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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 753  |  13 December 2017
Featured Story

Editor: Foundation Day celebrations at Baggot Street commenced with morning prayer (PDF) on our theme for the second week of Advent, 'For those not at home', attended by all in the House. From 11.30 am, visitors began to arrive from the Dublin cold (2°) into a warm, welcoming and festive setting, ready for midday Mass (8pps, PDF) which was presided over by John O'Mara sm. Marie Cox rsm, Patricia O'Donovan rsm and Frances Kennedy rsm supplied the music and led the singing. Their sound, as always, was rich and uplifting and greatly appreciated by all in the congregation.

The Renewal of Vows on Foundation Day, led by Mary Reynolds rsm, is always very moving, as is the Renewal of Commitment for Associates, Circle of Mercy Members, partners in Mercy and friends of Mercy, led this year by Anne Walsh.

The highlight of this year's celebration was the presentation to Mercy International Association of Catherine McAuley's refrectory bell for inclusion in the Heritage collection that it might be 'seen and appreciated by the world -wide Mercy family and friends'.

The story of this wooden handled brass bell, measuring 8cm by 5cm, engraved with the words 'This Bell was used by our Venerated Foundress Mother McAuley', can be read in this account (5pps, PDF) by Therese Clarke rsm, Archivist of Dundalk Convent, Co. Louth, where the bell and all it symbolises has been treasured, cared for and shared since the foundation of the community in 1847...

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director

Image: L-r: Mary Reynolds rsm (Executive Director MIA), Therese Clarke rsm (Archivist Dundalk Convent) and Patricia Donovan (Congregation Leadership Team) at the signing of the transfer of the bell. Photo: Anne Walsh

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Vision in Action

As we bring this year to its conclusion, we invite you to share a Christmas greeting with the global Mercy community.

Send in your greetings - text or text and image - by Tuesday, 19 December. The last issue of Mercy eNews for 2017 (Issue #754) will be published on Wednesday, 20 December.

Messages to: the Editor

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We pray for those who have no home
Whose hearts are adrift
Whose belonging is fraught or shattered,
Whose lives are exploited and commodified
taken by force and kept by force
by the forces of greed and illicit gratification.


Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

An interactive version of this prayer is linked to this item.

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Mercy Global Presence
More Creative Contributions (Newfoundland, ISMAPNG)

'A Life beginning in water' is the title of this final contribution to the Mercy Global Presence creative project from the Newfoundland Congregation. It was created by the Creedon Associates group.

Download the presentation here (PDF)

Messages to: Diane Smyth rsm

The Butterfly by Regina Camilleri rsm is offered as a poem suitable for children

Download the poem here (PDF)

Messages to: Regina Camilleri rsm

Share your Creative Contribution!

We welcome more creative contributions from your contemplative engagement for sharing with the Mercy world and look forward to receiving these in the New Year.

Messages to: Mercy International Reflection Process Continuation Group (Elizabeth Davis rsm, Mary Reynolds rsm, Anne Walsh)

MIA Members News
An Ecological Reading of Matthew's Gospel: Part 11 (ISMAPNG)

Sr Elaine writes in the final part of this series: 'It seems appropriate then at the end of 2017, and in this time of Advent, to turn our ecological lens on the story of the birth of Jesus Christos.'

Download the article (2pps, PDF)

Download the 2017 series of Sr Elaine's articles on Matthew's Gospel in Tui Motu (22pps, PDF)

Download the series  (2015-2017) of ecological readings of the Synoptic Gospels by Sr Elaine (60pps, PDF)

Subscribe to Tui Motu magazine

Messages to: Elaine Wainwright rsm

Image: The Anxiety of St Joseph by James Tissot

In 1975, when Communist troops took over Saigon, Sister Elizabeth Bui-Thi-Nghia fled her native South Vietnam. She and 31 others left on a small fishing boat with enough food and water for five days. By the ninth day, with all resources depleted, famished and dehydrated, they said their goodbyes to one another.

“But then a miracle of God happened,” Sister Elizabeth says.

An elderly Buddhist passenger asked sister to put on her religious habit over her clothing. He took her to the bow of the boat and held her so she could stand. The captain of the Hai Lee, a large vessel nearby, saw her.

“The captain was Catholic, and he had two priests and a sister in his family,” Sister Elizabeth said. “His ship made a U-turn to rescue us, and he was the one who came and carried me onto his ship. The first thought I had was I had entered into heaven.”...

Messages to: Elizabeth Bui-Thi-Nghia rsm

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One of his best gifts to us all this year has been the decision by Pope Francis to inaugurate an annual World Day of the Poor. Behind the initiative is the pope’s desire to keep alive the spirit of his special Year of Mercy...

Indeed, actions rather than words hold the key to what Francis has to say about this event. “Love has no alibi,” he insists in his message, and he challenges us to ensure that the words we spend on talking about care for the poor are matched by concrete deeds...

Messages to: Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregation Leader

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I have lived in St. Michael’s Estate and its surrounds now for over thirty three years.This area was seen in Dublin as one of the ‘black holes’, and over this time I have come to know and love the families for whom this is home.

In all that time, in every day, my eyes have been opened to reality...their reality: sometimes what keeps them going, sometimes what has made them falter. I hear stories of lives survived, adversity overcome, love sustained, traumas and tragedies faced up to, questioned and cried over.......families and individuals whom all have experienced not one, but an accumulation of difficult life experiences made more painful by poverty. And the question I must ask myself is
-‘what effect has all of this had on me?’...

Messages to: Jo Kennedy rsm

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Our mission to Addo is now in its 12th year. In that time much has changed while much remains the same.

The poverty of many people remains the same. Some houses are precarious structures of all sorts of materials.

There are times when there is no clean water and no electricity. And services can be unpredictable...

Messages to: Philomena Bowers rsm - Congregation Leader

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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Mercy (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Over the past twelve months, a number of the reflections in Imaging Mercy Today, a reflection and prayer leaflet produced monthly for the Mercy ministries of the Sisters of Mercy New Zealand, have featured the 8 Sustainable Development Goals (Goals 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 16) identified by MIA-Mercy Global Action as especially relevant to the Sisters of Mercy.

These reflections have been compiled into one article.

Download the article here (8pps, PDF)

Messages to: Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregation Leader

Mercy Matters
3rd Sunday of Advent Year B (John 1:6-8, 19-28)

'Today’s gospel reading falls into two sections. The first section comprises a statement from the prologue of John’s gospel and the second revolves around a question that has already been answered in the prologue...'

Read the Reflection on the Gospel by Veronica Lawson rsm (ISMAPNG)

Listen to the Gospel read by Fr Eamonn O'Connor (Ireland)

Catholic Health Association (CHA) USA, of which Mercy Health systems are members, has produced a video for each of the four weeks of Advent

Week Three (04:07) is linked to this item.

Our list of free, online, new for 2017 Advent Resources can be accessed here

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Mercy Neighborhood Ministries excels at stabilizing and improving the quality of life for those living in disadvantaged circumstances. We employ a unique approach to workforce development and aging population assistance.  Our holistic efforts help seniors and those less educated become more stable and independent. ..

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1879: Reception of first Honduran Sisters, San Pedro - Sula, Honduras

Contribute a fact about the Story of the Sisters of Mercy in your congregation or institute to our online archive

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'Fidelity to [people] means coming out of oneself to meet the real person, his face, his need for tenderness and mercy, to make him come out of anonymity, from the peripheries of existence. Fidelity to [people] means opening the eyes and the heart to the poor, the sick, to those who have no work, to the many who are wounded by indifference and by an economy that discards and kills, to open oneself to refugees fleeing violence and war.'

-Pope Francis, Video Message for 7th Festival of the Social Doctrine of the Church

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The rear facing camera on the iPhone is capable of shooting HD video and beyond if you know how.

Source: Techradar.com

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

Amy Grant sings Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song) - The Nativity Story (05:20) Watch/listen here Purchase on *iTunes, *GooglePlay

Worth Knowing:


Interview with Jeff Goodall, author of The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World Read the interview  “Climate Change Is the Great Story of Our Time” here

'Commentary: Water Stress is Helping Drive Conflict and Migration. How Should the Global Community Respond?' Read the article here

Worth Reading:

-Displacement of People

Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Justice and Peace Scotland has looked at the 20 Action Points document released by Pope Francis ahead of the UN General Assembly 2018 and created this video summary (05:37)

Human Trafficking

'Forced to Seek Safety in a Foreign Land: The Plight of Those on the Move'. December reflection from USCSAHT. Read it here


The State of the World’s Children 2017: Children in a digital world examines the different ways digital technology is affecting children’s lives and life chances, identifying dangers as well as opportunities.  Read the report here

-Degradation of Earth

'Lake Chad: The World's Most Complex Humanitarian Disaster.' As the massive Lake Chad started drying up in Central Africa, famine sent the native tribes scrambling to survive. Now political factions and jihadists have compounded the climate change and food shortages to throw this region where four nations meet into turmoil.  Read the article here

Voices of the Earth Charter Initiative responding to Laudato Si' '. Eight articles that reflect on the ethical proposals of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ and the Earth Charter. In both English and Spanish. Download here (150pps, PDF)

The Bottom Line:

'The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before… What is possible is to not see it, to miss it, to turn just as it brushes past you. And you begin to grasp what it was you missed, like Moses in the cleft of the rock, watching God’s [back] fade in the distance. So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder. There will be time enough for running. For rushing. For worrying. For pushing. For now, stay. Wait. Something is on the horizon.'

-Jan L. Richardson, Night Visions: Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas

Send suggestions and contributions for the 'Worth...' section 2017 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 Sheila Carney (US), Ron Ashworth (US), Susan Clarke (GB), Sister Colette Cronin (GB), Mary Moorhead (IRL), Kevin Hoy (IRL), Sister Margaret Casey (IRL), Sister Scholasticah Nganda (IRL)