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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 598  |  19 November 2014
Featured Story

Mercy Volunteers choose to live a life dedicated to the service of people who are poor and marginalized. They choose to break societal norms. They choose to step outside this model of perpetuating success and live in a counter-cultural way. These educated, successful, mostly young adults are consciously making the choice to live a life of mercy alongside people who are poor, sick, uneducated, and marginalized.

This year, Mercy Volunteer Corps welcomed forty two individuals who have embodied the Spirit of Catherine McAuley in their desire and recognition that they have the power to create a more just and merciful world. They are serving in thirty three different service sites across seven U.S. states and Guyana, South America. These volunteers work in the fields of education, health care, and social services in low-income communities with people who otherwise would not have access to these services...

Messages to: Elizabeth MacNeal - Communication Specialist Mercy Volunteer Corps


Image: Mercy Volunteer Corps. Mercy Volunteers 2014

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Vision in Action

Philip Alston is the current Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights for the United Nations and a pioneer in the ways of operationalizing human rights principles for meaningful implementation in international development models... Alston has emphasized time and time again the crucial nature of founding the post-2015 development agenda firmly on human rights in through the naming of rights. As you know, the need for a human rights framework has been at the core of Mercy’s advocacy at the UN since the post-2015 discussions began, and the Mining Working Group coalition reflected this call in a press release following the adoption of the OWG outcome document. As such, Alston’s arguments deeply resonate with us...

Messages to:

Avery Kelly - MGA Intern
Áine O’Connor rsm - MGA Co-ordinator at the UN


Image: UN Flags: UN Photo/Joao Araujo Pinto Photo # 108581. Used with permission

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MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week:

The stories in our Members' News section this week are of ministry plans coming to fruition or to conclusion. Mindful of these and other ministry transitions we pray -

God of all beginnings and endings,
We pray for all members of the Mercy family making a new ministry beginning and for those discerning a future direction.
As they leave familiar places for new endeavours,
May they continue to grow in wisdom, knowledge and grace,
Trusting always that your purposes are at work in the world each day.


Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

God of love and mercy, touch with your healing power and restore to full health: Margaret Considine, Lex Spehr, Ellie aged 12 and her brother Cameron aged 18.  Ellie has terminal cancer; Cameron has bowel cancer; Dr. Robert Saylor and all whose names are on our prayer list.

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

Messages to: the Vice postulators

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Although the weather in Dublin, Ireland, had taken a turn for the worse, it did not deter Sisters of Mercy, Associates and Friends of Mercy who gathered at Baggot Street on Tuesday, 11 November 2014, to celebrate the life and death of Catherine McAuley. Sisters from all provinces of Ireland, as well as from Australia and America were present on this very special day in the Mercy year.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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MIA Members News

On Saturday 1 November 2014, more than 250 people gathered to farewell Mater Children’s Hospital, before Mater’s government-funded paediatric services transition to Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital later this month...

Since opening in 1931, the hospital has provided specialist paediatric healthcare services to children throughout Queensland and northern New South Wales...

“The Mater Values, instilled by the Sisters of Mercy, have always guided every decision Mater makes as a Catholic healthcare organisation.

“The decision to hand over Mater Children’s Hospital, while sad for us, will result in the best care for the children of Queensland...'

Read the Reflection given by Catherine Reuter rsm, Congregation Leader, on the occasion of the farewell to the Mater Children’s Hospital.

Watch the video reflection on the history of the Mater Children’s Hospital and hear from many of those —Sisters, Staff and Volunteers—who have provided paediatric healthcare services to Queensland children and their families for more than 83 years(15:40).

Messages to:

Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation
Mater Children’s Hospital

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'Plans to completely renovate what was formerly a Magdalen Laundry residential quarters in Galway City and turn it into a state of the art domestic violence refuge were unveiled [on 10 November]...

An Taoiseach [Leader], Enda Kenny, who attended the event, said it was unfortunate that reality demanded such a refuge but praised COPE for providing the service and the Western [Province] of the Sisters of Mercy for donating the building on a 99 year lease to be used by women and children, the victims of domestic abuse...'

Source: Connacht Tribune

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy Western Province

Image: COPE Galway website

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The Sisters of Mercy Parramatta and the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta are pleased to announce the integration of  Mamre House with CatholicCare Social Services. ..

In a joint media statement, the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta and the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta have said:

'The legacy of the Parramatta Sisters of Mercy at the historic Mamre House, built during Australia’s colonial era, will house a range of CatholicCare services to benefit the people of St Marys and Western Sydney. The accompanying 200 acres of land is rich in biodiversity and will be a focal point for the Church’s commitment to protecting our environment and supporting sustainability...'

Messages to: The Sisters of Mercy Parramatta

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With shovel in hand, hundreds of Mercy Joplin co-workers and their families planted 150 saplings [1 November]. More than 40 percent of those trees were rescued from the site prior to excavation, as a nod to the future after living through the destruction of the 2011 EF5 tornado.

The tree-planting ceremony, near the 50th Street entrance of the new Mercy Hospital Joplin marks a milestone for the hospital which is set to open in March 2015. The tornado that made a direct hit on the old St. John’s Regional Medical Center and devastated a community also left Joplin stripped bare of so many trees. For many, trees are a hopeful sight...

Messages to: Angella Saporito - Mercy Health System Media Contact

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Mercy Matters
Conference Facilities at MIC

MIC is an ideal venue in which to hold conferences, training programmes, seminars, workshops and meetings of all kinds. The Centre can cater for a variety of sizes of groups and the rooms have a sound system, high speed internet access, data projector, screen and flip charts. The building has a lift and is wheelchair accessible. Morning and afternoon teas can be provided. A full meal or lunch can also be provided or can be ordered from nearby suppliers.

To check availability and prices email: Bookings

Mercy Volunteer Corps promotes social change by placing and supporting volunteers for one year of service with people who are poor and marginalized in the U.S. and South America.

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1838: House of Mercy opened, Limerick
1839: Foundation to Bermondsey from Baggot St - first to England, M Clare Moore
1856: St John and St Elizabeth's Hospital, London founded from Bermondsey - Sr Gonzaga Barrie

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

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The weekly reflections on the Sunday Gospels by Veronica Lawson rsm, up until 21 December, 2014 (Fourth Sunday of Advent), are now online for your reading, reflection and inspiration.

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From Early History to Modernism. Explore each movement in as much detail as you wish by clicking on each word

Source: Mijlo

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'We do all for God’s greater glory.'

-M Cecilia Maher

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

'Holy Mystery, Sacred Presence, All-embracing, Creator God...' A Reflection On The Sacred by Monica Brown. (06:34). Watch the video here.

Worth Watching:


Sr Estrella Castalone FMA, Co-ordinator of Talitha Kum, an International Network of Consecrated Life Against Trafficking in Persons, based in Rome, spoke recently to the group U.S. Catholic Sisters against Human Trafficking. Watch the video here (01:16:44)

Worth Reading:

Religious Life

Rev Ruth Patterson, Presbyterian minister and Director of Restoration Ministries, a non denominational, Christian organisation committed to peace and reconciliation based in Northern Ireland, addressed the recent AGM in Omagh of CORI Northern Ireland. Click here to access input one. Click here to access input two


In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Thomas Berry's birth, a new publication entitled Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community, selected and introduced by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, is available now at a 40% discount when ordered from the Orbis website


'Staying focused on the world’s most valuable resource: water'. Article by Barbara Frost, Chief Executive, WaterAid,


Denton, Texas has become the first Texan city to ban fracking. Read the article on their site. For further news about the story, follow @frackfreedenton on Twitter.

Worth Following Up:

New Resources for Advent

Online Retreat: 'Illuminated 2014'. An invitation into the heart of Christmas.

Described as 'not about adding one more thing to your holiday schedule [but] about helping you find spaces for reflection that draw you deep into this season that shimmers with mystery and possibility', this retreat is being led by Jan Richardson and runs from 30 November through to 27 December. Further details, cost and registration can be found here.

Online Retreat: 'Nonviolence and the Rule of Benedict Advent 2014'

'The essential challenge of both the gospel of Jesus and monasticism is to move from fear and violence to freedom and love. How do we structure our lives and our communities to reflect nonviolent love? This retreat will explore answers to those questions through reflections on The Rule of Benedict, the ancient prophets and the gospel of Jesus.' Led by Ann McCarthy OSB, this Advent eRetreat begins Sunday, 30 November and concludes Friday 26 December. Details, cost and registration can be found here

Light Upon Light: A Literary Guide to Prayer for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany by Sarah Arthur, editor of the collection At the Still Point: A Literary Guide to Ordinary Time. Details and how to order from the publisher, Paraclete Press, can be found here. Currently 10% discount applies to online orders.

Praying Advent 2014. Resources, including Daily Advent Prayers, from Creighton University's online ministry can be found here.

KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives has a free downloadable resource for Advent. Theme: Building Reconciled Relationships. Note: in order to download this resource you must first register your details and create an account. Details can be found here.


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

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								poverty demonstrated in the massive displacement of persons worldwide.
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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)