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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 579  |  13 August 2014
Featured Story

Editor:  According to scientific research, singing with others is good for you. Singing in a choir doesn’t just make you feel good, it has health benefits too. It is an aerobic activity, exercising the lungs and major muscles. And you don’t have to be a ‘good singer’ to enjoy these benefits.

But singing together does something more. It builds a sense of community out of shared endeavour. It unites the singers into one single melody. Many hearts now beat as one.

Today's invitation to practise your singing is an invitation to us all to become part of the global Mercy choir that for one week in September 2014 will encircle the world with energy, prayer, passion and poetry. What a force for good those unified voices will be!

The late Carmel Bourke rsm wrote of Catherine that 'her whole life [was] a song of praise in [God's] name. And "mercy" was her song...'

As we go about these next 6 weeks listening, humming, learning and practising together, may these words from the song  'We Remember Your Mercy' in the Newfoundland ritual be our inspiration: 'We remember your mercy, we rejoice in your love, renew us in spirit O God.’

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA


Image: Choir of Academy of Mary Immaculate Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia students, Mercy Day Mass (2011). Photo: Peter Casamento. Used with permission

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Vision in Action
MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week

The persecution of Christian, Yezidi and other communities targeted by ISIS in Iraq is a catastrophe that cannot be ignored, violating as it does human rights to life and to religious freedom.

MIA joins in prayer for the safety and wellbeing of these our sisters and brothers in their hour of desperate need; for those with the power and authority to do so, to provide them with urgently needed humanitarian aid and for the persecutors to have a change of mind and heart.

The text of a prayer written by the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Iraq, His Beatitude Louis Rafael Sako, can be found here

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Welcome to all our new readers! Many new subscriptions to Mercy Enews have been received over the past fortnight .

A reminder that Mercy E-news is available without charge to any member of the global Mercy family and to anyone who is interested in the vision and mission of Mercy International Association (MIA).

We invite you to pass on this invitation to your friends, family and networks to join our reading circle.

The subscribe form is linked to this item.

Back issues of Mercy E-news can be accessed here

Messages to: the Editor

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Editor: Each day during the celebrations, the rituals and main events at Mercy International Centre will be streamed live (except for the Mercy Day Mass) and will be available in real time and archived on our Mercy World website  for viewing by those unable to participate in person at Baggot Street.

To assist you in planning for what you will watch live and what you will watch after it is archived on the website, we are providing for each event the Irish times with local times in Member/Associate Member Countries. These times are in the programmes linked to this item in downloadable form (PDF) and are also available through your Point Person.

Please circulate the appropriate programme to anyone you know who may be interested in participating in the celebrations, either through viewing the livestreams or watching the archived video recordings.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director

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Although the last day of the Young Mercy Leaders’ Pilgrimage dawned with grey skies, and with the knowledge that later in the day participants, delegation leaders, musicians and volunteers will depart Catherine’s house, the day was met with the same enthusiasm and good spirits we have seen here all week!

Read about Day One of the Young Mercy Leaders' Pilgrimage

Read about Day Two of the Young Mercy Leaders' Pilgrimage

Read about Day Three of the Young Mercy Leaders' Pilgrimage

Dates of forthcoming programmes:

In 2015, the Young Mercy Leaders' Pilgrimage for Secondary School Students will run from Tuesday 14 July to Friday, 17 July 2015. Group pre-registrations are now open!

Save the date for 2016 pilgrimage for college students & young adults: 9-12 August, 2016.

Messages to: Mary Kay Dobrovolny rsm

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Oración para la AIM/ Prayer for MIA

The prayer written for the 20th Anniversary and beyond is now online in both Spanish and English.

Oración para la AIM can be found online here in jpg and PDF

Prayer for MIA can be found online here in jpg and PDF

We welcome translations in the languages of other countries where Sisters of Mercy and our Partners-in-ministry live and minister.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

As a Mercy community we pray with those in need of prayer. We especially pray this week with the intercession of Catherine McAuley for  all whose names are newly added to our prayer list: Brigid, Eileen, Kathleen McCabe, Linda Lester, Miss Tomasello, Colm Donnellon, Andrea Decker and for all those who have asked us for prayers.

Messages to:
Anne Hannon rsm - Vice postulator Europe and Africa
Sheila Carney rsm - Vice postulator Americas
Caroline Ryan rsm - Vice postulator Australia & PNG, Aotearoa New Zealand, Philippines

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MIA Members News

Editor: This Friday we celebrate the great Marian feast of the Assumption. Redemptorist TV has produced two accessible series on Mary with Elizabeth Davis rsm providing the commentary. These videos offer rich resources for personal and group reflection and sharing.

In 2012 the series was entitled Mary. It looked at Mary in 7 different roles such as Mary as Displaced Person and Mary as Miriam of Nazareth.

In 2013 the series was called Mary and Right Relationships covering 7 topics including God, Environment, Self, Family, Others, Faith Traditions.

The 14 videos average 7.5 minutes each, 1 hour, 39 minutes programming in total.

Messages to: Elizabeth Davis rsm - Congregational Leader Newfoundland

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An old trunk in which were live plants symbolizing new life sat in front of the podium at the Theology of a Merciful Heart gathering at Mercyhurst University, Erie, July 25-27.

The trunk is symbolic of the religious life to which the Sisters of Mercy are called. In the old days, sisters were told by their mother superior to “pack your trunk” when they were given a new assignment. Over the years, items gathered from life’s journey were placed in the trunk.

“What do we need to take out and leave behind?” asked Sister Mary Waskowiak of participants, inviting them to look into the future of religious life with hope.

Messages to:
Mary Waskowiak rsm
Sheila Carney rsm

Editor This article references the Morning and Evening Prayer Book of the Sisters of Mercy. A reminder that digital copies of the Prayer Book are available. This prayer resource in digital format (PDF, App) can be found here

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Editor: This is the sixth in the series profiling contemporary Mercy ministries focussed on MGA concerns, as part of the 20th anniversary celebration lead-up. Previously published: Sabon Rayuwa Centre for Cosmology, Ecology and Culture (9/7), Earthkin (16/7), ARISE (23/7), Eradication of Human Trafficking (30/7,) Citizens UK (6/8)

The Mercy Foundation was founded in 1990 by the North Sydney Sisters of Mercy. It is a social justice organisation with a particular focus on ending homelessness, especially where it affects women.

In a nation as fortunate as Australia, no one needs to be homeless, especially not homeless for any lengthy period...

The Mercy Foundation makes grants, educates and advocates in pursuit of greater social equity and inclusion in the Australian community. As well as its key interest in ending homelessness, the Foundation also takes an interest in a range of social justice matters and manages a small grants program that has a broader focus.

Messages to: Felicity Reynolds - CEO

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Anne Murphy rsm undertook what started as a simple, manageable effort to collect clothes, games, toiletries for the 600+ unaccompanied children, ages 13-17, deposited at a naval base in southern California.

Sisters, Associates and friends were also moved by the stories of the children. Monetary donations and donations of “goods” for the children flowed in. Anne’s office became a storehouse for the bags and boxes of goods. She prowled stores for good deals on items that could be helpful for the children, including 27 soccer balls. On 6 August Anne and another Sister of Mercy, Jean Evans, had the car packed for their overnight sojourn to southern California. They planned to leave at 11 a.m. Here's what happened...

Messages to: Anne Murphy rsm

Thumbnail Image: Border Wall, Brownsville, Texas. Public domain (2009)

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Mercy Matters

One of the major contributors to American Catholic music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was Sister Mary Alexis Donnelly...Through her songs, we remember this great composer for her faith-filled and creative life in Mercy...Her music has been recorded as part of the Classic Catholic songs 1850-1950. Read her story and remember her gifts to the Church of her time.

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The Academy of Mary Immaculate is the oldest girls’ secondary College in Victoria, Australia.

From 1857 until the present day, the Academy has existed on its original site in Nicholson Street, Fitzroy. Mother Ursula Frayne founded the College in 1857 and is buried on the site. While our College is rich in history and tradition, we provide a modern and dynamic environment to lead the students into the future and prepare each one for her life's journey.

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Spend 7 minutes enjoying some of the astonishing wonders of nature and her beauty. Nourish yourself.

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'We have one solid comfort amidst this little tripping about: our hearts can always be in the same place, centered in God, for whom alone we go forward or stay back.'

-Catherine McAuley, Letter to de Sales White December 20, 1840

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1952: Groundbreaking ceremonies for 75-bed addition to Mercywood Sanitarium in Ann Arbor, Michigan
1966: Sister Mary Lucille Middleton, Detroit Region, is named among the top ten women of Detroit by the nationally famous 'Salute to Women Who Work Week'. Largely because of her  the first Jewish-Catholic dialogue in the state was held in 1964
2001: First edition of Mercy e-News published and sent to the 100 Sisters of Mercy who were known to have email addresses

Submit a fact about the Story of the Sisters of Mercy for our online archive

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'I think the gift that Catherine offers us is that she was very like us, she suffered and struggled; she tried to make a difference; she reached out with a big generous heart; she had many joys in her life; her friends were important to
her; her God was important to her; she cared for people who were in need. The challenge she offers us is for us to be as generous in our time, to love everyone who needs love, to care for everyone who needs care wherever we
find ourselves.
May Catherine’s vision continue to inspire each one of us so that all will know and experience through us the tender compassion of our God.'

- Áine Barrins rsm, Catherine's Story: Gift and Challenge for Us Today, 2014 Pilgrimage of Young Mercy Leaders
Keynote Presentation

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Further Resources

Worth Watching:

Cosmology and the Environment

'Nuns build a house of straw'. Women religious are setting an example of Catholic teaching on protecting the environment by welcoming people into their house of straw. Watch the video here (03:34)

Worth Playing:

In the 1980s and early 1990s, the name Colleen Fulmer was identified with social justice/feminist Christian music Her story before and since can be read here in 'Finding Colleen Fulmer'. She doesn't have a website but has now posted much of her music on her own channel on YouTube. Songs to celebrate: Blessed Is She and Mantle of Light

Worth Knowing:

'Stakes are high as US sisters start annual assembly', reports NCR online  The Assembly commenced yesterday (12 August). Read the article here Please remember LCWR in your prayers.

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

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Certificate Number 194263. Public Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered Office: Mercy International Association, 11 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2. Registered Charity no CHY 10078
Directors: Sister Denise Fox (ANZ), Sister Patricia McDermott (US), Ron Ashworth (US), Peter Burnett (GB), Sister Colette Cronin (GB), Mary Moorhead (IRL), Kevin Hoy (IRL), Sister Margaret Casey (IRL), Sister Scholasticah Nganda (IRL)