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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 566  |  21 May 2014
Featured Story

Editor: For four years now Mercy Beyond Borders (MBB), a Mercy ministry partnering with women and girls in Haiti and in South Sudan to alleviate extreme poverty, has invited all high school students to participate in their annual video contest by producing an original 2-minute video on a designated theme about Mercy Beyond Borders' work, drawing on the visual resources and fact sheet information provided.

At Our Lady of Mercy Academy (OLMA) in Syosset, New York, where Alexandra Polidoro (Sophomore – class of 2016), this year's MBB contest winner is a student, faculty pride themselves on 'Educating Young Women with Faith, Compassion & Promise'.

Read what Alexandra had to say about why she entered the contest, watch her video and see why the panel of judges selected hers as the winning entry.

Messages to: Alexandra Polidoro c/- Margaret Myhan - President, Our Lady of Mercy Academy, Syosset, NY.


Image: Alexandra Polidoro '16. Photo supplied by Our Lady of Mercy Academy

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Vision in Action
MIA Intention for the Coming Week

Over the last 30 days 20 people have been killed and hundreds more injured in separate terror attacks in Kenya.

MIA joins with the Sisters of Mercy in Kenya in prayers for the safety and security in all parts of the country of Kenya's citizens, visitors and  travellers.

Messages to:
Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
Anne Itotia rsm - Provincial, Sisters of Mercy Kenya

In a little under a month’s time, on June 16, there will be a global mobilisation on the Day of the African Child in support of the Chibok girls of northern Nigeria, and in support of safe schools for girls and boys everywhere.

Day of the African Child is observed on 16 June each year in memory of students who were massacred in Soweto in 1976 for protesting against education injustice and inequality in apartheid South Africa.

Join the movement. Be informed. Continue the prayers for the more than 270 girls who were abducted at gunpoint from school in Chibok, northeast Nigeria.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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The basic ingredients were perfect: a blend of women and men students from five Mercy colleges and universities in Illinois, Maine, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; high motivation; deep passion for justice.

Mix well with a three-day immersion experience of Mercy Global Action at the United Nations in New York. 

The workshop staff – Mercy Global Action Coordinator Áine O’Connor rsm, Professor Michael Jones of Mount Aloysius College in Cresson PA, Rita Parks rsm, and intern Devin Tellatin – each stirred the pot with a variety of experiences to enrich what the students already brought to the mix.

Messages to:
Áine O’Connor rsm - Mercy Global Action Coordinator at the UN
Rita Parks rsm - Staff

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The Mining Working Group at the UN (MWG), of which MIA at the UN is an active member, released an advocacy brief. Produced at the beginning of the 11th session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, the brief is entitled 'A Rights-Based Approach to Resource Extraction in the Pursuit of Sustainable Development.'

Further details and the advocacy brief (PDF) are linked to this item.

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

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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 Siobhan Hayek whose name is newly added to our prayer list and for all who have asked for our 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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Editor: On desks, in offices, on bedside tables and in all manner of places in all parts of the Mercy world can be found the 'Mercy Through the Years Calendar', the current page open to display the date, significant events in the Mercy story that occurred on this date and a quote to reflect upon and draw inspiration from as a new day commences.

'I knew we didn't know one another's stories,' said Ursula Gilbert rsm (ISMAPNG) who was a member of the First Team at Baggot Street and among the group who put the calendar together. 'It was the beginning of MIA and the whole idea of internationality was just emerging. We wanted to widen the vision of Mercy around the world, so we sent around the world asking them [congregations] to tell us interesting parts of their history to make a calendar that we could sell at MIC to tell the world our Mercy stories. We also asked around the world for Mercy artists to send us their works and we got about twelve [illustrations].'

Messages to:
Ursula Gilbert rsm (ISMAPNG)
Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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MIA Members News

The  Migrant Project is one of the programmes of Crosscare, the social care agency of the Dublin Archdiocese. The Archdiocese has provided different types of support to emigrants since the 1940s.

Over the last five years, approximately 200,000 Irish people have left their country. Irish emigrants are now being asked to take part in a global on-line survey to assess how they are coping with having to start a new life away from home. The survey which will be open until the end of May is for Irish people who have emigrated from Ireland at any stage since January 2009.

Please pass on this information to any Irish migrant you know who has left Ireland in the last 5 years.

Further details, including how to access the survey, are linked to this item.

Messages to: Joe O'Brien - Policy Officer Crosscare

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The Immigrants' Experience (Americas)

Recently, third graders at Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Elementary School in Pennsylvania spent a unit in Social Studies learning about immigration and the reasons people leave their home countries to resettle in new countries.  Students were asked to explore their own ancestors to discover where their families originated.

The culminating project was a reenactment on 6 May of immigrants coming to Ellis Island and moving through the various stations when they disembarked from the ships that brought them to the U.S.

Watch the story screened on Channel 6 news (01:56)

Messages to: Elizabeth Sher

Editor: Sisters of Mercy of the Americas advocate for just and humane immigration reform that reunites families, provides a pathway to citizenship, protects workers and provides for fair enforcement of the law. Read more about this Critical Concern here

A 6 1/2-foot sapling that is a direct descendent of a 65 feet tall Charleston, South Carolina, live oak tree, estimated to be 500 to 1,500 years old, has found a new home in front of Holy Angels’ Maria Morrow Center, a Belmont haven for children and adults with intellectual developmental disabilities and delicate medical conditions.

Messages to: Nancy Nance rsm - VP of Community Relations

Editor: Holy Angels is this week's featured Mercy website

Image: Oak Tree Summer Leaves from Pixabay

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To commemorate the centenary of the First World War, the Institute and Union Archives of the Sisters of Mercy have produced an exhibition exploring the wartime experiences of the Sisters of Mercy in their various convents on the ‘Home Front’. The exhibition will look at how the Sisters were impacted by the War; their efforts towards the War; and also how the Catholic Faith was taken to the trenches.

Further details and a flyer are linked to this item. Please circulate the attached information to anyone you know who may be visiting the UK in the next twelve months and who might be interested in viewing this exhibition.

Messages to: Jenny Smith - Archivist, Union of the Sisters of Mercy GB

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A few weeks ago Mercy Housing’s CEO  Lillian Murphy rsm was honored at the graduation ceremony for Saint Xavier University in Chicago, Illinois. At the ceremony, she was asked to give the baccalaureate address. The full speech that she shared with the graduating seniors is linked to this item. Following is an extract.

'In the face of the very real challenges we grapple with today, we cannot become discouraged.  On the contrary, I think we need to be bold!  We cannot let the voices of greed, fear and hate dominate local, state and national discussions when so much is at stake for so many people who need our help now!  Most people don’t choose to be poor.  Millions of people struggle each and every day to make ends meet in today’s economy, in spite of working very hard.  I believe the major economic issue of today that needs to be addressed is the widening income disparity in this country... For as long as there is one among us who is deprived of the basic necessities of life we are all diminished.'

Messages to: Lillian Murphy rsm - CEO Mercy Housing

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Veronica Lawson rsm is a member of the Circle of Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG) Theologians. She is a biblical scholar who writes from an eco-feminist perspective. Her weekly reflections on the Sunday Gospels up to the end of June 2014 are now online.

Messages to: Veronica Lawson rsm

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Mercy Matters

Users of iOS devices -Good Reader 4 is now available from the App store on iTunes. Current version: 4.0.1. Minimum iOS version: 6.0.
An outline of the new features in this version can be found on the GoodReader® site linked to this item. Scroll down the linked page to read the details. Cost is $2.99 (in U.S. App Store, will vary in other countries)

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1880: Mother Mary Baptist MacDonnell and Sister Mary Stanislaus Harrington, Teresa Casey, Bernard Foley, Gabriel Romera, and Rose Fitzsimons left Australia to return to Argentina

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Licensed, equipped and committed, Holy Angels, located in Belmont, N.C., provides specialized, round-the-clock care for children and adults with intellectual developmental disabilities and delicate medical conditions. In an environment that fosters loving and compassionate care, opportunities for dignified living and innovative learning programs, we strive to empower those who are differently able.

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Jay Sullivan, is the Managing Partner of Exec|Comm, LLC, a communications consulting firm. In between graduating from Boston College and attending Fordham Law School, he taught English in Kingston, Jamaica.

All of the author's proceeds from this book go to support the work of the Mercy Sisters and the Jesuits in Jamaica.

Purchase online from Amazon

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'A little mercy'

'In the past few days I have been reading a book by a Cardinal ... Cardinal Kasper said that feeling mercy, that this word changes everything. This is the best thing we can feel: it changes the world. A little mercy makes the world less cold and more just. ..'

Pope Francis
Angelus on March 17, 2013

Image: Pope Francis in March 2013. presidencia.gov.ar. CC 2.0

'...Catherine McAuley was one who allowed the experiences of her life to teach and to guide her, one who, I like to say, was a recycler – taking what was given to her, wrapping it in the mercy of God she had experienced, and then finding a way to pass it on. Because she had experienced so clearly in her own life the providential care of God, she experienced also the need to reach out to others in the same way...'

Sheila Carney rsm (Americas)
Catherine’s Call (2009)

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Further Resources

Worth Watching:
It's Commencement (conferring of degrees or diplomas) Season in the United States. This animation The Importance of Kindness is an adaptation of a commencement speech given by George Saunders at Syracuse University, May 2013. Worth watching and thinking about. It is a resource that could be used with school students Watch it here (02:11)

Cardinal Walter Kasper on Mercy
-The Reflection in last week's E-news came from the article 'Merciful God, Merciful Church', an interview with Cardinal Walter Kasper about his recent book Mercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life, published in Commonweal on 7 May.

-On 12 May Matt Malone, S.J., Editor in chief of America magazine,  interviewed Cardinal Kasper about his recent book Mercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life. Watch the interview here (49:31)

Worth Reading:
In last week's Mercy E-news readers encountered  two Irish poets - Pádraig Daly and Micheal O'Siadhail. In the latest issue of America online, the article 'Objects of Contemplation'  by Joseph P. Hoover, SJ,  described as 'A spring poetry anti-review from America's poetry editor ' is a fine introduction to the work of  poets who would be unfamiliar to many of us, such as Mary Szybist, the 2013 National Book Award Winner, Poetry.  Read Hoover's article here

Trafficking in human persons
A five-year project to fight human trafficking across Southeast Asia was launched in Hanoi this week by the United Nations Action for Cooperation against Trafficking in Persons (UN-ACT), Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported. Read the article here

Cosmology & Eco-justice
Earth as Our Home offers tips for living more sustainably with the planet. The 16-page illustrated pamphlet comes from the Catholic Sisters for a Healthy Earth, an environmental group comprised of eight women religious congregations. Contains suggested actions, reflections and further resources. Download the booklet here (PDF)

 

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

 

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