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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 618  |  29 April 2015
Featured Story
Powered by Inspiration and Shared Commitment (Americas)

Mount Saint Mary Academy (MSMA) New Jersey junior Sarah Kiel recently completed a special renewable energy project with the GEMS club (Girls in Engineering, Math & Science) at Hillsborough Middle School to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award. Sarah led the club of 25 7th and 8th grade girls to research energy poverty around the world along with renewable energy solutions to address the underlying problems.

Combining their passion for engineering, the environment, and service to others, Sarah and the girls of GEMS constructed a portable solar electric system called a Solar Suitcase, which was designed by the non-profit organization We Share Solar to provide lighting and charge electronic devices in areas without reliable electricity.  The completed portable system was given to a Princeton University trustee who traveled with Princeton students to the Sacred Valley of Peru where the device was carried via mule across the Andes Mountains and installed in the elementary school in the village of Chancha Chancha.

The installation marks the first time that this remote village has had electricity of any kind and, at 13,000 feet (3,962.4 meters), the highest Solar Suitcase in the world! The Solar Suitcase will provide community members with the ability to learn and work together in a safe, well lit environment for years to come.

Editor: In the words of Lisa Gambacorto rsm, Directoress of MSMA, 'This project touches so many of our Mercy core values and reaffirms how our educational institutions can change the world.'

Messages to: Sarah Kiel c/- Lisa Gambacorto rsm

Image: Sarah Kiel with the Solar Suitcase. Used with permission of MSMA

Vision in Action
Ministry Position: Assistant Director (Administration & Finance)

An opportunity will become available later in 2015 for a Sister of Mercy to be appointed to the role of Assistant Director with responsibility for Administration and Finance.

The position will be based in Dublin with, initially, a 3 year contract.

The successful candidate will

-be able to demonstrate an understanding of Mercy International Association
-have extensive experience in personnel and financial management
-possess highly developed interpersonal and organisational skills
-be proficient with Word and Excel, accounting and payroll software packages

Download the Job Description here (PDF)
Download the Referee Template here (PDF)

Applications will close on Friday 5 June.

Applications to: Mary Reynolds rsm -Executive Director MIA

Position Inquiries to: Sylvia Williams rsm - Assistant Director Administration and Finance

We pray for the people of Nepal, for those residents and travellers who lost their lives as a result of the earthquake on 26 April.We remember their relatives and friends who are forever changed by the impact of deep grief and sudden loss.

We pray for healing for those who have been injured and for the safety of the missing. We are mindful of all those who have lost their homes and their livelihoods. May they be given the gifts of hope and courage to start over.

Conscious that Nepal is one of the world's poorest countries, ranked 145th on the Human Development Index, we give thanks for the generosity of countries giving aid and for the efforts of relief workers to assist those persons and communities affected by this disaster.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

A list of Aid Agencies accepting donations is linked to this item.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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Effective September 2015: Volunteer Internship at MGA Office in New York

An intern position at Mercy Global Action Office in New York is open to applicants. Applications will be received until the deadline of May 15, 2015.

This is a volunteer position five days a week for 9 months. A stipend is provided to assist with some food, housing and transport expenses.

Download the job description here (PDF)

Applicants can send a letter of interest and resume to: Áine O'Connor rsm

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

God of love and mercy, touch with your healing power and restore to full health 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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MIA Members News
Joan Chittister OSB & Maria Shriver 'In Conversation' at Mercyhurst (Americas)

Editor: Maria Shriver, journalist, activist, author and former First Lady of California, joined Joan Chittister, Benedictine nun, author and speaker, at Mercyhurst University on 9 April 2015 for the second in Mercyhurst’s Joan D. Chittister Lecture Series, named in honor of the former Mercyhurst graduate.

Instead of the traditional talk, the two women shared the stage to discuss their passion for peace and justice.

Their conversation was warm, wide-ranging, frank, articulate, challenging and humourous.

Topics covered included family, friendship, leadership, self-worth and power. Well worth watching.

Watch the video here (1:07:06)

Messages to: Mary Hembrow Snyder - Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Center for Mercy and Catholic Studies at Mercyhurst

Image: YouTube

New: Online Graduate Certificate in Mercy Spirituality (Americas)

Georgian Court University is introducing an unprecedented graduate program based entirely online with a global reach that connects like-minded participants worldwide.

The Mercy Spirituality Graduate Certificate Program combines formal academic coursework, spiritual reflection, and thoughtful dialogue with students and faculty from around the world.

The program is inspired by Mercy values such as justice, respect, integrity, service and compassion. It is ideal for people engaged in Mercy-sponsored works, affiliated ministries and organisations, or interested in further exploring Mercy.

The Program, set to launch 18 May 2015, is designed to be completed in 18 months.

Download the flyer here (PDF)
Read  more about the program and course content here

Applications and Scholarship Inquiries to: Rosemarie Fabrizzio - Graduate Admissions Counselor

Messages to: Mary Paula Cancienne rsm  - Faculty Leader

'...An image that stays with us as we think of courage is Catherine McAuley's focus on her walking boots, ready to follow to wherever the call of mercy pointed. They took her in unexpected directions, on unfamiliar paths, until her  life's work was over. She famously charged a sister as she was dying with seeing that the boots were completely burned in the kitchen fire at Baggot Street – suggesting perhaps that she knew her life's task was over and that others must do the walking.

Are we ready to don the boots now, and to head to where mercy calls?'

From Imaging Mercy Today. Produced for He Waka Tiaki, the mission team of Tiaki Manatu Sisters of Mercy NZ Ministries Trust, April 2015.

Messages to: Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregational Leader

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'Becoming a Global Citizen Will Repair a Broken World' (The Congregation)

Deirdre Mullan rsm will deliver the 2015 Maria College commencement address on Sunday, 17 May at 3:30 pm in the Empire Plaza Convention Center.  Her address to the graduates will focus on using their gifts to help a world that is, 'broken and sore'.

In announcing the 2015 Commencement speaker, Maria College President, Dr. Lea A. Johnson stated, 'We are honored that Dr. Mullan rsm will address this year’s graduating class. She will bring a depth of knowledge and passion in conveying the importance of serving others in a connected global society.'

Sr Deirdre is a Consultant to UNICEF and Executive Director of Mercy Reaches Mercy Inc.

Maria College, located in in Albany, NY, is a baccalaureate nonprofit, independent, co-educational institution, founded in 1958 by the Sisters of Mercy.

Download the press release here (PDF)

Messages to: Deirdre Mullan rsm

On April 25, Sheila Lyne rsm, a former CEO of Mercy Hospital and Medical Center Chicago until retiring in 2013, was honored with the Irish-American Hall of Fame (IAHF) Business and Industry Award.

Mother Frances Xavier Warde, who, together with her six Mercy companions, established the first foundation of Sisters of Mercy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1843, was remembered with the IAHF Education Award.

Sr Sheila and Mother Frances Xavier were among  nine inductees, including film director John Huston and dancer Gene Kelly.

Messages to: Sheila Lyne rsm c/- Lauren Tyrrell - Institute Communications Office

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Xenophobia in South Africa (The Congregation)

Sr Marilyn writes, 'Xenophobia has reared its ugly head once again in South Africa. The last bad outbreak was in 2008. Since then there have been sporadic outbursts until two weeks ago.  The powder keg was just waiting for someone to light the fuse.  King Zwelethini (Zulu King) made an unfortunate remark, which he later claimed to be a misquote, that all foreigners should leave the country as they are taking people's jobs.  

There has been looting of foreign owned shops, beatings, stabbings and at least 5 deaths since that statement. About 2,000 foreigners are in makeshift camps in and around Durban which was the epicentre for this violence.'

Read more here (PDF)

MIA joins with the Sisters of Mercy in South Africa in prayers for calm and for the safety of all in South Africa.

Messages to: Marilyn Browne rsm

Inspired by the Year of Consecrated Life and the themes chosen by Mercy International Association, the first of three sessions entitled 'Catherine McAuley’s Expression of Mercy as a Laywoman at Coolock' was held for a very appreciative group of about 30 sisters and Mercy friends earlier this month.

The two further sessions planned in this autumn series are on the themes of hospitality and compassion. Each session will  be presented twice, once as an evening session and once in the daytime.

Details are linked to this item.

Messages to: Maria Lawton rsm - Congregation Leadership Team

Editor: Share news through eNews of your congregation/institute activities for the Year of Consecrated Life

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Briefings: The Catholic Response to Human Trafficking (Americas)

On 22 April, representatives of several Catholic groups, including the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and Mercy International, met with members of the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. The meeting was arranged by Ryan Murphy, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas justice team member. 

Sisters of Mercy representatives were Jeanne Christensen rsm, Ryan Murphy and  Denise Boyle fmdm (Mercy International, via phone from Ireland). 

Read the Report on the State Department briefing here (PDF)

That same day Sister Jeanne Christensen, Justice Advocate – Human Trafficking and Marlyn Capio Richter, a trafficking survivor who shared her story, met with Congressional staff members to share with them the Catholic response to the tragedy of human trafficking. Ryan Murphy, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas justice team member, arranged and facilitated the briefing.

Read the Report on the meeting with Congressional Staff here (PDF)

Messages to: Jeanne Christensen rsm -Justice Advocate -- Human Trafficking

Image: Fr. Shay Cullen, Marie Lucey OSF, Jeanne Christensen RSM, Marlyn Capio Richter, and Ashley Feasley

Join in Mercy Spirituality Centre Programs (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Mercy Spirituality Centre, Epsom, Auckland, invites readers to consider participating in one or more of its forthcoming programs.

Coming up

8 May: Enneagram Unit 1 with Marie Corbett. Download the PDF

12 May: Celebrating the Life of Br Roger of Taize

13 June: Retreat Day with Gemma Simmonds cj (UK). Download the PDF

A description of each of the programs on offer in May and June 2015 can be accessed here

Messages to: Mercy Spirituality Centre



Mercy Advocates (Americas)

The current issue (Volume 96, Number 2) of 'Health Progress', the journal of the Catholic Health Association USA, is on the theme 'Advocacy as Ministry' . It includes the following articles:

- 'Advocacy as an Expression of Charity'  by  Doris Gottemoeller rsm.
Sr Doris is Vice-chair of Partners in Catholic Health Ministries, the public juridic person of Mercy Health, Cincinnati

Read the article here

Messages to: Doris Gottemoeller rsm

- 'Living Our Mission Through Our Investments' by Susan Smith Makos.
Susan is Vice president of social responsibility, Mercy Investment Services, Inc., St. Louis, USA.
Read the article here

Messages to: Susan Smith Makos

Subscriptions to Health Progress can be organised here


Image: Alejandro Escamilla. Unsplash. Used with permission

Mercy Matters

There is no need to understand the language to enjoy the humour of this scene (26 secs).

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Nau mai, haere mai. Welcome to our Mercy schools website.
Learn about Catherine McAuley and the Mercy Story
Discover more about the history of your school
Listen to Sisters of Mercy living Mercy values

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1841: Death of Catherine's nephew, James McAuley
1841: Foundation to Gympie, Queensland from Brisbane - M Stanislaus
1945: Opening of Mercy Hospital, Albury, New South Wales - M Hugh Berrell

Read More
Frances Warde: American founder of the Sisters of Mercy

Written by Kathleen Healy rsm. Published in 1973. Order online  from Amazon

Sr Kathleen also edited 'Sisters of Mercy: Spirituality in America, 1843-1900' which is a collection of writings in the form of journals, letters, and stories that best represent the spirituality of the Mercy Sisters from the time of their arrival in America in 1843 until 1900.

'Again and again, life's experiences teach us that, as members of the Earth community, we cannot make it on our own.We need one another, other living beings, the sun, the soil, the water and everything else that formed from exploding stars in the distant past. The gospel reading reminds us that as baptised Christians we are not just intimately interlinked but that the source of our unity is the Risen Christ. As limbs and leaves and sap of the same vine, we simply cannot survive in isolation...'

-Veronica Lawson rsm
Sr Veronica's Reflections for the month of May can be downloaded here

Read More

'Sometimes it was hard, but I had no regrets; God always helped.'

-M Zita Gilbert

Read More
Further Resources

Worth Watching:
Oprah Winfrey, global media leader, philanthropist, producer and actress, delivered 2015 "Harry's Last Lecture" at Stanford University on 20 April 2015. Oprah told the audience that 'just being here matters' and that a spiritual practice is the foundation of a meaningful life. Without it 'there is no full life, no fulfilled, meaningful, sustainably joyful life'. Her advice -'choose love', 'live in the space of gratitude', 'step into the flow and grace of God'. Watch the 2015 lecture here (1:30:57).
In April 2014 Oprah spoke at Stanford Graduate School of Business on Career, Life and Leadership in a student-led interview . The 2014 lecture can be viewed here (1:04:03).

Worth playing:
'You Are Mine' - David Haas. Play/watch it here (04:53). Purchase on *iTunes *Google play

Worth Reading:

Cosmology and Eco-justice

World leaders meeting at the Vatican for a conference on climate change have issued a final statement today, declaring that 'human-induced climate change is a scientific reality' and 'its decisive mitigation is a moral and religious imperative for humanity.' Read the 'Declaration of Religious Leaders, Political Leaders, Business Leaders, Scientists and Development Practitioners' here (PDF)

Human Trafficking

The April 2015 issue of 'Stop trafficking!' highlights the potential connections of natural disasters with the subsequent exploitation of vulnerable populations by human traffickers. Read the current issue here (7 pps; PDF)

The Bottom Line:

'Words transform us. Beautiful words redeem our spirit. They find their way into places of hurt within us and heal them. They slip past the sentries of the mind. They are the kisses of the soul. They enter our bodies like holy Communion. And then they do their fertile work. We live our days differently when we carry living words inside us. These living words shape our lives in many ways, but mainly they transform our fear. . .'

Daniel J O'Leary, Priest, Author, Teacher

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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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)