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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 781  |  25 July 2018
Featured Story
MIA-MGA at UN Launches Advocacy Guidebook to Prevent Trafficking

Editor: 30 July marks the fifth World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. Each year since the UN date was proclaimed, we have invited Mercy people addressing human trafficking to share news of their efforts in the issue of MercyeNews published closest to this date.

This morning, 25 July at 10:00 am, New York time, ‘Inherent Dignity’, an advocacy guidebook to preventing trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and to realising the human rights of women and girls throughout their lives, will be launched by Mercy International Association: Mercy Global Action at the UN (MIA-MGA) in the Church Center of the UN where MIA-MGA has its office. The Permanent Mission of the Philippines to the United Nations and Trócaire will be sponsoring the event.The NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons will be endorsing the launch.

The launch is being live-streamed on Facebook live at this address: https://www.facebook.com/MercyInternationalAssociation/

Check your local time for this event here

The guidebook was born from extensive research which exposed how most survivors of human trafficking experience cumulative disadvantage and marginalisation over their lifetime, caused by multiple breaches in international human rights law.

“This guide aims to challenge the current discourse on human trafficking which, more often than not, describes trafficking as a single isolated event,” says Angela Reed rsm, Coordinator of Mercy Global Action at the UN Office and one of the authors of the guide....

The Guidebook can be downloaded here (96 pps, PDF, 7MB)

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

Image: from Front Cover of the Advocacy Guidebook

Vision in Action
Final Reminder: Catherine and Family: Live-streamed Presentations from MIC

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


New: Mercy to Earth Programme

This programme, to be offered for the first time, will commence at 11am, Monday 3 September and conclude at 4pm on Friday, 7 September.

Veronica Lawson rsm (Australia), Denise Boyle fmdm (MIA), Angela Reed rsm (MIA), Carmel Bracken rsm (Ireland), Margaret Twomey rsm (Ireland), Carmen Rosa Callo Mamani rsm (Peru), Chris Hill (Australia), Marianne Comfort (USA), have been invited to share their wisdom in this area, either in person or online.

There will be a reflection process following each presentation to engage participants in dialogue that can lead them to personal transformation and meaningful action. Brenda Dolphin rsm will facilitate this programme

Download the flyer here (PDF)

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


The TIP Report is produced annually by the US government to provide an up to date account of human trafficking or modern slavery in every country. The 2018 report was published on Thursday June 28th. This year’s report focuses on effective ways local communities can address human trafficking proactively and on how national governments can support and empower them.  Launching this year’s report, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said that “local communities are the most affected by this abhorrent crime and are also the first line of defence against human trafficking”. He said that proactive community-driven measures strengthen a government’s ability to protect the most vulnerable and to weaken a criminal’s ability to infiltrate, recruit and exploit...

Messages to: Betty Lacey - MIA-MGA Researcher 

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MIA Prayer Intention: Grandparents

Tomorrow is the  Feast day of Sts. Joachim and Anne. Let us pray for all grandparents, especially those who are raising their grandchildren as a result of violence, immigration, poverty, illness or other family situations that make this necessary.

May they receive the support and resources they need to deal with the challenges they face and have the good health and resilience to cope with these family responsibilities.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - CEO MIA



MIA Reflection Process

Last year, staff of the Brisbane Congregation office, Mercy Place Bardon and associated sites were invited to take part in the MIRP, Mercy International Reflection Process.  Liz Orupold, Executive Officer, guided us through the journey, and we met during lunch time over several weeks. “Care for the environment” was one theme that we discerned from our reflections.

Staff are committed to positive action. One such action is to introduce a new system of bins at the Bardon site, to encourage better waste separation and recycling.  This system will be based around the Australian Standard for mobile bin colours (AS4123.7-2006), with the addition of a white bin, for soft plastics...

Messages to: Trish Dyson

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Plastic-free July at Gabriel Hall (Americas)

The Sisters at Gabriel Hall Community in Watchung, New Jersey accepted the challenge to live plastic free in July. Sister Jane Veldof  reports that a group of 13 sisters began meeting in mid-April to decide what they could do in preparation for Earth Day. After an informational meeting with several other sisters they decided on becoming plastic-free one step at a time. Many sisters at Gabriel Hall have taken the pledge which is focused on the 4 R’s: Refuse, Reuse, Reduce, Recycle!

•I will say no to the use of plastic straws!
•I will use a cloth shopping bag
•I will carry a reusable water bottle
•I will use my own mug
•I will use only cutlery that is not plastic
•I will not use plastic bags
•I will empty my room trash into large bins and reuse my bag

Messages to Plastic-free Group c/- Jane Veldof rsm

Image: Sisters Mary Terena Gentili, Edwardine Brown, Joan McKeon

MIA Members News

Mercy Medical Center, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has added a new staff position to address human trafficking. It’s the first hospital-based position of its kind in Iowa and one of just a handful in the country. 

Teresa Davidson, ARNP, MSN, MA, nurse practitioner at Mercy, has been hired part-time as Mercy’s anti-human trafficking coordinator. She is responsible for leading the hospital’s efforts to strengthen the comprehensive response to victims of human trafficking. 

“We know there is a great need for community response and collaboration on this growing problem,” said Davidson. “I’m so pleased that Mercy has taken a leadership role in addressing this issue. Human trafficking is really a modern-day form of slavery and there’s a huge need for a united effort to address the safety needs of the victims and develop a comprehensive response to the problem. This is a great passion of mine and I’m honored to lead the effort.”...

Messages to: Teresa Davidson c/- Susan O'Connor rsm - VP for Mission Effectiveness

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During the 2018 shareholder advocacy season, Mercy Investment Services engaged 18 companies on human trafficking and human rights and filed five resolutions. Human trafficking engagements expanded this year to include JetBlue, Marten Transport, Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines.

This year, Mercy filed resolutions asking trucking companies Marten Transport and Saia to report on the implementation of a program to address human trafficking internally and in their supply chains. Since a meeting the company requested, Marten has drafted a policy, agreed to train its drivers, had a board discussion on the topic, and shared plans to post the policy on its website as well as inform customers. The company also made contact with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT). Shareholders agreed to withdraw the resolution...

Messages to: Messages to: Pat Zerega - Senior Director Shareholder Advocacy

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Kenya is one of the countries adversely affected by human trafficking and modern day slavery both within the country (internally) and without (externally). In the recent times Kenya has been on the IOM (International Organization on Migration) and UNGIFT (United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Trafficking) international observation list,  as one of the countries that act as a recruitment, harboring and transit hub for human trafficking.

Externally cases of trafficking of young people for domestic servitude and industrial labour are common. Many of our young people seek “greener pastures” outside our borders in the Middle East and Europe. As a nation we have watched with total dismay as trafficked victims narrate horrific stories in the media, especially young girls who end up in the hands of cruel masters and exploiters. Other boys and girls are recruited as insurgents for cross border radical groups like Alshabarb ( Extremist jihadists within Somalia and Kenya used as suicide bombers and armed soldiers)...

Messages to: Rose Macharia rsm

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MECPATHS (Mercy Efforts for Child protection Against Trafficking with the Hospitality Sector) continues to deliver on our efforts to prevent child trafficking within an ever-changing world...

Our involvement with the Young Mercy Leaders’ Pilgrimage (31 July - 3 August)...affords us the ability to connect with young people who carry forward the strength and energies to make a difference in the world, to raise their voices for those who can’t and to champion causes in their own communities...

At the World Meeting of Families 2018, MECPATHS will host a workshop on Human Trafficking in partnership with APT (Act to Prevent Trafficking). The keynote speaker will be Kevin Hyland OBE, the United Kingdom’s first Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

Messages to: JP O'Sullivan - MECPATHS Research, Networking and Communications

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This poem was written after I had journeyed with a number of girls and women who were victims of human trafficking

chapter 1: birth until 11 years

a tiny bud so fresh so new
nurtured by sunbeams
watered by dew drops
rooted in soil rich and deep
blossomed in the garden
blew carefree in the wind
danced vibrantly amidst others
pulsating with life...

Messages to: Margie Taylor rsm

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'If one is working for social justice with people of faith, one should “touch them to” the Scriptures and into Christian tradition, biblical scholar Dr Kathleen Rushton, RSM, said, because “that motivates us”. This was what Dr Rushton did when she gave a talk on “Slavery in the New Testament and Modern Human Slavery” at Te Manawa Atawhai Catherine McAuley Centre at Villa Maria College on May 10. The event was arranged by the Rosary House Spiritual Life Centre. She was also interviewed by NZ Catholic...'

Source: NZ Catholic

Messages to: Kathleen Rushton rsm

Image: The Mocking of Christ. From the biblical sketches. Alexander Ivanov. Public domain

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In describing herself, Gina (not her real name) says she is a recovered drug addict. What drove her to drugs and prostitution was the anger and pain she experienced after being gang raped at the age of nine. She also says that she did not choose to be a prostitute because she liked or wanted drugs. She was forced into prostitution. But she feels strongly that social conditions exist that support this exploitation. Human taffickers just use the conditions that make their “work” easier.

The community Gina grew up in knew about the gang of boys in the neighbourhood and they knew what the boys were doing, but no one spoke out. Gina was just one of the girls they abused. She came from a dysfunctional family and felt she couldn’t tell anyone about her ordeal. Joining a group of children who lived on the streets and slept under a bridge, she soon found out the sniffing glue helped to relieve the pain and hunger...

Messages to: Colleen Wilkinson rsm

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Root Causes of Human Trafficking and Slavery in the United States (Americas)

In the United States, persons who are vulnerable are most likely to be exploited. 

Root causes include:

-Social media, e.g. its ability to be anonymous
-Runaway youth
-Persons (including children) living in poverty
-LGBTQ persons                          
-Legal or undocumented immigrants and refugees
-Lack of education and/or job opportunities
-Unstable home life
-History of sexual or physical abuse, includes women who are prostituted
-Escape from various forms of violence, especially gun violence
-Financial gain by predators,
-Use of pornography by predators and buyers
-Need for more severe punishment for predators and buyers is essential.

Messages to: Jeanne Christensen rsm

Image: iStock. used under licence

Mercy Matters
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B (John 6:1-15)

''The gospel readings for the next five weeks are taken from John 6, a section of the gospel that focuses on food and related themes: on hungry people; on the need for food/bread; on food/bread as metaphors for life...'

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

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

The 7 steps to take. Start with calling it

Source: PC&Tech Authority

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Independence Day Peru, 28 July

July 28th commemorates the liberation of Peru from Spain by José de San Martin, the most famous liberator of Latin America aside from the Liberator himself, Simón Bolívar. The following day, July 29th, celebrates establishment of the Republic of Perú

Wishing all our Sisters and partners-in-Mercy in Perú joyful celebrations for 'Fiestas Patrias' (Independence Day)

'A shared spirit of human solidarity... takes many forms — the simplest of which is friendship.'

Image: iStock. Used under licence

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1894: Foundation to St Mary's, Christchurch from Greymouth

1981: Sisters of Mercy, Tacloban, Phillipines become autonomous

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

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What's Your Country Doing About Human Trafficking?

Find out in the 'Country Narratives' section in the latest edition of the TIP (Trafficking in Persons) Report.

Read More
Further Resources

Worth Playing:

Marlon Williams performs his title track, 'Make Way For Love', with the Pou Tiriao singers, a Maori choir in Marlon’s native New Zealand. Watch/listen here (03:56) Lyrics here

Worth Knowing:

Religious Life

The August/September issue of 'Update', LCWR's newsletter, is now online. Read it here (11pps, PDF)


'6 gifts of aging, from Quaker writer Parker Palmer.' Parker Palmer has a new book, 'On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old'. This article names 6 of the spiritual gifts of aging that Palmer highlights. Read the article here


" ‘Embed the essence of 2030 Agenda into everything,’ UN chief urges at close of Global Goals forum."  Read the article here

Displacement of Peoples

Human Trafficking

The Walk Free Foundation's 4th Edition of the Global Slavery Index was launched at the UN on 18 July. The Index can be accessed here Promotional video here (03:25)

'Human trafficking in developed countries more common than previously thought.' Read the article here

Degradation of Earth

'Campaign Change for the planet- Care for the People: promoting sustainable lifestyles.' Read the article here

The Bottom Line:

'Madiba [Mandela] reminds us that: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart.” Love comes more naturally to the human heart, let’s remember that truth. Let’s see it as our North Star, let’s be joyful in our struggle to make that truth manifest here on earth so that in 100 years from now, future generations will look back and say, “they kept the march going, that’s why we live under new banners of freedom.”'

-Barack Obama, Speech at the 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, Johannesburg, 17 July 2018

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

Human Trafficking
Special Event AT MIC
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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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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)