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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 574  |  16 July 2014
Featured Story

In accordance with the Sisters’ of Mercy great concern with the future sustainability and availability of water for all, Mercy Global Action has focused much of our recent advocacy work at the UN on the human right to water and sanitation. Particularly through convening the Mining Working Group at the UN, we have been advocating for the inclusion of the human right to water and sanitation in the ongoing discussions of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our message to governments, UN officials, and fellow civil society organizations has consistently focused on the need for the SDGs to prioritize – for present and future generations – the human right to water for health, life, food, and culture over other demands on water resources.

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

Image: Water drop impact on a water-surface. Davide Restivo. Used under CCO

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Vision in Action
MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week

The eruption and escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip and across Israel as a result of the recent abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers— Naftali Fraenkel (16), Gilad Shaer (16) and Eyal Yifrah (19)— and the abduction and murder of 16 year old Palestinian Mohammed Abu Khdeir, just days after the Invocation for Peace (Pope Francis praying with the Presidents of Israel and Palestine), has resulted in at least 175 deaths - men, women and children, ranging in age from elderly to infants.

Let us pray for restraint and for the re-opening of dialogue, that there may be an end to violence in Holy Land.

Rome ReportsTV News Agency advises that after 17 days in captivity Sisters Utoor Joseph and Miskintah and the two women and boy in their care have been released (01:06).  For this we give thanks.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Next Wednesday, 23 July 2014, Marks the 20th Anniversary to the Day of the Opening of Mercy International Centre

As part of our build up to the actual celebration week in September (23-29), in Mercy E-news next week we will provide access to the video of the Opening of the Centre as our Feature item.

Join us for this first public screening online by clicking on the link that will be provided in next week's Mercy E-news.

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: President Mary Robinson addressing the assembled gathering, Baggot Street Chapel, 23 July 1994

MIA Members News

Seven Sisters - from Filey, London, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Wanstead and Weymouth - gathered in St Mary’s Convent, Handsworth, for their 'Retreat with Catherine', a retreat with a difference. The resident community with guest speakers led us in a varied range of prayer, songs, presentations, reflections, and a wide range of tours and visits associated with Catherine’s last foundation. We were inserted into the fascinating story of the Birmingham of Catherine’s Day in 1841 as well as the current reality.

Messages to: Kathleen Gooch rsm - Union Leadership Team

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In her book, Uprisings for the Earth, Osprey Orielle Lake suggests that people involved in earth restorative work engage in two different pathways as a response to our global crises. The first pathway “focuses on the immediate and urgent need to stop the destruction of the planet and the imperative to help those most in need”.  The second path “involves nothing short of a profound individual and societal transformation of consciousness – a ‘new dream’ for the modern world”...

Messages to: Carmel Bracken rsm

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Besides Mercy Health System being one of the first to put in place an integrated electronic health record (EHR) across multiple states, Mercy’s award-winning analytic tools and other efforts aimed at improving patient care have placed it once again on the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) “Most Wired” list.

It’s the eleventh time in the 16 years the award has been handed out that Mercy Health System has made the list, alongside Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Messages to: Nancy Corbett - Director, Media Relations Mercy Marketing and Communications

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Programmes at Mercy Conference and Retreat Center 2014/2015 (Americas)

Mercy Conference and Retreat Center’s beautifully wooded 72 acre campus, situated in West St. Louis County, Missouri, offers a spacious setting and supportive atmosphere for professional, educational and spiritual activities. The Center serves individuals of various faith traditions and a diversity of not-for-profit groups. Daytime and overnight meetings are enhanced by healthy, nutritious meals and pleasant, comfortable accommodations. Staff and personnel are ecologically sensitive and concern for the earth is reflected in every aspect of Mercy Center.

New Programs for Fall (Autumn) 2014 and Winter 2015 can be accessed here

Messages to: Mercy Centre

The response by the Obama Administration and members of Congress to the influx of migrant children at the US-Mexico border becomes more worrisome by the day. The latest move is to propose changes to the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2008, to speed up deportations of these children.

The Sisters of Mercy have been strong supporters of this legislation and the protections it provides for victims of human trafficking. The TVPRA passed both chambers of Congress by unanimous consent and was signed into law by President Bush to address our international obligations of not returning vulnerable migrants to danger and to reduce the likelihood that the U.S. would deport children back into the hands of traffickers and others who would exploit them. Changes to the TVPRA would mean that migrant children would not have a meaningful opportunity to have their story heard, apply for asylum, or be cared for humanely by child welfare personnel, and would be deported to potentially life-threatening situations. 

Details of how Advocate with the Sisters of Mercy to call for action in addressing this crisis can be found on the page linked to this item.

Messages to: Institute Justice Team

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SAC Students Join in the 'Detention 4 Detention' Campaign (ISMAPNG)

According to the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) website, in Australia there are 998 immigrant children detainees held in different immigration detention facilities and a further 985 children in community detention centres.

Across Australia an estimated 20,000 high school students have shown solidarity with children in immigration detention in Australia by taking a voluntary lunchtime detention.  Students  write messages of support to children in detention and sign the petition calling on the federal government to end mandatory detention of children and unaccompanied minors seeking refuge in Australia.

More than 80 students and staff volunteers at St Aloysius Adelaide (SAC) donated their lunchtime on Wednesday 18 June to participate in this nationwide schools campaign writing letters of support, with some writing prayers and others writing to the government.

The Resource Kit is available here (18 pps; pdf)

Messages to: St Aloysius College

Image: SAC Students and staff

‘My work is loving the world’*

Earthkin is a network committed to loving, reverencing and celebrating the Earth Community. We realize Earth is part of an evolving cosmic tapestry that unfolds as a whole. We appreciate the inherent worth; interior depth and uniqueness of each thread in this communal weave of life. We sense Divine presence, holiness and creativity embedded within the whole and the whole within it.

As members of Earthkin network we encourage each other to keep developing the spiritual and ecological dimensions of our lives through nature walks, reading, reflection, poetry, painting, conversation, education, workshops, retreats and contemplation. The beauty of life’s essential harmony and oneness impels us to reach out continually to embrace members of Earth community.

* Oliver Mary (2006). ‘Messenger’ in Thirst. Boston: Beacon Press. p.1

Messages to: Valda Dickinson rsm c/- Parramatta Congregation

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Throughout Australia we have many Sisters of Mercy working with and alongside the refugees who have come here seeking protection and safety.  On the Perth, Western Australia, scene during any week you could find a variety of activities taking place.

These activities are only a part of the streams of compassion that are flowing and merging with others that will provide images of God’s love and mercy towards all people and help to bring hope and comfort in a world that sometimes seems harsh and full of wintry sorrows.

Messages to: Pauline Masters rsm

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Mercy Matters
Agents of God's mercy

'God's mercy can make even the driest land become a garden, can restore life to dry bones (cf. Ez 37:1-14). ... Let us be renewed by God's mercy, let us be loved by Jesus, let us enable the power of his love to transform our lives too; and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish...'

— Pope Francis, Easter Urbi et Orbi message, 31 March, 2013

The Cookery Nook provides real work employment and skill development opportunities in the Hospitality and Allied Catering Industries to people in Brisbane with special needs . As a part of Mercy Disability Services, the Cookery Nook operates as a not for profit business and relies on the income from sales of the generated product to provide ongoing services to the local community. All community assistance received benefits the people within our community with disabilities.

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1858: Foundation to Manchester, New Hampshire from Providence, Rhode Island - M Frances Warde
1868: Foundation to Shrewsbury from Carlow
1914: Foundation to Trangie, New South Wales from Bathurst - M Malachy Cahill
1959: Mission to Americas from Brooklyn, New York - M Euphrasia Lafferty
1959: 12 Sisters from Brooklyn arrive in Panama to begin their work

Post a Mercy fact online here

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The Voice of Mercy

'The voice of Mercy is truly authentic when it is the voice of justice.'
- Ethel Bignell (ANZ) 1994

The 7th year of the competition celebrating the creativity of  iPhone users.

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'...Fraser Connelly defines her study as “more than the story of the institutions that defined the territory and ministries of the women of this Midwestern region” but as women who “inherited [McAuley’s] spirit and vision for religious life.” (p.3) ... the Sisters of Mercy brought Catherine McAuley’s legacy to the states and made it their own...'

From the review by: Carol K. Coburn, Avila University, July 2014 (PDF)

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Further Resources

Worth Reading:

Opposing Trafficking in Human Persons

'Human trafficking has no place in the modern world, the President of the General Assembly declared today (14 July) at a special event at United Nations Headquarters ahead of the observance of the first ever World Day against Trafficking in Persons.'  Read the article here

'Pipeline: Photo essay shows human trafficking in Italy'. 80 per cent of women trafficked to Italy come from Benin City (Edo State), in south Nigeria. This photo essay illustrates aspects of life for these women who 'come to Europe under the pretence that they will be working as nannies or work in factories, with the hope they can send money back to their families. However, most of their dreams of freedom quickly collapse into a nightmare of prostitution and abuse.' Read the essay here

TRACE (Trafficking As a Criminal Enterprise), is a EU funded project that started in May 2014 and will run for two years, until April 2016. TRACE consists of a multi-disciplinary team from across Europe who will develop state-of-the-art knowledge on the business of human trafficking in an effort to support stakeholders in their fight against this crime. Details of the project can be found here

The human right to water and sanitation

In a country (India) where, according to the 2011 census, nearly 70 percent of rural households, as well as over 18 percent of homes in towns and cities, don’t have toilets, this article from Inter Press Service (IPS) provides one practical example of the importance of advocacy for water and sanitation. Read: 'Lack of Toilets Keeps Women Out of Politics'

Worth Listening:

Be transported. It's well worth pausing to listen and to watch the 2Cellos (Sulic & Hauser) play Benedictus. Beautifully played here (07:13). Equally moving is the performance of Benedictus sung by classically trained operatic singer Hayley Westenra from Aotearoa New Zealand. Purchase it from iTunes. 

Worth Experiencing:

'God's Grandeur'  is a Pray-as-you-go retreat focussing on the poetry of Gerald Manley Hopkins sj. Beginning with an introduction on the life of Hopkins, each eight-minute session then focusses on an individual work. Poems selected for the online retreat are: The Caged Skylark, The Wreck of the Deutschland, Pied Beauty, As Kingfishers, Felix Randal, Spring & Fall, To Seem the Stranger, Thou Art Indeed God, To RB and Peace.
There is no charge to participate. Access the retreat here

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

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Today, Sisters of Mercy, through Mercy International Association, use their resources to respond to issues of global
								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)