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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 582  |  27 August 2014
Featured Story

Editor: Each day of the 20th Anniversary celebrations (23-29 September) there will be prayer and ritual. The ritual booklets for leaders and participants, prepared by each of the MIA congregations and institutes, are now online for advance preparation and are linked to the pages with the words and music of the songs, previously made available on our website.

We invite you to make these booklets available to your community members and ministries.

The Institute of the Americas is making arrangements for translations of these booklets into Spanish. These translations will be available very soon and that advice will be made known in Mercy E-news and on the Institute of the Americas website.

On Monday, 25 August we commenced the 30 days prayer. As we pray this prayer of commitment in these coming days, 'united by a spirit and a story', let us hold in our prayer the needs of the peoples in the many parts of the world where Mercy has a presence and in all places in need of God's mercy.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA


Image: Adele Howard rsm. Photographed at the Symposium held on 29 September 2013, celebrating Catherine's Legacy, at which the recently discovered representation of Catherine was unveiled. The Symposium was organised by The Congregation's Canonisation Committee

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Vision in Action
20th Anniversary Celebrations – Thursday 25 September Events

Please note that entry to the Chapel for the Opening Prayer and address of President Michael D Higgins on Thursday, 25 September will be by ticket only.  Those persons without tickets will be accommodated in the Doyle Room where you willl be able to watch a ‘live’ streaming of the event.  This arrangement is necessary due to the significant interest in the day and various protocols that need to be observed - we hope you understand. 

Tickets have been mailed this week and need to be brought with you to gain entrance to the Chapel.

Messages to: Sylvia Williams rsm - Assistant Director Administration and Finance

Thank you to all those who have already sent messages for Mercy Day and for the celebrations. We have heard from Australia, Panama, Papua New Guinea and Kenya, four of the countries where there is a Mercy presence.

We hope to hear from many of our Mercy family over the coming weeks.

Send messages for posting online to: mercyenews@mercyinternational.ie

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA


Image: Catherine McAuley's writing table, writing set, prayer book, rosary and keys to Baggot Street.

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MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week

In past days we have been exposed in the media to images of great pain and enormous suffering, particularly in the Middle East.

Let us pray that we may we not become indifferent or desensitised, but rather, that our concern for one another be heightened, our commitment to peace be strengthened, our work for justice be emboldened.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

The Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Raphael Louis SakoI I  has renewed his appeal on behalf of Christians and other persecuted minorities in Iraq: 'do not remain indifferent to our suffering'.
The text of his appeal can be read here.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Reminder: Generally Advertised Programmes at MIC in 2015

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 Members News

'When Mandela dies will we be able to keep his legacy alive?' This was a question that was often asked after Nelson Mandela’s health began to fail.  As this year’s International Mandela Day approached, the question would be answered...

Read what happened on Mandela Day at Mercy House, the Mercy Shelter for victims of domestic violence in Pretoria, South Africa, where each woman was presented  with an umbrella: 'For our beloved Madiba’s life was not about waiting for the storm to pass, but rather his life was about learning to dance in the rain...'

Messages to: Colleen Wilkinson rsm


Image: Nelson Mandela, President of the Republic of South Africa, addressing the fifty-third session of the General Assembly. 21 September 1998. United Nations, New York
UN Photo/Greg Kinch. Used with permission

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Watching about 30 inmates—some of them in shackles—place roses on the casket of a fellow Sister of Mercy moved Sister Lorraine deeply. “I saw some beautiful and struggling souls, and I thought about this sister who had made a difference in their lives,” she recalls. That moment, more than 25 years ago, changed Sister Lorraine’s life.

Messages to: Sr Lorraine c/- Lauren Tyrrell - Institute Communications Office

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Mercy women featured prominently amongst the group of 34 recipients honoured through the presentation of Papal and Diocesan awards at St Patrick's Cathedral Parramatta earlier this month.

Sisters Rosemary Crumlin and Mary Louise Petro were the recipients of the Cross Pro-Ecclesia Et Pontifice.
Also honoured with Diocesan Medals were members of the 125 Women and Men of Mercy for their contribution in various fields. 

Messages to Recipients c/- Maria Lawton rsm - Congregation Leadership Team

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Every year, 14 million girls are married before they turn 16, and this statistic is not limited to any one country.

Each June, Mercy-sponsored high schools from across the United States send between four and six student leaders to participate in the Mercy Leadership Conference, a four-day workshop held at Gwynedd Mercy University in Pennsylvania...In addition to honing students’ skills in leadership and collaboration, the Mercy Leadership Conference includes a service learning component focusing on education as a tool to eradicate global poverty...

Messages to: Maureen Christi rsm - Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School

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Even though Aotearoa and the islands of the South Pacific are about as far from Ireland as one can go, we experience a powerful link to Catherine’s original house. It has nurtured Mercy ministries across the world, and revitalised sisters and companions alike in the Mercy charism...

Messages to: Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregation Leadership Team

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Mater Health Services Brisbane has an outreach to Uganda. Under the guidance of their ‘African Mission Committee’, support is provided to an Orphanage at Kitgun, Uganda. This support is in the form of used medical equipment, beds, pharmacy supplies and linen from Holy Cross Laundry

Messages to: Mary Lawson rsm - Congregation Leadership Team

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Mercy Matters

'Catherine saw Jesus as the light. She saw that light in every person she met and she believed that she also brought that light to every person she met.This was what Catherine communicated from the inside out. This was
her WHY her part in healing the world...

- Mary Reynolds rsm. Keynote address, Young Mercy Leaders Pilgrimage 2014

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Hanx Writer turns your iPad into an old-fashioned typewriter. Read about and watch the demo of the Hanx Writer App in the article linked to this item.

Download the App here (free)

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'Never be disheartened: God is good to us beyond expression.'

-M Cecilia Maher

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1875: Foundation to Blenheim from Wellington - Sisters M. Patricia Coakley, Benignus Hall and Alacoque Doyle
1906: Opening of St Joseph's Girls' Orphanage, Goulburn
1941: Foundation to San Juan, Puerto Rico from Pittsburgh

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

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In 1897, the community of the Sisters of Mercy of Strabane, Ireland, acceding to the request of Bishop Anthony Gaughren OMI, Vicar Apostolic in Kimberley, South Africa, undertook to make a foundation in Mafeking, Bechuanaland.

Accordingly, on 24 September, under the patronage of Our Lady of Mercy, five sisters, accompanied by four postulants, left Ireland and reached Cape Town on 17 October 1897.

The first Convent of Mercy in Africa was opened in Mafeking in the diocese of Kimberley on 15 February 1898.

To download the complete history of the Sisters of Mercy in South Africa, click here

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Understanding Differently: Jo O'Donovan rsm

Understanding Differently considers the four main religions – Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism – that, along with Christianity, represent ancient and vibrant visions of God at work in the world and in peoples. Showing the particular radiance, rationality and spirituality of each tradition and Christianity’s relationship and dialogue with them, Jo O’Donovan rsm explores what it means to be Christian in a multi-religious world.

Order online from Veritas Publications

Read about Sr Jo's encounter with interfaith dialogue and her most interesting explanation of the subject matter of her book in the article 'Entering Houses Through Their Doors'.


Further Resources

Worth Playing:

(Maria) Magdalena Matthey Correa is a well-known Chilean singer-songwriter, very popular in Latin America. Vienen con alegría, Señor (They come with joy, Lord) is a favourite song in Peru. Listen to it here

Worth Reading:


'Aging gracefully requires the courage to face our burdens, to accept our blessings, and to recreate our lives in new ways.' From Embracing life's second act: An interview with Joan Chittister. Read the interview from August 2014 issue of U.S. Catholic

Unaccompanied Child Migrants

The Institute Leadership Team (Americas) has made the cause of unaccompanied child migrants a priority. In Mercy Enews over the past 3 weeks we have shared the story of the efforts of Anne Murphy rsm and the stance (resulting in arrest) of Eileen Campbell rsm (ILT) and Jean Stokan, director of the Sisters of Mercy Institute Justice Team.

This article published in NCR online 'Unthinkable violence drives Hondurans north to United States' (18 August) is informative reading for those readers of Mercy Enews seeking background on this significant social issue.

Worth Watching:

Opposing Human Trafficking

A seven-part series of training videos on human trafficking  produced by the HOPE Campaign (Help Our Prostituted and Exploited Children) and funded through a grant from the Child Victims’ Trust Fund (CVTF) in  Kentucky USA was launched on 15 August.
View the series online here. Background Information about the series can be read here

Worth Knowing:

Opposing Human Trafficking

Ohio State University's course "Human Trafficking" commenced 22 August. Join for  free. Enrol here

Pope Francis' 2015 World Peace Day message (1 January) will focus on human trafficking. "Slaves no more, but brothers and sisters" will be the title of the Message for the 48th World Day of Peace. Read the announcement here. View the clip on Rome Reports (0:55)


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

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