercy
  • Mercy quotes

Messages to: the Editor

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MIA Members News

For the third time, the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) has awarded Mercy a $382,748 grant which will ultimately provide greater access to health care in some of Mercy’s most rural communities in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

'Almost half of the communities Mercy serves in our four-state geographic footprint are in some of the most remote rural areas,' said Dr. Tim Smith, vice president of Mercy Research. 'These residents don’t have access to the level of care found in larger cities, and in some of these communities, they have no medical care. This grant will allow us to hardwire school districts, medical clinics and one community hospital with telemedicine technology so we can provide round-the-clock emergency coverage, access to hundreds of Mercy medical specialists and even greater access to primary care.'

Messages to: Nancy Corbett - Director of Newsmaking

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Waiatarua Mercy Parklands Auckland, the Ellerslie-based aged-care facility, has been named as a Centre of Excellence for Spark of Life, the specialised programme it has introduced over the past five years for its 97 residents, most of them requiring hospital care.

A plaque confirming the status, a world-first, was presented at a ceremony on Friday 14 February by Australian Jane Verity, the founder of Spark of Life and currently CEO of Dementia Care Australia.

Messages to: Ann Coughlan- CEO

Editor: Mercy Parklands is this week's featured Mercy website

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Mercy Matters

'Misericordia is taking the misery of another to one’s heart. In learning to be mercy, one lives in the way of compassion. We can find the way to live deep mercy and compassion from the parable of the Prodigal Son. (Lk.15:11-32)...'

Grace Leggio Agate rsm
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
Mid-Atlantic Community

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...This one's for you. The 30th anniversary movie directed by Jake Scott, son of Ridley, who made the 1984 Superbowl TV ad that introduced the Macintosh on 24 January, 1984. This movie was professionally scripted and lit, then professionally shot and edited using a number of iphone5s.

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Mercy Parklands is committed to providing a Mercy Model of Care that is holistic, encompasses and reflects our Mercy values, and enables each person to live the Mercy vision.

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'We are challenged to link with one another...so that the broken heart of mercy can enter more deeply into us and embrace God's beloved poor.

Kath Burke (ISMAPNG)

Source: Mercy Through the Years Calendar

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No event of particular significance is recorded in the Mercy Through the Years Calendar as having taken place on 26 February. We know, however, that the Works of Mercy continued to be carried out and so we remember on this day Catherine and all our Sisters, Associates and Co-workers who have given their lives in service to others.

We invite contributions for this date to be be added to the mercyworld.org online calendar.

Submit your dates online here

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There is a Girl Out There Who Needs You (new resource)

This latest publication from The Partnership for Global Justice deals with the situations that put girls at risk, including childhood marriage and lack of education

Cost is US$3 or €2

Download the flyer here (PDF)

Inquiries/purchases: Deirdre Mullan rsm

Further Resources

Worth Remembering:

Don't forget! Orders for LCWR's reflective print resource ' Praying in These Emergent Times' need to be lodged by this coming Friday, 28 February. This 56 page paperback is offered at US$5.00 (plus shipping), and discounted rates are available for ordering in bulk. Find out more details of this year's theme and order your copies online.

Worth exploring:

With Lent now a week away, here are 3 more online resources which you might care to explore:
Living Lent Daily from Loyola Press (Website)
Praying Lent 2014 from Creighton University (website)
Bread for the World: Lenten Prayers for Hungry People (website)

Send your contributions for the "Worth..." section to: the Editor

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Mercy International Association Limited
Registered in Ireland.
Certificate Number 194263. Public Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered Office: Mercy International Association, 11 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2. Registered Charity no CHY 10078
Directors: Sister Denise Fox (ANZ), Sister Patricia McDermott (US), Ron Ashworth (US), Peter Burnett (GB), Sister Colette Cronin (GB), Mary Moorhead (IRL), Kevin Hoy (IRL), Sister Margaret Casey (IRL), Sister Scholasticah Nganda (IRL)