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Edition No. 779 | 11 July 2018
MIRP Outcome: Mercy Health St Louis Announces Bottled Water Refill Initiative
Mercy Health System based in St Louis Missouri will be removing all bottled water from its 44 hospitals and 800 physician practices and outpatient facilities in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma on October 1st. All Mercy Co-workers will be provided with a reusable cup for refills at new water bottle filling stations and in all cafeterias and cafes, and emergency plastic water bottles will be replaced with a supply of foil pack water. Sister Mary Roch Rocklage, Mercy Health Ministry Liaison, suggested this policy after participating in a Mercy International Reflection Process (MIRP) group that focussed on water and offered two retreat days on the sacredness of water.
In communicating this decision to the Mercy Co-workers, Sr Mary wrote, "Why are we doing this? One of the “critical concerns” of the Sisters of Mercy is concern for the earth, especially water. As a ministry that inherited our mission and heritage from the Sisters, Mercy [Health] has a responsibility to echo this concern as part of our efforts toward good stewardship. On behalf of the Sisters of Mercy, the health ministry has been asked to see how we can continue to reduce Mercy’s environmental footprint, especially as it relates to water. This project was the result."
Messages to: Mary Roch Rocklage rsm
Editor: Has a significant change or new practice been introduced into your home, community or ministry as a result of MIRP? We'd love to hear your story. Email: MIRP Continuation Group
Image: iStock. Used under licence
MIA Prayer Intention: Rescue Efforts for Soccer Team Show We Are One Human Family
Some events capture the world's imagination and attention. Some events show humanity at its best. MIA, along with the rest of the world has closely followed the details of this remarkable story, placing a candle in the window (online) and praying all the while for the team and coach's safe return.
As we rejoice in the success of the rescue mission, awed by the skill and dedication of all involved, let us not forget the lesson in this for all of us, summed up best in the words of appreciation by Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn. When the soccer team was first located the King said: 'This circumstance has clearly shown the power of unity in action, power of love and goodwill towards fellow men, regardless of race and religious beliefs'.
Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel
Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - CEO MIA
MIA Request for Photos and Video Clips
In 2014, as part of the MIA 20th anniversary celebrations, Congregations and Institutes contributed images for a photographic display at Mercy International Centre. These images continue to be used at Mercy International Centre.
A new video is underway for Mercy International Association. Additional recent images and footage are being sought to show in the video the many ministries Sisters and partners-in-Mercy are engaged in, as well as to add to the current displays at Mercy International Centre.
If you are able to assist, please complete the attached form
Messages to: Anna Nicholls rsm - Team Leader Heritage & Spirituality
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 Everett, Denise, Dolly, Marcia, Áine, Rachel, Bernard, Alison, Richard, Gabriel, Michelle rsm 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
On May 10th, Secretary-General António Guterres issued an advance version of the 2018 SDG Progress Report entitled "Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals". This report is produced on a yearly basis to inform the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) which will take place from July 9th-18th.
Detailed within the report is the progress for each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in a format which includes an overview paragraph and bullet points describing statistical trends for the targets under each Goal. ...
Messages to: Angela Reed rsm - MIA Coordinator at the UN - Mercy Global Action
Students Make Mercy Real in Haiti (Americas)
Students and Teachers from Gwynedd Mercy High School, a Mercy High School in Philadelphia, spent time in Gros Morne, Haiti, learning and addressing some of the most pressing needs there. An important part of their Immersion Program was to address one of the Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, that of Water and Earth.
One way the students learned about addressing this critical need was to deliver Chatodos which are large 500-gallon water containers. These were delivered to families living in the mountains without easy access to water. Before this the families would spend hours each day carrying water on their heads or by hand for their use.
The students created a video of their experience. It can be watched here (07:06)
Mercy Focus on Haiti is an Initiative of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. Membership is made up of Sisters, Associates and Friends of Mercy.
Messages to: Dale Jarvis rsm - Mercy Focus on Haiti
Editor: At the 2018 Catholic Health Assembly last month, the premier gathering of Catholic health care leaders in the United States, Phyllis Hughes rsm received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
'...A career that has taken her from health care administration to leadership of her religious community to affordable housing to humanitarian work on behalf of those with HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean has led to Sr. Hughes' selection this year for the Catholic Health Association's Lifetime Achievement Award...'
Watch the Award video here (03:13)
Watch Sr Phyllis' Acceptance speech here (02:51)
Messages to: Phyllis Hughes rsm
All Hallows’ School – Small Steps to Save the Planet (Brisbane)
All Hallows’ School in Brisbane, Australia, has continued its focus on ecology in 2018 with many initiatives coordinated by the Eco-Justice Group which comes under the umbrella of the Mercy Action program.
To celebrate Earth Day, All Hallows’ held its very own ‘Earth Week’. Students took the opportunity to educate the community on the issue of plastic use and practical methods to cut down plastic use in the wider school community. The week culminated in ‘Plastic Free Friday’ in which students reduced or eliminated plastics from their lunch boxes. The Eco-Justice Group also held a ‘Plastic Container Booth’. The girls collected the Lost Property plastic containers to reunite students with their lunch boxes and water bottles. They were trying to ensure the plastic containers would have a second life.
Since then, the group has been working with the tuckshop to investigate ways of reducing plastic waste and they are looking into replacing the single use straws as well as plastic cutlery with bamboo utensils...
Read the complete report (PDF)
Messages to: Claire Easton - Director of Mission
Catherine McAuley College Westmead, New South Wales, welcomed over three days at the end of Term 2 a team of Indigenous educators from Wandana to help the school community explore Indigenous culture. Wandana is a community based project that aims to foster respect for all through an Indigenous Art project. The project aims to leave a legacy of the community today, while recognising those who have come before us to lay the foundations, and the Sisters of Mercy and the House of Mercy features in the school artwork.
The three days at the school began with a smoking ceremony on Wednesday, 27th June 2018, with the whole school gathering to be a part of this traditional custom among Indigenous Australians and which was led by Catherine McAuley’s own Indigenous students...
Messages to: Jacqui Hamilton- School Development Officer
MAST Journal Now in its 25th Year (Americas)
The MAST Journal is in its 25th year of publication. It is the primary way in which the Mercy Association in Scripture and Theology [MAST] serves the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, by addressing the Institute’s critical concerns, and ongoing spiritual and theological formation. Published three times a year, each issue includes questions for reflection so that local communities or groups can use the Journal for faith sharing or theological reflection.
The latest issue (vol 25.no 1) has recently been published. Editor Eloise Rosenblatt rsm explains that “Pilgrimage, Prayer and Popular Spirituality” is the theme for this issue. A list of the contributors and their subjects can be accessed here (PDF)
To subscribe please contact Julia Upton rsm or subscribe online on our website
Messages to: Julia Upton rsm
'In almost two decades of ... this monthly reflection, the most recurring theme has been the connection with our founding story, clarifying the links between our current ministries and that remarkable woman, Catherine McAuley, whose original vision must be at the heart of every genuine Mercy initiative. As time passes, social circumstances and cultural contexts change; new issues of concern emerge as older ones fade. We are not as likely as Catherine was to be confronted by a cholera epidemic in our neighbourhood or an incidence of TB within our family, any more than she was bothered by plastic waste, Treaty commitments or climate change...'
Source: Imaging Mercy Today
Messages to: Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregation Leader
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B (Mark 6:7-13)
'To be a disciple of Jesus is to experience a call. It is also to be sent on a mission in partnership with others, a mission invariably expressed in terms of preaching, teaching, healing, and/or driving out of demons or unclean spirits. In other words, it is to be authorised to do what Jesus did and to proclaim what he proclaimed...'
Read the Reflection on the Gospel by Veronica Lawson rsm (ISMAPNG)
Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems in 2018, 2017 and 2016 by IBM Watson Health, serves millions annually. Mercy includes more than 40 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, 800 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 44,000 co-workers and 2,100 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma...
1880: Foundation to Dubbo, New South Wales from Bathurst - M Aloysius Burke
1891: Foundation to Mansfield, Victoria from Carrick-on-Suir (via Gore, Aotearoa) - M Alacoque Ryan
1897: Amalgamation of Gore/Dunedin communities
Contribute a fact about the Story of the Sisters of Mercy in your congregation or institute to our online archive
'Without passion nothing happens. Without compassion, the wrong things happen.'
- Jan Eliason
Forests ‘Essential’ for the Future
Time is running out for the world’s forests, warns a new report 'State of The World's Forests' by the United Nations agriculture agency, urging governments to foster an all-inclusive approach to to avoid potentially damaging consequences for the planet and its people
Watch the video: 'The Sustainable Development Goals need forests (02:54)
Share with us your efforts in planting or nurturing trees as a sign of support for the Great Green Wall and Laudato Tree projects
'The internet is always there, vast and accessible, from wherever you happen to be -\- until it isn't...'
Palatine Electric String Quartet perform Palladio by Karl Jenkins. Watch/listen here (03:55)
Oprah delivered the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism Commencement Speech in May 2018. While directed to the graduates, it is well worth watching (23:15) or reading
Worth Checking Out:
- Displacement of Persons
Carne y Arena (Virtually present, physically invisible) explores the human condition of immigrants and refugees. Based on true accounts from Central American and Mexican refugees. If in Washington D.C. 'this ground-breaking and immersive virtual reality exhibition is unlike anything you've experienced before' testified Joyce Meyer pbvm in her article
- Degradation of Earth
World Atlas of Desertification (WAD)
The 3rd edition of the World Atlas of Desertification (WAD) has just been published by the European Commission, 20 years since the previous edition was released. Within that short period, the environment has undergone enormous global changes due largely to human activities.The atlas is available free online to read or to download by chapter or in full (1.2GB). Access it here
The 'Teacher-Friendly Guide to Climate Change' , from the the Paleontological Research Institution, covers the basic science of climate change, impacts in different regions, and solution strategies. It can be downloaded free by chapter or in its entirety here (294pps, PDF)
Displacement of Persons
'The tyranny of immigration data in Europe'. An overemphasis on numbers has led to short-sighted policies, writes Elizabeth Collett of the Migration Policy Institute Europe. Read the article here
- Degradation of Earth
" ‘Nothing to worry about. The water is fine’: how Flint poisoned its people." This long read is an extract from 'The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy' by Anna Clark to be published by Metropolitan on 10 July. Further details about the book here
'Responsible Mining Index 2018: An evidence-based assessment of mining company policies and practices on economic, environmental, social and governance issues' has been launched. Index is here. Article here
World Meeting of Families
Requests for tickets for WMOF2018 have been overwhelming. The Closing Mass in Phoenix, Pope Francis' visit to Knock Shrine and the Pastoral Congress in the RDS are all fully booked.
The Bottom Line:
'...I remember [Maya Angelou] was standing at the counter making biscuits, and she turned, she put the dough down, and she looked at me and she said, “You have no idea what your legacy will be.” I said, “Excuse me? I just opened this school and these girls, and it’s going to be … ” And she said, “You have no idea what your legacy will be, because your legacy is every life you touch. Every life you touch.” That changed me...'
Oprah Winfrey, USC Annenberg Commencement Address, May 2018
Send suggestions and contributions for the 'Worth...' section 2018 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 Sheila Carney (US), Ron Ashworth (US), Susan Clarke (GB), Sister Colette Cronin (GB), Mary Moorhead (IRL), Kevin Hoy (IRL), Sister Margaret Casey (IRL), Sister Suzanne Ryder (IRL)