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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 788  |  12 September 2018
Featured Story

Editor: The first highly-successful 'Mercy to Earth' programme was held at Baggot Street last week (3-7 September), facilitated by Brenda Dolphin rsm. Participants from Ireland, Newfoundland, Aotearoa New Zealand and the UK heard presentations from speakers in person (Denise Boyle fmdm (MIA-MGA), Margaret Twomey rsm, Carmel Bracken rsm (The Congregation, Anna Nicholls rsm (MIA), Anne Walsh (MIA) and online: Veronica Lawson rsm (ISMAPNG), Senolita Vakata rsm (Aotearoa New Zealand), Chris Hill (ISMAPNG), Mavic Paderanga rsm (Philippines), Marianne Comfort (Americas), Carmen Rosa Callo Mamani rsm (Americas), Angela Reed rsm (MIA-MGA)

The use of the life-size video conferencing technology to bring in presenters, enabled those at Baggot Street to enjoy a truly global experience, hearing first-hand of the challenges being faced in many parts of the Mercy world in dealing with issues such as climate change, pollution, typhoons and extractive industries, and the diversity of possible responses: including participation in the Catholic Climate Declaration, Finding our Rhythm of Compassion and Advocacy work as an expression of Mercy ecojustice work.

The programme included the sharing of one's own background, experiences, concerns and interests; daily prayer; ritual, meditation practices, song and movement; input and contemplative dialogue. A guided pilgrimage walk at Glendalough, led by Margaret Prendergast rsm on Thursday afternoon, was greatly appreciated by participants, providing as it did an opportunity to 'still your mind, inspire your heart and fill your soul', particularly important in such a programme.

Some of the reflections from participants are linked to this item.

In 2019 the Mercy to Earth programme will run from 9-13 September. Expressions of interest to: Anna Nicholls rsm.

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

Image: Participants in the programme gathered in the International Room on day one for the initial sharing of one's own background, experiences, concerns and interests.

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Vision in Action
Mercy Day Reminders

Mercy Day Mass

Planning to join us in person at Baggot Street for Mercy Day Celebrations? Bookings to attend the celebrations at Baggot Street close this Friday, 14 September, as numbers we can accomodate in the chapel are limited.

To ensure your place, please RSVP to Madeline O'Hanlon,Receptionist on (1) 661 8061 or by email: receptionist@mercyinternational.ie

Mercy Day Greetings

Please email yours to mercyenews@mercyinternational.ie by Friday, 21 September.

Image: iStock. Used under licence

Come Home to Catherine Programme

This programme is an experience of being with Catherine at home in Baggot Street. It offers an opportunity to participate in the “Footsteps of Catherine McAuley walk” through the city of Dublin reflecting on her life and ministry.

There will be input and time to reflect on and reconnect with Catherine, the tender woman of mercy who continues to inspire and journey with us towards God.

The programme will begin at 11.00am on Monday, 15 October 2018 and conclude on Friday, 19 October at 4.00pm.

Cost: €620 (Residential); €410 (Non-residential).

Download the flyer here (PDF)

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

MIA Prayer Intention: Open Our Hearts

Holy One, you bring us joy in the morning!

All creation is shaped by your hand,
to live in harmony and dignity.
Open our hearts to listen to your word
and to praise you throughout this day.

We ask this as your people united in
one spirit. Amen.

Source: Morning and Evening Prayer of the Sisters of Mercy

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - CEO MIA

{Digital formats of the 'Morning & Evening Prayer of the Sisters of Mercy' can be downloaded from the following addresses:

Online: http://www.calameo.com/read/00034609103c9285fade5

iPhone & iPad: AppStore listed under iPhone apps, but works on iPad too.
Amazon: app store.]

Recently, our local community of Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan were able to take a pilgrimage to Ireland and have accommodation at Mercy International Centre in Dublin.Three of our Sisters professed their perpetual vows in August and as their gift to the community, they arranged for Masses at the tombs (or other special places) of our Constitution Saints that were in and around Rome. Since we currently are assigned to Rome this was very doable. Our last stop on this spiritual pilgrimage was to Ireland where we prayed at Mother Catherine's tomb and the tomb of St. Patrick, St. Brigid and St. Columba in Downpatrick.

Being able to stay at the first Home of Mercy of the Religious Sisters of Mercy was a complete joy and privilege!...

Messages to: Sr Mary Patrice Ahearn

Image: Holding Catherine McAuley's rosary, ring and crucifix in the Archives at Baggot Street

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MIA Reflection Process
Mercy Participates in 'Rise for Climate'

Last weekend, more than 250,000 people took part in over 900 'Rise for Climate' events in 95 countries on all 7 continents. In the words of Christiana Figueres (former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and convener of Mission 2020) and May Boeve (Executive Director at 350.org), 'The Masses are Mobilising for Climate Leadership'. MIA is a partner organisation and many Sisters of Mercy (some pictured above) were among the participants.
The events within the Rise For Climate mobilisation called for political steps to phase out fossil fuels and to provide prompt and just transition towards 100% renewable energy sources for everyone. A short video of highlights from the global events can be watched here (01:14). Updates will continue to appear in MercyeNews, or you can sign up on the 'Rise for Climate' site to receive email updates directly from 350.org, Climate Action Network, Greenfaith, and DCJ (Demand Climate Justice). Follow the Global Climate Action Summit (12-14 September 2018) here

Messages to: MIRP Continuation Group


Text of Talk by Mary C. Sullivan Now Available

Editor: On Sunday, 10 June, Mary Sullivan rsm gave a talk at Baggot Street on 'Our Shining Lamps and Today's All-Encompassing Eighth Work of Mercy'.

Sr Mary's presentation was strongly focused on care for Earth, with some references to what Catherine means by her “shining lamp” image and the lifestyle conversion that care for Earth requires.

A slightly shorter version of Sr Mary's presentation has since been published in the July-August issue of iViva Mercy and can be downloaded here: A4 Paper size (6pps, PDF), US Letter size (6pps, PDF)

The graphic and poster for the Eighth work of Mercy produced during the Mercy International Reflection Process can be downloaded here.

Messages to: Mary C. Sullivan rsm

MIA Members News

'A Bank of Ireland senior executive, who was seconded as head of financial development for the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, has heaped praise on the many religious communities who backed the event financially as well as individual religious who gave their time and support as volunteers.

Niall O'Shea, who was released by the Bank of Ireland to assist the organisers raise tens of millions in funding said: "The religious orders were involved and enthused about WMOF2018 from the beginning of preparations. From their profiling of the WMOF2018 as part of the various publications published and edited by Irish religious, there was a commitment to the work we were doing."

The acknowledgement is echoed by Sr Liz Murphy RSM, Secretary General of AMRI (the Association of Missionaries and Religious of Ireland), who was instrumental in drawing in religious as the preparations took shape, after attending an early meeting of the organisers in May last year...'

Source: Independent Catholic News

Messages to: Liz Murphy rsm AMRI

Editor: This is our final communication about WMOF 2018

Image: Sr Liz Murphy with Niall O'Shea

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A significant historical event in the history of St. Michael’s Baulkham Hills took place for our Congregation on Saturday, 16th June. A fresh ‘landscape’ was celebrated in the form of a moving ritual which marked the formation of a formal partnership between ourselves and Women’s Community Shelters (WCS), an organisation which provides Shelters for women and children escaping domestic violence.

The ritual, marking the formal ‘moment’ started with a photo story which captured in images the 116 years of St. Michael’s and showed how St. Michael’s Orphanage had creatively adapted and embraced the changing faces of social welfare...

Messages to: Margaret Sheppard rsm - Congregation leadership Team

Image: L-R: Margaret Sheppard rsm (Congregation Councillor),  Maria Lawton rsm (Congregation Vicar), Annabella Daniel (WCS CEO), Kris Neil (WCS Chair of Board), Mary-Louise Petro rsm (Congregation Leader), Margaret Jones rsm (Congregation Councillor), Patricia Bolster rsm (Congregation Councillor)

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Child Trafficking Research Paper Launched (The Congregation)

Last Thursday evening, 6 September, a large crowd of Mercy Sisters from all four provinces in Ireland, together with representatives from a number of agencies, gathered at the Ashling Hotel in Dublin to support MECPATHS at the launch of staff member JP O’Sullivan’s research paper 'Exploring Child trafficking in Ireland. International Landscapes on Irish shores: The Hospitality Sector Respond'. The gathering of the concerned and the weight of the national agencies present, was encouraging...

An account of the evening is linked to this item.

The research report on Child Trafficking in Ireland, exploring causation, implications for the global child population and the need to respond can be downloaded here (31pps, PDF)

Messages to: the MECPATHS Team

Image: L-R: Kevin Hyland OBE, Mary Ryan rsm MECPATHS, JP O’Sullivan MECPATHS, Patricia O’Donovan rsm (CLT), Ann Mara MECPATHS

'CEDAR RAPIDS — For Dave Bryant, music is hard to forget.

Music has been a major part of Bryant’s life, and that passion has been amplified since the 80-year-old was diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy, a rare variant of Alzheimer’s disease, in 2012.

“He really loves it. He said it really helped put him on a right track when he was a teenager. It found him another focus,” Karen Bryant, Dave’s wife, said as barbershop tunes played in the background of their Cedar Rapids home...'

Source: The Gazette

Messages to: Family Caregivers Center of Mercy, Cedar Rapids Iowa

Image: Stock image. Used under licence

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Carlow University honored seven Sisters of Mercy, who first came to Pittsburgh from Ireland in 1843, with posthumous honorary doctoral degrees during the university's Academic Convocation on August 30, 2018.

The seven Sisters of Mercy – Frances Warde, Josephine Cullen, Agatha O'Brien, Elizabeth Strange, Veronica McDarby, Aloysia Strange, and Philomena Reid – left Carlow, Ireland for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1843. Their beginnings in Pittsburgh eventually led to the founding of Mount Mercy College – now known as Carlow University – in 1929...

Messages to: Patricia McDermott rsm - President Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

Image: L-R: Srs Sheila Carney and Patricia McDermott celebrate with Frances Warde the legacy of Mercy on the campus of Carlow University.

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The congregations of St. Mary’s and Holy Trinity Parishes, with Westport Eco-Congregation were delighted to receive the National Eco-Congregation Award on Sunday April 22nd 2018 - (International Earth Day)

Inspired and motivated by the publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical ‘Laudato Si’,  the Eco Committee, with the assistance of the schools and many other community groups commenced this journey towards Care for Creation... In the Westport area the focus and vision was to invite the local community to adopt an eco-approach to worship, lifestyle, property and finance management, community outreach and contact with the developing world.

Note: My own participation and involvement with this committee evolved directly from our cluster’s engagement with MIRP.  One of our agreed actions for the way forward at that time was “We will continue to support the local Eco Congregation Committee in our parish……. we will share with this committee and others, some of the excellent resources we receive from MIA”...

Messages for Westport Eco-Congregation to: Kathleen Friel rsm

Image: Members of Westport Eco-Congregation being presented the national award in Holy Trinity church. L-R Caroline Goucher, Mary Manning, Kathleen Friel, Kathleen Murphy, Sr. Catherine Brennan of Eco-Congregation Ireland, Brid McAuley, Kevin Barrett and Rev.Val Rodgers

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Mercy Matters
On This Day

1855: Foundation to Brooklyn, New York from New York - M Vincent Haire

1954: Foundation to Gurteen, Co Sligo from Swinford, Co Mayo

1961: Foundation to Carmichael, California from Tralee, Co Kerry

1983: Opening of Aiseiri Alcoholic Treatment Centre, Cahir - Eileen Fahey rsm

1988: Catherine Home for homeless women, Adelaide, South Australia - Anne Gregory rsm

It is 30 years today since Catherine House was founded as a partnership between the Sisters of Mercy, South Australia Housing Trust and the Adelaide City Council, to address an unmet service need for  women experiencing homelessness.

In the subsequent thirty years the organisation has both grown and refined its model, and is now recognised as Adelaide’s only recovery based service for women experiencing homelessness. 

Messages to: Catherine House

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Today marks 45 years since the founding of Aiséirí Cahir.

Aiséirí Cahir was founded in 1983 by Sr. Eileen Fahey of the Sisters of Mercy. Following its success Aiséirí opened a second residential Centre at Roxborough, Wexford in 1987. Aislinn Adolescent Addiction Centre was opened in 1998 by Sr. Veronica Mangan, another member of the Sisters of Mercy, to cater for the younger age group 15-21 years...

Messages to: Aiséirí Cahir

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24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B (Mark 8:27-35)

'Today’s gospel reading leads us into a section of Mark’s gospel that explores challenges confronting all disciples on their journey of faith. The first challenge is to clarify the nature of our commitment as disciples of Jesus...'

Read the Gospel reflection by Veronica Lawson rsm (ISMAPNG)

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

'I bless and praise our good God who has so favoured me.'

-M Vincent Haire

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Here are the preparations you can take before the worst happens, and what to do if it does.

Source: Wired

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

The Promise is Hope perform 'Brother'. Watch/listen here (04:14)

Worth Reading:

-Degradation of Earth

'Serving the Earth, Serving One Another.' An interview with Joanna Macy. Read it here


'As Synthetic Microfibers Spread in Water, Solutions Are Blossoming'. Read the article here

'Q&A: As Water Scarcity Becomes the New Normal How Do We Manage This Scarce Resource?' Read the article here

Climate Change

'The Masses Are Mobilizing for Climate Leadership.' Read the article here

‘Direct existential threat’ of climate change nears point of no return, warns UN chief. Read/listen here

"Great Pacific Garbage Patch" clean-up project launches trial run: UN Environment.' Read article here

The Bottom line:

'Grace happens when we act with others on behalf of the world.'
- Joanna Macy, environmental activist, author, scholar (1929-)

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

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