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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 572  |  02 July 2014
Featured Story

During the past several months, Mercy at the UN has been advocating intensely to influence the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda and the formulation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Because these goals will direct UN global development efforts for the next several years, our advocacy efforts will increase in order to ensure an agenda that is truly just, sustainable and people-centered, grounded in an understanding of the rights of people and the environment.

The international framework of human rights treaties and accountability mechanisms are increasingly important to our members at the grassroots.  Thus, this framework must be the foundation of the SDGs and the broader post-2015 agenda.

Mercy sees the post-2015 process as an opportunity to challenge the predominant paradigm of development that privileges market-led economic growth at any and all costs, a system most obviously visible in extractive industries operating at transnational and national levels...

Messages to: Aine O’Connor rsm - MGA Co-ordinator at the UN


Image: Flags of member nations flying at United Nations Headquarters. UN Photo/Joao Araujo Pinto. Used with permission

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Vision in Action
MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week

MIA supports the Leadership Team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas in their call on the US Congress to address the issue of unaccompanied migrant children from Central America seeking refuge in the United States.

We pray for the welfare and safety of these unprotected and vulnerable children and youth, forced into migration as a result of a culture of fear and hopelessness.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Editor: Last Wednesday (25 June) Bishop Mark J Seitz of El Paso, Texas, testified before the House Judiciary Committee, on behalf of the USCCB Committee on Migration. Since October, more than 52,000 unaccompanied children, the large majority from the countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, have crossed into the United States.  Bishop Seitz's testimony can be read here (16 pps; pdf)

Each and every week new readers subscribe to Mercy E-news.
We welcome subscriptions from all members of the Mercy network - Sisters, Associates, Family, Friends and Partners-in-ministry as well as anyone who is interested in the vision and mission of Mercy International Association (MIA).
We invite contributions of news from your Mercy community or ministry.

Messages to: the Editor

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MIA Members News

The Catholic Health Association (CHA) of the United States has named  Mary Roch Rocklage rsm, as a recipient of its 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award, recognising how she guided Mercy Health System through momentous growth and change to become a leader in health care delivery innovation and the sixth largest Catholic health system in the United States. The award was presented on 23 June at CHA’s 2014 Catholic Health Assembly in Chicago.

-A video of the award by CHA can be viewed here (02:17)

-The Catholic Health Assembly coverage of Sister Mary Roch's award can be read here on the Assembly wesite

- Mercy Health System's article is linked to this item

Messages to: Mary Roch Rocklage rsm

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates that 90,000 unaccompanied children will flee to the United States in the current fiscal year, with 120,000 children seeking refuge next year. Many of these children are very young, with some reports indicating children as young as two or three are crossing the border without an adult. 'This is a humanitarian crisis that must be addressed immediately or it will continue to spiral out of control,' said Sister Patricia McDermott, president of the Sisters of Mercy who sent this letter to members of Congress on June 23, 2014, urging them to address this issue.

Addressing this humanitarian crisis is a top priority for the Sisters of Mercy’s Institute Leadership Team.

Messages to:Pat McDermott rsm - Institute President

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The latest issue (Vol. 22, No. 1) of The MAST Journal was recently published.  Editor Eloise Rosenblatt rsm reports that the issue is focused on our World-Wide Ministries 'for each Sister’s work, no matter how geographically defined, is connected with the Gospel mandate to "Go forth to all nations."'

A brief summary of the articles in the issue as well as a subscription form is attached to this item.

The MAST Journal is published three times a year by the Mercy Association in Scripture and Theology.  To subscribe please contact Julia Upton rsm.
If you are interested in obtaining a back issue, please contact Marie Michele Donnelly rsm.

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'Given the poverty of Cambodia, the difficulty refugees face in making a life there, and the precariousness of their position, why would a wealthy nation like Australia want to palm off to Cambodia people who have come to Australia to make their claims for protection? How can it seriously declare this to be part of a regional solution designed to share the burden of receiving asylum seekers when Cambodia is now coping with close to 200,000 of its own 'refugees' returning from Thailand?...' writes Denise Coghlan rsm in Eureka Street

Messages to: Denise Coghlan rsm - Director of Jesuit Refugee Service in Cambodia

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Women who have suffered from trauma, from physical and sexual abuse, or the disease of addiction need a safe space to transition into a new life. Oftentimes, they are unemployed, homeless and separated from their children and families. Moving forward begins with the help of someone like Sister Beth Heizer, a counselor at Marian House, Inc., in Baltimore.

A video created for Marian House's 30th anniversary in 2013 can be viewed here (06:01)

Messages to: Beth Heizer rsm

Editor: Marian House is this week's featured Mercy website and its publication '30 women, 30 stories' our featured Mercy resource

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Some forty two Sisters attended the day at Handsworth on 31 May 2014 to reflect on Catherine - A Woman for all Seasons - with Mary Reynolds rsm, Executive Director of Mercy International. Mary left us spellbound by her presentation and insights into Catherine’s Ireland and the reason why she did what she did and for whom...

The qualities we need to be a person of Mercy is 'an ardent desire to be united to God to God and to serve the poor'. Mercy has been shaped by need and we are part of that shaping. 'How can we do better together than any of us can do apart?'

Messages to: Kathleen Gooch rsm Union Leadership Team

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Berneice Loch rsm OAM Elected as New President of Catholic Religious Australia (ISMAPNG)

Berneice Loch rsm OAM has been elected as the new President of Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) at the 2014 CRA National Assembly held in Melbourne on 23-27 June 2014.

Sr Berneice is currently Leader of the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG) and received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2013. Notable among her leadership achievements was her central role in the establishment of Mercy Partners (2004-2011) and more recently the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Download the press release from CRA (PDF)

Messages to: Berneice Loch rsm OAM

On Saturday 14 June the Sister of Mercy North Sydney celebrated Pentecost with a beautiful Mass and lunch at Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College.

Since 1997 the Congregation has used the vigil of Pentecost to reflect on the work and importance of our ministries. The theme for this year’s Mass was 'The Fire in Our Lives'. A diverse range of people who have worked with or have a connection with the congregational institutions and ministries— such as Monte Sant' Angelo, The Mercy Foundation and women who formerly belonged to the Congregation— were in attendance.

Messages to: Loreto Conroy rsm - Congregation Leader

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Mercy Matters

“30 Women, 30 Stories: Journeys of Recovery and Transformation”, is the title of the book created in 2013 aon the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Marian House Baltimore. The book shares the inspirational tales of 30 Marian House alumnae who have overcome lives of addiction, incarceration, homelessness, mental illness, and trauma and have gone on to achieve happy and productive lives.

Purchase the book online or listen to these courageous women generously share aspects of their lifestories in the audio companion pieces to the written text.

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Marian House was founded in 1982 as a joint project of the Sisters of Mercy and the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

Marian House is a holistic, healing community for women and their children who are in need of housing and support services. We provide a safe, sober, and loving environment that challenges women to respect and love themselves, confront emotional and socioeconomic issues, and transition to stable and independent lives.

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Comforting and Animating

'Catherine knew, however, that it was God's Spirit that was the animating power in her life. She was insistent that it was God who enabled their work to be done and it was to God that the glory be given. Catherine believed that the true spirit of the Sisters of Mercy was the animation given to their human spirits by God's own Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. Consequently, she believed that her unique obligation as their founder was to support and nurture this animation. To be animated by the Spirit of Christ was to manifest all the God-given and humanly sustained liveliness of the true spirit of the order, the spirit of mutual love and service of the poor'.

-Mary Sullivan, 'Comforting and Animating: The Generative Work of Catherine McAuley', MAST, Fall, 1992, p10

Handling things once; having a system; channeling anxiety for the better. These are proposed as three of the 12 habits of highly productive people.

Source: Huffington Post

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1851: St Joseph's Church, Cordier Hill, Guernsey, Channel Islands designed by A W Pugin opened.
1874: Dediction of St Catherine's Convent, Tralee
1897: Opening of Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Sacramento, California

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'At times of crisis, Mercy people have realigned and dreamt of new ways of implementing the spirit and vision—indeed— taken the greatest risks.'

Jan Geason rsm (ISMAPNG)
Source: Mercy Through the Years Calendar

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Further Resources

Worth Attending:

If in Auckland in July

Catherine McAuley Lecture Panel 2014: Where ‘Justice and Mercy’ meet in our Neighbourhoods Communities & Country. Date:15 July between 2 and 4pm. Venue:Te Waipuna Puawai, 12a Umere Cres, Ellerslie, Auckland. Further details can be found here

If in Sydney in August

Canonical Issues and Leadership. Three opportunities to tap into the wisdom and experience of Fr Francis Morrisey OMI, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Canon Law, Saint Paul University, Canada. 22 August 2014 - 26 August 2014. Details and costs can be found here

If in Ontario in September and October

'The Promise of Pope Francis: Our Hopes and Fears' by  Donald Cozzens on September 24, 2014
'Words out of Silence: Writing as Spiritual Practice' by Kathleen Norris on October 2, 2014
Free parking and admission to these lectures at Kings University College. Further details of these lectures and a complete list of offerings in the Religious Life Lecture Series can be found here

Worth Knowing:

Audio CDs of the two-day seminar with  Ilia Delio, OSF, hosted by the Union of Presentation Sisters in Dublin last week, will be available for purchase from the ÉIST Conference Recording Service's online store. The online store can be found here

Worth Reading:

The text of the reflection Pope Francis seeking the Wisdom of Women, a presentation given at the recent Broken Bay NSW eConference (refer Mercy E-news 18 June), by Monica Cavanagh rsj, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, has now been posted online. It can be read here.

The article by Lilah Lohr on Bishop Robert N. Lynch's delivery of the Catholic Health Assembly's first annual Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan lecture where Bishop Robert 'drew a sharp distinction between reimagining and re-imaging' the Church. Read the report here

Trafficking in Human Persons

'Local face of human slavery' gives access to statistics and other sites for further information on the topic. Read the article here

Cosmology & Eco-justice
Is fracking the answer to our energy crisis?'  Dan Misleh is executive director of Catholic Coalition on Climate Change - Read his article in US Catholic

Worth Playing:

Watch Angélique Kidjo, Benin-born singer, powerfully cover Bob Marley's Redemption song (03:38) from her Spirit Rising album. Lyrics here. Purchase the song here Read her book of the same name

Worth Viewing:

Trafficking in Human Persons

The video clip 'US State Department releases annual report on human trafficking, downgrades Thailand and Venezuela', produced by Rome Reports TV Agency, provides a useful introduction to the U.S. State Department's Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report released on 20 June (02:44) (refer Mercy E-news 25 June). View the clip which features Ken Hackett, U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See and read the transcript 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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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)