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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 771  |  16 May 2018
Featured Story

Editor:  'My passion to help those who are homeless comes from a deep call from God to reach out to those in our community who are on the margins of society. After seeing the homeless for myself, my heart was moved and out of deep prayer, I had no choice but to respond,' explains Lisa Atkins rsm, Nurse Practitioner and Mercy Community Health Liaison at Mercy Health System of Northwest Arkansas (NWA).

Sr Lisa gave a talk last month at the 2018 Health and Human Services Summit, Coordinate NWA on the importance of housing and community inclusion in Northwest Arkansas. Her work with the support of Mercy Health System NW Arkansas and 40 community partners offers one example of advocating for those in need and underscores the importance of addressing root causes. Her examples may be local, but the situations she describes of families sheltering in low-cost motels, unable to find affordable rental, suffering food insecurity, are familiar scenes in other parts of the world where Mercy ministers.

The video of the talk is linked to this item (13:40)

Messages to: Lisa Atkins rsm (Americas)

Image: Lisa Atkins rsm. Video screengrab


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Vision in Action
Volunteer Internship at MIA-MGA Office in New York Open

An intern position at the Mercy Global Action Office in New York is open to applicants. Applications will be received until the deadline of June 4, 2018.

This is a volunteer position five days a week for 9 months (October 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019). A stipend is provided to assist with food, housing and transport.

Download the job description here (PDF)

Applicants can send a letter of interest and resume to Angela Reed rsm

Messages to: Angela Reed rsm – Mercy Global Action Coordinator at the United Nations

Image: Church Center NY where the MIA-MGA office is located

Invitation to a Talk to be Given by Mary Sullivan rsm at Baggot Street on 10 June

On Sunday, 10 June, Mary Sullivan rsm will give a talk at Baggot street on  'Our Shining Lamps and today's all-embracing eighth Work of Mercy'.

Sr Mary's presentation will be strongly focused on care for Earth, with some references to what Catherine means by her “shining lamp” image and the lifestyle conversion that care for Earth requires.

The event will begin at 1.30pm and conclude by 4pm. Afternoon tea is included.

There is no charge for this event. Numbers will be limited by space so early registration is essential.

To register your attendance, please email Madeleine O'Hanlon or phone (01) 661 8061

We look forward to seeing you ! Download the flyer here (PDF)

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: Sally, Karen, David, Aisling, Lorraine, Joseph, Assumpta, Sarah,Ella, Pericles , John, Terry, Diego, Justin and all who have previously asked for our prayers.

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

Messages to: the Vice postulators

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MIA Prayer Intention: Victims of Flooding

We pray with the victims of recent flooding. We remember especially the people of Kenya where, since March, heavy rains are reported to have killed at least 132 people and displaced 222,456 others, and where the devastating Nakuru-Solai Dam collapse on 9 May caused further deaths and left locals unaccounted for. The risk of landslides in areas where the soil has been saturated by rain and floodwater remains high.

On the other side of the globe, record flash flooding has inundated Hobart, capital city of Tasmania, Australia, with private homes, businesses and public assets badly affected as a result.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - CEO MIA

Image: Kenyan floods. Twitter screengrab


MIA Members News

For the past nine years, Sister Marilynn has served as the co-worker volunteer coordinator for Mercy Neighborhood Ministry (MNM) in St. Louis, Missouri. The ministry connects economically poor people with health and social service resources. In 2008, the director of MNM wanted to connect Mercy co-workers interested in volunteering with agencies needing assistance. Sister Marilynn stepped into the role, and today, more than 750 co-workers have volunteered....

Messages to:Marilynn Wittenauer rsm

Image: Sister Marilynn Wittenauer and Sharon Neumeister, director of Community Health and Access for Mercy Neighborhood Ministry, prepare packages of toiletries and essentials

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Institute Chapter 18-27 May (GB Institute)

The Institute of Our Lady of Mercy Great Britain Chapter commences on Friday, 18 May and will conclude on Trinity Sunday, 27 May.

We invite you to remember us all in prayer during these days that we may be open to the action of the Holy Spirit.

Messages to: Chapter delegates c/-Barbara Jeffery rsm - Institute leadership Team

Scripture with Kathleen Rushton rsm: 'Life-Giving Breath of God' (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Kathleen Rushton rsm discusses how the Pentecost gospel readings, John 16:4-15; 20:19-23, highlight the Holy Spirit as breathing life into the universe. Sr Kathleen writes: 'These are beautiful images — wind and breath — describe the Spirit as an unseen wonder known by what it does, the effect it has and how it feels.The Spirit flows through all creation bringing life and love.'

Download the article (2pps, PDF)

Messages to: Kathleen Rushton rsm

In April I like to re-visit Kavanagh’s seasonal yet perennial poem, The One. To my delight, it was quoted in full by the celebrant as a reflection at this morning’s Mass in the context of the return of swallow and cuckoo. These harbingers of Spring – in spite of the seemingly endless Winter – were signs of hope, the priest said, and Spring was further evidence  of the wonder and beauty of the cycles of creation which we enjoy here  in our ‘common home’ … echoes of Laudato Si’...

Messages to: Canice Hanrahan rsm c/- Denise Brennan - Congregation Communications Coordinator

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A journey that began with the arrival of Queensland’s first Sisters of Mercy in 1861 took another historic turn recently.

During a special ritual, the Brisbane Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy transferred canonical responsibility for Mercy Community Ltd to Mercy Partners.

Mercy Community Ltd has been a ministry of the congregation for many years and incorporates aged care, family services, disability services, and migrant and refugee services across a number of locations in Queensland...

Messages to: Catherine Reuter rsm - Congregation Leader

Image: Council of Mercy Partners chair Dr Ray Campbell and Brisbane Congregation of Sisters of Mercy leader Sr Catherine Reuter. Used courtesy Catholic Leader

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Recently the UK government surprised many by appointing a Minister for Loneliness. Some laughed, others were cynical, and many were simply bemused. There was bewilderment and some degree of denial that the issue could have grown to such a proportion and scepticism that the concept of ‘loneliness’ was something a government could, or should, tackle.

But as an insightful article by Australian Senators Louise Pratt and Andrew Leigh pointed out, creating this unconventional portfolio makes sense. Inequality is rising; the strength of community is waning, and loneliness is a problem we must tackle together...

Messages to: Jocelyn Bignold - CEO McAuley Community Services for Women

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Mercy Matters
Pentecost Sunday Year B (John 20:19-23)

'As we celebrate Pentecost Sunday, let us gather into our hearts all the distressed members of our Earth community and pray with greater urgency than ever: “Come Holy Spirit, renew the face of the Earth...”'

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

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

'Catherine’s confidence in God’s guidance gave her courage to take extraordinary risks.'

-M Carmel Bourke

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Do you know what all the Control Center options and switches actually do? And how you can make the most of them?

Source: Field Guide

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International Day of Living Together in Peace, 16 May

The UN defines living together in peace as 'all about accepting differences and having the ability to listen to, recognize, respect and appreciate others, as well as living in a peaceful and united way.'

Pope Francis regularly warns against the 'globalisation of indifference' and challenges us to have 'a merciful heart...And, ultimately, a poor heart, one which realises its own poverty and gives itself freely for others'.

View: The Sistine Chapel Choir Sings for Peace at the World Trade Center (01:25) recorded last week

McAuley Community Services for Women provides much needed services for women and their children who are escaping family violence, and for women who are homeless.

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1841: Fanny Gibson entered Baggot St, Dublin for Liverpool

1856: Mother Clare Moore returned ill to Bermondsey from Crimean War

1889: Sisters from Tralee requested to work in Poor Law Workhouse, Dingle, Co Kerry

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:

'Mercy', a song composed by the French duo 'Madame Monsieur' who represented France in Eurovision 2018. Mercy is one of 35 babies born 'in the middle of the sea, between two countries' on one of the boats that rescues refugees in the Mediterranean. Sung in French with English translation on screen. Watch/listen here (03:10). Read the story here

Worth Watching:

Pope Francis

Last month in Rome a nervous little boy called Emanuele asked Pope Francis if his deceased father is in Heaven, even though his father did not believe in God...View their moving encounter here (04:46)

Worth Reading:

Religious Life

'Living the Emmaus story now'. Read the article here

-Degradation of Earth
Reminder: The Peoples Tribunal on Human Rights, Fracking and Climate commences on Thursday, 14 May. Follow proceedings here

'More variable climate means a less just world.' Read the article here

The Bottom Line:

'The Holy Spirit will not be confined. There is an untouchable part of all of us that senses this with a knowledge beyond knowing. It is a universal life-instinct. And it must be free.'
- Daniel O'Leary

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

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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)