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Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, used her inheritance in service of the needs of her time. Today, Sisters of Mercy, through Mercy International Association, use their resources to respond to issues of global poverty demonstrated in the massive displacement of persons worldwide...This vision keeps alive the founding spirit of Catherine among peoples of the world most in need of God's compassion and mercy.
– from the MIA Visioning Statement 2007
Series on Where the Sisters of Mercy Minister: Australia (6)
The first Sisters of Mercy to cross from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere were Ursula Frayne rsm and her six companions who traveled from Dublin on a ship called The Elizabeth and arrived in Western Australia in 1846. They took a riverboat to Perth and established a new foundation in order to meet the educational needs of the pioneering society.
Other Sisters of Mercy who made a similar journey to establish and supplement the new foundations in Australia include delegations from Ireland and England.
Those from Ireland include sisters from Belfast, Co. Antrim (1872); Callan, Co. Kilkenny (1888); Charleville, Co. Cork (1866); Derry, Co. Derry (1898); Dublin, Co. Dublin (1859); Dungarvan, Co. Waterford (1888); Ennis, Co. Clare (1875); Rochfort Bridge, Co. Tipperary (1875); Swinford, Co. Mayo (1876); and Westport, Co. Mayo (1859). Those from England came from Bermondsey (1884) and Liverpool (1865). In addition, Sisters of Mercy traversed the ocean from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Australia in 1880.
Messages to Mary Kay Dobrovolny rsm - Assistant Director Heritage & Spirituality
The theme that we will be covering at this week’s Soup and Substance series is ‘Hope on the Margins.’ This is the eighth (and final) section on the Mercy and Justice Shall Meet CD-Rom.
The CD-Rom features video clips about the resiliency of the human spirit in the face of oppression as it tells stories of indigenous peoples in Australia and travellers in Ireland. Context information and quotes from the biblical and Mercy tradition are included on Mercy and Justice Shall Meet. The process for Soup and Substance is that which was outlined in the feature article for 15 February 2010 Mercy World E-News.
Messages to Mary Kay Dobrovolny rsm - Assistant Director Heritage & Spirituality
Catherine's Canonisation Cause: Prayer Requests
Prayers through the intercession of Venerable Catherine McAuley are asked for: John Michael, Mary Gordon rsm and all those whose names are on the prayer list.
Anne Hannon rsm - Vice postulator Europe and Africa
Sheila Carney rsm - Vice postulator Americas
Mary Duffy rsm - Vice postulator Australia, New Zealand, Philippines
As the fifty-fourth session of the Commission on the Status of Women is concluded ( 1 - 12 March 2010), the following postings will be of particular interest:
1. Noeleen Heyzer - Under Secretary General for Asia Pacific met with Deirdre Mullan, Director of Mercy Global Concern during the Commission on the Status of Women. Ms. Heyzer (Singapore) who was the Executive Director of UNIFEM before her appointment as Under-Secretary General to Asia Pacific, served on the Board of Mercy Global Concern and still maintains a keen interest in the work of the worldwide Sisters of Mercy.
During the Commission, The Under-Secretary General delivered a paper on the interactive panel which looked at regional perspectives in progress achieved and gaps and challenges in the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action.
2. UNIFEM : educate the Girl Child
3. Haitian Women speak out during the CSW and demand a voice in the rebuilding process
Messages to Deirdre Mullan rsm - Director MGC
Catherine McAuley in the Nineteenth and Twenty-First Centuries
Over the last five weeks, e-News has carried research papers that dealt with aspects of global poverty. Elizabeth Davis’ theme question ‘How can we dare wisdom and mercy in the mosaic of our realities?’ set the tone and context for the following papers. Anne Itotia’s paper on the Kibera slum in Nairobi highlighted the situation for people who for a variety of social and economic reasons are forced to leave their rural homes and move to the city but often find themselves in spirit-sapping conditions in their new environment. Elizabeth Mc Millan presented a shocking scenario of the widespread extent of human trafficking in the world, especially in women and children, the most vulnerable. Anne Maria Pineda addressed selected issues affecting the quality of life of Hispanics in the United States, among which education, health care, housing and appropriate social services are paramount, while Senolita Vakata outlined the complex gender structures of Tongan society that disadvantages women.
This week, inspired by these papers that articulate contemporary experience, Mary Sullivan rsm, reminds us to listen again to the persistent call of Christ and Catherine McAuley and to perform in the various situations the actions to which the Gospel and Mercy calls us.
The challenge which Mary addresses to us in the following words is well worth pondering and perhaps sharing in conversation with others.
When Catherine McAuley founded the Sisters of Mercy on December 12, 1831, there were only thirteen sisters; two of these died, two left and two more entered within the next year. From the life, example and effort of these eleven have come, through the providence of God, the 9710 Sisters of Mercy in the world today. Surely these 9710 are enough to be powerfully ‘Mercy in the Twenty-First Century’. If they generously welcome into their lives the Spirit’s kindling of the ‘fire Christ cast on the earth,’ they could be this even if there were only eleven.
Messages to Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
Mary MacKillop and the Sisters of Mercy (Australia)
On Thursday, March 11th, the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart launched a website for Mary MacKillop, Australia's first saint, which was created with them by Fraynework, the Mercy communications ministry.
The Sisters of St Joseph and Sisters of Mercy have a long association, not only in Australia, but in Ireland and England.
Paul Gardiner SJ who worked on the Cause of Mary MacKillop for 25 years, in the authorised biography of Mary MacKillop (1994) writes that:
On August 11, 1874 during Mary's second visit to Ireland she set out for the south for Waterford and then to Dungarvan and Cappoquinn where she stayed with the Sisters of Mercy. The only letter still in our possession of her experience in Ireland is written from the Convent of Mercy, Cappoquinn, August 30, 1874. It is a brief letter telling of her experience in Waterford where the Bishop and Religious thought she was a fake. She writes in the middle of the letter 'May God bless all, but particularly I ask you, dear Sisters, to pray for the Sisters of the Convents in Dungarvan (Presentation and Mercy). I have ever so many little tokens of love from the latter Convent for those of you who have namesakes there, but must keep you waiting for them. They have found me four postulants'
On returning to Dublin, she finds Bishop Matthew Quinn waiting. Paul Gardiner puts it this way:
Mary met Bishop Matthew Quinn on September 7 at the Baggot Street Convent where she was a guest.
This was a hurried meeting and he returned again on September 12 for a further meeting. This was to discuss the situation with regard to the Sisters of St Joseph status in Bathurst diocese. Gardiner p 165.
He also records that Mary had stayed in London with the Sisters of Mercy and that order continued to be hospitable in Dublin. On August 6 when Mary arrived in Dublin for the second time she stayed at Lower Gloucester Street because there was a retreat at Baggot Street. Here is in Lower Gloucester Street 'they playfully say I shall be a Sister of Mercy before I leave them' The same remark was was made in another place where she wore a Mercy habit while her own was being washed (p 164).
In London Mary stayed with the Sisters of Mercy at Blanchfort Square. It was here that the 15 Irish postulants and Mary stayed prior to their departure for Australia.
In Queensland, Australia:
The Sisters of Mercy offered the Josephites hospitality in their convent 'All Hallows'. They stayed with the Sisters of Mercy for two weeks.
While travelling north to visit the communities, Mary MacKillop also enjoyed the gracious hospitality of the Sisters of Mercy in Rockhampton.
A video clip reporting on the website launch and launch of a book of Mary MacKillop's letters can be viewed here.
Messages to Annette Arnold sosj - Josephite Central Leadership Team
Knit a Chicken for the Missions (The Congregation)
It all started 5 years ago at our Diocesan Apostolic Annual General Meeting in the Abbey Hotel Roscommon. Mrs. Margaret Haughey, our President, came up with the idea of knitting chickens, decorating them, filling them with a creme egg and selling them for Easter. Our usual fundraising methods were cake sales, sales of work, raffles, church gate collections, flag days, tea parties, car boot sales etc. However we brought the pattern home. Needless to say some of us were very sceptical about such a method of fund raising for the Missions. However, in 2009, €28,000 was raised in this way and distributed among projects in Kenya, South Africa and Venezuela.
Messages to Brid McLoughlin rsm
Lessons learned in Haiti: From the mouths of babes (Americas)
Editor: This article from the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) online is by Karen Schneider rsm, a pediatric doctor at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD, on her time in Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquakes.
'I was fortunate enough to be in Haiti twice, once just three days after the earthquake and a second time during the third week post earthquake. My mind is filled with unforgettable experiences, but I want the children of Haiti to speak for themselves, so I will tell you their stories. Each one holds an important lesson for me and, quite possibly, for you, as well. Each child has a unique perception ... about life ... about Haiti’s political reality ... about faith ... about family ... about acceptance and most of all, about hope...'
Messages to Karen Schneider rsm c/- Pat Kenny rsm Institute Communications
1911: Foundation to Aurora Illinois from Council Bluffs - M Magdalene Bennett
1922: Independence and Dubuque unite Motherhouse at Dubuque Iowa
There are a number of resources about Ursula Frayne, the leader of the first group of Mercy Sisters to arrive in Australia. These include:
Ursula Frayne: A Woman of Mercy-DVD
Ursula Frayne:A Women of Mercy - Storybook
Mercy Heritage Centre, Brisbane, Australia
The Mercy Heritage Centre works to preserve and promote the extraordinary history and heritage of the Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation, to encourage an understanding and appreciation of the value of the Mercy Story within the community.
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Mercy International Association Limited
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Certificate Number 194263
Public Company Limited by Guarantee
Registered Office: Arthur Cox Building, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2
Registered Charity no CHY 10078
Directors:Peter Burnett (British), Sister Elizabeth Davis (Newfoundland), Maura Hyland, Sister Coirle McCarthy,
Sister Patricia McDermott (US), James Peppiatt-Combes (US), Sister Mary Waskowiak (US)