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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 756  |  31 January 2018
Featured Story

Editor: National Migration Week in the United States (7-13 January) is an invitation and an opportunity each year for the Catholic Church there to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants. The theme for 2018 'Many Journeys, One Family' draws attention to the fact that each family has a migration story, some recent and others in the distant past. It occurs at a time when the immigration system in the U.S. can at best be described as 'broken'.

The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas have chosen to highlight in their family story their walking with immigrants, from the arrival of the first seven Sisters in the US in 1843—themselves immigrants from Ireland—until the present day. The image featured above is from the 1970s when Sisters of Mercy responded to waves of immigrants from Southeast Asia.

Said Sr Pat McDermott, President of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas in her Statement on National Migration Week 'During National Migration Week – and every day – the Sisters of Mercy stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers who are forced by poverty, persecution or violence in their native countries to flee their homes, loved ones and livelihoods, desperately seeking safety and the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families.'

The story they have shared online is one illustration of global Mercy’s continuing response in prayer, advocacy and action to the needs of migrants and refugees: 'Welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating' (Pope Francis, Message for the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2018), a concern demonstrated again recently in the focus on this issue by almost a third of the Mercy International Reflection Process (MIRP) groups under the theme of Displacement of persons (p6).

The online presentation is linked to this item.

Messages to: Institute Communications Office c/- Lauren Albright


Image: Ellen FitzGerald rsm with refugees from Southeast Asia in 1979. Supplied by Mercy Heritage Center courtesy Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Communications Office

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Vision in Action

To help each one of us prepare for the Season of Lent (14 February - 29 March 2018) and following past practice, we have compiled a list of new- for- 2018 free online resources for your reading, listening, viewing, praying and reflection.

The resources listed on our web page are not intended to be a comprehensive listing, so if you think we are missing any excellent new and free resources, please let us know.

As new resources are added to the listing over the next few weeks they will be identified with a 'new' icon.

Messages to: the Editor

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MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week: Those living with Cancer

This Sunday, 4 February, is World Cancer Day. Let us all join our prayers with those who are living with cancer, especially the members of our families, our communities, our ministries, our networks and all cancer sufferers on our prayer list.

May our prayers be a source of strength and comfort; may our concern offer companionship and care.

Materials for World Cancer Day, an initiative of Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), can be downloaded here

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

MIA Members News
Mercys Lend Support Post-Election with Physical Presence in Honduras (Americas)

Five representatives from the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas were among 50 faith leaders and social justice advocates from the United States in Honduras for a week-long visit (24-30 January) to lend support to our faith partners, and to observe continuing widespread civil unrest and protests in the aftermath of the contested presidential election on November 26th.

The faith delegation sought an immediate end to the state-sponsored violence, bloodshed and arrests that have been ongoing since the elections on November 26th and a halt to Honduran military and police attacks on human rights defenders, land activists, journalists and other advocates. It also seeks termination of U.S. financial support for the Honduran security forces and meaningful broad-based dialogue with the participation of an international mediator trusted by all involved that leads to a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy’s Institute Justice Team

iStock. Used under licence


'A school founded and run by a religious order of nuns since 1843 has been passed over to the church to lead...

“St Anthony’s is to be a Multi-Academy Trust, able to work with primary and secondary schools in the area, to share strengths, expertise and resources. “It will be called the Catherine McAuley Trust and we are confident that our foundress will guide staff and students to maintain the unique ‘Mercy Spirit’ which makes it a happy, caring and successful School...'

Source: Text and image used courtesy Sunderland Echo

Messages to: Dolores Magee rsm- Federation President

Image: Pictured after Mass are Sister Michael, Sister Adrienne, Mike McDonagh, school deputy head, Sister Dolores, Bishop Seamus Cunningham, Andrea Shanks, chairman of governors, Sister Josepha, Sister Enda, Sister Aelred and Monica Shepherd, head teacher

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Mount St Bernards College and Commonwealth Games (ISMAPNG)

Two boarding students, Keane from Santa Teresa in Central Australia and Mathew from the local area, at Mount St Bernards College Herberton, Queensland, a school in the Mercy tradition, have been selected to perform as part of the 500 piece Didgeridoo Orchestra at the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games on 4 April 2018. The Games will be held on the Gold Coast in Queensland from 4-15 April with athletes from 70 participating Commonwealth nations and territories.

Both boys are part of the College's senior leadership group this year in Year 12 and have been boarders at the college since Year 8.

Messages to: David Finch - Principal



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

Image: L-r: Martha O’Connor rsm, Bishop Vincent Mduduzi Zunga OFM, Philomena Bowers rsm, Breda Ryan rsm. Srs Martha and Breda head the mission in Addo

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Seville Mercy Conference Centre, Cairns is ensuring their operations will have a more positive impact on the Earth.

Some of the ways they will achieve positive environmental outcomes is through their water usage and chemicals used for cleaning...

Messages to: Chris Hill - ISMAPNG Environmental Sustainability Manager

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Editor: As part of National Catholic Schools Week, the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United State, held this year from 28 January - 3 February, The Catholic Telegraph, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, is recounting how the communities of Mother of Mercy and McAuley High Schools are 'with faith and unity', building a new school, Mercy McAuley High School, which will open in August 2018 in readiness for the new school year.

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy South Central

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Mercy Matters

St Brigid is one of the Patron Saints of the Sisters of Mercy (Familiar Instructions page 182) and one of the saints 'to whom Sisters of this religious Institute are recommended to have particular devotion' (Rule and Constitutions 16.3)

Happy St Brigid's Day!

How to make a St Brigid's Cross (03:52)

Image: Element from the Brigid window in the Baggot Street Chapel

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On 2 February we invite each member of the Mercy family to pray the prayer specially composed for the Sisters for the Year of Consecrated Life and invite the Sisters to pray it for each other. Prayer: English, Spanish

Let us pray also that the God of Mercy will continue to bless the Mercy family with people prepared to witness to the mercy and tenderness of our God as Religious, Associates and Partners-in-ministry in a world so in need of God’s compassion and consolation.

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Theme: Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future. Urban wetlands are essential and contribute to making cities liveable.

Access the Statement by Martha Rojas Urrego, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, on the occasion of World Wetlands Day 2018: PDF  ,  Video Statement (04:13)   

Resources from Ramsar Secretariat to celebrate this day are available here

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Female genital mutilation (FGM)  is recognised internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

The Future We Need group, of which MIA-MGA is a member, produced a leaflet on FGM as part of its 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence 2017. Download the leaflet here (2pps, PDF)

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5th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B (Mark 1:29-39)

'In the Mediterranean world of the first century, sickness was attributed to social rather than physical causes. The corollary of this was that healing focussed principally on restoration of the person to her or his place or status in the society or community rather than on the person’s bodily affliction or dysfunction...'

Read the Gospel reflection by Veronica Lawson rsm (ISMAPNG)

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

1866: Opening of first Mercy School in Sydney - M Ignatius McQuoin

1892: Foundation to Wentworth, New South Wales from Deniliquin/Albury

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

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

'Serenity' by David Garrett featuring Nicole Scherzinger. 'When we find ourselves in changeable times. Everyday, there's one more mountain to climb. When you feel adrift like leaves on a breeze. Find a room in your heart, called serenity.' Watch/listen here (03:48). Lyrics here. Purchase on *iTunes, *Amazon

Worth Knowing:

Economic Inequality

Oxfam has published its annual report on global inequality, calling for a more equal society. Read the report in summary or full, here

Worth Reading:

Religious Life

The February issue of Update, the LCWR newsletter, is now available for download here (12pps, PDF). In her article, Mary Pellegrino CSJ quotes from John Haught's latest book, The New Cosmic Story: Inside Our Awakening Universe (November 2017). John was one of the interviewees for MIRP Voices. Watch his interview here

-Displacement of People:

7 issues that will shape the humanitarian agenda in 2018. Read the article here

Pope Francis’s message to Davos 2018 in full. Read the message here

-Degradation of Earth:


5 things we learned about the environment at Davos 2018. Read the article here


'Coral reefs face infection risk from plastic.' Read the article here

Human Rights and Climate Change

From 31 January - 30 May 2018, leading up to the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Human Rights, Fracking and Climate Change, Spring Creek Project (Oregon State University USA) will present the Bedrock Lectures on Human Rights and Climate Change. The lectures, 20 minutes in length, commencing at midday Pacific Standard Time (PST) can be watched online on the web and on Facebook. The schedule of speakers can be found here

The Bottom Line:

Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.

-Ursula K Le Guin, American novelist (21 October 1929- 22 January 2018)

Yr of Family
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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 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)