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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 584  |  10 September 2014
Featured Story
Celebrating Mercy Day (Week) with a 'Good Cup of Tea' Event

Editor: As part of the 20th Anniversary celebrations, members of the Mercy family will gather in community rooms and classrooms, in chapels and churches, in work places, home places and ministry places, to watch, to pray and to celebrate with a good cup of tea (or coffee).

In Ireland, Sisters of Mercy are being encouraged to host a good cup of tea event. In Parramatta, New South Wales, the Congregation has organised a series of 'Sees and Teas', inviting Sisters, staff and friends of Mercy to share Mercy hospitality while watching the archived live streams. Across ISMAPNG, Community Leaders are organising gatherings... Yes, as we move closer to 'Mercy week', plans are in place all over the mercy world to celebrate together.

Helpful resources to organise your 'Good Cup of Tea' Event  can be found online here. Excellent resources celebrating the life and legacy of Catherine McAuley are available in a variety of media formats in the Spirituality section of the mercyworld.org website.

Those planning to raise funds for the ongoing work of Mercy International Association at their 'Good Cup of Tea' event will be pleased to know that you can now make your donation online.

We'll be delighted to receive photos from your Good Cup of Tea Event to post on mercyworld.org or our Facebook page . You can also follow us on twitter using #mercy20th

Send photos from cups of tea events and messages for posting online to: mercyenews@mercyinternational.ie

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Vision in Action
Additional Resources Online for Ritual Participation on 23 and 24 September

Editor: Please note the following:

23 September

The ritual on the Opening evening will conclude with the singing of the Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen). For some members of the Mercy family this traditional Latin hymn will be an unfamiliar hymn. To assist with that, the words and music on Youtube have been added to the ritual page for 23 September.

24 September

The complete booklet for the Eucharistic celebration is now available and has been posted on the website on the Mercy Day Mass page.

You can also download the Mass booklet here (PDF; 16pps)

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

Image: Choir of Academy of Mary Immaculate Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia students, Mercy Day Mass (2011). Photo: Peter Casamento. Used with permission

La celebración del 20º Aniversario de la Asociación Internacional de la Misericordia (AIM) comienza en Dublín, Irlanda el 23 de setiembre. ¿No pueden llegar a Baggot Street? ¡Ustedes pueden celebrar dondequiera que estén!   Aquí hay algunos recursos que les pueden ayudar.  Las festividades incluyen rituales diarios, cada uno preparado por un Instituto miembro de la AIM. Por favor noten que la AIM anima a líderes locales y otras personas que lideran los rituales, a adaptarlos según sus entornos con selecciones musicales adecuadas.

Al acercarse este emocionante aniversario, por favor continúen rezando la Oración de los 30 Días para la AIM (disponible aquí). Juntas 'Nosotras mismas nos comprometemos a preservar lo mejor de lo mejor, fomentando lo mejor del presente y dando forma a lo mejor del futuro'. 

Editor: We thank the Communications Office of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas for arranging for the Spanish translations of the prayer rituals. Gracias.

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Editor: Thank you to all those who have already sent messages for Mercy Day and for the celebrations.
We have now heard from: North Sudan, South Africa, Great Britain, Poland, Cambodia, Argentina, Nigeria, Philippines, Guyana, Aotearoa New Zealand, USA, Australia, Panama, Papua New Guinea and Kenya, 15 of the countries where there is a Mercy presence.

We hope to hear from many of our Mercy family and friends over the coming weeks as we celebrate the past and our present while looking to the future with hope.

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

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA


Image: courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week

MIA Joins with the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea in their September prayer focus 'Praying for Peace' - and at their suggestion include in our prayer, the prayer of Pope Francis

'Now, Lord, help us!
Grant us peace, teach us peace,
and guide us toward peace.
Open our eyes and our hearts
and grant us the courage to say:
'no more war!'
With war all is destroyed!
Instill in us the courage to perform
concrete actions to build peace....
Make us willing to listen to the cry of our citizens
who ask that our arms be transformed
into instruments of peace,
our fears to trust
and our tensions to forgiveness.'

Pope Francis
Prayer for peace in the Holy Land
13 July, 2104

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Editor: 21 September, 2014 marks the 33rd Anniversary of the United Nations International Day of Peace. The United Nations has chosen the theme 'The Right of Peoples to Peace' for the 2014 observance, marking the 30th anniversary of the UN General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace.

In preparation for observing this day, the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center (IPJC), Washington, has prepared a Prayer Service in English and in Spanish and gathered quotes and other resources, including links to: Campaign Nonviolence, Do One Thing for Peace Day and Pax Christi USA.

Confronted as we are daily by scenes of desperate human suffering and distress, 21 September offers us an opportunity to join in a global effort to promote peace and human rights.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA


Image: Olive Tree, Madrid. Daderot. Public domain

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MIA Global Action is committed to participating in this year’s ‘Global Frackdown Day’ on 11 October. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness about the negative consequences of the mining process known as ‘fracking’.

Details of activities being organised by Sisters of Mercy in Newfoundland, Ireland and the United States are in the report linked to this item.

Please send details of any plans you have to be be added to the mercyworld.org website so that others may know what you are doing and hopefully be inspired to participate.

Messages to: Denise Boyle fmdm - Assistant Director Mercy Global Action

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MIA Members News

At its inaugural meeting, the newly elected Catholic Religious Australia Council renewed its hope for justice in our world and reaffirmed its commitment to pray and work for peace in all situations of tension and conflict in the world.

The CRA Council expressed grave concern at the humanitarian crises that are worsening in so many nations.

“Our hearts go out to those people who are displaced and suffering because of the wars and violence in their country,” said CRA President  Berneice Loch rsm.

Messages to: Giselle Lapitan - CRA Communications Officer

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'...When local county, jail and immigration officials in 2007 told Sisters Persch and Pat Murphy they weren’t allowed access to the jail to provide pastoral care to the immigrant population, the nuns became the face of Illinois’ Access to Religious Ministry legislation. The law allowed them inside the jail, and what Sister Persch described as access to detainees not granted at other detention centers in the country.

“Pat and I have a motto that we do all of this peacefully, respectfully, but we never take no for an answer. That’s how we got where we are,” Persch said.

“We never take no for an answer because these men and women deserve this, and if we don’t speak up for them, who’s going to do it?”...'

Source: Crux

Messages to: Srs Pat Murphy and JoAnn Persch rsm

Editor:  Last Tuesday, The Boston Globe newspaper launched a new site called Crux, dedicated to coverage of the Catholic Church. John Allen jr, former Vatican reporter, is one of the lead writers. This article is from that new site.

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Editor: In last week's Mercy E-news (Issue #583) we shared a story about the support of Victoria, Australia, Mercy Sisters for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre, Melbourne (ASRC).

This week we are pleased to report that on 28 August at the Mercy Foundation North Sydney, on behalf of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre  Melbourne, its CEO Kon Karapanagiotidis was presented with the 2014 Cath Leary Mercy Foundation Social Justice Award. The award was presented by Loreto Conroy rsm, Leader of the North Sydney Sisters of Mercy. This award recognises the significant contribution that the ASRC has made to providing asylum seekers with a range of practical and other assistance.

Formerly the Mercy Foundation Social Justice Award, it has been renamed the Cath Leary Social Justice Award after long term member of the Mercy Foundation Board, the late Cath Leary.

 Messages to: Felicity Reynolds - CEO

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Campaigning for Nonviolence #1 (Americas)

In keeping with the Sisters of Mercy’s commitment 'to act in ways which contribute to a sustainable future in our Institute, the Church and Earth,' Mercys from across the Institute will be participating in Campaign Nonviolence’s week of actions September 21-27. This U.S.-wide campaign connects efforts to end war, eliminate poverty and reverse the climate crisis.

A featured activity of Campaign Nonviolence is the People’s Climate March, being held September 21 in New York City.  Many Mercy Sisters, Associates, Students and Co-workers are expected to participate in this march which organizers hope will draw hundreds of thousands of people to New York City on the eve of a  United Nations Climate Summit to discuss reduction of global warming.

To join Mercy in New York City, contact justice@sistersofmercy.org

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy Institute Justice Team

The 20th anniversary of the founding of Mercy International Centre is taking place from the 23rd to the 29th of September in the founding house on Baggot Street.

Thinking about this celebration and the woman at its source brought me back to the words “Kitty’s Folly”, which was the way that James, Catherine McAuley’s younger brother, labelled her risky venture on Baggot Street. He was perplexed and not a little frustrated by what Catherine was doing with the large inheritance that she had received from William O’Callaghan. He saw the Baggot Street venture as a costly structure that he considered useless, ridiculous and foolish, and he wasn’t the only one...

What is it in any human being that enables a person to tackle the odds and to stand up to the current of life around her in order to achieve her dream?

I believe that the underlying power that fires a passion so strong that major obstacles are overcome is love.

Catherine McAuley loved...

Messages to: Brenda Dolphin rsm -Postulator for the Cause of Catherine McAuley

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Ms Laetitia Richmond, the 10th Principal in the history of Catherine McAuley Westmead, was commissioned at a special Mass held on Friday, 29 August in addition to our annual Mercy Day Mass which was also held on this day.

During the commissioning Ms Richmond was presented with a bible - symbolizing the importance of scripture within the Catherine McAuley community; a Catherine McAuley candle which had been lit from the school candle -  a symbol of taking the light of Christ into the world;  Irish Crystal from the House of Catherine McAuley symbolizing the passing on of the Catherine McAuley story and tradition and a Mercy Cross.

Messages to: Jacqui Hamilton -School Development Officer

Editor: Catherine McAuley Westmead is this week's featured Mercy website

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Mercy Matters

Catherine McAuley Westmead is a Catholic girls’ school in the Mercy tradition. Inspired by our founder, Mother Catherine McAuley, we aspire to a God-centred way of life which respects and affirms the dignity of each person.

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Host Beate Matthies, Manager of the Mercy Spirituality Centre, Auckland, ANZ and guests explore  topics of the heart and spirit on Fridays on Planet FM.1046.

During the Mercy month of September 2014 only interviews with Mercy Sisters or their work will be recorded. On 5 September, Gabrielle Huria (Mission Leader NZ) will be the guest and on 12 September it will be Mary Foy rsm (Te Ukaipo) with other Mercy people still to be finalised for 19 and 26 September.

All programmes are archived online.  Previous programmes featuring aspects of Mercy life include: Te Waipuna Puawai Mercy Oasis – Puamiria Maaka; History of the Mercy Sisters; Cecily Mantell – Te Ukaipo Mercy Initiatives for Rangatahi

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'The connectivity built into the new Apple operating systems represents the most significant and far-reaching move in the company's history...'

Source: The Age

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1878: Foundation to Big Rapids from Michigan

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

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'...Mercy is the name of our God. Mercy is the call to be a human being, who feels with other human beings who suffer and are in need. Mercy is the call to be a real Christian, who follows the example of Christ and meets Christ in his suffering brothers and sisters. Mercy is the essence of the Gospel and the key to Christian life. Mercy is the best and most beautiful news that can be told to us and that we should bring to the world. As God by his mercy always gives us a new chance, a new future, our mercy gives future to the other, and to a world that needs it so much.'

- Walter Kasper
What does mercy mean for the life and mission of the church?
America online, 15 September 2014

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'Catherine somehow understood that most poor were not responsible for their own misery.'

-Joanna Regan rsm

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:
'Peace Now: The End of Suffering.' A reflection on the state of the world (07:59). Words by Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, poet and peace activist. Singing by Phap Niem. Music by Gary Malkin. Listen and reflect on it here

Worth Knowing:

November 2014 U.S. midterm elections

The Nuns on the Bus are getting ready to hit the road again.

The Washington-based NETWORK lobbying group begins its third national tour on 17 September. and will visit 10 states through 17 October.  This tour calls on ‘We the People’ to stand up against big money and inequality in the upcoming November 2014 midterm elections. Details and ways to support the tour can be found here

The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas have produced a reflection guide 'U.S. Elections 2014' that we hope will help you assess where candidates stand on issues of mercy and justice. We also hope that it is helpful for injecting compassion into conversations on policy and on national priorities. Download the guide here (PDF, 16pps)

A modified Spanish-language version is being prepared; email justice@sistersofmercy.org if you would like to be alerted when it becomes available.

Worth Checking Out:
Opposing Human Trafficking

'8 Days' is inspired by real stories of human trafficking. Amber is the lead character in the just released film '8 Days'. After sneaking to a party with her friends, sixteen year old Amber Stevens goes missing. Forced into the world of sex trafficking, her family and community fight to get her back. Inspired by actual events. So much can happen in 8 days. Watch the trailer (02:07) -visit  the promotional site

Rebecca Pober Citrin is a high school senior from Daphne, Alabama, USA who filmed a documentary on human trafficking to build awareness of the issue for her Girl Scout Gold Award project.  Watch it here (26:40)

Displacement of Peoples

Last month the International Organisation for Migration, the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration, produced this short film,' Letter from a Refugee'. It features very moving and frank interviews with a number of young women, all Syrian refugees. The film ends with their affecting messages to others to be strong. Suitable for showing to senior secondary (second level) and tertiary (third level) students who are the ages of the interviewees. Watch it here (09:58)

Cosmology and Ecojustice

1 September to 4 October is celebrated as Time for Creation (World Council of Churches) or The Season of Creation

There are many resources that can be drawn on for prayer/reflection/information/action

United Church of Canada
World Council of Churches
A Catholic Season of Creation (Columbans)
Let All Creation Praise
Seasons of the Spirit
Web of Creation
• Christian Ecology Link
European Christian Environment Network
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland

Catholic Climate Covenant (CCC) has produced a free multi-media programme 'Creating a Climate for Solidarity: From St. Francis to Pope Francis to You ' to celebrate 4 October. Register and download it from the CCC site.


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

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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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Mercy International Association Limited
Registered in Ireland.
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 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)