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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 606  |  04 February 2015
Featured Story

Editor: Sunday 8 February, the Feast of St Josephine Bakhita, marks the first World Day of prayer, reflection and action against human trafficking. Combating human trafficking constitutes a priority issue for Mercy International Association.

We invited Anne Tormey rsm (ISMAPNG), President of ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans) to help us reflect on the importance of this day.
You might like to post a response to her article on our website.

Sr Anne writes -

Aleksandr Solzenhitzen, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970 for his ethical force in revealing the reality of the Soviet forced labour camp system, spoke in his acceptance lecture, of violence. ..’as brazenly and victoriously striding across the whole world ’[i]. Indeed, violence has always stalked the earth, but never as graphically as now when images through social media, television and print media incessantly besiege our minds and numb our hearts. Before Christmas it was the Taliban killing spree in the military school in Peshawar and the horror of the hostage crisis in Sydney. Presently, we have the ISIS linked terrorist assassinations in Paris, and the Boko Haram slaughter and displacement of thousands of people, mainly women and children, in north eastern Nigeria...

Messages to: Anne Tormey rsm

 

Image: iStock. Used under licence
Title: Taken from Address of His Holiness Pope Francis at the Ceremony for the Signing of the Faith Leaders' Universal Declaration Against Slavery. 2 December, 2014. Paragraph 1.

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Vision in Action

'We can be captured by unconscious racism and the xenophobic narrative of public discourse that closes our hearts to radical inclusion'; 'the importance of being hospitable to the stories and experiences of others as well as to those "unwanted parts of the self"'; 'Your challenging questions give me meat for my Lenten Journey'; 'as Mercy there is a call to both give and receive hospitality'; 'True Mercy hospitality means that all of us, not just some of us, will challenge a social order so that ALL are welcome'; 'I was especially touched by the notion of us as the guests of our planet. We are used to hearing we are stewards but guests suggests a different dimension'...

These are aspects of just some of the initial responses to Sr Elizabeth's reflections on Daring Hospitality

Join the conversation and share your personal reflection online with us all.

If you are following the suggested cycle, we are now entering week 2 'Group Study and sharing session held locally and/or online on the mercyworld.org website using reflection questions provided'.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
 

Image: © Gerald Squires, A hand rules compassion as a hand rules heaven, The Gathering Place, St. John’s NL, Canada. Used with permission. 3 of the 6 panels

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MIA Prayer for Year of Consecrated Life Available Here Now

We are very pleased this week to offer a prayer for the Year of Consecrated Life (and beyond) written especially for the Mercy family by Mary Wickham rsm (ISMAPNG), translated into Spanish by Elsa Valdiviezo (Americas Communications Office) and produced in digital format by Anne McMillan rsm (ISMAPNG).

We invite each member of the Mercy family  - Associates, Partners-in-ministry, Donors, Friends - to pray this prayer for the Sisters and the Sisters to pray it for each other.

Let us pray also that the God of Mercy will continue to bless the Mercy family with people prepared to witness to the mercy and tenderness of our God as Religious, Associates and Partners-in-ministry in a world so in need of God’s compassion and consolation.

Prayer: (A4 paper size) English (PDF)
Prayer: (US Letter size) English (PDF) and Spanish (PDF)

The Prayer is online here for PDF download and included in the About MIA section of the mercyworld.org website in graphic and PDF format, in both web and print quality.

Please circulate this prayer among the members of your Mercy networks.

Messages to:
Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
Mary Wickham rsm - Author

Pope Francis presided over the Mass of the World Day for Consecrated Life on 2 February. It can be viewed here (1:32:04). The Pope's homily for the World Day of Consecrated Life can be read here

Feedback: 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz

Editor: We don't often publish feedback received on items that appear in eNews, but thought it important that this message be shared for the further insights it gives into the significance of the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

'Thank you most sincerely for the inclusion of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz as the Prayer Intention of Mercy E-news 28 January. Such a circle of prayer is needed daily here. There was not only an intensity of memory during these past few days but also an intensity of prayer. 

Many survivors from different places and countries, both Jewish and Christian, stayed with us in the Centre. We had great conversations sitting drinking coffee and at meals. Somehow language was not really a problem as they wanted to talk and have someone listen. It was a unique few days and it is unlikely so many survivors will gather in one place at the same time again. The TV and journalists from around the world were also here but they miss these wonderful encounters. They come, have an interview with someone and then they are gone.

The pain never goes away and its truth is a great lesson to each of us on a daily basis. The main Commemoration Ceremony which I attended testified to this and the link  was also included in Mercy E-news. Thank you.

Thank you also for re-posting the article from 2009. It is still as relevant in 2015 as it was back then..'

Mary O’Sullivan rsm
Centre for Dialogue and Prayer in Oswiecim
www.cdim.pl

Image: "Birkenau gate" by angelo celedon AKA lito sheppard [1] - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week

On this first World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action Against Trafficking in Persons, let us hold in prayer:

- the estimated 27 million women, men and children currently held in slavery- like conditions.
- the young girls and women exploited and objectified in the commercial sex industry.
- those forced to become soldiers, especially children forced to commit violence.
- those in bonded labor in agricultural fields, mines and factories.
- the perpetrators and organizers of human trafficking that they may experience conversion of heart
- governments, corporations, and consumers, that we will address the systems that make human trafficking possible.
- those who make efforts to stop the demand for human trafficking.

Source: adapted from Prayer Service for an End to Human Trafficking, School Sisters of Notre Dame, 2013

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Presentation of the Day against human trafficking, for journalists, held yesterday at the Vatican can be viewed here Note: some speeches are in Italian, others in English. Drag the arrow to fast forward to speakers you wish to hear.

Members of Mercy Global Action (MGA) throughout the world have been addressing the horror of human trafficking (HT) for many years. They support victims or survivors, raise awareness about HT and lobby Governments to introduce fairer legislation for victims and to introduce tougher penalties for traffickers.

Pope Francis since his election has prioritised the issue of human trafficking. With other world religious leaders he set up the Global Freedom Network, with the specific goal of eradicating human trafficking by 2020! See the MGA statement, which supports this initiative and offers suggestions as to how each of us can become actively involved in eradicating human trafficking.

The Statement is linked to this item.

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

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MIA Volunteer Positions at Baggot Street in 2016

Volunteers need to be able to commit to 8 – 12 weeks between 17 January & 30 November, 2016

Volunteer positions are open to Sisters, Associates and Friends of Mercy.
Single person or couple.

Duties: Household Duties * General Reception *Tours * Gift shop 

Requirements: Ability to be a team member* Initiative* Cheerful disposition* Good health & plenty of energy

Hours: 5 days per week (flexitime) which includes
Evening/overnight duties (on roster)
Weekend duties (on roster)
At least two consecutive days off each week

Other information:
Live in. Board & lodging provided
(Volunteers fund their own costs of travel)

Applications: (will be accepted up to 13 March 2015)

Please send a simple Curriculum Vitae, including your preferred dates, to:

Sylvia Williams rsm
Assistant Director-Administration & Finance
finance@mercyinternational.ie

Messages to: Sylvia Williams rsm 

Editor: In preparation for the first World Day of Prayer..., the Mercy Global Action Working Group Opposing Human Trafficking has prepared a prayer service which you are invited to use, in whole or in part, on 8 February, on any of the other significant dates in 2015, or at another awareness raising event.

Remaining key dates for 2015 include:
20 February: World Day of Social Justice
8 March: UN Day for Women's Rights and International Peace
25 March: International Day of Remembrance for Victims of Slavery and Transatlantic Slave Trade
12 April: International Day for Street Children
12 June: World Day Against Child Labour
20 June: World Refugee Day
26 June: International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
30 July: UN World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
23 August: International Day of Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition
11 October: International Day of the Girl Child
17 October: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
18 October: EU Anti-Trafficking Day
25 November: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
2 December: International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
10 December: Human Rights Day
Fair trade Fortnight (local timing)

Download the Prayer Service here: A4 paper size (8pps; PDF); US Letter Size (8 pps; PDF)

Additional resources to support the prayer service are linked to this item.

Messages to: the Mercy Global Action Working Group Opposing Human Trafficking (MGA-OHT)
c/- Denise Boyle fmdm - Assistant Director Mercy Global Action

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Mercyworld.org Website - We're Having Lots of Visitors

During January, 201,942 visitors came to Catherine's" virtual" House of Mercy, the busiest January we've had since this version of the www.mercyworld.org website went live in September 2009.

Since resuming publication of Mercy eNews on 21 January this year and informing readers about our special series for the Year of Consecrated Life, we've had 85,960 visitors to our website. Then there are the many thousands who have read the Mercy eNews articles over the past two weeks that are stand-alone items, or who read the comprehensive articles and don't feel the need to click further. In addition, there are those who encounter Mercy International through our social media.

Welcome to all our visitors. We hope you keep coming back to see us.

Messages to: the Editor

God of love and mercy, touch with your healing power and restore to full health: John McCarthy, James Mc Laughlin, Sr Jane O'Donnell, Amanda and her mother, Birney Pease, Michelle Horan, Sandra, Monica, and John, Caroline and Peter Moore 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 Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, recently published his Synthesis Report on the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda entitled “The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet.”

The report synthesizes the full range of contributions on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, including the Open Working Group process and the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report serves the General Assembly as input to the on-going Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda...

Messages to:Áine O'Connor rsm -Mercy Global Action Coordinator at the UN

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MIA Members News

Each month during this year of Mark, scripture scholar, Elaine Wainwright rsm (ISMAPNG), will contribute an ecological reading of the Gospel of Mark in the New Zealand Catholic magazine, Tui Motu InterIslands. Over the year readers will be introduced to this new way of attending to scripture. Along with the human and divine characters in the gospel, Elaine will alert readers to how the landscape and physical environment also adds meaning to an understanding of scripture and can deepen our appreciation of communion in the cosmos.

Kath Rushton rsm (ANZ), also a scripture scholar, will continue her reflection and commentary on one of the month's Sunday scriptures in each issue of Tui Motu. Kath offers a range of perspectives in her articles, including social justice, ecological, and spiritual.  Over the year Elaine's articles will also be available on the Tui Motu InterIslands website.

A subscription form to Tui Motu magazine can be found on the website. It can also be downloaded here (PDF)

View sample pages of some of the contents of the February 2015 issue, linked to this item, or visit the Tui Motu Facebook page to see us taking delivery of the February 2015 edition.

Messages to: Ann Gilroy rsj - Editor Tui Motu InterIslands

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Human Trafficking, Charism & Women Religious (Americas)

Editor: Deborah Torres, a Mercy Associate, recently graduated from Creighton University with a Doctorate of Education in Leadership. Her dissertation was titled:  The Impetus of Charism for Women Religious in Response to Human Trafficking. We are delighted that Deborah is sharing her research work more widely with the Mercy family and that it is being made available in this particular issue of Mercy eNews. An overview of the study, taken from the abstract, is given below.

'The study addressed the relationship between how women Religious see their charism as an impetus for their individual and community actions against human trafficking.

[It]revealed how women Religious band together and support each other in all of their endeavors. It showed the importance of charism in individuals and communities. It presented the global connections of women Religious. Finally, it portrayed the women, their leadership, and how they work together tirelessly for a common goal. This study provides an example for other types of communities to band together to achieve their goals.'

Download the dissertation here (US Letter size;100pps; PDF)

Messages to: Deborah Torres

Mercy Matters
A crime “against humanity”

' ...modern slavery — in the form of human trafficking, forced labour, prostitution or the trafficking of organs — is a crime “against humanity”. The victims of this are from every walk of life, but most are found among the poorest and the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters...'

Address of His Holiness Pope Francis at the Ceremony for the Signing of the Faith Leaders' Universal Declaration Against Slavery. 2 December, 2014. Paragraph 1

'If we love God, we will undoubtedly love our neighbor also; they are as cause and effect.'

Catherine McAuley, Retreat Instructions p.147

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A free online calculator which counts the number of characters or letters in a written text -useful for your tweets on Twitter; Facebook wall, status, message and comment sections; forms with word limits...

Write or paste your piece of  text into the text area and press the button 'Count characters' to achieve your count.

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Visit a Stop Human Trafficking Site on the First World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Sisters of Mercy, Associates and our Partners-in-ministry are actively involved in the following organisations opposing trafficking in persons. Visit one of these sites to learn more about how Mercies are collaborating with others to oppose human trafficking.

Act to Prevent Trafficking (APT) - Ireland

Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH) - Australia

Aotearoa New Zealand Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ANZRATH) - Aotearoa New Zealand

Bakhita Initiative - United States

Catholic Health Association USA (United States)

Ending Child Slavery at the Source (ECPAT-USA) - United States

Mercy- End Child Prostitution and Trafficking in the Hospitality sector (MECPATHS) - The Congregation (Ireland)

Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation (RENATE) - Europe

Ruhama - Ireland

The International Network of Consecrated Life Against Trafficking in Persons (Talitha Kum)

Truckers Against Trafficking (United States)

1840: Bishop Thomas Walsh writes to John Hardman sharing his plans to ask for Sisters for Birmingham.
1923: New northeast wing of St Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan opened increasing capacity to 200 beds. The corporate name changed from St Joseph Sanitarium to St Joseph Mercy Hospital

Editor: St Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbour is this week's featured Mercy website

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

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St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor is a 537-bed teaching hospital located on a 340 acre campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan. St. Joseph Mercy Hospital has been named as a Top 100 Hospital and is at the forefront of many clinical specialty areas. Learn more about us

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

Black History Month or National African American History Month (observed annually in February in the US and Canada, in October in the UK)

'Amazing Grace' sung by Measha Brueggergosman and the Ebenezar English Choir Watch it here and explore the space using your mouse as this is a 360 degree interactive video (03:09 ). The actual site Songs of Freedom  is well worth exploring. Those of us who can't watch the tv series of the same name that premiered on Canada's Vision TV on Monday, 2 February, can join Canadian opera singer Measha Brueggergosman on her personal journey and historical quest via the website as she performs an intensely powerful selection of spirituals, music that emerged from Africa out of the slave trade to America.

Worth Watching:

Black History Month or National African American History Month

This short video, set to the song "Oh Freedom', shows images of the Civil Rights movement. These powerful and moving visuals from the 1960s are accompanied by heart-felt lyrics:

'Oh, freedom, Oh, freedom,
Oh freedom over me.
And before I'd be a slave
I'd be buried in my grave
And go home to my Lord and be free.'

Watch it here (03:04)

Worth Reading:
Religious Life

'Religious men and women who professed perpetual vows to the nearly 800 communities of religious life in the United States in 2014 are highly educated and more likely than the average Catholic adult to attend Catholic high schools and universities. These were among the findings of the annual survey on new men and women religious conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University. 'Read the article here

Opposing Human Trafficking

The Super Bowl took place last Sunday, 1 February. Among the articles published in the lead up to this major sporting event was this article in the Huffington Post: 'Amid Super Bowl Human Trafficking Hype, A Reminder That 70% Of Victims Are Sold Online Year-Round'. Read the article here

Last Friday, 30 January, 2015, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, in a statement read by the Chargé d'Affaires of the Mission, Mgr Janusz Urbanczyk, spoke to  the UN Security Council about the dangers posed to innocent civilians, especially women and girls, in armed conflicts. Among the points he made was that 'reports of violence committed against women in the most brutal and horrific forms, including sexual slavery, rape and trafficking are increasing'. Read the statement here

'Bringing Human Trafficking to Justice: The Civil Rights Division's Pursuit of Freedom, Rights, and Dignity For Victims of Human Trafficking'. Article by Mark Kappelhoff , Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice. Read the article here

Worth Knowing:

There are many resources available for the Season of Lent which commences in a fortnight (18 February). Here is a small selection of what's on offer for 2015, in both digital and print formats, at cost and without charge. If you know of another new quality resource, please let us know and it will be included in next week's eNews.

-Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTB) offers 'a traditional course that picks up on Lenten themes whilst at the same time praying with Christians of the Middle East'. Resources can be downloaded from this site at no cost.

Ecospirituality Resources, the ministry of Terri Mackenzie SHCJ, has produced Creation Covenant (La Alianza de la Creacion). 2015’s Lent resource draws prayerful attention to the extinction of plants and animals and the interconnected causes and effects of habitat loss. Available at no cost, in English and in Spanish. Download the appropriate version here

-Arise: Lenten Program 2015, a 44-page weekly program published by the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong, Australia, designed as a six-week Lenten resource for small groups, prayer companions, staff reflections, families and individuals. Details, including sample content and cost, can be found here

-The Lent Experience (TLE) is a free online resource. Watch the explanatory video on the homepage to understand how the program works.

-Christian Aid Uk has produced a Lenten Count Your Blessings calendar with daily bite-size reflections, in both print and digital format. Download the print version here. Download the free app here (iOS and Android)

-Beloved: An Online Journey into Lent & Easter led by Jan Richardson begins February 18. Visit Online Lenten Retreat for details, including cost and registration.

-The Soul's Slow Ripening: A Lenten Retreat: monastic wisdom for discernment led by Christine Valters Paintner and John Valters Paintner exploring the gifts of desert, Celtic, and Benedictine wisdom for navigating life's pilgrimage. Details, including cost and registration can be found here here or contact Christine@AbbeyoftheArts.com


Send suggestions and contributions for the 'Worth...' section 2015 to: the Editor

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								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)