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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 559  |  02 April 2014
Featured Story

On Wednesday, 26 March 2014, Sisters travelled to Sydney from Melbourne (Victoria), Bathurst and Newcastle (New South Wales) to join over one hundred Mercy Sisters, staff, Board members and Associates in the Sydney region, from the three Congregations - ISMAPNG, North Sydney and Parramatta - gathered at the Lidcombe Catholic Club for the last of the presentations given by Mary Reynolds rsm on her current Australian visit.

There was a great buzz of energy and anticipation in the coming together. Some had memories of Mary’s stimulating presentation on the life and mission of Catherine McAuley on an earlier visit to Parramatta in 2009, and news filtering through from the gatherings with Mary in other centres in Queensland, Adelaide and Canberra was very positive.

Messages to: the Organising Committee c/- Daphne McKeough rsm (ISMAPNG)

Editor: Mary Reynolds rsm has made available for publishing on the mercyworld.org website the papers she gave while in Australia. Over the next few weeks, these will be published in the Spirituality section of the mercyworld.org website with a link from Mercy E-News. We begin this week with Catherine McAuley and the Ministry of Mercy.



Image: L-r: Loreto Conroy (Congregational Leader Nth Sydney), Mary Reynolds rsm, Berneice Loch (Institute Leader ISMAPNG), Catherine Ryan (Congregational Leader Parramatta). Photo: Anne Ferguson

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Vision in Action

Mercy International Association welcomes the news that President Barack Obama and Pope Francis in their historic first meeting at the Vatican on Thursday, 27 March, agreed on a 'common commitment' to eradicate human trafficking.

Eradicating human trafficking is a priority issue for Mercy International Association at both grassroots and advocacy levels. In the 40+ countries where Sisters of Mercy and our Partners in Ministry serve, we support trafficked persons, provide programmes to educate about exploitative practices and lobby for change.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Image: News.VA

Watch: Catholic News Service (CNS) Rome bureau chief Francis X. Rocca looks at the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to the Vatican (02:50)

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MIA Intention for the Coming Week

O Triune God, we know you in many ways, each a gift as our faith seeks understanding. May we reflect carefully on the mysteries in which you manifest yourself to us, thus coming to know you in your infinite riches. May loving you lead us to a deeper appreciation of our communities and our world. We ask this in faith, knowing that you call us to love one another.


Morning Prayer for the Second, Fourth and Sixth Wednesdays in Lent from Morning and Evening Prayer of the Sisters of Mercy.
Download: Prayerbook app for iOS  Download: Prayerbook app for Android


In 1987 when the first conversation between Srs Sebastian Cashen (then Superior General of the Dublin Sisters of Mercy) and Mary Trainer (USA) took place about the future of the Mercy Convent on Baggot Street, the mutual desire they named was for this house on Baggot Street to be the source of unity and inspiration for all Sisters of Mercy worldwide. They viewed the house as the heritage and birthright of all within Mercy, and a place that embodied the source of inspiration for Mercy mission and formation of the charism...

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

Image: MIC. Book: The Rule and Constitutions of the Religious Sisters of Mercy Illuminated by: Clare Augustine Moore. 'The Book of Flowers',  one of Clare Augustine's most celebrated works. (circa1856) can be viewed online.

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As a Mercy community we pray with those in need of prayer. We especially pray this week with the intercession of Catherine McAuley for those whose names are newly added to our prayer list:  Anne, Anita, Adele Williams and all who have asked 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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Reading the HTML version of Mercy E-news is more enjoyable, more interesting and more informative because the pictures do convey a thousand words as the saying goes.

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Messages to: the Editor

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The fourth Mercy International Association Soup & Substance Lenten Lunchtime talk took place on Wednesday 26 March 2014, when Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance presented ‘Protecting Children From Exploitation’.

Tanya, who joined the Children’s Rights Alliance (CRA) as Chief Executive in January 2012, has much experience in the area of human rights, having worked with the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), the Irish Centre for Migration Studies and the Irish Refugee Council.

Messages to: Denise Boyle fmdm - Assistant Director Mercy Global Action

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MIA Members News

On 25 March, the Australian Federal Government Minister for Justice, the Hon Michael Keenan MP, announced that he has approved funding for ACRATH of AUD$360,000 over the next three years. ACRATH is one of 4 organisations who work closely together who were funded for their work in this area.

Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH), Anti-Slavery Australia, Project Respect and Scarlet Alliance are specialists in their fields and work tirelessly to prevent human trafficking and slavery by identifying people who are in need of help, and providing ongoing care and support to those who have experienced extreme exploitation,” Keenan said.

Anne Tormey rsm, President of ACRATH affirmed the Minister’s announcement saying, ‘ACRATH is delighted to receive this funding which will further enhance our capacity to undertake the work we began 9 years ago’.

Read Minister Keenan's Media Release

Messages to: Anne Tormey rsm - National President ACRATH

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Four Sisters of Mercy were among the Religious leaders from diverse faiths, all members of ARCC (Australian Response to Climate Change) who converged on Canberra, Australia's national capital and seat of her Federal government, on 25-26 March  to collectively challenge Australia to do its fair share in solving the climate crisis. ARCC's positions on coal, the repeal legislation and adaptation financing are polar opposites to those of the government led by Prime Minister Tony Abbot.

ARCC members met with the nation’s leaders, including Environment Minister Greg Hunt, to make their views public and held a multi-faith prayer vigil outside the Minerals Council Headquarters to challenge the legitimacy of coal, both as an export industry and for domestic energy generation.

Mary Tinney rsm was among the ARCC members who made the journey. Her report and invitation to take action, is linked to this item.

Messages to: Mary Tinney rsm

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'Last summer the Sisters of Mercy established the Mercy Education Collaborative of Cincinnati (MECC), a partnership between its two sponsored high schools in the city – McAuley High School in College Hill and Mother of Mercy High School in Westwood.

The idea behind forming the Mercy Education Collaborative of Cincinnati is to maximize student learning opportunities and help move both schools ahead more aggressively, effectively and expeditiously.

“The Sisters of Mercy are in the unique position of having two high schools in Cincinnati, each with a strong college preparatory program, extensive facilities and loyal alumnae and supporters,” said Sister Doris Gottemoeller, president of the MECC.

“The goal of MECC is to create synergy between the two schools in a way that strengthens each.”'

Source: Cincinnati.com

Messages to: Doris Gottemoeller rsm

Image: NYC #3 by Thomas Leuthard. Used under CCO

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The new $4 million McAuley Centre at Marist Regional College, Burnie Tasmania, was officially opened and blessed by Archbishop Julian Porteous on 18 March.

Marist Regional College is an independent co-educational dual charism Catholic secondary school, catering for young people from Year 7 to Year 12, situated on over 17 hectares, overlooking Bass Strait. The college was founded in 1972 from the amalgamation of Stella Maris Regional Girls’ College, run by the Sisters of Mercy, and Marist College run by the Marist Fathers. The last Sister of Mercy, Kathleen O'Brien rsm, concluded her service at the college in 2011.

In his speech, Adrian Drane, Principal, traces the contribution of Catherine McAuley to education and of the Sisters of Mercy to education in Burnie while the camera takes us on a tour of the outstanding facilities.

A video clip of the speech is linked to this item (04:25).

Messages to: Adrian Drane - Principal

Editor: This addition, together with McAuley Place, a street in Invercargill, Aotearoa New Zealand, takes 'Catherine's list' to 141 places. Marist Regional College is this week's featured website.

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Editor: This month is National Poetry Month in the United States. It follows upon the UNESCO's World Day of Poetry celebrated on 21 March. We are grateful to Mary Wickham rsm (ISMAPNG) for resuming her reflective offerings on poetry this month.

As Michael Leech wrote in NCR online last week, 'Poetry is theology leaping out of the file cabinet and into the heart. It is the Word or words that stir our souls'. May this reflection on George Herbert's 'Love' open up its meaning for us so that, in Sr Mary's words, the poem will 'be for us a blessing'.

Herbert's poem and Sr Mary's reflection are attached to this item.

Image: 'Coloured Pencils' courtesy of James Barker / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Messages to: Mary Wickham rsm (ISMAPNG)

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'Joining in Elizabeth Young's initiative for the Ecumenical Lenten Study Group here in Port Augusta, South Australia has been a surprisingly refreshing experience,' writes Anne Foale rsm .  'Almost every contribution to our conversations has been nuanced with overlays of diversity in race, colour, belief, poverty, chronic illness and joy in the common ground that we have discovered and shared...'

Messages to: Anne Foale rsm

Editor: We invite you to share with our readers from your Lenten reflections.

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Mercy Matters

Giving a presentation soon? This post provides suggestions for avoiding some of the most common mistakes made by inexperienced presenters when delivering to an audience.

Source: blog.prezi.com

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Marist Regional College is a welcoming community drawn from the north-west and west coasts of Tasmania, committed to fully engaging young people in a broad secondary education, enlivened by Catholic ethos and in the Marist and Mercy traditions.

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1986: Sisters began management of Regina Caeli refuge for women, Melbourne - Judith Tellefson

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This booklet presents a small sample of the extraordinary work done by Sister Clare Augustine Moore during the early decades of the Congregation of Mercy.

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The Mercy Community

'...The Mercy community is bigger than the Sisters of Mercy. It is something born of people understanding the tradition, valuing the tradition, working together out of the tradition, and contributing to the continuance of the tradition...'

Carol Wheeler rsm, Mercy Secondary Education: What Does it truly Cost? p8 (1995)

'All of us are invited to see, with the clear vision of Catherine, the situation in our world, in our society, our own community, our own family. Where are the needs that cry out for our attention? What are the needs we overlook because they are almost too close and too ordinary for us to observe? It always comes back to the simplicity and the complexity of the question: Are we doing Mercy, and serving the ‘poor, sick and ignorant’ in accordance with the needs of our times and in a world very different from hers?'

Mary Reynolds rsm, Catherine and the Ministry of Mercy (2014)

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Further Resources

Worth Reading:

LCWR's April Newsletter is now online. Read it here
Spiritual Leadership for Challenging Times  is now in stock at Orbis Books. LCWR members can purchase in bulk at discount rates. Check details first in the April newsletter

On 27 March, Christian Aid UK published a new report showing the devastating effects of climate change, with communities worldwide, particularly in worst hit poorer countries, being forced to change their way of life.

Using personal stories from seven different countries; Bangladesh, Brazil, Kenya, Malawi, El Salvador, Bolivia and the Philippines, the report Taken by Storm: responding to the impacts of climate change, reveals the stark reality of life as a result of extreme weather events such as drought and flooding. Download the report (PDF, 32 pps, colour)

Every six or so years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produces a significant report. The first instalment of its most recent assessment came out last September and argued that climate change was speeding up, even if global surface temperatures were flat. Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability has just been released. It looks at how the climate is affecting the Earth's ecosystems, the economy and peoples' livelihoods. The Summary (44 pps) and Full Report are both online

Worth Checking Out:

A Maryknoll Book of Poetry includes contributions from many well-known names: Carlo Carretto, Joan Chittister, Thich Nhat Hanh, Edwina Gateley, Ernesto Cardenal, Dorothee Soelle, Robert Morneau, David Steindl-Rast, Joyce Rupp, John Shea, Miriam Therese Winter, Daniel Berrigan and many others. Order online here

Nefarious: Merchant of Souls. It takes viewers on a journey around the globe and around the US, opening people's eyes to the world of human sex trafficking. A 6 minute preview can be viewed here The film can be watched online for $4.99 or purchased in DVD format. Produced by Exodus Cry

Worth Looking Out for:
David Whyte has a forthcoming book of essays entitled CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words. An Excerpt from 'WORK' can be read here

Ron Rolheiser has a new book Sacred Fire: A Vision for a Deeper Human and Christian Maturity. Chapter One is online here


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

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								poverty demonstrated in the massive displacement of persons worldwide.
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