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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 567  |  28 May 2014
Featured Story

From 18 - 20 May the Members of MIA (Leaders) met at Baggot Street. In addition to the technical issues that are a part of all AGMs, the Members spent two and a half days together discerning the call of Global Mercy today. There was a rich sharing on how each area endeavours to develop a vision of global Mercy in their own realities and the ways in which the challenge of How can we do better together than any of us can do apart?’ continues to call them. The celebration of the 20th anniversary was recognised as a special opportunity for linking the local and the global and for involvement of Sisters, Associates, Partners in Ministry and friends of Mercy. The meeting provided an opportunity to have a conversation about the call of Pope Francis to create a Church of Mercy and its challenge/implications for the unfolding vision of MIA...


Messages to:
Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
Berneice Loch rsm - President MIA
Pat McDermott rsm - Board Chair


Image: MIA Members and Associate Members 2014
L-R: Back Row: Srs. Elizabeth Davis, Carmela Carbactulan, Colette Cronin, Sheila Burke, Dolores Magee, Anne Campbell. Front Row: Srs Loreto Conroy, Berneice Loch, Margaret Casey, Pat McDermott (Missing: Catherine Ryan and Catherine Reuter)

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Vision in Action

Editor: From 2001 - 2009 Ethel Bignell rsm (ANZ) was MIA Administrator. In this article she shares her thoughtful and rich reflections on the Mercy questions that came to the fore in those years.

Sr Ethel writes:

'One of the most exciting aspects of this role was keeping in touch with the various networks which sprang into existence to give life and vitality to the MIA dream. Once the Mercy world decided that MIA would keep alive the spirit of Catherine McAuley in ways which are creative and appropriate to the needs of our time, there was an enormous burst of Mercy energy and Mercy questions to meet the needs of this new chapter in our Mercy story. Some of the questions follow...'

Messages to: Ethel Bignell rsm


Image: L-r: At the Archivists' meeting (2009) Patricia Bell rsm (GB Institute) thanks Ethel Bignell rsm (ANZ) for her years of service.'Her wisdom, creativity, expertise and commitment were invaluable.' Read that earlier article here

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As the MIA Members and Board met to reflect together on the call of Mercy today, there was a great awareness that Mercy is a theme that has been constantly proclaimed by Pope Francis and one to which the world seems to be responding with enthusiasm. It was thought fitting, therefore, to spend some time together reflecting on how the Pope’s message of Mercy-ing finds resonance in the lives of Mercy people.

Maura Hyland, Board Director, spoke on the symbolism that is reflected in Pope Francis’ behaviours and actions.

Mary Reynolds rsm, Executive Director MIA, spoke on the connection between Pope Francis' Vision of Mercy and the MIA Vision.

Sr Mary's presentation and accompanying powerpoint are linked to this item.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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MIA Intention for the Coming Week

We pray for all  who are entrusted with leadership in MIA at this time: for the Members, Board, Team, Staff and those who give expert support and advice.

May we be faithful in upholding the vision, loving in our leadership, strategic in our thinking and courageous in our doing - worthy successors to those whose merciful service preceded ours and models for those whose service will succeed ours.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA


'Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality'. – Warren Bennis

MIA has been blessed with extraordinary Leadership from its foundation in 1992. In that time forty six Sisters have served as Members and forty Sisters, women and men have served as Board Directors. In addition, seventeen people have served on the MIC Board of Management.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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MIA Members News

Editor: Young Social Innovators (YSI) is Ireland's largest social awareness and active citizenship and education programme for 15-18 year old teens. Its main goal is to get young people (15-18 yrs) involved in action which helps improve the lives of others in their community. YSI involves thousands of young people in Ireland each year in hundreds of projects and social enterprises which are youth-led, team-based and action-focused.

At St. Mary's Secondary School, Mallow Co. Cork, an all girls voluntary secondary school with over 600 students, under the trusteeship of CEIST, the YSI students chose to raise public awareness of human trafficking as their project, engaging in a number of activities designed to bring attention to this significant social issue, working with Mary Ryan rsm (The Congregation) and Sr Catherine, members of APT (Act to Prevent Trafficking) .

In a video clip posted on iCatholic and linked to this item, the YSI students and their teacher Ms Lyons reflect on the experience of undertaking  their Stop Trafficking of People (S.T.O.P.)  project over the last year (02:52)

Messages to: YSI Class St Mary's Mallow

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Students from McAuley School of Nursing, which is part of University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), recently participated in a Foreign Site Learning Experience in Ireland, including visits to Mercy International Centre, the Mater Hospital in Dublin, Mercy University Hospital Cork and the Convent of Mercy in Trim, Co Meath.

A report on the visit is linked to this item.

Messages to:
Catherine Corrigan and Andrea Kwasky - McAuley School of Nursing Faculty

Editor: As well as offering a number of programmes of general interest to the Mercy world, MIC can tailor programmes to fit the particular needs of individual Mercy ministries/groups. To find out what MIA can offer your Mercy ministry/group, please contact Mary Kay Dobrovolny rsm - Assistant Director Heritage & Spirituality.

Mercy University Hospital Cork is this week's featured Mercy website

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Memorial Day, celebrated every year on the last Monday of May, is a federal (national) holiday in the United States for remembering the men and women who died while serving in the country's armed forces.

For Mercy Associates in Fort Scott, southeast Kansas, Memorial Day is an opportunity to remember their deceased Sisters of Mercy. The Associates hold a prayer service and place crosses of flowers on the graves of the 79 Sisters who served their community, commencing in 1866, and who are buried in St Mary's Cemetery.

A report is linked to this item.

Messages to: Mercy Associates - Fort Scott

Image: Spring Tree Blooms. Victor Hanacek. Used with permission
Linked to Fort Scott Tribune article with the publisher's permission.

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Editor: At Anderson Mercy Hospital Cincinnatti, the administration and staff work to ' understand the value of exceeding our patients’ and their families’ needs by including them in the healing process. ... to foster an atmosphere of a patient-family centered care environment.' One way in which they are working to achieve that is by involving 8th graders from Nagel Middle School in an important design project - the family lounge to accompany the new intensive care unit.

Messages to:
Anderson Hospital Cincinnatti

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OLMC Parramatta Hosts Youth Conference Igniting Social Justice Action (Parramatta Congregation)

For the sixth year in a row, OLMC Parramatta, NSW hosted the youth social justice conference Kids View, welcoming over 40 students from a number of Sydney schools on Wednesday, 21 May 2014.

The annual student conference aims to inspire young people to take action by exploring complex global issues such as poverty, homelessness, hunger, child labour and exploitation and consider solutions. Students heard the experiences of volunteers who have worked with street children in the Philippines and then joined in Millennium Development Goals workshops led by passionate young people exploring issues surrounding health, work, education and food in developing countries.

A full report can be downloaded here

Messages to: Christine Pace - OLMC Communications Officer

On Sunday, 18 May, Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation celebrated the Jubilees of Religious Profession of twelve Sisters

Eucharist was celebrated in All Hallows Chapel by Frs Rod and John MacGinley, brothers of Diamond Jubilarian Joan MacGinley rsm.

Messages to: the Jubilarians c/- Mary Lawson rsm- Congregational Leadership Team

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Mercy Matters
The Little Book of Catherine of Dublin - More Stock at MIC

The quotations in The Little Book, compiled by Don Mullan, provide a profound insight into the thinking and spirituality of this remarkable woman, thus offering the reader food for thought and substance for prayerful reflection. Introduction by Ethel Bignell rsm (ANZ).

Shop online at MIC to purchase this book

This new computer simulation of the universe spans more than 13.8 billion years.

A result of more than 100,000 lines of programming code, the video says the model was "executed on the fastest supercomputers on the planet," in the United States, Germany and France.

The simulation starts just after the Big Bang and moves to the present. (06:44)

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Mercy University Hospital was established by the Mercy Order in 1857 as a 40-bed hospital staffed by four Sisters. However, in the intervening years it has expanded rapidly both in terms of facilities and accommodation, becoming the second largest hospital in Cork.

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No event of particular significance is recorded in the Mercy Through the Years Calendar as having taken place on 28 May. 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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A Global Perspective

'The interdependence of peoples
and Christ's mandate
to proclaim the gospel to all nations
challenges us to develop a global perspective
on the works of mercy'

- Constitutions #3
Institute of Sisters of Mercy of the Americas


' May you meet mercy
each day
in the light of your own heart,
at the hands of your loved ones,
in the eyes of the stranger and the needy.
And if by chance you do not at first meet it,
then search your heart for it,
listen patiently for word of it,
and it will tap you on the shoulder,
a quiet surprise
a small gesture
the tender look
given and received
in the encounters of your day.'

- Mary Wickham rsm (ISMAPNG)

Further Resources

Worth Reading:

Trafficking in Humans

Slavery, human trafficking, and forced labour are more profitable than oil or finance according to a recently released UN Report: 'Profits and Poverty: The Economics of Forced Labour'.

The report by the UN’s International Labour Office (ILO) found global profits from exploiting a forced labour force of around 20.9 million people worldwide generates $150.2 billion per year. This compares to around $120 billion generated by the global oil trade and $141.3 billion generated by the US financial system each year. Read the Report here (PDF, 66pps)

Cosmology & Eco-justice

A Joint Workshop of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS) and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS) was held in Rome, 2-6 May 2014 on Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility
The Statement of the Joint PAS/PASS Workshop: Stabilizing the Climate and Giving Energy Access to All with an Inclusive Economy can be read online here

'...Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate, called upon all religious leaders to take a public stand against fossil fuels, whose high emissions of greenhouse gases are said to increase the rate of climate change', reports the US Catholic in the article 'It's time religious leaders take a stand against fossil fuels'. Read the article here

In 2013, 706 patent applications were filed worldwide for so-called fracking technology, up 28 percent from the previous year, according to a report published by Thomson Reuters' legal business. Read the article here


Spiritual Leadership for Challenging Times, the book of 10 LCWR presidential addresses, is now available as an e-book. Order from Amazon. A reminder that a free reflection and study guide may be downloaded here

The Summer 2014 issue of LCWR's Occasional Papers is dedicated to an exploration of discernment through many lenses. Orders must be placed by 30 May. Further details and how to order online can be found here

LCWR's June newsletter is now online. Read it here

Worth Watching:
'Francis - Pope From The New World.' An accessible video portrait of 'the first Pope from the Americas, the first Jesuit [pope], and the first [pope] to take the name Francis'. Watch it here (51:17). Suitable for second level students as well as individual or group viewing. Note: there are ads. Smh.tv explains it this way: 'smh.tv is free because we serve advertising and we only serve at most two ads per break'.

Worth a Calendar Note:

If in Melbourne, Australia on 1-2 July
'Engaging the World: Living Pope Francis’ Vision of Faith.' A 2-day conference and an evening forum to reflect upon and respond to the first year of his pontificate. Speakers include: Carol Zinn SSJ - President Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) & Frank Brennan SJ AO - Australian Jesuit priest, human rights lawyer and academic. Further details can be found here

If in Sydney, Australia on 7 September
Professor Mary McAleese will present the second Rosemary Goldie lecture (interview format), 2.00pm – 4pm at The Sydney Town Hall Centennial Hall. Bookings are essential. Cost AUD$20.00. Further details can be found here

If in Australia: Sydney on 4 December or Melbourne 5-7 December
Ilia Delio OSF will be presenting on 'Embracing the Energies of Love in an Evolutionary Universe'. Organised by CLRI (NSW). Details and Registration Form can be downloaded here (PDF)

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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)