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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 564  |  07 May 2014
Featured Story

Editor: This week we are publishing the programme for the MIA  20th Anniversary Celebrations at Baggot Street (23-29 September 2014) as final arrangements are now in place for the key events.

Included with the programme is a Registration form to be completed and return to MIC by all those wishing to participate in person at any of the events to be held at Baggot Street that week. Please complete the registration form and return it to MIC by email, fax or post as soon as possible as space is limited to 80 participants at the Baggot Street events, whereas 200+ can be accommodated at the Mercy Day Mass (St Mary's Haddington Road) and Dinner (Lansdowne Hotel).

To ensure this is truly a global celebration, arrangements are being made for online participation for all members of the Mercy family unable to be in Baggot Street the week of 23 - 29 September.

Details of how to participate from your home place will be published in Mercy E-news and in your Congregation/Institute/Federation/Union communications over the coming months.

We now invite and encourage you to note the dates and times of the planned events so that wherever you are on 23-29 September 2014, you will be able to join in the global circle of Mercy gathering for story-telling, ritual and celebrations.

Download the programme and registration form here (PDF) and registration form (WORD)

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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Vision in Action

This Sunday, 11 May, the World Day of Prayer for Vocations will be celebrated on the theme ‘Vocations: Witness to the Truth’.

In his message for Vocations Sunday Pope Francis says:  '...every vocation, even within the variety of paths, always requires an exodus from oneself in order to centre one’s life on Christ and on his Gospel'... and he calls on us all, 'to allow ourselves to be touched by the impulse of grace contained in the seed of the word, which must grow in us and be transformed into concrete service to our neighbour...'

May we always find it in our hearts to answer this invitation to service.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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Editor: This week we publish a fifth of the presentations given by Mary Reynolds rsm in her recent Australian visit. In this presentation Sr Mary discusses Catherine McAuley's vision for a Mercy education.

'There were three reasons education was so important to Catherine:

  • The political decision [of the English] to keep the Irish ignorant
  • Transformation of society
  • Empowerment of people, especially women'

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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Editor: Effective communication has always supported our engagement in Mercy mission. It is an aspect of our shared inheritance from Catherine McAuley. Her prolific letter writing, her recorded negotiations and her tireless travels to visit the new foundations, established a tradition of supportive communication for each other and with the key decision makers of the day for the sake of the mission.

With the refurbishment and opening of the Mercy International Centre in 1994, MIA faced new challenges to facilitate effective global Mercy communication, expressed in one of the objects of the Memorandum of Association, as a call ‘to increase the Sisters of Mercy awareness and experience of their global interdependence and to promote solidarity amongst Sisters of Mercy’.

Messages to:
Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
Adele Howard rsm - MIA Communications Consultant

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Contribute to the Mercy World Website

6 ways you can contribute to Mercyworld.org website and help build the global mercy community online:

Messages to: the Editor

MIA Members News

Editor: The film 'The Way', released in 2011, which starred Martin Sheen who goes to France following the death of his adult son, Daniel (Emilio Estevez), killed in the Pyrenees during a storm while walking the Camino and who then decides to walk the ancient spiritual trail; popularised the Camino de Santiago amongst a broader audience than had known of this spiritual pilgrimage. The account by Ann Lenihan rsm linked to this item of walking the Via Francigena (sometimes called the Italian Camino) will help make known some of the discoveries to be made along the route of this less familiar pilgrimage.

Messages to: Ann Lenihan rsm

Image: Via-Francigena-sign. Used under CCO

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The Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital opened in April in Springfield, Missouri, provides inpatient rehabilitation services for patients recovering from strokes, brain or spinal-cord injuries, amputations, complex orthopedic injuries and other conditions. Designed to promote recuperation outside the traditional hospital setting, Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital incorporates many unique features.

Messages to: Sonya Kullmann - Media Contact Mercy Springfield Communities

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Mercyhurst University inaugurated its Joan D. Chittister Lecture Series with an April 30 talk by Tom Roberts, author of the forthcoming biography “Sacred Uncertainties: A Journey with Sister Joan Chittister.”

Earlier in the day, Sister Joan was on hand as Mercyhurst dedicated the Helen Boyle Memorial Archive in Honor of Joan D. Chittister, OSB, on its campus.

Mercyhurst is partnering with Penn State University and the Erie Benedictine Community to preserve the literary archives of Sister Joan, a 1962 Mercyhurst graduate. While the archive will be housed on Penn State’s main campus, both Mercyhurst and Mount St. Benedict will maintain permanent archive rooms with access to her books, articles and other memorabilia. In addition, Mercyhurst will host the annual lecture series.

Messages to: Joan Chittister OSB

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Editor: McAuley Community Services for Women in Melbourne is using Mothers Day, celebrated on the second Sunday in May in Australia, to launch a Mother’s Day Appeal seeking community support to maintain its growing services.

Mercy Enews readers will find the story of the origin and growth of the services now offered by this organisation of interest. Mercy Care as the service was first known 'began with two' - pioneering Mercy Sisters Sheila Heywood and Wilma Geary who set up Mercy Care in 1988. Sr Sheila was 70 years old...

Messages to: McAuley Community Services for Women

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Mercy Matters
9710 Sisters of Mercy

'When Catherine McAuley founded the Sisters of Mercy on December 12, 1831, there were only 13 sisters; two of these died, two left, and two more entered within the next year. From the life, example and effort of these 11 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"...

Mary C Sullivan rsm, Catherine McAuley in the Nineteenth and Twenty-First Centuries, Mercy International Research Conference paper (2007).

An info-graphic animation about the Empire State Building illustrating many of the interesting numbers and facts about the iconic building. Created for Bloomberg

Image: Elisa Rolle, Empire State Building, October 2011. Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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We are a not-for-profit organisation set up in 2008 to govern the Catholic ministries entrusted to our care by their founding religious congregations. Our ministries are in the fields of education, health, aged care, and community welfare.

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1872: Foundation to Middletown, Connecticut from Ennis - M Agnes Healy
1894: Foundation to Rosscarbery from Skibbereen, Co Cork - M de Sales Dooner

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A Contemplative Stance on Life

'...At the core of Catherine’s ‘enabling power’ was her contemplative stance on life. In her letter to DeSales White she said: “We have one solid comfort amidst this little tripping about: our hearts can always be in the same place, centered in God, for whom alone we go forward or stay back” and at the same time she shows that the works of mercy "are the business of our lives". Catherine’s prayer flowed from her deep personal love of God and her deep love for God’s poor. This enabled her to have a harmonious relationship between contemplation and action...

Caitlin Conneelly rsm, Catherine the Enabler (2009)

There is a Girl Out There Who Needs YOU

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.

Special deals are now available on orders of 100 copies or more.

Download the flyer here (PDF)

Inquiries/purchases: Deirdre Mullan rsm

Further Resources

Worth Reading:

Religious life evolving: faithful and free is the overall title chosen by the two contributors (Pat Farrell,OSF and Sandra Schneiders,IHM)  to this year’s Conference of Religious of Ireland (CORI) conference held on 25 April.

Read: Sustaining Transformation - Pat Farrell, OSF 
Read: The Ongoing Challenge of Renewal in Contemporary Religious Life: Sandra Schneiders, IHM

The theme of the Latest edition (Vol 9, no 1, Spring 2014) of Bridge, a publication of the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University (Berkley Campus,) is ‘The Future of the Church’.  Articles include ‘The Papacy & This Pope’ by Howland Sacks, SJ and  'Mystic-Prophetic Dimensions of Religious Life: 2013 Asia/Oceania Meeting of Religious Women’ by Julia Prinz, V.D.M.F.  Access it online

Worth Watching:

On Saturday, April 26, Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke  to a group of several thousand United Methodist women in Louisville, Kentucky about her faith, what has shaped it and how it has led her to fight against human trafficking; how we might promote maternal healthcare in developing countries, and the continuing work needed to promote women’s rights. Watch it here (40:52) The CNN Political Ticker blog account of her speech can be read here.


Cathy Solano (ISMAPNG) a Mercy Sister working with the Nuba people has asked that  this information be shared as widely as possible:

Subject: Church hospital bombed in Nuba Mountains in Sudan - Caritas Internationalis

Messages to: Deirdre Mullan rsm - Partnership for Religious with UNICEF

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

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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 Margaret Casey (IRL), James Peppiatt-Combes (US) and Sister Denise Fox (ANZ)