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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 570  |  11 June 2014
Featured Story

Editor: In 2011 and again in 2013, Mercy secondary school students from across the globe travelled to Mercy International Centre to experience together some of the richness of the Mercy story through the Young Mercy Leaders (YML) programme. One of the  keynote speakers at each conference has subsequently been invited by the Australian School contingent to visit their schools in Victoria and Western Australia to share her own Mercy story more broadly. In 2012 Marilyn Lacey rsm (Americas) was the invitee. This year's invited speaker is Karen Schneider rsm MD (Americas) who, in addition to her work in Pediatric medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Washington, takes medical students each year on two to four week trips abroad to treat children with medical needs whose conditions would otherwise go untreated.

Messages to: Karen Schneider rsm MD

 

Image: Karen Schneider rsm addresses the Academy of Mary Immaculate Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia school community. Photo by Peter Casamento courtesy of the Academy

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Vision in Action

Around the same time that the Mercy International Justice Network (MIJN) decided to unify and focus its action on two key issues: a) all forms of violence against women and children; and b) racism in all its manifestations, it was agreed that MIA needed to refocus its vision.  To facilitate this process they asked the question: ‘If you were to see Mercy International Centre as the wellspring of MIA, how would you re-vision MIA into the future?

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

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[The Members and Board of MIA made a decision in 2010 to embark on a 3 year fundraising campaign to raise €20,000,000 between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2015. In 2012 they appointed Mary Waskowiak rsm as the first MIA Director of Development-Fundraising.]

On 30 June 2014 we will have completed 50% of our 3-year timeline for the campaign to raise €20,000,000 for the MIA Endowment.
In the first 18 months of the campaign we have raised approximately 48% of the campaign goal.

The article linked to this item reviews the first 18 months of the 36 month initiative.

Messages to: Mary Waskowiak rsm - Director MIA Development-Fundraising

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MIA Intention for the Coming Week

With the Bonn Climate Change Conference (4-15 June) drawing to its conclusion this week, we pray for outcomes that ensure the reduction of carbon emissions across the globe.

We continue to pray for peace in the Middle East and around the world.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Editor: The Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, has just taken climate change off the agenda at the G20 (the meeting of the 20 largest economies on earth being held in Australia 15-16 November, 2014).

You might like to sign this petition to the President of the United States, Barak Obama, to ask him to give Mr Abbott a copy of Congress’ climate report when they exchange gifts at the White House and to ask him to put the issue of climate change back on the G20 agenda.

 

'One Thursday in March 2013 an almost unknown cardinal from Argentina stepped out onto the balcony above St Peter's square and said ‘Buenos Serra’ and went on to say that the Cardinals have gone to the ends of the earth to find a new pope.

He took the name Francis, the humble saint of Assisi. He knelt and asked those gathered to pray for him before giving them his blessing. Later in an interview this sense of humility was again emphasised when asked who he was, he said, "I do not know what might be the most fitting description.... I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner".'

From the presentation to the MIA Board and Members by Maura Hyland, linked to this item

Messages to: Maura Hyland - Director MIA Board
 

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

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MIA Members News

Editor: In the latest issue of the St Catharine's newsletter (May 2014) Aelred Timmins rsm, Director of the Homelessness project on behalf of the Sisters of Mercy of the Union, writes...

'...When we started this Homeless Project at Saint Catharine’s some Sisters wondered how we, such a small group could keep it going. I must say, I felt the same at the time. I feel that Venerable Catherine is very much part of this Project – Providence does provide. Here we are 21 years later with 141 volunteer Helpers. You, our benefactors, our helpers, our volunteers from all over the world just keep on coming so that all the friendship, service and practical support, comes free of charge...'

Read the newsletter 'Mercy' attached to this item.

Messages to: Alred Timmins rsm

St Catharine's is this week's featured Mercy website

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Editor: Mercy Housing's 2013 Annual Report has just been released: 151,000 people served on any given day in 41 states in 200+ cities is just one part of this great story.

Since 1981, Mercy Housing has worked in partnership with generous supporters to provide shelter, stability and opportunity to thousands of families, seniors and people with special needs. The Report (linked to this item) tells some of those hope-filled individual and family stories.

After 27 years of remarkable leadership, Lillian Murphy rsm is stepping down as CEO at the end of this month to be succeeeded by Mercy Housing’s current President, Jane Graf.

Messages to: Lillian Murphy rsm - CEO Mercy Housing

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Editor. The third and final part of the conversation with Sr Elizabeth concludes with her response to the question: 'What is God's invitation to the Sisters of Mercy at this time?'

'God's call is always — in some ways— the same because our God is a God in this time and in this place and God chooses to dwell with us. Not just to come and visit, or watch out for us, but our God chooses to dwell with us. Emmanuel — one of the first names we're given for Jesus — is God with us. The Jewish Tradition has that beautiful Feast of the Tabernacles, God choosing to dwell, whether it is in the tents in the wilderness of the forty years of wandering, or in the Temple in Jerusalem. God doesn't dwell with us in some kind of universal space, God always dwells with us in this place— whatever this place is for us— and in this time...'

Messages to: Elizabeth Davis rsm - Congregational Leader Newfoundland

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Editor: Recent references in the Catholic media to the writings of Teilhard de Chardin have been made in the context of cosmology.

In the article linked to this item, Teilhard's words are used by Colleen Wilkinson rsm to introduce the reader to the reality of growing older and to the generously shared responses of the Sisters who attended the Tapestry of Ageing retreats and workshops given to the religious congregations in South Africa during April and May by Sr Annie Lunney, SMG.

Messages to: Colleen Wilkinson rsm

 

Image: Autumn maple leaves by Rosendahl. Public domain

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On Monday, 2 June, 14 teachers from the 5 Mercy High Schools across Sydney (OLMC Burraneer, OLMC Parramatta, Mercy Catholic College Chatswood, Catherine McAuley Westmead and Mont Sant’ Angelo College North Sydney) gathered at Stormanston House North Sydney to participate in the second day of the four day Mercy 5 Staff Formation Programme.

Messages to:
Kate Anderson- Mercy 5 Coordinator
Anne Ferguson -Coordinator, Office of Mission Animation, Sisters of Mercy Parramatta

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In 2001 the former Melbourne Congregation and Mercy Education Ltd saw the need to offer Sisters and their lay colleagues working in ministry the opportunity for some in-depth formation in Mercy history, heritage and ethos. Since then eleven programs have been conducted giving over 290 people the opportunity to participate in a life changing formation experience. Even though the number of Sisters is decreasing, Mercy ministry continues to increase with many lay women and men taking up leadership. Sponsorship of the program now rests with the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Messages to: Carmel Crawford - Institute Ethos Co-ordinator

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Mercy Matters

Zero Dollar Movies is a collection of 15,000 movies that are available on YouTube for free. The site indexes only full-length films and no trailers, rentals or partial uploads.

The search feature is location aware and will only show movie titles that are available in your current geographic location.

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Honduras: Mercy Alive after Fifty Years, by  Michaela DeLoia rsm (Americas), records the history of the Mercy Honduran community from 1959-2009. The book’s editor, Patricia Combes rsm (Americas) calls it “a labor of love that seeks to be sure that the work done by the Sisters of Mercy, their associates, coworkers and many friends in Honduras is not lost.”

Purchase online from Lulu Press Inc for US$6.06

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Mercy is...

'Mercy is as simple as sharing bread, as wide as loving people into wholeness, as challenging as working for global justice.'

- St Catharine's Convent of Mercy, Edinburgh, Scotland

Reflection

Editor: The quote on the banner (left) in the Feature article photograph is taken from the following insight, made at the time of  bringing to life the dream of Baggot Street

'We are in a Kairos time, with a drastic demise occurring in some parts of the world, even while our numbers grow in the Third World. Worldwide, there is still enormous creativity and energy. We must utilize both the talent and the technology available among us to ensure the proper telling of our story in all its richness.

Our story is not only the story of Catherine McAuley but of generations of women in whom Mercy has called forth a passionate and realistic response to the cry of the poor. Today the cries have assumed global proportions. We are being challenged to link with one another right across the world so that the Broken Heart of Mercy can enter more deeply into us and embrace God's beloved poor.'

-Kath Burke rsm (ISMAPNG) 1994

St. Catharine's Mercy Centre is a place of Hospitality, Support, Prayer, Friendship and Oasis for all those in need.

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No event of particular significance is recorded in the Mercy Through the Years Calendar as having taken place on 11 June. 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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Further Resources

Worth Watching:

Pope Francis: Modelling the Ministry of St Peter

A reminder that this eConference is being held today, 11 June. For those unable to attend the livestream, the eConference will be archived for later viewing. Details can be found here

Worth Reading:

Dean Hoge Memorial Lecture by Sr. Carol Keehan (March 2014). Read it here

'The Pope in the Attic: Benedict in the Time of Francis' by Paul Elie, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. Originally published in The Atlantic (April 2014) Read it here

Trafficking in Human Persons

Tomorrow (12 June) the World Cup begins in Brazil. In World Cup 2014: On myths and reality of sex trafficking, the author, Sonja Dolinsek, argues that  'Human rights violations in the context of the World Cup 2014 go beyond human trafficking and child sexual exploitation'. Read the article here

At Georgetown University School of Foreign Service,  the findings of the Institute for the Study of International Migration shed interesting light on ongoing debates in the field of human trafficking. Read the article here

Worth Viewing:

Human Trafficking

25 Painfully Disturbing Facts About Human Trafficking. Watch this video here (03:58)

Worth playing:

' It is now that my life is mine
I've got this short time on earth
And my longing has brought me here
All I lacked and all I gained... ' words from Gabriella's song, as heard in the movie As It Is In Heaven.

Listen to a performance here (03:40) Purchase the English version by Carin Filipcic (no 22)


 

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 Colette Cronin (GB), Mary Moorhead (IRL), Kevin Hoy (IRL), Sister Margaret Casey (IRL), Sister Scholasticah Nganda (IRL)