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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 758  |  14 February 2018
Featured Story
'Take up the Lenten Journey': Pope Francis

'Lent summons us, and enables us, to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly and in every aspect of our life...Take up the Lenten journey with enthusiasm, sustained by almsgiving, fasting and prayer.'

- Pope Francis, Message for Lent 2018

'La Providencia de Dios nos ofrece cada año la Cuaresma que anuncia y realiza la posibilidad de volver al Señor con todo el corazón y con toda la vida....Invito especialmente a emprender con celo el camino de la Cuaresma, sostenidos por la limosna, el ayuno y la oración.'

- Papa Francisco, Mensaje para la Cuaresma 2018

Editor: Our listing of new-for-2018, freely available online resources for Lent has been updated three times since being first made available on 24 January. You might like to revisit the page.

Image: iStock. Used under licence

Vision in Action
MIA Prayer Intention: Meeting The Olympic Ideals

'Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal' was the resolution adopted by the UN in November 2017. Last Friday, at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Games, we saw the ideals expressed in that resolution in action as the North and South Korean athletes entered Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium together, waving flags showing a unified Korea. We saw it when the sister of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, shook hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. We saw it when the Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, sat there near to the North Korean official representatives when so recently and for weeks we all held our breaths over North Korea-US tensions and nuclear threats.

On Friday evening we saw fireworks of celebration instead of the whizz-bangs of war. We saw that peace is possible.

As we each enjoy and admire the grace and skill of our own country's athletes, and that of the athletes of the 92 countries and territories participating in these Games, let our prayers be for continuing peace.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - CEO MIA


Wellsprings Programme: Inviting Final Enrolments for 2018 & Expressions of Interest for 2019

This year: We are delighted that so many Sisters will participate in the month-long Wellsprings programme, commencing on 20 May 2018.  Sisters, if you are intending to attend this year, but have not yet registered, please contact me as soon as possible so that accommodation can be arranged for you.

Download the flyer: A4 Paper size (PDF), US Letter size (PDF)

Looking ahead: The MIA programmes for 2019 will be planned in the coming months. The Wellsprings programme will run dependent on demand.  Therefore, we would appreciate receiving expressions of interest from Sisters of Mercy who would hope to participate in this programme in 2019. 

Messages to: Anna Nicholls rsm - Team Leader Heritage & Spirituality 

Image: iStock. Used under licence


On Saturday 3rd February, Denise Boyle fmdm attended the annual justice event known as ‘Feile Bride’ ..The keynote address was delivered by Professor Peadar Kirby, an academic and activist of international renown...  

He began his talk by posing the question: ‘Are we caring for our Planet?’  Pre-empting a response he shared that a look at statistics gleaned from the ‘Ecological Footprint’ of different countries provided a disturbing answer:

In 1961 all countries combined were using 74% of the planet’s resources.
In 1991 this had risen to 114% of earth’s resources
In 2017 the use of resources equalled 164%!

Messages to: Denise Boyle fmdm - Team Leader Mercy Global Action

Image: iStock. Used under licence

Read More

On January 11th, the General Assembly met for a briefing regarding UN Secretary-General António Guterres' report entitled 'Making Migration Work for All' (20pps, multiple languages). His report will be used to exemplify the priorities to be addressed in the upcoming Global Compact on Migration....

Secretary-General Guterres personally presented the contents of his report. He emphasized that this year Member States have the opportunity to fashion the first ever global response to migration; it is an opportunity for leaders of the world to counter the myths and make migration work for all of our nations...

Watch the Secretary-Generals’ briefing to the General Assembly here

Messages to: Angela Reed rsm - MIA Coordinator at the UN - Mercy Global Action

Image: UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Used under CC 2.0

Read More
MIA Special Prayer Intention: Impact of Cyclone Gita

'Nowhere is climate change, and ocean change, a more urgent issue than across the Pacific, home to many low-lying island nations and sensitive to large swings in climate from year to year', reads the promotion for the second Pacific Climate Change Conference scheduled to begin in Wellington next Wednesday, 21 February.

These words take on a heightened meaning today as we see and read reports of the impact on Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga by cyclone Gita, now headed for Fiji.

Let us keep these vulnerable communities, people and places, in our thoughts and prayers

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - CEO MIA

Image: Wikipedia. User: Kahuroa. Public Domain


As a Mercy Community, we pray with those in need of physical healing through the intercession of Catherine McAuley.

God of love and mercy, touch with your healing power and restore to full health all whose names are on our prayer list.

We ask this with confidence through the intercession of Venerable Catherine McAuley. Amen.

Messages to: the Vice postulators

Read More
MIA Members News
Return with All Your Heart (ISMAPNG)

Elaine Wainwright rsm interprets Joel 2:12–18, the first reading of Ash Wednesday, as an invitation to become involved in restoring relationships in the whole Earth community. Sr Elaine writes: 'During Lent we can take Joel’s invitation to restore right relationships as our own. And we can think of the invitation as including relationship among Divinity, humanity and Earth. It’s an invitation into adventure.'

Download the article here (2pps, PDF)

Messages to: Elaine Wainwright rsm

Seven Last Words of Jesus - Week 1: 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.' (Americas)

'When we are able to forgive, we not only put the past, with its hurts, behind us, but we also find compassion in the space where we had been holding on to our hurts...'

Download the Reflection (2pps, PDF)

Follow the Series online

Messages to:
Sheila Carney rsm Reflection Week 1
Genemarie Beegan rsmArtist Week 1

This month marks the tenth anniversary of the Australian Parliament's Apology to the Stolen Generations of Australia's Indigenous Peoples....

Key anniversaries such as this one are opportunities not to be wasted and a chance to reinvigorate momentum. The Sisters of Mercy of Parramatta Congregation welcome the interest this anniversary will evoke and the opportunity it provides  us all for reflection on how well we have written "this new chapter in our nation's story together". One means for that reflection can be found in reading the text of the Apology

Messages to: Maria Lawton rsm - Congregation Leadership Team

Read More
Who is My Neighbour? (Americas & The Congregation)

Copies of the booklet Who is My Neighbor? edited by Deirdre Mullan rsm and Carol Rittner rsm are moving very quickly.

Since we first advertised this resource in MercyeNews just over 2 weeks ago and as of today (February 9, 2018), over 11,000 copies have gone out to schools, colleges, universities personnel, some Cardinals, other Congregations, as well as the Sisters of Mercy, Associates and Friends.

The booklet is available in both English (flyer, PDF) and American English (flyer, PDF)

Copies are moving fast, so if you are interested, please contact Sister Deirdre Mullan as soon as possible

Messages to: Deirdre Mullan rsm

Mercy Matters

No event of particular significance is recorded in the Mercy Through the Years Calendar as having taken place on 14 February. We invite contributions for this date as well as for all our calendar dates.

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

Read More
Chinese (Lunar) New Year: 16 February

This year Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) falls on Friday, 16 February, beginning a year of the Dog.

We wish all our Sisters, Associates and partners-in-Mercy celebrating Chinese New Year a very happy New Year!

First Sunday in Lent Year B (Mark 1: 12-15)

'Lent comes around each year and presents us with its usual challenge to take stock of our lives, to see more clearly what is in our hearts, and to discover what might be calling us out of our comfort zones....'

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

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

Jesuits in Britain have produced a short online retreat of seven reflections that 'pivot around a sense of wonder at the love of God and of Christ, for both us and creation'. Valentine's Day, they suggest, is an opportune time to reflect on the love of God.

The 7 reflections plus introduction, are linked to this item.

Read More

Mercy Sister Mandy Carrier was one of the contributors to a new book, 'In Our Own Words: Religious Life in a Changing World'. The book contains chapters written by 13 younger sisters from a number of religious communities. Global Sisters Report is offering condensed excerpts from three chapters, the first of which can be accessed here. Further information about the book is linked to this item.

Read More
Lent: A Prayer Service and a Reflection

The Mercy Mid-Atlantic (Americas) Spiritual Life Committee has generously shared a prayer service for use on Ash Wednesday. The prayer speaks to beginning Lent 'multi-celebrating' both Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day.The Reading which references the recommitment made at the 2017 Institute Chapter, could be adapted by users to local circumstances.

Access the Prayer Service here (3pps, PDF)

Mercy Partners, Australia, has made a reflection available here

Further Resources

Editor's Correction:

In last week's issue of MercyeNews, I wrongly attributed the line drawing of the early Sisters, used to accompany the quotation from Pope Francis' message for the Twenty-sixth World Day of the Sick on 11 February,  to Sister Clare Augustine Moore. The drawings of the Works of Mercy, which were published in London in 1840, were sketched by Sister Mary Clare Agnew of the Bermondsey community, founded in November 1839. Apologies!

 Worth Playing:

'I'll Find My Way Home' by Gregorian, a German band that performs Gregorian chant-inspired versions of modern pop and rock songs. Watch/listen here (05:00). Purchase on *iTunes

Worth Reading:

- Displacement of People

The feature on human trafficking in last week's MercyeNews included an article by Jeanne Christensen rsm (Americas). Sr Jeanne was interviewed in this week's Global Sisters Report. Read her interview here

'9 ways the world got a lot better in 2017'. Read the article here

'Migration, sustaining peace, development high on UN General Assembly’s agenda for 2018'. Read the article here

Worth Listening:

- Displacement of People

Human Trafficking

The international 'Santa Marta' conference on combatting modern slavery met in the Vatican 8-9 February 8th and 9th, bringing together Catholic leaders and law enforcement officials. An interview with Cardinal Nichols can be heard here

The Bottom Line:

'Love and ever more love is the only solution to every problem that comes up. If we love each other enough, we will bear with each other's faults and burdens. If we love enough, we are going to light that fire in the hearts of others. And it is love that will burn out the sins and hatreds that sadden us. It is love that will make us want to do great things for each other. No sacrifice and suffering will then seem too much.'

- Dorothy Day (1897-1980),  journalist, social activist

Send suggestions and contributions for the 'Worth...' section 2018 to: the Editor

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