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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 770  |  09 May 2018
Featured Story

Editor: One in five people lives with chronic pain, that is, pain that can’t be cured. This figure rises to one in four people over the age of 65. Chronic pain is both a complex health issue, in part because it's invisible, and a costly one—socially and economically— for our society. In 2012, the cost to the Australian economy exceeded $55 billion. Yet, despite its prevalence and its economic impact, chronic pain management is one of the most neglected aspects of health care. “Our failure to adequately address chronic pain is a major driver of its economic and social cost,” says Rebecca McCabe rsm.

Sr Rebecca is no stranger to pain. Ranked in the top ten swimmers in the world as a teenager, her promising swimming career, with the opportunity to represent Australia in the Olympics in 1984 ended as a result of injury. While training to become a physiotherapist she became intrigued by the area of persistent pain and suffering. "I began asking myself - what contribution could I make to this 'hidden epidemic' in our society?"...

Messages to: Rebecca McCabe rsm (Parramatta Congregation)

Image: Rebecca McCabe rsm. Supplied

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Vision in Action

Applications from persons interested in volunteering at Mercy International close 18 May.

Why not consider volunteering?
Volunteers need to be able to commit to 8 – 12 weeks  between 21 January 2019 & 29 November, 2019
Open to Sisters, Associates and Friends of Mercy. Single person or couple welcome

Duties, Hours and other important information are linked to this item.

Messages to: Avril Tyrell - Facilities Manager

L-r: Carol Villagio (USA), Phil Murphy rsm (The Congregation) and Patricia Galli rsm (Americas) volunteers at MIC during April

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MIA Prayer Intention: Compassion for the Suffering

We pray with all those

whose basic needs go unfulfilled,
who are suffering from addictions,
who are struggling with chronic pain or terminal illnesses,
who yearn for permanent shelter,
who long for companionship,
who are estranged from their family or community,
who are grieving,
who are wrestling with life and death decisions for themselves or others.

Compassionate God, look with tenderness on their frailty.

Source: Adapted from 'Intercessions of Mercy'

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - CEO MIA

Editor: The Permanent Peoples' Tribunal (PPT) has scheduled a session on the human rights impacts of fracking and climate change with hearings scheduled for next week, May 14-18, 2018. Hearings will be conducted fully online. Click this link to stream the Tribunal live. A full schedule of daily Tribunal proceedings will be posted on the Spring Creek Project website and on tribunalonfracking.org in advance of the Tribunal. Press Release here (PDF)

An article by Denise Boyle fmdm to support Community Leader Shay Dougall and the Western Downs group in preparation for the Tribunal is linked to this item. In October 2015, Sr Denise and Áine O’Connor rsm, on a visit to Queensland, met Ms Dougall and heard the concerns of residents in relation to coal seam gas (CSG) mining...

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

Image: iStock. Used under licence

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Taking a Closer Look at SDG 6 'Water and Sanitation for All'

In 'Water & Sanitation: A People's Guide to SDG' (PDF) the section on monitoring includes a four step litmus test which is designed to help policy makers and advocates assess water related policy in light of international human rights obligations. This test is an adaptation of the NGO Mining Working Groups ‘Rights Based Litmus Test’. Key questions in relation to monitoring include:

  • Does the option undermine the conditions necessary to guarantee the human right to water or other rights?
  • Does the policy effectively advance the enjoyment of the human rights to water and sanitation by all?
  • Can affected communities and concerned civil society participate effectively in decision-making and access justice/remedies for harms?
  • Does this option further or hinder the ability of future generations to enjoy their rights to water or any other human right?

You can view a comprehensive breakdown of these inquiry questions on pages 12-14 of the NGO Mining Working Group SDG 6 Guide (PDF).

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

MIA Reflection Process
Carrying MIRP Forward (The Congregation)

The Leadership Team of The Congregation, in consultation with the Provincial Leaders, has appointed seven Sisters, one from each of the provinces, to form a group 'to engage intentionally with the outcomes of MIRP and facilitate the Congregation with this further engagement.'

This group will engage with the direction from the Chapter Event to be held in July and with the Mercy Efforts for Child Protection Against Trafficking with the Hospitality Sector (MECPATHS) and the ECO-Justice groups already in existence in the Provinces.

Messages to: Congregation Leadership Team c/- Cecilia Cadogan rsm - CLT

Outcomes from MIRP - Shaping Mercy Global Presence

We continue to welcome for publication in MercyeNews and on our Mercyworld.org website reports from MIRP groups on how their planned outcomes have progressed.

We also welcome news of Congregation and Institute developments for publication as members further engage with the outcomes of MIRP so as to shape Mercy Global Presence.

Messages to: Anne Walsh - Communications Director MIRP

MIA Members News
Rhode Island’s McAuley Ministries Casts its Net Wide to Help Others (Americas)

Editor: McAuley Ministries Rhode Island, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy—Northeast Community, has a rich heritage of providing the basic human needs of food, shelter, clothing and respect to persons who are poor, homeless and most vulnerable in the community.

McAuley House is a meal site and social service centre, McAuley Village a two-year transitional living program. Quality early education and child care is provided at The Child Care Learning Center at McAuley Village while The Warde-robe,  a volunteer-supported thrift store, offers quality used clothing and household goods.

McAuley Ministries was recently highlighted by 'The Providence Journal', a daily newspaper serving the metropolitan area of Providence, Rhode Island. The video can be watched here (09:44).

Messages to: Donald P. Wolfe - Executive Director McAuley Ministries

Image: Youtube

Supporting Children Through Grief (The Congregation)

Editor: Helen Culhane rsm, founder of  the Children’s Grief Centre in Limerick in 2009, a support service which has helped more than a 1,000 children affected by loss through death, separation or divorce, was named Limerick Person of the Year 2017. The award was presented earlier this year. In accepting the award, Sr Helen said 'if by winning this award it draws attention to that work, it will be a goal achieved.’

The Centre sees around 30 children a week, aged four to 18 years. 70 percent of the children who attend have separated parents while 30 percent have suffered a bereavement.

Sr Helen was interviewed on Soul Waves Radio. The interview can be heard here (11:36)

Messages to: Helen Culhane rsm c/- Denise Brennan - Congregation Communications Coordinator

Maria College in Albany, NY celebrated 60 years of Mercy education on April 25, 2018.  The ceremony included a ribbon cutting of the newly renovated McAuley building (former McAuley Residence) which will expand the campus for health professions education.

Maria Board of Trustees Chairperson Gail Waring rsm welcomed everyone and Sisters of Mercy Northeast Community President Jacqueline Marie Kieslich rsm gave the opening prayer (PDF). Maria College President Tom Gamble, PhD then introduced Albany Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan who read a proclamation (PDF) from the city proclaiming April 25 in Albany as, “Maria College Day.”  Also providing remarks were Senator Neil D. Breslin, and Assembly member Patricia Fahy.  View the celebration program (PDF).

The complete report is linked to this item.

Messages to: Elizabeth M. Wales - Chief Marketing & Communications Officer

Image: Sisters of Mercy attending Maria’s 60-year anniversary are: Standing, left to right, Rose Hobbs, Nancy Quinlan, Jean Roche, Jacqueline Marie Kieslich, Jane Somerville, Gail Waring, Victoria Battell, and Patty Moriarty Sitting, Gloria Graves, Gini Sposito, Barbara Dudley, Rita Carr, and Cabrini Nellis.

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Editor: On 4 May the Trump administration announced the President's decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to more than 57,000 Hondurans living in the United States. The designation TPS is for persons who come to the U.S. from certain countries because of a natural disaster, continuing armed conflict or other extraordinary conditions.

The Institute of Sisters of Mercy of the Americas has expressed disappointment at the decision:

“...The termination of TPS for Honduran nationals is both disgraceful and immoral,” said Sister Patricia McDermott, RSM, president of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. “Many of these individuals have been in the U.S. for 20 years, raising families and creating vibrant communities. Forcing their return to a country that is wracked by endemic violence and poverty will put their lives in danger, separate families, and have devastating effects on communities both in Honduras and the United States.”...

Read the complete Statement linked to this item.

Messages to: Institute Leadership Team

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In a landmark move, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Mercy New Zealand, Katrina  Fabish, has joined as a representative of Catholic religious with Bishop Pat Dunn, president of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference in writing a letter about the Royal Commission of Inquiry into historical abuse in State care. The letter was written to the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, the Minister for Children, Tracey Martin, and the chair of the newly formed Commission, Sir Anand Satyanand...

In their letter, the two Catholic signatories offered  their full support for the work of the Royal Commission...

Messages to: Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregation Leader

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During April, Institute Councillor, Gaye Lennon rsm led the Annual Retreat for the Religious Sisters of Mercy Tacloban Philippines.

More than 45 Religious Sisters of Mercy Tacloban Philippines, attended the Annual Retreat and General Assembly from April 2-11 in Tacloban City.

Sr Gaye was first Sister of Mercy to lead the sisters’ annual retreat.

The theme for the retreat, was ‘Tending the Heart of Our Life – My Path of Mercy’.

Messages to: Gaye Lennon rsm

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Mercy Matters
Feast of the Ascension Year B (Mark 16:15-20)

'The feast of the Ascension invites us to face the universal experience of the loss of a loved one, and to face it in a transformative way...'

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

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

Resource: The Pain Book

The Pain Book: Finding hope when it hurts by Philip Siddall, Rebecca McCabe, Robin M. Murray. Kindle and paperback editions

The Spinal Cord Injury Pain Book by Philip Siddall, Rebecca McCabe, Robin M. Murray. Kindle and paperback editions.


In the interest of good first impressions, this update doesn’t look much different. But it brings the most new functionality Gmail has gotten in years.

Source: Fastcompany

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International Nurses Day (IND), 12 May

On this day we give thanks for the skilled and compassionate medical care nurses give their patients We achnowledge with gratitude the dedicated nurses who staff our Mercy hospitals, clinics, trauma centres, aged care, rehabilitation and other community services, with best practice care.

IND is celebrated annually on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth. Read here about the close working relationship Florence Nightingale had with the Sisters of Mercy of Great Britain.

'Over 5 sessions, you will hear the story of the early Christian community, and will see what effect the Resurrection of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost had on that first, very small group of Jesus’ followers, and by reflecting on this, we can discern the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our own lives, and open ourselves more fully to the spirit of Pentecost.'

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1839: Death at Baggot St of first non-Irish Sister - M Gertrude Jones from Wales

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:

'Stabat Mater' by James McMillan, Scottish classical composer and conductor. Performance streamed live from the Sistine Chapel on 22 April and online here for one month only (1:08:36). A profoundly moving experience. Words here (PDF). Purchase a recording here

'Mary's grief at the foot of the cross is recognisable to thousands, hundreds of thousands of parents around the world, especially today in time of war and refugee crisis' (MacMillan).

Worth Reading:

-Displacement of People

Refugees and Asylum Seekers

'Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See, on May 3, 2018, emphasized Pope Francis’ call for solidarity through welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating those on the move and highlighted how faith-based organizations are particularly effective in carrying out those four tasks.' Read the article here

90 per cent of the planet is breathing in polluted air – World Health Organization. Read the article here

Human Trafficking

Stop Trafficking! Newsletter, May 2018 (Vol. 16 No. 05) highlights how vulnerability among children leads to exploitation and sex trafficking. Read the issue here

'Pope Francis on May 7, 2018, called for global action against slavery, reminding world leaders that “Slavery is not something from other times.” ' Read the text of his message here

Climate Refugees

Climate change to drive migration from island homes sooner than thought. Read the article here

Worth Exploring:

-Displacement of People

'The Waiting Game' is an interactive storytelling experience, built by ProPublica and WNYC, that puts you in the shoes of five asylum-seeking refugees. Explore it here

Worth Watching out for:

Pope Francis

'Pope Francis - A Man of His Word.' . The pope's ideas and his message are central to this documentary, which sets out to present his work of reform and his answers to today's global questions. Trailer here. Website here

The Bottom Line:

'Perhaps we need to bring to Easter our hopes and dreams of jubilee. Our own debts have been cancelled, our slavery ended, and our losses restored by the sacrifice of Christ. How can we do the same for others? When we discover the answer to that question, Easter joy breaks out anew, and the promise of a new creation becomes concrete. '

-Rita Ferrone, Easter Is a Beginning, Not an Ending, 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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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)