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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 775  |  13 June 2018
Featured Story

Editor: This week we mark the 3rd anniversary of the publication of Laudato Si', the environmental encyclical which calls all people to a new consciousness and care of the planet and its life forms. The timing of the encyclical's release gave us the phrase 'the cry of the Earth and cry of the Poor' for our International Reflection process, asking us to listen, hear and respond anew to these cries, both locally and globally. It also gave us a means to pray for the protection of creation—the Prayer for our Earth —which accompanied us through the year of Mercy and has been important to us ever since.

Along with the text of the encyclical in written and audio formats, there are many resources on our Mercyworld.org website to assist each of us in revisiting Laudato Si'.

Last year, we were invited to pray the Prayer for our Earth over the 9 days leading up to the second anniversary of the public release of Laudato Si'.

This year, we invite members of our Mercy family to commence the 9 days of prayer on 18 June.

The reflection pages for each of the 9 days (18-26 June) have been updated with a suggested action included for each day. These pages are linked to this item.

Messages to: the MIRP Continuation Group - Elizabeth Davis rsm, Mary Reynolds rsm, Anne Walsh

Image: © 2018 MIA

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Vision in Action
MIA Prayer Intention: Victims of the Fuego Volcano in Guatemala

We pray with the families of the victims, now numbering 110, of Guatemala's Fuego volcano eruption, the most most violent eruption in four decades. We pray with those whose relatives are still missing and for those whose homes and villages have been destroyed. We give thanks for the efforts of the rescue teams which in dangerous conditions have made desperate efforts to locate the missing and the dead, and for the efforts of Catholic Relief Services in helping on the ground.

We also remember in our prayers the people on Hawaii's Big island where Kilauea has been erupting continuously for over a month and where an estimated 600 homes have been swallowed by lava flows. We give thanks that no lives have been lost there.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - CEO MIA


World Day Against Child Labour 12 June

Editor: Globally, an estimated 152 million children aged 5 to 17 are engaged  in child labour with 73 million performing hazardous work, examples of which can be seen here (02:42). One in five children in Africa is involved in child labour with Asia and the Pacific the second and third highest regions. Not surprisingly, children in countries affected by conflict and disasters are more likely to be engaged in child labour. SDG target 8.7 aims at ending all forms of child labour by 2025.

Sisters of Mercy are part of a global network of religious congregations addressing all forms of human trafficking, including combating the sale of children for labor and for sex. Find out more about human trafficking and children here (4pps, PDF). Visit the working group section on our website to learn more about this issue.

Messages to: MIA Working Group on Human Trafficking c/- Denise Boyle fmdm

Image :Event World Day Against Child LabourCC-BY-2.0

MIA Members News

On Saturday, 26 May a fund was launched in memory of Dr Janette (Jan) Gray rsm who died suddenly in 2016. Fittingly, the Fund will provide financial support for activities that promote the education and leadership of women in theology - a scholarship awarded to a woman for excellence in the 12,000 word research essay to enable her to undertake doctoral studies in theology, and an annual lecture to showcase theological scholarship and effective communication of academic insight.

The inaugural lecture (PDF) will be given by Dr Elaine Wainwright rsm on 31 August.

Donations to the fund (PDF) are welcome.

Further details are linked to this item.

Messages to: Kathleen Williams rsm - Committee Chair

Image: Launch of fund

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'As the daughter of a watchman in Nairobi, Marsabit Governor Mohamud Ali’s wife Alamitu Guyo Jattani, was once on the brink of dropping out of school during her formative years. Her father, who earned a meagre Sh400 at the time, was unable to raise the Sh1, 300 school fee. She attributes her education to the Catholic nuns who paid her fees at Our Lady of Mercy Secondary School, Nairobi.

“Growing up in a poor family gives me the energy to want to uplift others since I know what it means to need and not have,” she says.

While most governor’s wives are content with remaining in the shadows of their spouses, Ms Alamitu has come out to champion causes she believes in such as menstrual hygiene, maternal and child health, environment and education -- specifically refurbishing the schools and providing mentors to the students...'

Source: Standard Digital, Kenya

Messages to: Ms Alamitu c/- County Government of Marsabit

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'Ten red doors that create a pathway through Mercy Health-St. Rita’s history can now be spotted around Lima [Ohio],  a project that helps celebrate the medical center’s centennial year.The inspiration behind the project was “The Door of Mercy,” a poem written by Sister [Mary] Wickham...

“Each one highlights a different era of St. Rita’s. Some of them have very historic pictures and some are more modern,” said Keehn. “It gives you a full glimpse of our 100-year history in town.”...

Messages to: Maureen Richmond - Director, Public Relations

Image and article: Camri Nelson, The  Lima [Ohio] News. Used with permission

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The Misericordia University community officially rededicated the historic archway on Lake Street during a ceremony on Alumni Weekend that featured remarks from the Sisters of Mercy, students, alumni and administration...

"The arch is one way, always one of entering the university, and symbolically is never closed,'' President Botzman said. "Our arch also is located farther from Mercy Hall and requires an effort to climb the hill to the university that sits at the top. The years spent earning a Misericordia degree have plenty of uphill climbs, but the view when one gets to the top is truly amazing.''..

Messages to: Thomas Botzman - President Misericordia University

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'[T]he mission statement on our walls and websites, announcing mercy through each and all of our ministries, is not meant to be a glib, empty promise. And the cross that goes with the slogan is our way of saying that God is close wherever people are challenged or hurting. Whether it is illness borne in one of our healthcare facilities, or the search by young women to find a way forward through Mercy education, or the battle faced by women – often on their own – to parent well and provide for their families, the word is that God is there, accompanying them in their struggle and promising to turn darkness and doubt into new and abundant life.'

Source: Imaging Mercy Today, June 2018

Messages to: Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregation Leader

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Scripture with Kathleen Rushton rsm: 'God's Work in Seeds' (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Kathleen Rushton interprets two parables in Mark 4:26-34 —the seed that grows by itself and the mustard seed. Sr Kathleen poses the question: 'How can we reflect on these parables today, to understand where the seed of the care of God as of old is growing — though it grows unseen and hidden?'

Download the article here (PDF)

Messages to: Kathleen Rushton rsm

Most of us [in Ireland} know that Croke Park, Ireland’s national stadium and headquarters of the G.A.A., [Gaelic Athletic Association] is called after Archbishop Thomas Croke of Cashel who was instrumental in founding the G.A.A., but perhaps not as many realise that this famous prelate had two sisters who entered the Mercy Convent in Charleville... Margaret Croke became the twelfth girl to enter the local Mercy Convent in 1855.  At her reception, she was given the name Sr. M. Ignatius. 

In 1865 an appeal came from Matthew Quinn, Bishop-elect of Bathurst diocese in Australia, for sisters to make a foundation in New South Wales.  Sr. Ignatius Croke led the group of seven volunteers – five professed and two novices. ...

Messages to: Bernadette Maria Knopek rsm c/- Denise Brennan- Congregation Communications Coordinator

Image: Mercy Convent Charleville

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St Patrick’s Catholic School, Asquith 60th Anniversary Celebrations (North Sydney)

The Sisters of Mercy opened St Patrick’s on 28 January 1958, with the first classroom temporarily operating in the parish hall. Two Sisters were there in the early days, St Mary Antoinette as Principal and Sr Mary Bernadette as teacher. In January 1959, Cardinal Gilroy officially opened and blessed the school, which by then had 150 students.

Sr Mary Bernadette (now known as Sr Maureen Shakeshaft) was present at the celebrations, along with other former Principals and staff, Sr Monica Raper, Sr Paul (now known as Sr Pat Barton), Sr Miriam Greech, Mr Robert Peers and current Principal Mr Bernard Cumming.

Messages to: Bernard Cumming - Principal

Download the item here (PDF)

Back row – L-r: Peter Hamill (Director of Schools, Catholic Schools Office), Councillor Warren Waddell (Hornsby Shire Council), Robert Peers (previous Principal), Bernard Cumming (current Principal), Matt Kean (local member of NSW State parliament), Bishop Peter Comensoli (Bishop of Broken Bay)

Front Row – L-r:  Sisters Pat Barton, Maureen Shakeshaft, Monica Raper, Miriam Greech

Mercy Matters
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B (Mark 4:26-34)

'The first of the parables in today’s gospel reading has no parallel in the other gospels. It compares God’s kin-dom to a trusting sower who scatters the seed by day, sleeps by night, and simply observes the “earth produce of itself” until it is time to harvest the grain...'

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

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

'Amazon may not collect as much data as Google or Facebook (at least, not yet), but it still has access to vast reserves of user data, thanks to the sheer scale of its operations.'

Source: PC&Tech Authority

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This free short course, now offered for a third year, provides an overview of the main themes and messages of Laudato Si’. It does not presume any prior familiarity with either Catholic teaching or the sustainable development agenda.  The course is self-paced and the listener is guided through the basic structure of the encyclical.

Because this is offered as a mini-series, there are no quizzes or assessments.

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1840: Mary Bourke, postulant died, Galway
1859: Bishop Jean Baptiste Pompallier hands over 18 acres of his Ponsonby, Auckland property to the Sisters of Mercy to build St Mary's Convent.

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 Brave and Startling Truth: Maya Angelou

'...When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear...'

Read the complete poem here

Watch/listen to Maya Angelou read her poem which she wrote in commemoration of the UN's 50th Anniversary, in 1995.

Image: Maya Angelou, CC-BY-2.0 via Wikimedia Commons


Mater Christi is a private Catholic school sponsored by the Mercy Education System of the Americas, serving students in Preschool through grade eight. We are committed to providing a quality, values-centered education in the Catholic tradition that prepares students for the complexities of our diverse world.

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

How Long (Official Video) by Les Stroud.  A challenge to viewers: wake up and take action before it’s too late. Watch/listen here (03:32)

Worth Watching:

-Displacement of People

Human Trafficking

'How to fight the $187 billion human trafficking industry'. Cardinal Vincent Nichols discusses his work to end human trafficking with America Media President & Editor-in-Chief, Matt Malone sj. Watch it here (07:25)

Worth Reading:

-Displacement of People

Human Trafficking

The June 2018 issue (Vol. 16 No. 06) of Stop Trafficking! is now online.This issue highlights the trauma suffered by victims of sexual exploitation and the issues involved in their treatment and healing. Read it here (8pps, PDF)

Women & Girls

The Gender Equality Advisory Council appointed by Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau released a set of recommendations last week for the G7 summit held 8-9 June in Quebec, Canada . Read these here (7pps, PDF)

-Degradation of Earth

Extractive Industries

The international panel of judges which oversaw the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal Session on Human Rights, Fracking and Climate Change has issued a preliminary statement about the proceedings. Read it here (4pps, PDF)

'Pope Tells Oil Executives to Act on Climate: "There Is No Time to Lose" '. Article here. Address here


'AMAZONIA: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology (Preparatory Document)'. The preparatory document for the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region to be held in October 2019 has been released. Read about the synod here, document  here

Plastic Pollution

The Mediterranean Sea is turning into a dangerous plastic trap, with record levels of pollution from microplastics threatening marine species and human health, according to a new World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report released on World Oceans Day. Read the report here (28pps, PDF)

Worth Knowing:

Symphony for Our World  is a multimedia journey through some of the world's most incredible wildlife species. A collaboration between National Geographic and Bleeding Fingers Music performed live by a full orchestra and choir. Details here. Trailer here (01:01)

The Bottom Line:

'The care of creation, seen as a shared gift and not as a private possession, always entails the recognition and the respect of the rights of every person and every people. The ecological crisis now affecting all of humanity is ultimately rooted in the human heart, that aspires to control and exploit the limited resources of our planet, while ignoring the vulnerable members of the human family...'

-Pope Francis, message to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, and to the participants in the International Symposium titled Toward a Greener Attica: Preserving the Planet and Protecting its People,  held 5-8 June, 2018 in Athens.

Human Trafficking
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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)