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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 600  |  03 December 2014
Featured Story

Editor: Year 10 and 11 School Leaders at Catherine McAuley Westmead, New South Wales joined together on Friday, 7 November, 2014 to make edible cups of tea (pictured) for Good Cup of Tea Day. The students at Catherine McAuley celebrate Good Cup of Tea Day each year by making delicious, sweet cups of tea and selling them for a small donation to raise money for Mercy Works.

The annual International Good Cup of Tea Event is held between 24 September (Mercy Day) and 12 December (Foundation Day) in communities, homes, schools, hospitals and ministry workplaces. Anyone can host a Good Cup of Tea event. Resources for hosting the event can be found here. Donations to MIA can now be made online here.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

 

Image: Catherine McAuley Westmead

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Vision in Action
Important Announcement: Renovations at MIC

Due to major internal renovations at Mercy International Centre, it will not be possible to accommodate large group bookings for tours or room hire during January, February and March 2015.

Bed and Breakfast bookings will be available from 16 January and restricted tours for individuals or small groups (up to 6 people) will also be available during this time, preferably with prior booking. 

We apologise for this inconvenience and we are very happy to take bookings for the rest of the year from April onwards.  Contact Madeleine at bookings@mercyinternational.ie or phone +353 1 6618061 to arrange these.

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

MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week:

Lima Climate Change Conference COP 20/CMP 10 is now in its third day. Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary UNFCCC and joint Conference host, has said that 'The litmus test of success in Lima will be a clear draft of the universal agreement, a shared determination by all to deliver significant national contributions to build a low carbon resilient future, initial capitalisation of the Green Climate Fund, and the mobilisation of a broad coalition of actors turning potential into reality on the ground without delay.'

Let us pray during these conference days for negotiations to take place with a sense of urgency, in a climate of trust and confidence and with the will to deliver significant outcomes for earth community and the planet.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Mercy International Association welcomes the announcement by The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Travelers of the launch of an International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking, to be marked 8 February, 2015, the Feast Day of St Bakhita (pictured).

Eradicating human trafficking is a priority issue for Mercy International Association at both grassroots and advocacy levels. In the 40+ countries where Sisters of Mercy and our Partners in Ministry serve, we support trafficked persons, provide programmes to educate about exploitative practices and lobby for change.

The International Day Against Human Trafficking 2015 will help create greater awareness of this scourge of our time.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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Celebrate Foundation Day at Mercy International Centre

Sisters, Associates and all friends…

You are invited to
Mercy International Centre
64A Lower Baggot Street
Dublin 2
  on

Friday 12th December
for
Mass at 12 noon
followed by lunch

There will be an
Icon Exhibition in the Callaghan Room

RSVP to Madeleine O’Hanlon - Receptionist. Phone  01 6618061

No later than Wednesday, 10 November
Please note: there is no car parking available.

Download the invitation here (PDF)

Editor: Have you a Foundation Day ritual you are willing to share? If so, please contact me for inclusion on the website and posting in next week's Mercy E-news

On Monday, 24 November members of the Opposing Human Trafficking and Prostitution Working Group from Newfoundland, USA,  England, Ireland, Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand held a productive meeting via Adobe Connect. Ably supported by Anne Walsh, most of us are now familiar with this technology, which allows us to see and hear each other during the meeting.

Prior to the meeting each participant submitted a short report on their activities during the past months.  These reports are a valuable means of sharing news, plus highlighting local and national activities that Mercy are engaged with across the globe...

Most of the reports submitted prior to our meeting will shortly be posted under ‘Opposing Human Trafficking and Prostitution’ on the Global Action web page.

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

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Post Christmas Greetings on the Mercyworld.org Website

Editor: Each year the Christmas greetings not only impart good wishes and hopes for us all, but they also hold out to us something of the stories of Mercy lived, loved and shared in ministry places and spaces across the Mercy world.

As we bring this year of sharing our global Mercy story to its conclusion —a year in which we have experienced new ways of being connected — we invite all members of our Mercy family to tell us all how it has been for you in your ministry this year - through an anecdote, a greeting, a prayer, a wish, a hope you have or a plan for 2015.

Post your Christmas greeting online on the mercyworld.org site. Send these in by Friday, 19 December.

Messages to: the Editor

God of love and mercy, touch with your healing power and restore to full health: Kevin Heffernan, Rita Chittal, Clara Virginia Kelly rsm, Madonna Durdle 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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The complete list of Further Resources Opposing Human Trafficking published in Mercy E-News this year can be found linked to this item. If you hadn't time previously to read, watch and listen to these, or you want to check back on a listing, here's a quick and easy way to access these valuable resources

Messages to: the Editor


Image: I'm not for sale'. iStock. Used with permission

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MIA Members News

On the weekend of 15 November 2014, I had the privilege of taking part in the Youth Symposium on Human Trafficking at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in the Vatican. This was a unique gathering of young people from all over the world, of different faiths and backgrounds, to share ideas and experiences of working to end human trafficking. Over two days, thirty speakers delivered presentations and papers outlining their anti-trafficking efforts, their insights into this complex issue, and the challenges and successes they have experienced in their work...

I was invited to present a paper on the work of the MECPATHS campaign, which is a project I am involved in to raise awareness among hotels in Ireland about child sex trafficking...

The outcome document of the conference reflects the key issues that arose during our discussions and highlights the measures which we identfied as crucial to the ongoing effort to end human trafficking. This statement is available here

Messages to: Ruth Kilcullen - MECPATH Campaign Manager

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'ATLANTA—In the fall of 2012, Seth Weingarten was staying at the night shelter of the Atlanta Mission.

A diabetic, Weingarten was running out of the medicines he needed. During the day, he would sit along Luckie Street in downtown Atlanta...

Then Mercy Care entered Weingarten’s life.

As the Connecticut native’s health declined, an Atlanta Mission staff member referred him to Mercy Care’s recuperative care unit.

The program, housed in the Gateway Center on Pryor Street in Atlanta, opened in 2010 and fills a critical gap in care for medically fragile homeless men. These men are sometimes outpatients or are ready to be discharged from hospital stays. Apart from this program, they have no place to go to recover...'

Source: Georgia Bulletin, 27 November

Messages to: Denise Garlow - Marketing Manager Mercy Care

See also:‘The quality of mercy is not strained’: Mercy Care brings healing to those in need' published in the same issue.

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Join Us in Evening Prayer at Clarendon Street (The Congregation)

There are a number of events over the coming year dedicated to Consecrated life. A public Evening Prayer of the Church organized by local Mercy Sisters will take place on Thursday, 11 December. at 6.15 p.m. in Clarendon Street Church (St Teresa's),   Dublin.  This church has a special place with us Mercies. In the early days before the death of Catherine McAuley we had no cemetery of our own. The Carmelite community of Clarendon Street kindly allowed thirteen of our sisters to be buried in the vaults of their church. Their names are written on a plaque in the church. 

The evening prayer is open to everybody lay and religious. If you are in Dublin on that day, do drop in and join us. You will be very welcome.

Messages to: Rosaleen Hogan rsm

Editor: While some parts of the Mercy world—such as Sydney, Australia— are moving into Summer and are experiencing high temperatures and the threat of bushfires, in other places— such as Newfoundland and the US— residents are rugged up for low temperatures and/or heavy snow. These extremes in weather are another reminder that Mercy is global.

In the article linked to this item we read of the impact of the snowstorm which dumped between five and seven feet of snow  (1.5-2 metres) on areas of western New York on Tuesday, 18 November...

Messages to: Gary Loncki - Sisters of Mercy NyPPaW Communications Director

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As a response to the Sisters of Mercy’s commitment to act in ways which contribute to a sustainable future for our Institute, the Church and Earth, the Institute Justice Team (IJT) has helped develop an Advent prayer booklet that holds out a vision of an economy that is in right relationship with God’s creation and God’s people.

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy of the Americas’ Institute Justice Team

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2014 AMSSA Student Conference (Australia and Papua New Guinea)

75 Mercy students from across Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, attended the Australasian Mercy Secondary Schools Association (AMSSA) Student Conference held in Melbourne in October, 2014. The conference honoured the beginnings of our Mercy Story, celebrated our growth and unity and challenged students to revitalise Mercy for the future...

Read the report from the current newsletter (PDF)

Messages to: Kitty Guerin - AMSSA Executive Officer

Mercy Matters

'iOS 8 comes out, and brings tons of awesome features. Now, it provides you with more powerful photo editing, more convenient voice message editing, more intelligent keyboard typing, and healthy track. It even opens to third-party keyboard apps, and enables to integrate Touch ID with some apps...'

Source: Lifehack

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A Mission Officer Handbook: Advancing Catholic Identity and University Mission, vol. I (2014)

Edited by Association of Catholic College and Universities (ACCU) President Michael Galligan-Stierle, Ph.D., this first volume of A Mission Officer Handbook contains wisdom and insights from 40 authors including Lisa Mary McCartney rsm, Catherine McMahon rsm, Leona Misto rsm, Jean Roche rsm, Helen Marie Burns rsm, Sheila Carney rsm on the role of the mission officer and effective practices used at Catholic colleges and universities to advance mission and identity.

♦ Read the table of contents

♦ Download the book flyer, and learn how you can contribute to volume II

♦ Order your copy in print or e-book format

1858: Foundation to Navan from Kells - M Catherine Atkinson
1859: Foundation to Geelong, Victoria from Baggot St - M C Xavier Maguire

Editor: Sacred Heart College, Geelong, Victoria, established by the Sisters of Mercy in 1860, shortly after their arrival in Geelong, is this week's featured Mercy website.

1881: Foundation to Red Bluff, California from Yreka - M Helena Dickson

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

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Reflection (continued)

'...When Catherine McAuley is held up to the light of the gospel Christ shines through, and there can be no doubt as to the holiness of her life lived in imitation of Jesus. And when we bring her spirituality into conversation with that of recognised mystics we begin to see similarities, and also the uniqueness of her mystical heart...'

- Bonnie Brennan rsm (The Congregation), Forward, 'The Mystical Heart of Catherine McAuley'

Sacred Heart College is a Catholic, learning faith community in the Mercy tradition that has at its centre the dignity of each person.

Our vision is to grow our Catholic, Mercy Community and to inspire our efforts we are using the word Attraverso which means...  moving towards

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'I feel very, very happy... I am going with courage – prepared to meet everything, with my entire confidence in God.'

- M C Xavier Maguire

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Further Resources

Worth Reflecting on:

It is 35 years tomorrow since Maryknoll Srs. Maura Clarke and Ita Ford, Ursuline Sr. Dorothy Kazel, and Maryknoll lay missionary Jean Donovan, were murdered in El Salvador.
On 10 November the New York Times featured on its homepage a video "retro report". The video is described by Commonweal as 'variously disturbing, heartbreaking, and enraging'. The video can be seen here (13:35).
It's just over 25 years (17 November) since the murder in El Salvador of the six Jesuits, their cook and her daughter. Read the reflection by Andrew Hamilton sj

Worth Reading:

Pope Francis

The full text of the address delivered by Pope Francis to members of the European Parliament, Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday November 25, 2014. Read it here

The full text of Pope Francis’ address to the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, France on Tuesday November 25, 2014. Read it here

Opposing Human Trafficking

One in three human trafficking victims is a child, most victims are female, and traffickers operate with wide impunity, the United Nations said in a report released on 24 November on modern-day slavery. The UNODC Global Report 2014 is the second of its kind mandated by the General Assembly. Download it here

The Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) and The Churches' Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME-CEC) have called  on the EU and its member states to implement the legal framework already in place and to intensify cooperation with civil society and church organisations that work with victims of trafficking at the grassroots level. Read the press release here

Rights of the Child

20 November 2014 marked 25 years since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. UNICEF is taking the opportunity to raise the question: Does a child born today have better prospects in life than one who was born at the time the Convention came into being?   Read the report and various perspectives on this question

Worth Remembering:

Reminder: The deadline for ordering LCWR's Winter 2015 Occasional Papers is 16 December. This issue will explore the challenges of embracing religious life in the middle space and the potential of these times. Further details and access to ordering online can be found here

Worth Playing:

'We're better than this'. Prominent Australians sing out for the 766 children locked up in Australia’s secure immigration detention facilities in Australia and Nauru. Watch the video/play the song here (01:40). Find out more about this campaign. The single is available on iTunes with proceeds supporting the campaign.


 

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

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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)