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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 580  |  20 August 2014
Featured Story
From Your House to Catherine's House: Send Us A Message

Editor: For the past 7 years, readers of Mercy Enews have taken the opportunity each September to post a greeting or reflection for Mercy Day on the mercyworld.org website. Like Catherine's letters to the early Sisters, these greetings have strengthened the bonds of union among us. Like the weekly E-news items they have given us new insights and developed our understanding of this global reality we each belong to known as Mercy International.

In five weeks time we will begin the celebrations at home and abroad of 20 years of MIA, gathering in person and online for shared prayer and communal activities.

It is our hope in this 20th Anniversary year to receive a greeting for Mercy Day from each of the 40+ countries where Sisters of Mercy and our Partners-in-ministry live and minister, and to hear from many of you each day as you join in the celebrations. Send those messages for the website and Enews to mercyenews@mercyinternational.ie

In her Introduction to The Correspondence of Catherine McAuley, 1818-1841, Mary C Sullivan describes how Catherine McAuley, when writing to her Sisters, wrote 'not from a script, but from her heart—to offer affection, to give encouragement, to cheer, to affirm the demands of justice, to console, to incite laughter, to express gratitude, to keep playfulness alive'. (p23)

May our many communications with each other over these celebration days reflect Catherine's humanity and her 'everyday love'. (p23)

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA


Vision in Action
2015 Generally Advertised Programmes at MIC

The following programmes will be offered at MIC in 2015:

-Come Home to Catherine - Anne Reid and Áine Barrins rsm
-Seeking Mercy that is Twice Blest - Oonagh Campbell & Marianne Hieb rsm
-Pilgrimage of Young Mercy Leaders (secondary students) - Ailsa McKinnon rsm; other presenters to be announced
-Mercy - the Wildness of Divine Love - Mary Trainer rsm
-Mercy within Mercy within Mercy... - Oonagh Campbell & Marianne Hieb rsm
-'What had God in mind...?' - Áine Barrins rsm
-Visions of Mercy - Mary Wickham rsm

Download the detailed programme here (PDF)

Messages to: Mary Kay Dobrovolny rsm - Assistant Director Heritage & Spirituality


MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week

Mercy International Association joins with the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas in holding in prayer the family of Michael Brown, the teenager who was fatally shot in Ferguson, Missouri, on 9 August.

We, too, are committed to non violence and racial justice.

We pray that calm and honest dialogue will prevail and that peace will be restored.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Resources for Celebrating Our 20th Anniversary Previously Published Online

Editor. Over recent weeks we have published a number of resources to assist our readers in preparing for the 20th Anniversary celebrations (23-29 September). Recent subscribers to Mercy E-news may be interested in catching up on the following:

-Video of the Opening of MIC, 23 July 1994

-The story so far: the refounding, blessing & opening and growth of MIC 1994-2004

-Prayer for MIA (English)
-Oración para la AIM (Spanish)

- Songs and Music for the Ritual celebrations

-Irish times with local times in Member/Associate Member Countries for each celebration event (PDF)

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - MIA Executive Director

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: Jeannette Elizabeth, Rebecca Mueller, Patrick Miller 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

Read More
MIA Members News

Editor: Beatriz's War (A Guerra da Beatriz), East Timor’s award winning first feature film, will wrap up its national limited Australian release in Sydney today, Wednesday, 20 August. Described as 'A love story written in blood', this film covers the 24-year period of Indonesian occupation of East Timor (1975-2002). Made in the Tetum language with English subtitles, it is the first film to exclusively feature a Timorese cast.

The Mercies of the former Ballarat East Congregation trace their connection with Timor Leste back to a meeting held in the Dallas Brooks Hall Melbourne in 1975 after the Indonesian invasion of East Timor.

Then in the wake of the violence following the ballot for independence in 1999, the Ballarat branch of the Australia East Timor Association was formed and many Sisters took an active part in the process and on-going work of the group...

The success of Beatriz’s War has passed national boundaries... It was also touching to see the Sisters of Mercy acknowledged in the credits.

Messages to: Anne Forbes rsm

View the official film trailer here (01:37)

Purchase the DVD and CD soundtrack

Read More

Editor: This is the seventh 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), Mercy Foundation North Sydney (13/8)

One of the programs of Mercy Community Services, a ministry of the Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation, is the Romero Centre - a refugee and asylum seeking support agency. The Centre was established in March 2000 to be a place of welcome and support for “boat people”, who were suffering the legacy of mandatory, indefinite detention and Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs).

Messages to: Mary Lawson rsm - Brisbane Congregation

Read More

On July 31, U.S. Park Police arrested more than 100 faith leaders and immigrant rights activists who traveled from across the country to oppose President Barack Obama’s inhumane immigration enforcement policies outside the White House...

Eileen Campbell rsm and Jean Stokan, director of the Sisters of Mercy Institute Justice Team, were among those who participated in an act of civil disobedience during the event.

'The Sisters of Mercy stand in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters seeking safety and peace within U.S. borders. We strongly support executive action that would eliminate mass deportations, which obstruct the development of children, and further jeopardize vulnerable populations,' said Sister Eileen...

Messages to:
Eileen Campbell rsm - Institute Leadership Team
Jean Stokan - director of the Sisters of Mercy Institute Justice Team

Read More

Editor: The story of the Sewing and Lace School Newry is a story of courage and creativity at many levels, with the efforts led by the Sisters of Mercy to provide employment and income for local women  through the creation of articles of beauty.

When the Sisters of Mercy arrived in Newry from Kinsale on 26th June 1855, at the invitation of Dr. Michael Blake, Bishop of Dromore, they were greatly dismayed and distressed by the poverty and plight of the people who lived in overcrowded, insanitary houses and they endeavoured to do something about it. They opened a public laundry which gave employment to some women and also opened a House of Mercy. The Annals for 1855 also state that they opened an Industrial School where girls over 12 years were taught to gain a livelihood by needlework. In 1857 the Sisters of St. Clare, who had a lace school in the town and wanted to concentrate on education, gave their lace school to the Sisters of Mercy...

Messages to: Evelyn Kenny rsm

Read More
Mercy Matters
Psalms of an 83-Year-Old Woman (new resource)

Psalms of an 83-year-old Woman is the result of a long and busy life filled with the blessings of God.

The authgor, Mary Carol Herwood is a Mercy Associate (Americas).

Purchase online from Amazon

The Romero Centre is a community drop-in centre committed to social justice.

This painting of Archbishop Romero hangs in the centre’s meeting room. It was painted by Iraqi artist Towfiq Alqudy, one of the Centre's highly-valued volunteers.

Read More
On This Day

1841: Founding party left Baggot Street for Handsworth, Birmingham

Reflection on the Sculpture in St Marys Handsworth, Catherine’s last Foundation

1859: Foundation to Ottawa, Illinois from Chicago - M Francis Xavier McGirr
1872: Foundation to St Johnsbury, Vermont - M Stanislaus O'Malley
1900: Opening of St Otteran's School, Waterford

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

Japanese dance troupe Enra combines light, music, and technology in this performance art video entitled 'Pleiades'.

Read More

'Our life together must allow for deep experiences of prayer.'

-M Bride Claire

Read More
The Special Responsibilities of Leadership

'True leadership is not about being charismatic as much as it's about courage. The real leader looks to the future and acts on enduring principles, while the self-interested leader is concerned with today and what ius easy and asks "what's in it for me?"'

-Nicole Christensen, Principal, Monte Sant' Angelo, North Sydney. Address to Students

Further Resources

Worth Reading:
Opposing Human Trafficking

The report 'First decade of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children' has been released by the United Nations. The report can be downloaded here (PDF; 44 pps)

Worth Watching:

Sacred Threads Center, Massachusetts, founded by Rosemary Mulvihill rsm and Marie LaBollita, SC, is an interfaith ministry for women dedicated to providing opportunities to explore and enrich their spiritual journey. Videos from their 2013/14 Speakers series - Donna Hicks (founder of Declare Dignity), Liz Walker (Roxbury Presbyterian Church's senior pastor, Boston), and Simone Campbell SSS - can be accessed from the homepage of the Sacred Threads website. Joan Chittister OSB and artist Janet McKenzie are due to present on 15 November at Wellesley College. Janet illustrated Sr Joan's publication The Way of the Cross - The Path to New Life Details of the November event can be found here.

Worth Playing:

Anne Quigley is an English composer and liturgist. Her beautiful song expressing the search for God's presence 'There is a Longing' played by Blest and Broken can be found here (05:03) Purchase on iTunes   Purchase the sheet music here

Worth Knowing:
LCWR Assembly 2014

The Reflections, Addresses, Media Releases, Outstanding Leadership Award Acceptance Speech by Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ, and other materials made public from the Assembly, can be accessed here


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

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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)