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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 780  |  18 July 2018
Featured Story
Her Heart is with the Homeless

Editor: Year 10 (fourth year second level) student Hannah Farhall from Damascus College, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, is one of 15 Victorian young people participating in the first year of an innovative new online social enterprise project run by the Western Bulldogs (football team) Foundation. The young people participate in projects that make money in a socially responsible way.

Hannah, together with two other graduates of the Foundation’s 2017 Leadership Project, Amy and Daen, has created ‘Socks of the West' . This initiative originated from their work in the leadership project where they asked Ballarat locals and businesses for their support in donating goods to make care packages. The resulting 160+ care packs and  1500+ pairs of donated socks were distributed through Ballarat SoupBus .

Approval by the Western Bulldogs Administrative Board to move forward with Socks of the West as their enterprise project, and with the Board's financial sponsorship, has enabled the group to manufacture and design their own socks. For every pair sold they will donate a pair to someone in the community who needs it.

Pre-orders for socks can be made online here

Messages to: Hannah Farhall c/- Sarah Boswell - Leader of School Development

Has your school, college or university a community-minded story like this one? We'd love to hear it. Email: MercyeNews Editor

Image: Hannah Farhall. Photo supplied by Damascus College

Vision in Action
Catherine and Family: Live-streamed Presentations from Mercy International Centre

As Ireland prepares for the World Meeting of Families 2018, this 1-hour session presented by Brenda Dolphin  rsm (pictured), Postulator for the Cause of Catherine McAuley, will explore Catherine McAuley’s relationship with members of her family: daughter, sister, aunt, adoptive-parent, cousin and friend.

The session will be repeated 3 times to enable wide participation:

Option 1: Saturday 4th August 2018 at 9am (Dublin),
This is 8pm (NZ), 6pm (Sydney), 4pm (Perth), 4pm (Philippines), 11am (Kenya).
Link to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTATBIbakUs

Option 2: Saturday 4th August at 1pm (Dublin),
This is 9am (Argentina), 8pm (Philippines), 8am (New York), 9.30am (St John’s)
Link to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KCcUs0bLoo

Option 3: Sunday 5th August 2018 at 7pm, Dublin,
This is 2pm (New York), 11am (San Francisco), 1pm (Peru), 8pm (South Africa)
Link to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aav-nDeAAVY

Download the flyer here (PDF)

Messages to: Anna Nicholls rsm - Team Leader Heritage & Spirituality


On 2 July I attended the launch of Ireland’s Candidature to gain a non- permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2021-2022 term...

The Irish campaign focuses on three key themes: Empathy, Partnership and Independence. The speeches were passionate and convincing, it didn’t feel like a ‘power pitch’ there was something inherently earthy in the delivery of each ones speech. What struck me most powerfully, was the strong message of solidarity with other smaller nation States. There was a strong reminder from the podium not to forget the stories of Ireland, that is, the story of a small island nation off the coast of Europe that was colonized, experienced famine, as well as mass outward migration and poverty....

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

Image: L-r: Bono, Simon Coveney, Mary Robinson, Leo Varadkar, Geraldine Byrne Nasan

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MIA Prayer Intention: Japan Floods

The death toll from the devastating floods in Japan, the worst in decades, has rise to 200 and dozens of people are still missing.The risk of disease remains high as a result of warm temperatures and water shortages.

Our prayers are asked for the relatives of the deceased, for the families and communities of those who are missing, for those who've had to flee for safety and those households left without water, electricity and other essentials.

The impact of these floods can be seen in these images

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - CEO MIA

Highlights of the Conference.....

It is impossible to do justice to a report of this conference, with its rich variety of speakers, 35 in total and the valuable networking it facilitated. What follows is an overview and some significant moments that combined, served as a clarion call to action!

Walking through the Sant’Uffizio gate that leads into Vatican City, was an exciting moment! A Swiss Guard in his colourful, ancient uniform directed us towards St. Paul V1 Conference Hall, the venue for the ‘International Laudato Si Conference’...

The rest of the report is linked to this item.

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

Image: At question time during session. Image: Youtube screengrab

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MIA Reflection Process

Marianne Comfort writes on Mercy-led efforts to implement the challenges put forth by Laudato Si’ in a blog post on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Department of Justice, Peace & Human Development site.

Three years after the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, two of the document’s challenges still resonate as strongly as they did when I first read them: “the use of highly polluting fossil fuels … needs to be progressively replaced without delay” (no. 165) and “the duty to care for creation through little daily actions” (no. 211)...

Messages to: Marianne Comfort - Justice Coordinator for Earth, Anti-Racism, and Women 

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Adele Howard rsm writes about her significant experience of discussing the MIRProcess with Cardinal Peter Turkson and showing him the MIRProcess Handbook

Last week (5-6 July 2018), I had the privilege of participating in the Laudato Si’ Conference at Vatican City. It was titled ‘Saving Our Common Home and The Future of Life on Earth’.

The international conference was organised by the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, led by Cardinal Peter Turkson, to celebrate the third anniversary of Laudato Si’.

The conference was designed ‘to follow the “see-judge-act” trajectory of the encyclical’ and to ‘to engage persons and groups who can develop the Laudato Si’ message’...

Messages to: Adele Howard rsm (ISMAPNG)

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MIA Members News
Chapter of Elections (North Sydney )

The following Sisters have been elected to the Congregation Leadership Team according to the 2018 Chapter of Elections:

Sr Loreto Conroy (Congregation Leader)
Sr Margaret Farrell (Councillor)
Sr Carmel McDonough (Councillor)
Sr Jennifer Ryan (Councillor)

Messages to: the new Congregation Leadership Team

Chapter of Elections (The Congregation)

The following Sisters have been elected to The Congregation Leadership Team according to the 2018 Chapter of Elections:

Sr Marie Louise White (Congregational Leader)
Sr Anna Burke
Sr Bernie Ryan
Sr Cáit O'Dwyer
Sr Helena O'Donoghue

Messages to: the new Leadership Team c/- Denise Brennan - Congregation Communications Coordinator

Image: L-r: Srs Helena O'Donoghue, Marie Louise White (Congregational Leader) Anna Burke, Cáit O'Dwyer, Bernie Ryan

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

Kathleen Rushton rsm points to significant aspects of John 6:1-21 that link the feeding story with the reason for Jesus’s ministry and our own living. Sr Kathleen asks: 'What can Christian communities learn from the spirituality of Jesus to complete the works of God when he directed his disciples to gather up the surplus so that nothing is lost? What can the Christian community learn about caring for the landscape when the Gospel says the place was cleaned up and restored to how it was found?'

Download the article here (2pps, PDF)

Messages to: Kathleen Rushton rsm

 'If we worked a little less and spent more time listening to the deepest desires of our own hearts what would we hear today?'

This quote is taken from one of the reflections by Mary Rose Bumpus at the end of our Mercy Office Books (p.934). How do you respond to those words? I hear myself saying but I have so much to do. Where are my priorities? Doing can only be productive if I spend time Being...

Messages to: Kathleen Gooch rsm

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'The governing board of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2018 Legacy Award are Sr. Judy Byron, OP of the Adrian Dominican Sisters (pictured, left) and Sr. Susan Vickers, RSM (pictured, right) of the Sisters of Mercy.

The ICCR Legacy Award was created to honor those whose work has provided a strong moral foundation and an enduring record of demonstrated influence on corporate policies. The award was created in 2011 as a celebration of the 40th anniversary of ICCR...

Sr Susan currently serves as a board member of Mercy Investment Services, Practice Greenhealth, Health Care Without Harm, and St. Mary’s Medical Center Foundation...'

Source: ICCR

The press release is linked to this item

Messages to: Susan Vickers rsm

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Editor: Vita is an Irish development partner, working to address issues of food and energy security, agricultural development and climate change. Working through partnerships, Vita engages in a number of programmes and projects in the Horn of Africa, with the aim of delivering sustainable livelihoods to rural communities. Sisters of Mercy Western Province has been in partnership with Vita since 2009. Through this partnership, Mercy provides funding, while Vita does the work on the ground.

Vita has been distributing healthier and more fuel efficient stoves to local families in Ethiopia, a project generously funded by the Western Province. Linked to this item is the story of the difference this has made to Almaz, the woman featured in this article, and to another 5,000 women in the mountains around Chencha.

Messages to:
Ciara Feehely - VITA Head of Fundraising & Communications
Sisters of Mercy Western Province

Image: Almaz making injera on her fuel stove

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Mercy Matters

'A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.'
Nelson Mandela

Mandela Day is a global call to action celebrating the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact. The Mandela Day campaign message is: "Nelson Mandela  fought for social justice for 67 years. We're asking you to start with 67 minutes."

Image: UN 47029. Used with permission

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16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B (Mark 6:30-34)

'In every life, there is need for a balanced rhythm of work and re-creation. With so much pain and suffering in our world, the demands of living a gospel way of life can overwhelm us and cause us to act as though everything depends on us...'

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

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

Laudato Si' conference: Summary Video

Vatican Media, together with La machi, has produced a short video titled 'Discerning the Crisis of our Common Home' of the Laudato Si' conference, summarising the conference objectives and outcomes.
The video is in four languages:

Watch English version (03:20)

Watch Spanish version (03:20)

Watch Portuguese version (03: 20)

Watch Italian version (03:20)

Damascus College is Ballarat’s only Catholic co-educational secondary college. It was established in 1995 after three separate Catholic colleges, St Martin's in the Pines, Sacred Heart College and St Paul's College amalgamated.

Read More

1848: Foundation to Derry from Tullamore - Mary Ann Doyle

Contribute a fact about the Story of the Sisters of Mercy in your congregation or institute to our online archive

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When it comes to managing email, you need every advantage you can get.

Google recognizes this.

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

Stellenbosch University Choir - sing 'African Prayer'. Watch/listen here (05:06). Purchase on
* iTunes, *Google Play

Worth Knowing:


The High Level political forum (HLPF) 2018 on Sustainable Development  (9-18 July) concludes this Friday. The theme is: 'Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies'. Goals  6,7,11,12,15,17 are being reviewed. 47 countries are carrying out Voluntary National Reviews including Australia, Canada and Ireland. View the video (02:41). The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018 can be accessed here

Worth Reading:

Thai Cave Rescue

‘Still Can’t Believe It Worked’: The Story of the Thailand Cave Rescue' from the New York Times, complete with video and detailed drawings, reinforces the remarkable nature of this event which, according the the NY Times, involved 10,000 people. Read it here

-Degradation of Earth

Extractive Industries

'Ireland becomes world's first country to divest from fossil fuels.' Read the article here


'We’ve Woken Up to Plastic Waste. Is Food Waste Next?' Read the article here

'She cut her weekly trash down so much it fits in an unbelievably small jar'.' Read the article here


'Aid Group Warns: Clean Water for All Is Still Centuries Away.' Read the article here

-Displacement of Persons

Refugees and Asylum Seekers

‘Historic moment’ for people on the move, as UN agrees first-ever Global Compact on migration.' Read the article here

"Whatever happened to 'kindness to strangers'?" Read the article here

Human Trafficking

'Revealed: how US sex traffickers recruit jailed women for prostitution.' Read the article here

The Bottom Line:

'To "comfort" and to "animate" are among the most frequently used words in Catherine's personal vocabulary. They are out-going, life-giving and life-sustaining verbs which represent for her both the merciful action of God in our regard and two aspects of the merciful response which God asks of us in Christ Jesus.'

- Mary C. Sullivan rsm, 'Comforting and Animating: 'The Generative Work of Catherine McAuley', MAST 3, no 1 (Fall 1992) , p.6

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

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								poverty demonstrated in the massive displacement of persons worldwide.
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