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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 592  |  08 October 2014
Featured Story

Friends in mercy, friends of mercy and friends for mercy,

With all of you around this Earth, we rejoice in this week that has been – a week of thanksgiving and challenge and promise. With image and music and drama and words, we communicated across forty-five countries and six continents. We were engaged in a way that has never happened before in our history. We prepared for the week in our own places, but we lived the week together in all our places. Together we saw mercy alive and active among us and among those with whom we share this mercy journey every day.

The thanksgiving was evident throughout. We delighted in the prayer moments led by our different congregations, in the memories of twenty years ago and in the photographs bringing images from our places back to our founding place. The challenge came in the reality check of the injustices and inequities and exclusion still so evident among us and in the awareness of the fragility of Earth and our failed stewardship. And it is the promise – the energy, the interconnection and the spirit – that has been the heart of it all. Each congregation and institute is stronger and wiser because this week unfolded in the way in which it did. We have the surety that “we” now means sisters, associates, colleagues and partners in ministry. We have the surety that we can be global mercy because we have seen global mercy alive.

We have the rich nourishment of thanksgiving in our very beings. We have the heightened awareness of the challenges that still need mercy’s voice and mercy’s presence. And we have the promise that we can do so much as receivers of God’s mercy and bearers of God’s mercy. What a source of blessing this week has been for us, for the church and for our world!

Now Catherine’s words echo in our hearts in a new way, “Hurra for foundations, makes the old young and the young merry.” May we go on now to make new foundations, not necessarily of place, but of vision and of commitment and of energy.

Sister Elizabeth Davis, rsm
For the Sisters of Mercy in Canada and Peru


Image: Adele Howard rsm. Mary Reynolds rsm commissions each of the Carriers of the Light as Mary Kay Dobrovolny rsm ( at the podium) reads the names of the countries where Mercy has a ministry presence in the continents of the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and Oceania

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Vision in Action
Wonderful Attendance at the 20th Anniversary Celebrations

Editor: The numbers present in person or online for the 20th anniversary celebrations are evidence of a very strong desire amongst the members of the Mercy family to be connected in prayer and in shared action for justice.

Over the anniversary days (23-29 September) Catherine's house was filled with 995 people present in person and 103,313 unique visitors online for either the live or archived video streams. The total number of unique (online) visitors for September was 174,978.

The unique visitor numbers represent not only individuals but those who made the live or archived streams available to small and large group gatherings. This means that the numbers of members of the Mercy family who have participated in the celebrations are significantly higher with so many gathering in small and large groupings as the wonderful array of messages and photos attest.

This month we have already welcomed 50,504 unique visitors to Catherine's (virtual) House of Mercy.

How wonderful it is that we have been able to be together for these days.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA


Image: Some of the many cards received by MIA for the anniversary celebrations

MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week

People of faith and moral belief to are urged to sign a petition and pray in their own tradition for the Paris 2015 UN Climate Summit to succeed where all past talks have failed. MIA joins in the invitation to prayer ' that world leaders act with compassion and courage, to reach an agreement that will protect our children and our planet'

'Creator God,

You have called us to be keepers of your Earth;
Through greed, we have established an economy that destroys the web of life. We have changed our climate and drown in despair.
Let oceans of justice flow,
May we learn to sustain and renew the life of our Mother, Earth
We pray for our leaders, custodians of Mother Earth;
as they gather in Lima at the climate talks
May they negotiate with wisdom and fairness,
May they act with compassion and courage,
and lead us in the path of justice for the sake of our children and our children’s children.'

- composed by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Editor: Visit the Our Voices website and consider adding your name and voice to this campaign to urge world leaders to agree on a new global deal on cutting greenhouse gas emissions that includes all countries.


Eulogy for Ethel Bignell rsm RIP (Aotearoa New Zealand)

The Requiem Mass and Funeral for Ethel Bignell rsm took place on Friday, 3 October in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. Berneice Loch rsm, President of MIA, joined the Nga Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa Sisters of Mercy New Zealand for the ceremonies. Sr Berneice's presence emphasised the wonderful contribution that Sr Ethel made to Mercy International Association during her years as MIA Administrator.

The Eulogy delivered by Stephanie Kitching rsm can be downloaded here (PDF).

Messages to: Stephanie Kitching rsm


Image: L-r: At the MIA Archivists' meeting (2009) Patricia Bell rsm (GB Institute) thanked Ethel Bignell rsm (ANZ) for her years of service.'Her wisdom, creativity, expertise and commitment were invaluable.'

God of love and mercy, touch with your healing power and restore Catherine Brophy (Dublin), Sister Mary Kelly rsm ( West Midwest Community of the Institute of the Americas), Liz and Joseph, Dennis Payne, Irene Seidel, Sister Carmel rsm Elaine Sipe, Mercy Associate Bob Wilcocks, Sr Andrea Hogan, Sr Gerry Murphy, Sr Margueritte McCarthy (Mercy Sisters currently on treatment) to full health.

We ask this with confidence through the intercession of Venerable Catherine McAuley. Amen

Messages to: the Vice postulators

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MIA Board Meeting

The MIA Board met on the weekend of 4-5 October. They spent time reflecting on the events of the 20th Anniversary week and looking to what the outcomes may mean for Mercy International Association into the future.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA


Image: L-r: Pat McDermott rsm, Chair MIA Board, with Mary Reynolds rsm, Executive Director MIA, cutting the 20th Anniversary cake at the Board luncheon on 4 October

The complete series of archived video streams is now online and linked to this item. The archived streams are ordered by date and event.

To find the archived video of an event you may have missed or wish to watch again, click the 'Read more' button below then once on the page, navigate to the archived stream you want to see using the side arrow to click through the list.

The archived streams will stay online indefinitely. However, you might like to copy the URL of the page for future reference so that when returning you can find the page easily.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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MIA Members News

As we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Mercy International Centre and our vibrant Mercy Global Family, we are amazed and awed of how Catherine’s dream continues to flourish through over 7,000 Sisters of Mercy, 5,000 Mercy Associates and more than half a million ministry partners in approximately 45 countries.

Catherine’s dream is very much alive for Focus on Haiti (FOH), a group of Sisters of Mercy, Associates and Mercy friends who have been ministering with the Religious of Jesus and Mary and the people of Gros Morne, Haiti. The dream to bring Mercy to Haiti began as a response to the Sisters of Mercy of the America’s Chapter in 2011 and to the Chapter question:

“God of Mercy, of Wisdom and Mystery, where do we need to be led now to come to both a deeper response to our Critical Concerns and a radical embrace of our identity?”

Messages to: Karen Scheer rsm, MD


Image: Some of the work crew getting ready for a busy day. Andrea Haely, Maryice (on Staff at Bon Samaritan), Mary-Paula Cancienne rsm and Mary Sullivan rsm

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Deirdre Mullan rsm outlines her role in girls' education worldwide and why it matters in this article in Global Sisters Report, a publication of National Catholic Reporter.

'I grew up on the island of Ireland, but my world was expanded by my uncle, who worked as a migrant priest in Peru and Honduras. He would tell my cousins and me many stories about how it was for girls in the places where he worked. As a child I had a pen-friend in Peru and tried to think about how life was for Sol, who lived in the mountains. As a teacher, I remembered the stories and passed on what I had heard to the children in front of me.

Later, I visited my sister working in Kenya and saw firsthand the importance of education in the developing world. At this point I was totally hooked and knew I had to do my part – one girl at a time...'

Messages to: Deirdre Mullan rsm

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Thank you to the members  of the Mercy Global Action Network (MGAN) Cosmology and Eco Justice working group and the MGAN Fracking working group —Srs Kathleen Glennon,  Marcella O Connell, Kathleen Somers and Carmel Bracken— who prepared the prayer Cry of Water  for Global Frackdown Day for use by The Congregation and who are generously providing it here for global use.

The prayer and accompanying resources which are linked to this item will remain online until 12 October.

Messages to:

Kathleen Glennon rsm
Marcella O'Connell rsm
Kathleen Somers rsm
Carmel Bracken rsm

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The Sisters of Mercy of the Northern Province are deeply saddened and shocked by the deaths, as a result of a road traffic accident, of Srs Marie Duddy and Frances Forde, from Ballysillan House, Crumlin Rd, Belfast.

The accident occurred on the morning of the 30th September on the Belfast Newry Rd near the Derrycraw road junction. We, their Mercy Family, are struggling to cope with their sudden parting from us, we take comfort from the example of their lives, lived in the service of God and God's people.

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy Northern Province

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In February 2014 we set out on an unknown journey for MIA with nothing other than the good will to travel. Fortunately we, the ‘point persons’ for the Congregation had navigators Adele Howard rsm and Anne Walsh, and the MIA team, who would steer us on that journey to its destination - the anniversary celebration of MIA in Baggot St. Dublin.

Early in March the detailed directions arrived and it was very obvious that the MIA team had a clear vision for the celebration of this milestone. Much planning had been done before we came on board. The plans were well thought through, innovative, ambitious and exciting. The dreamers had done their work. Could we realise the dream?

Messages to:

Breda Coman rsm
Margaret Farrell rsm


Image: L- r: Srs Adele Howard, Margaret Farrell, Breda Coman at their March meeting

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Nga mihi atawhai - greetings to all in Mercy! As Chapter 2014 concludes and a newly elected Leadership team prepares to guide Nga Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa into the next five years, a new resource has been published to guide Sisters of Mercy and their partners in ministry on Mercy’s unfolding path. Entitled Atawhai Mai Atawhai Atu – Mercy Given Mercy Received, the 32-page booklet has been published in New Zealand with original art-work by Maori artist Henriata Nicholas that gives it an unmistakably local flavour.

Messages to: Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregation leadership Team

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Mercy Matters

Some creative smartphone photography tips & tricks using an iPhone 5S.

Source: Lifehack

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'...The decision to analyse ones purpose and ones project indicates courage and above all, vision. I have often spoken of the importance of being open to new paradigms of thought and action; ofbeing unafraid tore-  invent andre-imagine, to open new chapters,

embrace change and advance innovation.  It takes courage to seek out change, and great humility to constantly strive to know more and to do better, in order to realise a better and improved world. It is that combination of courage and humility that defines all those who work at the heart of the Mercy International Association...'

- From the Speech by President Michael D. Higgins, at the Mercy International Association, Baggot Street, Dublin,

Thursday, 25 September, 2014

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1869: Foundation to Louisville, Kentucky

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'...Your task is to carry on the tradition of that charism, not through simply recycling it, but through resurrecting it today to respond to the trauma and suffering of those who seek a sense of meaning which they will only find in God, but who once they find it can rejoice like the women who had lost the coin, and radiate joy in our lives and share it with others.'

- Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Feast of Our Lady of Mercy 2014

20 Years of Mercy International Association

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The Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland is a congregation of women religious who live and minister according to the spirit of our foundress, Catherine McAuley. Catherine’s gift of Mercy shaped the story and ideals of the congregation she founded and became the hallmark of its mission and spirituality.

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First published in 2010 by the Ulster Historical Foundation, this text was Sr Marie's most recent published work.

Details are linked to this item.

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

Come Healing from the album: 'Old Ideas' (2012) by Leonard Cohen. Play video clip here (02:53)
Lyrics: 'O, gather up the brokenness Bring it to me now...Lyrics can be accessed here

Worth a look:

Caritas Australia has produced a Catholic Social Teaching (CST) online toolkit with resources developed for multiple age ranges: Lower Primary: K-2, Middle Primary: 3-4, Upper Primary: 5-6, Secondary: 7-12. The Educational toolkit explores the principles of CST through cartoons, comics and videos. Access the free kit here

Worth Knowing:
Opposing Human Trafficking

Sunday 19 October 2014 is Freedom Sunday. On that day (or Saturday 18 October for those for whom Saturday is the Sabbath), churches all over the world will join together to raise awareness of the crime of human trafficking and show the world our compassion for men, women and children who are trafficked and exploited.

Details and resources for the day can be downloaded for free here


Worth Reading:
Opposing Human Trafficking

Britain's National Crime Agency has warned that human trafficking gangs are tattooing their victims to “signify ownership”. The National Crime Agency has published the third annual Strategic Assessment of the Nature and Scale of Human Trafficking in 2013. The Report shows a surge in the number of British people exploited by gangs and disclosed that some victims of human traffickers are sold between gangs for as little as £200. A news item and the report can be found here


Worth Visiting:

On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. This year, the theme is "Empowering adolescent girls: Ending the cycle of violence". See more at UN Women and at Day of the Girl Summit


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

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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)