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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 568  |  04 June 2014
Featured Story

Editor: Last Sunday, 1 June, World Communications Day, the Message of Pope Francis spoke of how 'good communications can help us [the human family] to grow closer, to know one another better, and ultimately to grow in unity'. It challenged us all 'to see communications in terms of "neighbourliness"'.

This year there has been a marked effort across the Mercy world to engage in 'good communication' about the past, present and future story of MIA. Among those engaged in this act of 'neighbourliness' are those Sisters and Colleagues who have been asked by their Congregation/Institute/Union or Federation to be "Point Persons" - to work with MIA personnel to co-ordinate and facilitate local activities for the MIA 20th Anniversary celebrations.

In this issue of Mercy E-news we learn something of the work going on locally to ensure that all of us in the Mercy family, wherever we are from 23-29 September this year, can experience the closeness to the heart of Mercy that digital connectivity can create.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA


Image: L-r: Sisters Betty Larkin (Institute), Angela Moroney (Union), Helen Ryan (Midhurst, Federation), Philomena Bowers (Union), Margaret Duffy (Institute), Marion McCarthy (Institute), Bridie Stephens (Institute) meeting at St Mary's Convent, Handsworth, Birmingham.

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Vision in Action

The Chapel at Baggot Street has been a place of prayer for Sisters of Mercy since 1829. It was on this day, 4 June, that the Chapel was blessed.

You are invited to spend time here in prayer and reflection and to light a candle for your own needs and the needs of our world.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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Mercy E-news Bookmarks

To assist in the efforts to communicate details of the 20th Anniversary celebrations, a bookmark has been produced and boxes of these shipped to the Point Persons across the Mercy World.

To ensure that bookmarks are widely available, we can provide the files of the art work so that ministries can organise local printing of more of these if they so wish or require. If you would like the artwork so you can arrange your own printing, please contact your Point Person, the Editor or MIC.

Messages to:
Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
the Editor

In the early 1990s the Steering Committee tasked with developing the vision and dream, which led to the creation of Mercy International Association (MIA), knew it had to be a catalyst to increase global awareness. Equally they knew this would only happen if each Sister was able to surrender national priorities and cultural biases, to stand in solidarity with the Mercy Family throughout the world.

Underpinning this hope was a call to justice: ‘To birth a future where, in the spirit of Catherine, we can be globally interconnected and where we can connect the rich and the poor, for the life of the world.’
This was the embryonic call to the Mercy ministry of justice worldwide...

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

Image: Original Core Committee 1996
L-r: Srs Pat Hartigan, Suzanne Ryder, Wendy Flannery, Dale Jarvis.

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Reflecting on the Mercy International Justice Network

In this issue two of the four core group members, Pat Hartigan rsm (Americas) and Suzanne Ryder rsm (The Congregation) reflect on their experiences as part of the Justice Network.

Read Sr Patricia Hartigan's reflection

Read Sr Suzanne Ryder's reflection

Messages to:
Patricia Hartigan rsm
Suzanne Ryder rsm

MIA Members News

Editor: In the second part of our conversation with Sr Elizabeth, I asked why the choice of the 4 metaphors - Healer, Teacher, Poet, Reader - for leadership?

Sr Elizabeth has had significant experience in the healthcare field - as Executive Director of St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital (1986-1994) and as the first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Health Care Corporation of St. John’s (1994-2000), along with memberships on healthcare boards, councils and foundations. Increasingly, hospitals are designing environments for patient care that reduce stress and promote healing benefits, so it is not surprising, given that background, that Elizabeth speaks of leadership as incorporating 'respectful healing ways' with the members of the community, and why she singles out 'healer' as one of her 4 metaphors for leadership...

Messages to: Elizabeth Davis rsm - Congregational Leader

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Mercy Journey in Birmingham: A Retreat with Catherine (Great Britain)

Sisters, Associates and Friends of the Mercy family, a Retreat with Catherine is being held from Sunday 22June – Saturday 28 June 2014 at St Mary’s Convent, Birmingham, England. The last house founded by Catherine McAuley, St Mary's continues as a Spirituality and Associates Centre, offers a Heritage Trail and extends a ministry to local women and children. There are currently six sisters in the Community, carrying out various ministries. 

The retreat programme incorporates a different theme for each day and offers a varied range of presentations, discussions, activities, and opportunities for reflection, together with a range of organised tours and visits.

The Retreat will be led by St Mary’s Team and guest speakers.

Cost is £490.00 all inclusive

Download the programme here (PDF)

Messages to: St Mary's Team

Mercy for Haiti (Americas)

Editor: Since a deadly magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti in January 2010, Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care (SOMUC) has sent regular teams of volunteers to provide medical care to the people of this devastated Caribbean country. These trips are part of Sisters of Mercy's ongoing "Have a Heart for Haiti" efforts. SOMUC volunteers treat patients for ailments including fungal infections, worms and hunger, the latter due to the fact that most children in Haiti eat only once every other day. They also treat many people for cholera, which affects an estimated 700,000 Haitians.

A Team has just returned from Haiti serving in five different communities (655 patients) using churches in Bon Repos, Cite Soleil, Tent City, Arcahaie and a mountainside wooden platform in Tapyo. Their letter to thank the Mercy Associates South Central Community (Americas) who donated first aid kits, giving insight into the current situation in Haiti, can be read here.

The wonderful work carried out by SOMUC can be viewed in this inspiring video clip (10:59)

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care c/- Sharon Owen - Media Contact

Editor: Since the report of the Missioning Ceremony of Srs Breda, Martha and Mary to establish a new foundation in Addo, South Africa appeared on the mercyworld.org website and in Mercy E-news in 2006, readers have followed the many developments as a result of the Sisters' commitment to this new ministry.

This week brings us a report from Claire Ionta who spent a month shadowing the members of the current community in Addo (Breda, Martha and Patricia) in computer classes, the Mercy Crèche and in the prisons.

Claire writes: 'I have found people to be happy and hopeful; a hope which I feel is fueled by the presence of the Sisters of Mercy. The work they do not only improves the physical circumstances of the people here but also boosts their self-worth which is essential. The Sisters are relentless in their work and I am leaving feeling humbled and in awe...'

Messages to Claire Ionta c/- Kathleen Gooch rsm

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Mercy Connect Melbourne is a project of Mercy Works which is a ministry of the Sisters of Mercy in Australia and Papua New Guinea.  It uses the extensive educational experiences of trained volunteers to provide additional in-school support and mentoring to refugee students in both primary and secondary schools as they settle into the Australian educational setting.

Messages to: Mary Lewis rsm - Coordinator Mercy Connect Project Melbourne

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Global Solidarity Week is a pilot project of Mercy High School Baltimore with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the largest international relief organization in the world. CRS headquarters is located here in Baltimore.

Mercy is one of a few schools nationwide that was chosen to explore international relief issues with CRS. The program’s goals are to develop students’ global understanding and the role of the Catholic Church in peace-building, natural disaster relief and services to immigrants and refugees worldwide.

Messages to: Cindy Woodruff - Librarian Mercy High School Baltimore

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The Mercy Hospital Foundation has been named the official charity of this year’s Irish Open golf championship at Fota Island in Cork.

The Foundation was selected from a shortlist of local charities by the European Tour’s charitable arm — the Trustees of the Tour Players Foundation (TPF) — who look to support charities in the regions where the European Tour hold events, with a focus on children and young people.

Messages to:

Editor: The Mercy Foundation is this week's featured website

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Catholic Religious Australia's (CRA) National Lament Campaign (Australia)

The second stage of Catholic Religious Australia's (CRA) National Lament Campaign has commenced:

Engaging in a Week of Prayer and Prophetic Presence
Ascension to Pentecost, 1 to 8 June, 2014

This is a symbolic action showing that we lament the treatment of people seeking asylum in Australia and are standing in solidarity with these people, our sisters and brothers. It is not a protest.

Readers of Mercy E-news are invited to join in prayer with Sisters of Mercy in Australia and Papua New Guinea in prayer for those seeking asylum.

The prayer can be downloaded here

Messages to: Suzette Clark rsc - CRA Justice Coordinator

Mercy Matters

'...May the image of the Good Samaritan who tended to the wounds of the injured man by pouring oil and wine over them be our inspiration.  Let our communication be a balm which relieves pain and a fine wine which gladdens hearts.  May the light we bring to others not be the result of cosmetics or special effects, but rather of our being loving and merciful “neighbours” to those wounded and left on the side of the road...'

Message of Pope Francis
For the 48th World Communications Day (2014)
Communication at the Service of an Authentic Culture of Encounter

Image: art work of Clare Augustine Moore on the M of Mercy depicting the story of the Good Samaritan.

MIJN Vision

'As Sisters of Mercy, we have the passion, power, and responsibility
to effect transformation for mercy and justice in our world.
We affirm as a sign of our time the emergence of our interdependence
and an international identity that impels us
to act in solidarity with one another to do the work of justice.
This work of justice is grounded in our fundamental option for women
and those who are economically poor and vulnerable.
It entails restoring right relationships with God, people, and the earth,
and working in collaboration with others
for systemic change.'

- Mercy International Justice Network (MIJN) Vision Statement (1996)


Justice Action from the Second MIJN Conference (2001)

'On the 24th day of each month, Mercy women around the globe light candles progressively from 7 am in Tonga, then moving west. May this light encircle us with justice, mercy and peace, and give clarity to our decisions and actions for peace in our world.

"Light a candle for freedom, raise your voice for justice
Keep your heart in that sacred place where the truth can't be denied"

Light a Candle song by Marcia Howard'

- from the MIJN website 2001

Preview Light a Candle on iTunes

Remember It's Not 'Just a Phone'
  • Treat your smart phone like your wallet - keep it safe and on your person at all times.
  • Remember your smart phone is a computer - all the same security rules apply. This includes checking the authenticity of websites, not clicking on links from people you do not know, and watching out for phishing scams (by email, text or even voicemail) asking for personal information.

Source: Stay Smart Online

1829: Blessing of Baggot St Chapel - Dr Blake preached

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The Mercy Hospital Foundation raises awareness and funds for the Mercy Hospital. Our mission is to support the hospital in delivering the highest quality of care to its patients.

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Further Resources

Worth Reflecting On in light of the World Communications Day message:

Maya Angelou, celebrated US  poet and author, died 28 May. In tribute to her inspiring words, both USA Today and the Guardian published a list of her powerful quotes. For those who might be unfamiliar with Dr Angelou's work, what better introduction than the USA Today list which gives the sources of  her writings from which they've compiled their 'top 13 quotes' list.

'Get off social media.  Put down the phone. Live life' are the messages in Look Up. There have been more than 41 million views of this spoken-word film since it went viral on 25 April. Watch it here (04:58)

Worth Watching out for:

In Mercy E-news Issue 564 (7May 2014) readers were introduced by Ann Lenihan rsm to the Via Francigena, sometimes called the Italian Camino.  ‘Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago’ is a new documentary on the more familiar pilgrimage route. View the Trailer here (03:34) Read about this new film here

Read about Joyce Rupp’s experience of walking the Camino in ‘Walk in a Relaxed Manner: Life Lessons from the Camino’ here  Purchase the book from Amazon here

Worth a Look:

Forbes has released its newest annual list of extraordinary female icons and leaders, groundbreakers and ceiling crashers who command the world stage. View the list of the world's most powerful women here

Worth Reading:

The Canadian Religious Conference is celebrating its 60th Anniversary. An outline of the challenges from the talks given by Anthony Gittins,C.S.Sp on Intercultural living can be accessed on the CRC website in the Latest News section

Trafficking in Human Persons

A low criminal conviction rate and worries over the treatment of exploited irregular migrants are key findings in a new report by The Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings’ (GRETA)on Sweden’s fight against human trafficking. Read the Report here

'Haiti-To-Brazil Migration, Along A New Route For Human Trafficking.' Read the article here

Worth Knowing:

Tomorrow, 5 June, is World Environment Day (WED), the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. This year's theme is 'Raise your voice not the sea level'. Information and resources for marking this day can be found on the WED website

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

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Registered in Ireland.
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)