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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 573  |  09 July 2014
Featured Story

Editor: Since his election to the papacy in March 2013, Pope Francis has repeatedly voiced his strong support— and our shared responsibility—for protecting Earth's environment, as this collection of quotations from his audiences, statements and writings, compiled by the USCCB Department on Justice, Peace and Human Development, attest. Speaking in the southern Italian Region of Molise last Saturday, 5 July,  Pope Francis spoke of how '"safeguarding" the earth, to bear fruit without "exploitation"... is one of the greatest challenges of our time: conversion to a development that respects Creation.' (news.va)

Inspired by Gospel values and in the tradition of Catherine McAuley, MIA is 'committed consciously to raising awareness and to working with others, to restore our relationship with Earth and to redress injustice affecting those most impoverished in Earth’s community' (Our Vision, Working Group on Cosmology & the Environment).

In this issue of Mercy E-news we draw readers' attention to the marvellous work of the Sabon Rayuwa Centre for Cosmology, Ecology and Culture in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria (The Congregation), as well as the project updates now on the website from members of the MIA Working Group on Cosmology and the Environment who met online in early June.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA


Image: Marie McGann rsm (left) staff and tour group at the Sabon Rayuwa Centre for Cosmology, Ecology and Culture

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Vision in Action
Advance Notice: Video Screening Online of Opening of MIC in 1994

Wednesday, 23 July 2014 marks the 20th anniversary to the day of the Opening of Mercy International Centre.

Mercy E-news on 23 July will provide access to the video of the Opening of the Centre in 1994 as our Feature item.

Join us for this first public screening online by clicking on the link that will be provided in Mercy E-news on 23 July.

We invite you to send us a photo —if you gather with others to watch—  and a short reflection/ response to publish in Mercy E-news on 30 July.

Messages to: the Editor


Image: Mary Trainor rsm welcomes President Mary Robinson to MIC, 23 July 1994

As a Mercy community we pray with those in need of prayer. We especially pray this week with the intercession of Catherine McAuley for Judy Laffan whose name is newly added to our prayer list and for all those who have asked for 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 Prayer Intention for the Coming Week

Your prayers are asked for the safety of the people of Mosul, northern Iraq.

In particular, prayers are requested for two Chaldean nuns from the Daughters of Mary Order, Sister Miskintah and Sister Utoor Joseph, as well as the 3 orphaned young people in their company: Hala Salim, Sarah Khoshaba and Aram Sabah, who are reported by Assyrian tv to have been missing in Mosul since 28 June.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Attendance at the 20th Anniversary Celebrations at Baggot Street

Reminder: Bookings for Attendance at the 20th Anniversary Celebrations at Baggot Street close 1 August.

There has been a wonderful response to the invitation to be present at Baggot Street. Most of the events are now fully booked out but there are still places available for the celebrations on Mercy Day and for the Closing Day events.

If you are planning to attend either or both of these celebrations at Baggot Street, please ensure that you fill in the Registration form (attached to this item) and return it to Baggot Street by 1 August.

Download the Registration form here (PDF)

Messages to: Madeleine O'Hanlon - Receptionist

MIA Members News

Editor: Two hundred and fifty people gathered in Dublin on 17-18 June for a seminar with Ilia Delio,OSF entitled  To Explore a New Paradigm for Christian Living for Laity and Religious: An Evolutionary Approach

Mercy Sisters were among the attendees at this event organised by the Presentation Sisters. A report by Suzanne Ryder rsm on the seminar— including a video interview with Sr Ilia on the eve of the seminar (05:59) and a video clip of the introduction by Julie Watson PBVM of the Presentation CLT and responses from some of the participants— is linked to this item.

The 6 audio CDs of the seminar talks are now available for purchase for 30.00€ (set) from the Eist online store

Messages to:
Suzanne Ryder rsm
Ilia Delio, OSF

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Climate Change and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG)

Theresia Nakankwien rsm, a Sister of Mercy from Wewak on the north coast of Papua New Guinea recently spent time in Australia where she volunteered at the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education in Sydney. One important focus of her experience there was climate change as part of the Pacific Calling Partnership which raises awareness of the impact of climate change on the lives of small islands in the Pacific and supports them in advocating for changes by developed nations in policies relating to climate change.

Said Theresa: 'We want you to hear that we fear to face the future for our inheritance and our people and its culture, and the environment around us. All of this is our identity and it gives us dignity. We are being threatened by the effect of climate change.'

Read the report of Sr Theresia's learnings here (PDF)

Messages to: Theresia Nakankwien rsm

Personal, Spiritual Renewal and Training Programmes in Sydney (Parramatta Congregation)

Marymount Mercy Centre, a Spirituality Centre owned and operated by the Sisters of Mercy, Parramatta, in Castle Hill, a suburb of Sydney, NSW, Australia, provides a beautiful venue for its present purpose of sponsoring the New Life personal and spiritual renewal programmes, "Journeying with New Members" training program for Formators, a Conference Centre, and a Retreat location.

All Fees cover tuition, accommodation, board, retreat, spiritual direction and group excursions

Download the 2014/2015 programme listing here (PDF)

Messages to: Margaret Jones rsm - Director Marymount Mercy Centre

Editor: Marymount is this week's featured website

In 2002 the Sisters of Mercy in the Nigerian Region, in collaboration with the Catholic Diocese of Yola, built a house in the village of Kofari, 8 kms from the city of Yola, where they offer a model of compassionate, earth-friendly and hospitable living, grounded in the bio-region.

The peaceful setting of Sabon Rayuwa Centre provides ideal surroundings for reflection and study as well as the delivery of training programmes, workshops , information and advice on Ecology, Organic Farming, Poultry production, Fish Farming, Herbal Medicine, Creation Spirituality, sustainable ways of living and more.

Messages to: Maire McGann rsm

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'... Often I am asked how I can remain a Roman Catholic when the church I now serve in had ownership of a member of my family. Although this part of our Catholic history might make some people turn away from the church, this knowledge makes me more determined to stay and to work for greater equality for people in the church and the world today.Change in the church most often comes from within. Standing up to injustice can be difficult, but if I leave the church out of fear or anger, I’m not helping anyone...'

Source: America

Messages to: Cora Marie Billings rsm c/- Lauren Tyrell Institute Communications Office

Image: Cora Marie Billings rsm (left) giving Communion. Source: St Elizabeth Catholic Church Virginia, USA blog

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Nga mihi atawhai - greetings to all in Mercy! It’s Matariki once again, the Maori new year, signalled by the presence of the Pleiades star cluster in the pre-dawn sky. In Maori tradition, Matariki is a fallow time, a chance to let the soil recover as we make plans for another spring. It’s also a time to learn about whanau or family, to remember our whakapapa or family history, to sit around the winter fires and tell the stories that keep the memory of our past alive.

Some of that has been happening in the Catholic parish of Rotorua in recent weeks, where after 56 years parishioners have been saying farewell to the Sisters of Mercy. The Congregation arrived in 1958 to open St Michael’s School...

Messages to: Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregation Leadership Team

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Mercy Matters

'Mother Catherine's insistence on and provision of good education for girls, middle-class as well as poor children, was a direct challenge to the injustices of her time.'

-Angela Bolster rsm RIP

Submit a quote by or about the Sisters of Mercy from a Mercy writer, poet, theologian, story-teller...

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A multiple camera 360 degree night-sky time-lapse (04:10).

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1889: Foundation to Surry Hills, Sydney from Parramatta - M Columba Woodlock
1901: Death of M Ignatius Murphy, Westport, Foundress of Goulburn/Albury Australia
1975: Foundation to Iceland from Derry

Post a Mercy fact online here

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Attuned to the Spirit

'The discoveries of modern science, especially the biological ones, have helped move us to realize that all existence is the expression of an all-encompassing wisdom that pervades the universe...

Evolution will continue–with or without us. We can resist the flow of evolutionary becoming or we can flow with its rhythms and creative possibilities for a different future. We can be open to the lure of the future...'

Source: Care for Creation Newsletter, Brisbane Congregation, June 2014 (PDF)



Marymount Mercy Centre is a Spirituality Centre owned and operated by the Sisters of Mercy, Parramatta, in Castle Hill, a suburb of Sydney, NSW, Australia.  It is located about 35 kilometres to the north-west of the City Centre. 

Marymount itself has an extensive property set in heritage-protected bushland.   It is an ideal location for renewal and sabbatical programmes.

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To fulfill the Mercy commitment to a more environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on Earth, the Institute of the Americas Justice Team (IJT) launched this initiative to inspire behavioral, policy and guideline changes at the personal and institutional levels. Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream, an international workshop developed by The Pachamama Alliance, sparked the development of Mercy Taking Action.

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Further Resources

Worth Reading:

Who Are We Post-Vatican II Religious Now and Where Are We Headed?  is the theme of articles in the Spring (current) issue of the CRC (Canadian Religious Conference) Bulletin. 'Consecrated Life and the Image of a Butterfly' by Elizabeth M. Davis rsm, Congregation Leader Newfoundland, is among the many contributions. Also accessible from the homepage of the CRC site are a number of personal testimonies on the future of religious life.Read/download these resources here

LCWR Annual Report: 2013-2014: Leadership Evolving: Graced, Grounded & Free is now online. The report can be read or downloaded here (35 pps; pdf)

Cosmology and the Environment

'Scientists have, for the first time, linked hundreds of earthquakes across a broad swath of Oklahoma to a handful of wastewater wells used by the fracking industry.'  Read the Guardian news report here

'A major study into the potential of fracking to contaminate drinking water with methane has been published. The British Geological Survey and the Environment Agency have mapped where key aquifers in England and Wales coincide with locations of shale.' Read the BBC news report here

Worth Watching:

Trafficking in Human Persons

The Center for Youth’s Safe Harbour Program in Rochester, New York State last week launched two new videos to raise awareness of human trafficking. Teachers and others working with young people — learn more about sex trafficking and warning signs young people might exhibit from the Safe Harbour animation (01:43) Watch the animation here

Worth Checking Out:

Trafficking in Human Persons

The Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAAST) website Resources section holds a number of 'Toolkits' that can be used — in whole or in part — by church, community, college and school groups to educate about trafficking. These resources have been developed by FAAST, Polaris and other organisations. View the 'Toolkits' here

Worth Playing:

Earth's Creator, Everyday God, Loving Maker, O Jesus, You who shaped Us, O Spirit, Recreate Us, Come, Be With Us... lyrics from the meditative 'Everyday God' by Bernadette Farrell. Reflectively listen to it here on YouTube (04:49). Purchase it from iTunes Purchase it from Google Play


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

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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)