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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 571  |  25 June 2014
Featured Story

Editor: Meeting in a private audience on 14 June at the Vatican, Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby 'expressed the same horror before the scourge of human trafficking and the various forms of modern slavery'. Pope Francis affirmed the 'generosity and courage' of those working to oppose this 'intolerable crime against human dignity' and singled out 'the network of action against trafficking in women created by a number of women's religious institutes.' Sisters of Mercy across the globe are active members of  these 'networks of action'.

In this issue of Mercy E-news we draw readers' attention to the reports now online from the members of the Working Group on Human Trafficking which met in early June and to the resources referenced in E-news over the last 18 months, now compiled in a list for ease of access. Included in the list of resources is the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report produced by the US State Department, which was launched on Friday  20 June. In his remarks at its release, Secretary of State John Kerry said: 'If the cries of those who are enslaved around the world today were an earthquake, then the tremors would be felt in every single nation on every continent simultaneously'.

At the 68th General Assembly of the UN in November 2013, 30 July was designated World Day against Trafficking in Persons, to be observed every year beginning in 2014. How will you mark this day?

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


Image: Carole McDonald rsm, Regional Co-ordinator (Victoria) ACRATH addressing a Lenten gathering on 19 March 2014, co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of Melbourne, to raise awareness among parishes of this important cause. Photo: Adele Howard rsm.

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Vision in Action

‘To be compassionate, to bring the mercy of God to a world in need, we must first recognise and experience our need for God’s mercy’. Mary Reynolds rsm, Executive Director MIA

As I reflected on what Mary had written, it seems to me we could consider it as an appropriate ‘call’ to look at mercy anew, within the context of the MIA Global Action programme. This thought was further strengthened on Pentecost Sunday, when we witnessed four world leaders gather ‘as children of Abraham’ in the Vatican Gardens, to pray for peace.

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

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Editor: The Further Resources on Opposing Human Trafficking published in Mercy E-News from January 2013 -June 2014 can now be found linked to this item. If you hadn't time previously to read, watch or listen to these, or you want to check back on a listing, here's an easy way to do it.

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

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MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week

On 19 June LCWR called on people throughout the world to join the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena in Mosul, Iraq 'in a moment of prayer', believing that this intensification of global prayer can make a difference.

Let us continue to keep the people of Iraq in our prayers 'for as long and as often as it takes until the violence ceases.' (Carol Zinn,SSJ)

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

As a Mercy community we pray with those in need of prayer. We especially pray this week with the intercession of Catherine McAuley for Jackie SynnottLorna Annette Chalmers, Joseph Batty whose names are 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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MIA Members News

'...Learning about Catherine McAuley felt like meeting an old friend with a common interest in serving the unmet needs of marginalized people. Life taught her about the vulnerability of indigent people. Her legacy inspired me to identify prejudice toward God’s people and advocate for change. Unknowingly, this was an introduction to Catholic social justice. As a woman of faith, I didn’t know what to do with this sudden eruption of passion, because becoming a vowed member of the Sisters of Mercy was not an option. I am a Protestant, married mother of three. During this time, I was introduced to Mercy Association...'

Ty Barnes - director of Mercy Association for the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, South Central Community

Source: America

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The Dream Still Lives (The Congregation)

The Women’s Therapy Centre (WTC) opened in the Catherine McAuley building in Herbert Street Dublin just over six years ago as a dedicated service for women with mental health issues, whether depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress. It was available to all, and made possible by a seeding grant from the South Central Province of The Congregation. In January this year, the board of the Women’s Therapy Centre made the difficult decision to initiate a closing down process. Lack of state support left us with no option...

If we believe in evolution, and that we are part of it, then our six years have made visible in women’s lives how healing, therapeutic relationships can transform, not just the women, but their families. The fact that the centre was alive and working for that six years is not lost – ‘nothing is lost. All in love survives’, as Ann Stephenson says. And more - somewhere, at some other time, a service like ours will come to pass again. In that sense - resurrection is not far away...

Read the Final report (48 pps; PDF)

Messages to: Jo Kennedy rsm


On Thursday 5 June and Friday 6 June 2014, audiences were served a real treat at the OLMC Parramatta special 125 Anniversary Concerts at Riverside Theatre, Parramatta.

The evenings showcased the extent of Mercy talent featuring performances from current students and staff and also ex students. It was also the world premiere for some pieces specially commissioned to mark OLMC's 125 year milestone in 2014.

Messages to: Christine Pace - Communications Officer

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The Proof of Love is Deed (The Congregation)

The transfer of the trusteeship of St. Leo's College Carlow, opened by  the Sisters of Mercy in 1839, to CEIST (Catholic Education Irish Schools Trust) prompted the school community to embark on a series of commemorative events to honour the college's heritage of 170+ years of education.

The publication of The Proof of Love is Deed - Following in the Footsteps of Catherine McAuley brings the retrospective to a fitting conclusion, as is made clear in the Preface  and in the Speech given on the night of the launch by the book's editor, staff member. Mairéad Redmond.

The book was launched by Olivia O'Leary, Irish journalist, writer and current affairs presenter and past pupil of St Leo's and was followed by the fifth Catherine McAuley Lecture, delivered by Alison Miller, a member of the successful Six Nations Women’s Rugby Team, also a past pupil of St Leo's.

The list of contributors reflecting on the enormous contribution made by the Mercy Congregation to Education, is included in the write-up in the Mercy Matters section where this book is this week's featured Mercy resource.

Messages to: Mairéad Redmond - Editor

On 30 May students from OLMC Parramatta, Monte Sant Angelo and Catherine McAuley, Westmead gathered at Monte in North Sydney to learn about the issues surrounding Climate Change and our closest neighbours in the Pacific Islands.

Two special guests, Tebby (Boraueanimakin) Tiannere and Seimilla Filioma, from Kiribati and Tuvalu respectively, joined the students to talk about how climate change is affecting their communities. The young Pacific Leaders were visiting as part of the Edmund Rice Centre’s Pacific Calling Partnership emerging leaders exchange programme, spending two weeks in Australia (19 May - 4 June) doing intensive advocacy and media training at the Edmund Rice Centre in Sydney.

Messages to: Kate Anderson - Mercy 5 Co-ordinator

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Sowing Seeds: An Invitation to Take a 'Mini Sabbatical' (ISMAPNG)

Rahamim Ecological Learning Community, Bathurst, New South Wales, in partnership with the Catholic Education Office, Bathurst, is hosting a 5 day 'mini sabbatical' from 7-13 September centred on  Matthew’s Gospel.

Elaine Wainwright rsm, Head of School of Theology University of Auckland  will set the focus for each day's exploration of  Matthew’s Gospel through the lens of an ecological and cosmological awareness. Patricia Powell rsm, Valda Dickinson rsm and Mary-Ann Casanova rsj are other members of the team shaping the programme.

Download the flyer for further details

Messages to: Mary-Ann Casanova rsj - Executive Director Rahamim

Mercy Matters
Done in a 'Spirit 'of Mercy

'Each work of mercy done in a "spirit" of mercy constitutes a work of peace against the works of war, a work of instruction against the forces of deception, a work of healing against the damages of individual or societal [or planetary] poison'

-Margaret A Farley rsm (Americas) Forgiveness: A Work of Mercy Newly Relevant in the Twenty-First Century, MIRC Conference (2007)

Mercy as the Sympathy of God

'...And it is not just what we do in carrying out the works of Mercy that is important, but the manner in which we accomplish it. This "how" Mary Sullivan calls "mercifulness", which she defines as a set of qualities and actions that should characterise persons and institutions bearing the name Mercy. These qualities and actions include: forgiveness, gentleness, sensitivity, empathy toward distress, charity of mind and heart, sympathy, self-sacrifice for the sake of another's need, loving kindness and humility.

And she sums up the list as "all the ways the love of God expresses itself for our sake"...'

- Deirdre Mullan rsm, Educating the Global Citizen, AMSSA Conference (2007)

The Proof of Love is Deed (new resource)

The Proof of Love is Deed - Following in the Footsteps of Catherine McAuley was edited by staff member Mairéad Redmond and includes personal reflections from a number of high profile contributors:

Sheila Carney rsm (Americas), Aine Barrins rsm (The Congregation), Mary C. Sullivan rsm (Americas), Brenda Dolphin rsm (The Congregation), Ann Looney NCCA, Dr David Tuohy sj, Fr Peter McVerry sj, Sr Stanislaus Kennedy, Mary Curtis RTE, Teresa McKenna NCAD, Olivia O’Leary Journalist and Broadcaster, Mary Doyle Deputy Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills, John Lonergan former Governor of Mountjoy Prison, Anne Kelleher, former Chief Executive of CEIST, Professor Hannah McGee, Dean Royal College of Surgeons, Sheila Smyth DES German Inspector, Msgr. Caoimhin O’Neill, President of Carlow College.

The book also records the creation of the Commemorative Tapestry.

Cost: 30 euro plus postage

Inquiries to: Mairéad Redmond - Editor


1863: Foundation to Oldham, Lancashire from Barnsley, Yorkshire - Sr Angela Borini and four Sisters

1967: Foundation to Chimbote, Peru from Pittsburgh

Post a Mercy fact online here

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Some days, say the creators of this video clip, we  need to remind ourselves about the importance of self care. (02:00).

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Mercy Connections is an educational values-driven Vermont non-profit organisation living the legacy of the Sisters of Mercy with an enduring concern for women.

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Further Resources

Worth Reading:

'UNITED NATIONS, Jun 17 2014 (IPS) - Try to imagine an expanse of barren land, stretching for miles, with no trace of greenery, not a single bough to cast a sliver of shade, or a trickle of water to moisten the parched earth. Now imagine that desert expanding by 12 million hectares a year. Why? Because it’s already happening.... Read 'Picture the World as a Desert'

Trafficking in Human Persons

In its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, released last Friday 20 June, the US State Department downgraded four nations— Thailand, Malaysia, The Gambia and Venezuela— to Tier 3, the lowest possible ranking it gives for a country's response to fighting modern-day slavery. Read the Report here

Toronto is the “most common destination” of human trafficking in Ontario, and a hub on the larger map of national and international trafficking routes, according to a new study released at Alliance Against Modern Slavery conference on 14 June. Read the report here

Worth attending to the words:

In concert 12 months ago Leonard Cohen introduced his masterful singing of his classic Anthem (ring the bells that still can ring) by emphasising the privilege of gathering in safety and comfort 'when so much of the world is plunged into darkness and chaos. So ring the bells that still can ring...'
12 months later that situation remains true. Watch the video here (09:00)

Listen to Patricia O'Callaghan's interpretation of Anthem, a most appealing rendition. Preview/purchase it here

Worth Visiting:

Commencing this Friday, June 27 until August 31, Someday is Now, The Art of Corita Kent, the first full-scale survey of more than thirty years of work by Corita Kent,IHM (1918-1986), goes on display at Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). The exhibition of 200 prints plus drawings and photographs includes the recently discovered forty-feet-long, three-feet-high peace banner created as a special exhibit for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Watch 'Unfurling Sr Corita'—restoring the banner for display—here (03:13)
Can't get to Cleveland? The exhibition will also travel to the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh (January 31—April 18, 2015) and the Pasadena Museum of California Art (June 14—October 11, 2015).

Worth Enrolling:

Empower Yourself; Empower Others: Six stories of Benedict to unleash the leader in you by Joan Chittister OSB.
Six-week eCourse runs July 14 - August 22. Cost is US$40. Further information can be found here

Send suggestions and contributions for the 'Worth...' section to: the Editor

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								poverty demonstrated in the massive displacement of persons worldwide.
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