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Edition No. 760 | 28 February 2018
Sabon Rayuwa is a Learning Centre for Earth Studies on the outskirts of Yola town in North Eastern Nigeria. Here, Sr. Maire McGann R.I.P devoted the last twenty years of her life promoting and demonstrating organic farming methods. She also ensured that endangered indigenous trees were planted.
Over that time and in particular in the last ten years, people here are noticing that something drastic is happening to the environment. The rivers are polluted, drains are clogged with plastic, the towns are filled with exhaust fumes and trees and plants arebecoming endangered species. Understandably, there is great fear that further extinction of indigenous trees can trigger even more climatic changes, cause a decline in soil fertility and so threaten food sources.
In response to the terrible things happening to the environment around her, Maire (R.I.P) assisted to plant and nurture seventeen species of trees in Sabon Rayuwa Centre. Nigerians say: “the one who brings trees brings life.” So, Maire has left here a life-giving and enduring legacy...
Messages to: Margaret Slattery rsm and Goretti Kelleher rsm
Image: Young Moringa Tree. iStock. Used under licence
Editor: Sisters of Mercy (The Congregation) have had a ministry presence in Nigeria since 1969. Today they are based in Yola, Adamawa State and Minna in Niger State. More about their presence in Nigeria can be found here
Editor: It’s that time of year again. Fairtrade Fortnight is underway in Ireland and the UK (26 February - 11 March) and for all of us Easter 2018 is on the horizon. Sisters of Mercy and our partners-in-Ministry working on opposing Human Trafficking are once again asking that we choose Fair Trade chocolate this Easter and all year round.
Farmers operating with Fairtrade Certification, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ Certification and similar stamps are engaging in good labour practices.
Further information is linked to this item.
Messages to: MIA Working Group on Human Trafficking c/- Denise Boyle fmdm - Team Leader Mercy Global Action
This year, the Fourth Annual Symposium on the Role of Religion and Faith-Based Organizations in International Affairs had a thematic focus on perspectives on migration, including: displacement and marginalization, inclusion and justice. This timely theme was imperative as the Global Compact on Migration will be adopted at the end of the year. It brought faith leaders and religious organizations from around the world to create dialogue, engage, and cooperate to create a unified faith-based voice on issues of migration...
Messages to: Angela Reed rsm - MIA Coordinator at the UN - Mercy Global Action
MIA Prayer Intention: Women's World Day of Prayer 2 March
Women's World Day of Prayer is celebrated annually in over 170 countries. Since 1887, on or near the first Friday in March every year, women and men have gathered worldwide in a common day of prayer for peace and justice and the particular needs of their own communities− concerns shared by the Sisters of Mercy.
The women of of the Republic of Suriname, on the north-eastern coast of South America, have planned the prayer service for 2018 using the theme: 'ALL God's Creation is Good'.
Resources for the day can be downloaded here or you might, given the theme, choose to use 'Prayer for Our Earth' from Laudato Si'
Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel
Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - CEO MIA
Image: Alice Pomstra – Elmont, Suriname. Explanation here
Ecumenical Prayer Guide for the Needs of Women and Children
The recently released Sixth Anniversary Women’s Global Prayer Guide, published by the Lott Carey Global Christian Missional Community, features 31 days of prayer during March for women’s empowerment from contributors across six continents.
In addressing issues facing women and girls in the countries of their writers— Women-led households, Child Marriage, Gender Discrimination, Gender-based Violence, Human Trafficking— these prayers seek the good health, safety, general well-being, empowerment and advancement of women and girls around the world.
The guide can be downloaded here (32 pps, PDF)
Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel
Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - CEO MIA
Invitation: Share Your Story with Us on World Water Day
World Water Day is celebrated on 22 March. This year’s theme Nature for Water explores how we can use nature to overcome the water challenges of the 21st century.
We invite the MIRP groups which focussed on the issue of water to share with our readers from your actions and reflections since the formal conclusion of the Mercy International Reflection Process.
We also invite justice coordinators and all members of the Mercy family concerned about this issue to share your reflections, insights and actions.
The feature article in the World Water Day issue (Issue #763, 21 March) has been specially written on the issue of Water.
Contributions for the World Water Day issue need to be received by Tuesday, 13 March.
Messages to: The Editor
Invitation: Share Your Story with Us on Earth Day
Earth Day is celebrated on 22 April. This year’s theme End Plastic Pollution is dedicated to providing the information and inspiration needed to fundamentally change human attitude and behavior about plastics.
We invite the MIRP groups which focussed on issues to do with degradation of Earth to share with our readers from your actions and reflections since the formal conclusion of the Mercy International Reflection Process.
We also invite justice coordinators and all members of the Mercy family concerned with this theme or the topic of plastic pollution to share your reflections, insights and actions. One good news story of a Mercy student engaging her school community in dealing with plastic waste is published in this issue.
The feature article in the Earth Day issue (Issue #767, 18 April) will be specially written for this Day.
Contributions for the Earth Day issue need to be received by Tuesday, 3 April.
Messages to: The Editor
While the concept of Mercy hospitals’ charity care is familiar to many, diverse outreach programs across Mercy address homelessness, food insecurity and providing primary care to the uninsured, among many other needs.
Catholic Health World writer Margaret Gillerman featured two Mercy [Health] Northwest Arkansas outreach ministries in the magazine’s most recent issue.
The McAuley Clinic Without Walls pairs uninsured adults with Mercy primary care physicians who provide care at no cost as part of their regular practice.
Sister of Mercy Lisa Atkins’ outreach ministry to those living in poverty at a local motel has succeeded in moving some residents into homes of their own.
Messages to: Jennifer Cook - Mercy Health Arkansas
MAST Issue 24.3 Published! (Americas)
The latest issue (Vol. 24, No. 3) of The MAST Journal was recently published. Editor Eloise Rosenblatt rsm reports that the inspiration for this issue “The Body Challenged, The Person Healed,” was to pay attention to women who have endured the cancer scare and other life-threatening crises. Eloise writes that “since our Journal offer theological reflection, we wanted to place health challenges in the context of palliative care, sacramental anointing, and being remembered at our death for what we did in life to be healers.”
A list of the Contributors and their articles can be downloaded here (PDF)
As usual the issue provides discussion questions for those who want to use the essays for communal reflection with sisters, associates, companions or partners in ministry.
The MAST Journal is published three times a year by the Mercy Association in Scripture and Theology. To subscribe please contact Julia Upton rsm or subscribe online on our website
Messages to: Julia Upton rsm
This painting by Rembrandt was found unfinished in his studio after his death. It depicts the moment in which Simeon received the Infant Jesus into his arms, and speaks his Nunc Dimittis “Now let they servant go in peace” (Lk. 2:26-29).
Messages to: Brigid McNally rsm c/- Annette McCartan rsm - Website Coordinator
The Seven Last Words of Jesus—Week 3: 'Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother.' (Americas)
'The third word of Jesus from the cross is a word about human community, of which all of us are part. It has a quality of human compassion and love: “Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother."'
Download the reflection (2pps, PDF)
Follow the Series online
Letty de los Santos rsm - Reflection Week 3
Genemarie Beegan rsm - Artist Week 3
On Sunday 21st January a memory Board was presented to the Parish detailing the contribution of the Sisters of Mercy to Education in East London.
Eight Sisters came from Tullamore, at the request of Fr. William Kelly, arriving at St. Mary and St. Michael’s Parish on March 2nd 1859.
Fr. Kelly had volunteered for London and in 1853 took over the project of building a Church facing Commercial Road for the desperately poor Catholics, Irish born or of Irish descent. There were links with Bermondsey across the Thames as both parishes served the Dockworkers. There was an urgent need for schools...
Messages to: Patricia McMahon rsm
Image:L-r: Mrs Mahon (present Headteacher), Patricia McMahon rsm, Fr. William Skehan (Parish Priest), Sisters Maria Fay, M Josephine Browne, M Elizabeth O’Connor, Mr Terry O’Leary (a past pupil who sponsored the Memory Board) Sisters Anna Moloney and Monica Killeen. The Sisters all taught in the Parish school
Editor: As advised elsewhere in this issue, the focus of Earth Day 2018 on 22 April is to End Plastic Pollution. An estimated 300 million tons of plastic is sold each year. 90% of that is thrown away of which a huge percentage ends up in our landfills, our oceans, our wildlife and our bodies. Following is a good news story of one Mercy student's actions to make a difference.
During Year 8 at Santa Maria College [Attadale, Western Australia] students participate in the Enhanced Learning Program, Explore8. In this program, students look for ways they can make a difference to societal problems and how they can create change.
Jade Destremau (Year 9) completed the Explore8 program last year. For her project, Jade looked at ways the College could minimise its plastic waste and decided to look at the Café and their use of plastic packaging...
Messages to: Jade Destremau c/- Santa Maria College
1909: Establishment of Mercy Teachers College, Ascot Vale - M Patricia O'Neill
1988: Yorkshire Street, Burnley closed and Stephenson Drive convent opened.
Contribute a fact about the Story of the Sisters of Mercy in your congregation or institute to our online archive
Rainforest Reawakening Retreat, 9-11 July 2018
'A retreat immersion experience of Mercy through rainforest, reconnection, reflection and renewal of our responsibilities for the Earth community' in Far North Queensland, Australia.
Details on the flyer here (PDF)
Poster for promotion here (PDF)
Messages to: Sally Neaves - Rahamim Ecology Centre
Third Sunday in Lent Year B (John 2:13-25)
'Today’s gospel passage foreshadows the death of Jesus. As a devout Jew, Jesus goes up to Jerusalem at Passover. His final going-up will be the occasion of his death and resurrection...'
Read the Gospel reflection by Veronica Lawson rsm (ISMAPNG)
Listen to the Gospel read by Fr Eamonn O'Connor (Ireland)
A day that is in keeping with Catherine's maxim: 'There are three things the poor prize more highly than gold, tho’ they cost the donor nothing; among these are the kind word, the gentle, compassionate look and the patient hearing of their sorrows'.
Familiar Instructions, p. 138
More words from Catherine can be read/downloaded from our website here
Image: iStock. Used under licence
Here's one person's list ofapps to make us more productive. The list includes mindfulness apps 'Headspace' and 'Stop, Breathe & Think'
' ...Incarcerated in Manus prison we learnt that humans have no sanctuary except within other human beings. Humans have no felicitous way to live their lives other than to trust in other humans and the hearts of other humans, and the warmth within the hearts of other humans...
This sentiment is what all people...need more than anything else these days.
Feelings of friendship.
Feelings of compassion.
Feelings of companionship.
Feelings of justice.
And feelings of love.'
-Behrouz Boochani, Kurdish journalist and writer being held in Australia’s detention centre on Manus Island
'GRATEFUL: A Love Song to the World.' Watch/listen here (04:57)
Worth Looking out for:
“WATU WOTE – All of us” has been nominated for an Oscar in the category “Best Short Film (Live Action)”. The Academy awards will be presented on 4 March. WATU WOTE tells the true story of when a group of jihadist militants stopped a civilian bus on its way to Mandera in northeastern Kenya and demanded the Muslim passengers reveal the Christians among them for an on-the-spot public execution. The Muslims refused to do so. Watch the trailer here
-Displacement of People
A year-long study of more than 500 workers in Cambodia, India and Bangladesh demonstrates endurance in face of a difficult combination of low wages and economic uncertainty. Read the study here (84pps, PDF; interactive)
-Degradation of Earth
The Eight Works of Mercy
Article surveys the long and living tradition in which this new work of mercy stands. Read it here
'Plastic particles threaten to swamp the planet.' Read the article here
'Every one of Europe’s 571 cities is destined for worse heat waves, droughts, or floods.' Read the article here
The Bottom Line:
'Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.'
- Warren Buffett, American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist
Send suggestions and contributions for the 'Worth...' section 2018 to: the Editor
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