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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 577  |  06 August 2014
Featured Story

Editor: We know from Catherine McAuley's own letters, as well as those of Clare Moore, one of the first Mercy Sisters, that before important events — such as the founding of a new convent — Catherine would pray the two Thirty Days Prayers — one to Jesus, the other to Mary — every day for a month with the members of these new Mercy communities.

For many months now we in the Mercy family have been 'on pilgrimage' to the first Mercy convent at Baggot Street, planning to come together in person and online for a week of celebration. We have been sharing from our collective memory the stories from the birth of the dream for an international Mercy centre to its completion, continuing each week through Mercy E-news to marvel at the extent and impact of the global outreach from this first House of Mercy.

Monday, 25 August marks 30 days until these communal celebrations begin. To prepare together for this special week in the life of Mercy we, the 7,516 Sisters of Mercy, 4,830 associates, 74 women in the formation/incorporation process, an estimated 250,000 staff, countless friends, family, volunteers, students, alumnae... are all invited to participate in 30 days of prayer (25 August - 23 September), using the newly composed 'Prayer for MIA', written for use on this occasion (and beyond) by Mary Wickham rsm (ISMAPNG).

As we pray this prayer, wherever we are, let us be united in our concern for one another and for a world 'in need of God's compassion and mercy'. (MIA Vision Statement).

Messages to:
Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
Mary Wickham rsm (ISMAPNG)

Image: Pat McDermott rsm, Institute President and MIA Board Chair (front, far right) with three leadership teams of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas: Institute Leadership Team; Caribbean, Central America and South America (CCASA), and West Midwest (WMW). .

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Vision in Action
Suggestions for Using the 'Prayer for MIA'

There are many ways and many possible occasions for using the 'Prayer for MIA', both personally and communally, in the lead up to, during and beyond the 20th Anniversary Celebration week (23-29 September, 2014). These are just some possibilities:

- for morning/afternoon classroom prayer

- as the prayer for a year level or school assembly

- before a Board, Council, Staff or ministry meeting

- as a community gathered for morning or evening prayer

- in a formation or ethos programme

- in a reflection day or on retreat

We welcome your suggestions and invite you to share your experiences

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Reproducing the 'Prayer for MIA'

The 'Prayer for MIA' has been produced in 3 formats, each using our MIA brand colours and imagery :

As a print ready pdf (download here 3MB)
As a web ready pdf (download here 315k)

As an image that can be inserted into a web page as it appears here on mercyworld.org.
Request image here or from your Point Person.

We encourage you to circulate the 'Prayer for MIA' through reproduction on your congregation/institute and ministry websites, in newsletters and by other local means.

If you are reproducing the prayer but not using the pdfs or image we are supplying, please ensure that the following occurs:

- the heading 'Prayer for MIA' is used
- the complete text is reproduced
- the following statement appears at the end of the prayer text:  '© Mary Wickham rsm for Mercy International Association 2014'.

We welcome your inquiries; to hearing from you about where the 'Prayer for MIA' is reproduced and to receiving a weblink, digital file or hard copy of your publication for our archival records.

Messages to: the Editor

On Saturday, July 19th – after nearly 35 hours spent negotiating in its final session – the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted its outcome document. Mercy International was there till the end – including throughout the entirety of Friday night and Saturday morning – along with several friends and colleagues from the Mining Working Group, observing the process and engaging in final advocacy with governments. ..

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

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For the past year, I have had the privilege of interning with the Sisters of Mercy, through Mercy Global Action at the United Nations (UN).  I assisted Sister Aine O’Connor, the Sister of Mercy representative at the UN, with a number of tasks including researching, writing, advocating, and collaborating on persisting issues such as human trafficking and mining abuse.  Our mission was clear: to ensure that the people’s voices from the forty plus countries where the Sisters of Mercy live and minister are voiced and heard at the UN.  My experience over the past year has re-affirmed my commitment to a life and career dedicated to fighting for social justice and peace...

Messages to: Devin Tellatin

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Now is the Time!

The third Young Mercy Leaders Pilgrimage got off to a wonderful start on Tuesday, 5 August, 2014, when Baggot Street, Dublin came alive to the sound of young, excited and energetic voices!

Messages to: Mary Kay Dobrovolny rsm - Assistant Director Heritage & Spirituality

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MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week

This week the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1 (1st August) is being marked with media coverage and prayer services drawing attention to this important anniversary. Today we also remember that on 6 August 1945, during World War 2, the world's first atomic bomb was dropped over the city of Hiroshima. This Saturday (9 August) we will remember that the atom bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.

Conscious of those suffering across our world in war zones, let us pray for peace.

Peace for the people of Syria, of Israel, of Gaza, the Ukraine, South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Central African Republic, those caught in the Mexican Drug War and the Egypt Crisis and for the people of all countries where there is unrest or conflict.

Post your Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Editor: There are 26 Excellent 'Prayers for Peace' to be found at the bottom of this Huffington Post article



MIA Members News

'The Old Vic theatre in London will never be the same again, after a visit from Agnes Curley rsm! In the 1980s, Agnes, ever involved in the local community, sought to make contact with a celebrity to help out with fund-raising for the Clifden drama group. Peter O’Toole had bought a house on the Sky road in Clifden and a match was made. It was the beginning of a life-long friendship, one that involved laughter and fun, but one which also included reflection on spirituality. The play, written by Agnes, actually won the All Ireland final and went on to be performed in the Gate theatre...'

Editor: The above extract is from the article by Suzanne Ryder rsm, a wonderful introduction to the delightful interview on Claremorris Community Radio's weekly live discussion show with Srs Agnes and Suzanne. Don't skip this!

Messages to:
Agnes Curley rsm
Suzanne Ryder rsm


Image: Waterloo the old vic 1CC BY-SA 2.5

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Editor: This is the fifth in the series profiling contemporary Mercy ministries focussed on MGA concerns, as part of the 20th anniversary celebration lead-up. Previously published: Sabon Rayuwa Centre for Cosmology, Ecology and Culture (9/7), Earthkin (16/7), ARISE (23/7), Eradication of Human Trafficking (30/7)

Citizens UK describes itself as the hub of community organisation. The web site states that it brings together religious and civic organisations, and groups, to work together for the common good....

The Union of the Sister of Mercy is a member of Citizens UK and many Sisters take an active part in its activities. Some have undergone the training to be support persons...

Messages to: Philomena Bowers rsm


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'Sister Mary Waters did not just help rescue hundreds of teenage girls who had run away or been thrown out of their homes or become young single mothers.

She also helped transform a community, making people realize the problem existed and they should step forward to lend a hand, community members said.

"It was not just the girls she affected," said Sue Miller, a member of the board of directors of Mercy Center Ministries, [Patchogue, New York State] which Waters co-founded in 1983 in the Blue Point area. "Mary raised the consciousness of this community..."'

Source: Newsday

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy c/- Lauren Tyrell - Publications Editor Institute Office

Editor: Mercy Center Ministries is this week's featured Mercy website

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'For Sister of Mercy Mary Ellen Howard, the fight against Detroit's water shut-offs is elemental. "Water is life," she said, "when you shut off water, you shut off life."

[Sr Mary Ellen] ..., a Detroit native, was one of 10 religious leaders and community activists arrested July 10 while blockading the entrance to Homrich Wrecking Inc., a private company contracted by the city to do residential shut-offs. As picketers chanted, “No water flow, no trucks go,” Howard and her group stood in front of a gate with  a large banner that read, “Stop the Shut-offs,”  impeding pick-up trucks about to depart for a morning shift of turning off water mains. Charged with disorderly conduct, the religious leaders and community activists were held for a few hours at a nearby detention facility then released on a $100 bail.'

Source: Global Sisters Report

Messages to: Mary Ellen Howard rsm


Image: Brass Water Tap. Anita Martinz. Flicker. Used under CCO

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Te Kete Atawhai (Mercy Basket) now online (Aotearoa New Zealand)

The July issue of Te Kete Atawhai (Mercy Basket) is a great read, providing a snapshot of mercy in action, including the following:

  • Ex-Carmel College student volunteering in Honduras
  • Mercy Hospital's smoke free theatres win award
  • After 56 years Sisters of Mercy say goodbye to Rotorua
  • Mission - where memory and imagination meet
  • Human trafficking - a Mercy issue for our time

Messages to: Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregation leadership Team

Burren Outdoor Retreat (The Congregation)

The next Burren Outdoor Retreat will take place on the weekend of 19 September.  We will be based in Spanish Point, Co Clare, Ireland.

Why not join us for this weekend and we will take you to some of the most secret and sacred places in the Burren with its limestone pavements, unusual flora and ancient sacred sites. Let the beauty of this landscape speak to you and refresh you in body and soul.

Messages to:
Noirin Long rsm or
Mary Lillis rsm


Image: Steve Ford Elliott Burren Panorama, Flicker

More than Gold is the name given to the network of Christian Churches seeking to 'mobilise the Christian community to serve through generous hospitality, social care, outreach and active prayer, demonstrating the relevance of the church today and leaving a legacy of Christian love beyond the 2014 Games'.

During the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow the network has raised awareness of human trafficking by setting up information booths across the City Centre which were supported by volunteers. Mercy Sisters and Associates are among the volunteers...

Messages to: Kathleen Gooch rsm - Union Leadership Team

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The Sisters of Mercy North Sydney have great pleasure in announcing the appointment of Mrs Nicole Christensen as Principal of Monte Sant’ Angelo  Mercy College, North Sydney.

Nicole is an outstanding Catholic educator who truly embodies the values of Catholic education in the Mercy tradition.  She has a proven commitment to academic excellence as illustrated over many years at the College, especially over the past 15 months in the role of Acting Principal...

Messages to:
Loreto Conroy rsm - Congregation Leader
Nicole Christensen - Principal, Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College

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Mercy Matters

Interesting facts about the Information Technology (IT) evolution and the changes in society that have resulted. Worth watching for an overview of where it's at and where it's going...

Based on the original:Did You Know?/Shift Happens.

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The reflections on the Sunday Gospels for August (Eighteenth to Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A) are now online.

Messages to: Veronica Lawson rsm

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'The psalmist tells us that "God's mercy is above all God's works." And so, the final Mercy value is mercy itself. [Catherine McAuley] Unfortunately, the term has sometimes suffered from disempowering interpretations: "mercy" can refer to "being nice," enabling unhealthy behaviors, or keeping the peace. But mercy is something quite different. In the Hebrew scriptures, mercy comes from the word for "womb." The roots of human mercy are in the divine womb. This is to say, love from the inside out, with all the potential for birth that comes with real pain, at real cost...'

- Patricia Smith rsm, Morning and Evening Prayer of the Sisters of Mercy, pps 931-933

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Mercy Center Ministries has three independent living programs for homeless teens

All three of our programs are designed to teach young women the skills they need to go out into the world and be responsible adults, responsible parents, and productive community members.

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On This Day

1883: Foundation to Ballybunion from Tralee
1887: Foundation to Council Bluffs, Iowa from Minneapolis - M Vincent McDermott
1890: Death of M Rose Lynch, (Baggot St./ Birr/ Newfoundland/ Dundalk/ Geelong Australia/ Baggot St.)
1898: Death of M Baptist Russell, Foundress of San Francisco from Kinsale, Co Cork

Submit a fact about the Story of the Sisters of Mercy for our online archive

Proclaiming the Loving Kindness of God

'Calling one another to conversion of heart, to fidelity in mercy, to justice and to peace, we continue to proclaim the loving kindness of God, working together to create the new earth which God's love demands. [Rev. 21:1]' (Constitutions 4.08).

-From the Constitutions of the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia & Papua New Guinea

Further Resources

Worth Attending:

When in Brisbane, Australia

Maryanne Loughry rsm is a psychologist who specialises in the medical effects of trauma on refugees. Sr Maryanne is one of the presenters at Women's Night of Spirituality at St Ignatius Parish, Toowong, Brisbane on 26 August. Details can be found here

Worth Reading and following up:

Krista Tippet 'On Being'. You might be one of the many who listen to her on one of the 334 radio shows that sydicate her; or one of the 1.5million who download her podcasts. If so, you'll enjoy this interview. If not, it might encourage you to visit her website and explore the offerings

Opposing Human Trafficking

Last Wednesday, 30 July, was the first the first World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. The focus of Mercy E-news (issue 576) was on this major theme of Mercy Global Action. Find that issue of E-news here

Statements issued for first-ever World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, 30 July 2014:
-Statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay
-Keynote address by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay at special event to mark the first observation of the World Day Against Trafficking in persons.
-Statement by Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, Ms. Joy Ezeilo
-Statement by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon


LCWR's August-September Update (newsletter) is now online. Read it here PDF

LCWR leaders will gather in Nashville, Tennessee on August 12-16 for the annual LCWR Assembly. The focus will be 'Holy Mystery Revealed in Our Midst'. Please hold them in your prayers.

Worth Consulting:

Opposing Human Trafficking

Baptist World Aid Australia has conducted an evaluation of 39 electronic brands to rate their efforts to prevent worker exploitation . Read the report and download the digital guide—both free resources—  to find out what you need to know before buying your next gadget. Find these here

Worth Playing:

The International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples will be celebrated this Saturday, 9 August. To 'help bridge the gap' of understanding, mark this day by listening to an Indigenous Australian musician, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, who sings in the Yolngu language, his native tongue. His song 'Bapa' (Father) from his critically aclaimed album 'Gurrumul' has been rightly described as 'hauntingly beautiful'. The version linked here is perfectly accompanied by an animation consisting entirely of line drawings. Worth sitting with. (02:34)

Preview/purchase the album on iTunes

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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)