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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 784  |  15 August 2018
Featured Story
15 August: Feast of the Assumption

Is it “The Assumption of Mary into Heaven” or the “Dormition of the Theotokos”?   —The Taking of Mary to Heaven or the Falling Asleep of the Mother of God? 

Did Mary come to the end of her life and then was simply taken into heaven... or did she die, like her son, and on the third day her tomb was found empty, and followers assumed that she, except for her clothes, was risen, living wholly now in what is the Age to Come?

Actually, I dare not say. — And nor does Roman doctrine, or Eastern for that matter.  In fact, the Latin tradition leaves it ambiguous and Eastern traditions prefer to keep the subject resting in a liturgical arena.  Whatever this feast day is really about, it has been a work in progress ever since the time of Mary.

Many Christian communities around the world celebrate this feast day in robust fashion.  And, frankly, many do not.  Since the Community of Mercy is very historically rooted in devotion to Mary I wondered how I might reflect upon this feast in a way that bridges a bit of this divide.

First, what does it mean that people for 2000 years have leaned toward her for inspiration, consolation, and assistance?  And while her memory has been grossly sanitized... across cultures, and often patriarchally tamed beyond much connection to a Jewish woman of her time, the heart of her story remains. — She took a chance, she said “yes” to some big invitation, a mystery, an event, an encounter.  She said, “Count me in!” — She was all about being part of incarnating God in our midst.  No guarantees, just life lived fully — desiring the hidden and revealing God who draws and pulls us toward more, and who pulls with us, as well...

Download the article here: English: A4 Paper size (2pps, PDF), US Letter (2pps, PDF)

Messages to: Mary-Paula Cancienne rsm (Americas)

Image:The Immaculate Conception window in the sanctuary of the Baggot Street chapel, created by Earley and Co Studios and installed in 1931 in honour of the centenary of the Sisters of Mercy. Photo: David Knight © 2011 MIA

Vision in Action

Mercy Global Action has produced a leaflet on SDG Goal #8,'Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all'. It can be downloaded here (2pps; PDF).

The leaflet and the 8 previously produced (SDGs 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 15, 16) are available for download from the page linked to this item.

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

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MIA Prayer Intention: Feast of the Assumption

'Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!'
(Lk 1:45)

Let us pray that we, like Mary, may respond whole-heartedly to God's invitation to discipleship.
Like Mary, may we be ever faithful, compassionate and merciful.
Having entered fully in this life into her son's mission, may we join her in God's eternal presence.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - CEO MIA

Image: Stained glass over doorway into Reception Area at Baggot Street. Photo: Michael O'Reilly © 1992 MIA


MIA Reflection Process

The Season of Creation commences in a little over two weeks. Once again we invite you our readers to share your photographs through our website. Photographs should be landscape in orientation, at least 1mb in size and address one of our MIRP themes - [responding to] 'degradation of Earth' and 'displacement of Persons'. This season is also a perfect time to plant/nurture a tree.

There are a number of resources produced by MIA over the last two years —such as our perennial calendar and posters— that are suitable for use during this time of focus. A list of these downloads is linked to this item.

Messages to: MIRP Continuation Group

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A list of newly created resources for use during the Season of Creation is linked to this item. Among these are the film and course 'Global Healing' produced on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales to help individuals, families, parishes and diocese make a practical response to our care of creation, the papers, videos and presentations from the Laudato Si' 3rd Anniversary Conference, prayer materials from CAFOD (UK) and the Season of Creation site created by Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) of which MIA is a founding partner organisation.

The list will continue to be updated over the next fortnight in the lead up to the Season of Creation.

Messages to: MIRP Continuation Group

Image: iStock. Used under licence

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MIA Members News

'In the final week of July, Catholic Social Services [Victoria] welcomed Sr Nicole Rotaru rsm, a Sister of Mercy and Creative Arts Therapist, to host a workshop centred on the education and prevention of family violence.
Joining Nicole were 20 participants from across several Melbourne parishes to gain a better understanding of the impacts of domestic and family violence...
In the days following the workshop, the Archdiocese’s Director of Media and Communications, Shane Healy, met with Sr Nicole to discuss the topic and the work she is undertaking which takes her from Melbourne to Sudan.'

Source: Melbourne Catholic

The video of the conversation is linked to this item.

Messages to: Nicole Rotaru rsm

Image: YouTube

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'As thousands of migrant children were being separated from their parents last month and detained in metal cages at the US-Mexican border, Time magazine used this photo by John Moore of a two-year-old Honduran girl crying in front of a poster of President Donald Trump.

Stating simply ‘Welcome to America’, the cover text dramatised the heartbreak of hundreds of thousands of migrant families, and led Time to ask the question, ‘What kind of country are we?’'...

Once again, it became clear that the measuring stick for any nation’s true greatness rests on how well it protects the most fragile and vulnerable living within its borders or – in this case – standing at its doorstep...'

Source: Imaging Mercy Today

Mesages to: Katrina Fabism rsm - Congregation Leader

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Read the Signs of the Times (ISMAPNG)

Elaine Wainwright rsm introduces the apocalyptic writing in Revelation and urges us to read the signs of life and death in our world. Sr Elaine writes:'while the feast of the Assumption might seem to turn our attention from Earth toward the heavens away from the present to the future, reading the verses of Revelation on this feast day with an ecological lens will return our gaze to Earth.'

Download the article here (2pps, PDF)

Messages to: Elaine Wainwright rsm

MECPATHS has recently secured an awareness opportunity with the Rose of Tralee International Festival. The Rose of Tralee takes place each August as a celebration of all things Irish. With an International audience and a coming together of communities, families and individuals from all around the world, MECPATHS will work with the team in Tralee to deliver much needed awareness and exposure for our cause. The Escort of the year and his peers will join us to lead MECPATHS into the media and generate some conversation about our work.

Messages to: JP O’Sullivan - Network and Communications Co-Ordinator

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Mercy Matters
On This Day

1884: Profession of Sr Francis Boulger in Abingdon, Berkshire - foundress of Bangor Convent, N Wales
1915: Fort Smith amalgamated with Little Rock, Arkansas
1919:Amalgamation of Emmaville with Gunnedah, New South Wales
1924: Wilkes-Barre motherhouse transferred to Dallas, Pennsylvania
1956: Foundation to New Jersey from Trim, Co Meath - M Columba Farrell
1961: Sisters from Navan, Co. Meath missioned to San Jose Parish, Jacksonville, Florida. Sr. Therese Horan, Superior

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

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B (John 6:51-58)

'In this week’s gospel passage, we continue our reflection on John 6. John’s gospel was written towards the end of the first century. The Bread of Life discourse probably reflects the interpretation of the gospel writer rather than the actual words of Jesus...'

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

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

New: 'The Luminous Ordinary - Catherine McAuley’s Living Presence of Love'

Description: 'The remarkable growth of [Catherine's] early groups of women, serving the poor, establishing schools and hospitals all over the world, and inviting a personal spirituality that is more than relevant today- these are the focus and invitation of this booklet. Reading it, you are invited to engage the realities of her time as their relevance shines through in ours. This is a reflection on the power of women to change the world.'

Available on Amazon in paperback and kindle editions. A sample can be read on Amazon.

Messages to: Brenda Peddigrew rsm - Author

Want to gain some daily interesting knowledge?  Today I Found Out offers a free “Daily Knowledge Newsletter” and a free “Weekly Wrap” to help you feed your brain, currently with about 41,000 active subscribers. To subscribe, join here

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A meditation in praise of Mary, from Laudato Si' (#241)

On this Feast of the Assumption CAFOD invites us to reflect with their video in praise of the Virgin Mary, as protector of the poor and Queen of all creation. (01:52)

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Originally designed to recognize aid workers, WHD today seeks to bring the world together to rally support for people affected by humanitarian crises, as well as pay tribute to the humanitarian workers who help them.

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

In keeping with today's feast, here are Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott playing Ave Maria (J.S. Bach/ Gounod). Watch/listen here (02:48)

Worth Reflection:

Religious life

'Sr. Teresa Maya [President] challenges LCWR assembly to go forth amid changing times.' Read the article here
All the Reports from LCWR Assembly 2018 can be read here

A webinar conversation about the vows with Sarah Kohles, OSF, Juliet Mousseau, RSCJ, & Tracy Kemme, SC, the editors and an author of In Our Own Words: Religious Life In a Changing World is being held on 13 September. It is open to all those who wish to attend. Details and registration here

Worth Reading:

-Degradation of Earth

Climate Change

'To beat hunger and combat climate change, world must "scale-up" soil health.' Read the article here


The Sustainable Development Explorer is a great tool launched by the United Nations University (UNU) for the global community. Access it here

Worth Knowing about:

'How Change Happens: Why Some Social Movements Succeed While Others Don’t.' Find out more about this new book by Georgetown professor Leslie Crutchfield here

The Bottom Line:

'When the heart opens, we forget ourselves and the world pours in: this world, and also the invisible world of meaning that sustains everything that was and ever shall be. When the heart opens, everything matters, and this world and the next become one and the same.'

— Roger Housden in Ten Poems To Open Your Heart

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

Season of Creation_dates
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								poverty demonstrated in the massive displacement of persons worldwide.
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