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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 759  |  21 February 2018
Featured Story
The Task of Mercy: Justice

Editor: 20 February is UN World Day of Social Justice. ‘The pursuit of social justice for all is at the core of our global mission to promote development and human dignity’, says the UN. This aspiration is in keeping with our Christian and Mercy traditions and the obligations and responsibilities we each therefore have to hunger and thirst—and act—for justice.

In her reflection given earlier this month in a Mass of thanksgiving for the 160th anniversary celebrations (5pps, PDF) of the arrival of the Sisters of Mercy in Buffalo, New York (11 February 1858), Margaret Mary Quinlan rsm said: ‘Mercy also impels us to address the causes of poverty.  It draws our attention to the sources of illness like pollution of air and water and the profusion of nuclear waste.  We are anointed and sent to speak the hard truth in defense of the poor and the sick.’

In recalling the founding Sisters in Buffalo, the generations of Sisters, associates, coworkers and contributors in so many ways since and the ongoing call to be mercy, she concluded: ‘Every one of us is called to reach back through our mercy history to listen to the first one who answered the call of the Spirit in our tradition. Catherine McAuley calls us to live deeply the charity that has held us together from the very beginning.  “We must,” she says, “We must clothe ourselves…with mercy, compassion, kindness, humility… and patience, so that it may truly be said, there is in us but one heart and one soul in God…”’

Download the reflection here (PDF)

Messages to: Margaret Mary Quinlan rsm

Image: iStock. Used under licence

Vision in Action
Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace: Called to be Peacemakers

Friday, 23 February, the Friday of the First Week of Lent, has been designated by Pope Francis as a special Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace, in particular for the populations of the Democratic Republic of Congo and of South Sudan.

We are all invited to participate in whatever ways we can.

In his appeal for participation in this day, Pope Francis asked ' that ... each one of us in his/her own conscience before God, ask ourselves: “What can I do for peace?” We certainly can pray, but not only: each one can say concretely “no” to violence in as much as it depends on him or her. Because the victories obtained with violence are false victories while working for peace does everyone good!'

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - CEO MIA


MIA Special Prayer Intention: Victims and Survivors of School Shootings

'Every kid in this country now goes to school wondering if this day might be their last. We live in fear. It doesn’t have to be this way...' March for Our Lives

MIA joins with Sisters of Mercy, Associates and Colleagues of the Americas in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, Parkland, Florida, in prayer for the victims and survivors of this horrific tragedy.

With them we too ask 'Violence and Loss of Life - When Will This Stop?'

In decrying the loss of life, loss of innocence and loss of safety and security, we also recognise that prayer must be accompanied by advocacy and action.

May each of us in our communities, ministries, work places and neighbourhoods be channels of peace and practitioners of nonviolence

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - CEO MIA

Final Reminder: Wellsprings Programme: 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 January 19th, MIA-MGA at the UN attended an event titled "Water and Peace: A matter of survival" hosted by the International Peace Institute with the Geneva Water Hub .

The event began with Danilo Türk, the Chair of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace, discussing the fundamental nature of water. Water is a measure of survival and unfortunately, no Member State of the United Nations is immune to water challenges. We see the consequences with inadequate water management, rising water scarcity, and the need to articulate new ways in which the world will need to find food when our resources are diminished. In this time of global fragility, ensuring water cooperation among countries will in turn, become an "instrument of peace"; but how does one improve water cooperation?...

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

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MIA Members News

Nga Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa Sisters of Mercy New Zealand affirm all human life as being of worth and having intrinsic dignity. Euthanasia and physician assisted suicide in any form are contrary to the ethics and philosophy of care adhered to by our Mercy Health Care facilities. We oppose any change to New Zealand law which would provide for the legalisation of assisted dying.

The full statement is linked to this item.

Messages to: Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregation Leader

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Jean Stokan, member of the Institute's justice team, is among those interviewed for this article in National Catholic Reporter on immigration issues in the United States. That article is linked to this item.

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy Justice Team

Editor: Readers in the United States are alerted to the National Catholic Call-In Day to Protect Dreamers on 26 February, announced on Monday by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Details are here

Image: L-r: Rita Parks rsm, Maggie Conley (IJT), Ann Curtis rsm, Jean Stokan (IJT)

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The Seven Last Words of Jesus—Week 2: 'Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.' (Americas)

'Let’s contemplate more deeply the inner stirrings of the Spirit, resident within, calling us to bring Mercy into this day, here and now.'

Download the Reflection (2pps, PDF)

Follow the Series online

Messages to:
Patricia Cook rsmReflection Week 2
Genemarie Beegan rsmArtist Week 2

Scripture with Kathleen Rushton rsm (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Kathleen Rushton rsm  looks at how John 2:13–25 expands the “Clearing of the Temple” story and considers different understandings of the dwelling place of God. Sr Kathleen writes: 'The Temple was a cosmic centre, a navel of the world, a place where heaven and earth met, replicating in physical space the holy order of creation.'

Download the article here (2pps, PDF)

Messages to: Kathleen Rushton rsm

Saint Joseph's Month in Maine 2018 (Americas)

Saint Joseph's College of Maine is launching Saint Joseph's Month, a new annual program during the month of March. Saint Joseph‘s Month provides the College community the opportunity to deepen its understanding and expression of Saint Joseph’s mission as a Catholic, liberal arts college in the Mercy tradition. With the celebration of the Feast of Saint Joseph on March 19th, the month also recognizes Saint Joseph as the Patron of the College... Visit sjcme.edu/stjoseph for more information.  

Messages to: Michael E. Sanderl - Vice President & Chief Sponsorship and Mission Integration Officer

For Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Congregation, there are many social justice issues requiring attention and action, but we have identified the needs of Earth, Indigenous communities, refugees and asylum seekers, homelessness, the impact of poverty on women and those affected by injustice within the Church as among the most urgent....

Messages to: Maria Lawton rsm - Congregation Leadership Team

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Mercy Matters

1838: M Aloysius Scott professed Baggot St (Foundress of Birr; died there 1844)

1867: Opening of St Vincent's Home, Nudgee, Queensland - M Vincent Whitty

1924: Foundation to Frinton, Essex from Chelsea, London - Sr Gerard Collins.

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

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Reflection: 'A Mercy-Filled Lent'

'Lent offers us a chance to consider prayerfully our relationship with God. And Scripture offers a few suggestions for how we might do this. Some of the most powerful are the corporal works of mercy....

These actions are powerful for a number of reasons. One is that these works force us to recognize Christ in our neighbors...Second, these works remind us that Christ works through us...Third, the corporal works of mercy remind us that we can grow in our relationship with Christ by building up and being part of an active community of loving, giving people here on earth. ..'

- Kerry Weber, Editor America Magazine and Mercy Associate

Second Sunday in Lent Year B (Mark 9: 2-10)

'The wilderness was the geographical and key symbolic focus of last week’s gospel story. This week, the focus is a mountain. Wilderness and mountain remind us that God’s Earth itself is the locus of mystery and grace, the place of Earth-divine encounter...'

Read the Gospel reflection by Veronica Lawson rsm (ISMAPNG)

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

Tips and Tricks for Backing Up Photos and a consideration of a range of storage options, including in the cloud (icloud) and using an external hard drive.

Source: New York Times

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UN Human Rights

The 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights falls on 10 December this year. As we mark World Day of Social Justice (20 February), let us reflect on the importance of these rights for all people.

Watch/listen here (06:10)

Image: Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt of the United States holding a Declaration of Human Rights poster in English. [November 1949]. 01 November 1949. United Nations, Lake Success,New York. Photo # 1292
Used with permission


'Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage... and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.'

- United Nations

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

VOCES8: 'Underneath the Stars'. Watch/listen here (03:41). Lyrics here. Purchase on *iTunes

Worth Watching:

Religious Life

Interview with Anthony Gittens C.S.S.P on 'Living Mission Interculturally'.Filmed 5 February 2018. Watch this webinar here (1:22.47)

Worth Reading:

-Displacement of People


The Yale ISM Review. Artists, poets, musicians, and liturgists have used their craft to “speak a new word” in a world where poverty and injustice too often reign. Access the publication here

-Degradation of Earth


'Why You Need More Dirt in Your Life' An interview with the author of 'The Ground Beneath Us: From the Oldest Cities to the Last Wilderness, What Dirt Tells Us About Who We Are'. Read the article here


The international Yes to Life No to Mining network has just republished basic principles to help communities protect themselves from extractive industries. Available in English, Spanish & French. Access the document here

The Bottom Line:

'We cannot remain silent in the face of the suffering of millions of people whose dignity is wounded, nor can we continue to move forward as if the spread of poverty and injustice had no cause. It is a moral imperative, a responsibility that involves everyone, to create the right conditions to allow each person to live in a dignified manner...'

- Pope Francis, Message to the Executive Chairman of the “World Economic Forum” on the occasion of the annual gathering in Davos-Klosters, Jan. 23-26, 2018

Send suggestions and contributions for the 'Worth...' section 2018 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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