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Edition No. 625 | 17 June 2015
World Refugee Day, 20 June: 'Who Will Speak If We Don't?'
Editor: 'Who will speak?' the perennially challenging social justice question, was answered late last month at the 'Mission: one heart many voices 2015' national Catholic conference on mission, held in Sydney, Australia. Moved by the presentation, 'Crying with the Suffering', given by keynote speaker Maryanne Loughry rsm AM, Sisters of Mercy worked with other religious and staff in attendance to compose a letter to the Australian Federal (national) Government, calling on the Government to display leadership 'and use its influence in the region to broker safe passage for those trapped at sea'. For, in the words of the Kenyan born Somali-British poet and writer, Warsan Shire, 'You have to understand, that no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land'.
The video of Sr Maryanne's inspiring talk can be viewed here (24.39).
Across the globe, Sisters of Mercy and their partners in Mercy work together to affirm dignity, create opportunity and ensure a future full of hope for those living on the margins: immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, trafficked persons, the exploited and the oppressed.
In this issue of Mercy eNews we hear from some of those Mercy voices in different parts of our world speaking 'for the poor and the broken..for the peoples oppressed...so that voice will be heard' (Marty Haugen - Who will speak?).
Maryanne Loughry rsm AM - Associate Director, Jesuit Refugee Service Australia
Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
Image: ”The Future is in Our Hands.” (2014). Created by Syrian youth and artist Joel Bergner in the Za'atari Syrian Refugee Camp in Jordan in partnership with aptART, ACTED and UNICEF. www.joelartista.com Used with permission.
In preparation for the reception of the Encyclical 'Laudato Si' tomorrow, we invite you to visit the homepage of mercyworld.org for the slideshow and to join with us in prayer.
Mercy Global Action at the UN Launches Advocacy Guide on International Human Rights Law and Fracking
The Mercy Global Action office at the United Nations is pleased to introduce A Guide to Rights-Based Advocacy: International Human Rights Law and Fracking.
The guide serves as a toolkit that applies components of international human rights law to the question of hydraulic fracturing (fracking). It is intended for individuals and advocacy groups addressing fracking concerns in their communities.
The guide is offered as a work in progress and encourages further discussion on the implications that fracking has on human rights globally.
We wish to thank all of those who contributed to the guide and supported us through this work.
The guide is currently available for download in English. A Spanish version will be available in mid-July 2015.
Aine O’Connor rsm - MGA Coordinator at the UN
Avery Kelly - MGA Fellow
Rita Parks rsm - Mercy Global Action at the UN
Flaming the Fire of Mercy: Creation Waiting in Eager Longing
We have come to a Kairos moment in Mercy International Association! In 2013, Mercy Global Action’s Theological Advisory Committee began to develop an international reflection process to provide ways for all of us to explore the challenges and issues that the new cosmology and its link to eco-justice are bringing to light in our world. Such a process would build on our rich Mercy resources and deepen connections which we have been steadily building across the Mercy world. The Committee, in that first moment, could never have imagined the threads which would soon emerge to weave that initial concept into a tapestry of vibrant colours!
With its 20th anniversary celebrations in September 2014, Mercy International Association was ignited through the creative ways in which it was able to connect all of us in celebration and gratitude. The Year of Consecrated Life for 2015 challenged us as women religious to dare to “Wake Up The World.” The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, beginning on 08 December 2015, calls us to explore Mercy anew in a world in which the other-than-human and the human together cry out for such mercy. This very week, Pope Francis will give the world an encyclical on the environment and human ecology, the first encyclical to focus specifically on creation and human relationship with it.
At the recent May meetings in Dublin, all our Mercy leaders and the MIA board took a decision to invite Sisters of Mercy and our partners in Mercy to participate in a worldwide process that would enable the weaving together of all these threads within a contemplative space so that we can discern together globally a shared response to the cry of Earth. Over the next few months, under the leadership of an international team, we will learn more about how we can become involved in our own small groups locally and how we can be connected globally in reflection and conversation in that contemplative space.We thank our God of Mercy for the privilege that we have been given to live Mercy in this time. Let us rejoice in this Kairos moment!
Berneice Loch rsm - President MIA Members
Pat McDermott rsm - Chair MIA Board
Responses are welcomed. Post your comment online here
MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week
MIA invites us all to join in prayer in solidarity with Pope Francis for the reception in our own heads, hearts and actions of the Encyclical 'Laudato Si' (Praised Be) following its release tomorrow, 18 June. The encyclical takes its name from 'The Canticle of Brother Sun', the hymn of praise by Francis of Assisi. More about that can be read here
You might care to use the text of Francis of Assisi's prayer which can be found on the Franciscan Friars site here
The 'Canticle of the Sun' written and sung by Marty Haugen can be played here (03:29)
Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel
Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
To assist us in our reception of the encyclical, a selection of recently published contextual resources can be found here on the mercyworld.org website
'Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.'
- Pope Francis, Papal Audience, 21 May, 2014
Revised and Readvertised: 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 experience in personnel management;
-possess well developed interpersonal and organisational skills;
-be sufficiently experienced and competent to oversee financial matters;
-be proficient with Word and Excel.
Applications will close on Tuesday, 30 June, 2015.
Download the advertisement here ( 2pps; PDF)
Download the Referee template here (Word)
Applications to: Mary Reynolds rsm -Executive Director MIA
Position Inquiries to: Sylvia Williams rsm - Assistant Director Administration and Finance
Special Mercy eNews Series
'On the third Saturday of each month we can have between twelve and twenty-seven Sisters gather at McAuley place and have one of the prayer reflections. The prayer and discussions have been fruitful and one led to a proposal being sent to the Institute team with regard to solar power. The Sisters who attend have been very happy with the [reflections]. Thank you Mary to you and the Sisters who have prepared them.'
- Beryl (ISMAPNG)
Forthcoming: Next week (Issue 626, 24 June) we will be publishing the sixth of our Year of Consecrated Life (YCL) themes. Sheila Carney rsm (Americas) will engage us in reflective sharing on the topic 'Every Grace Abundant'. Once again, you are warmly invited to share your reflections online.
Previously published themes can be accessed here
Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
God of love and mercy, touch with your healing power and restore to full health Susan 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
We live in one of the most deprived areas in England in a small, street house. Traditionally, waves of new immigrants have arrived in this part of London and moved on as they became more prosperous. In recent years the number of people arriving in search of a better life or escaping persecution has increased dramatically.
Most of our contact with refugees and asylum seekers has been informal and arisen as we noticed individuals and families who were clearly strangers in our area. Opening conversation with them to offer welcome, various difficulties in living here began to emerge. In the spirit of Catherine we found ourselves offering guidance to the social systems of this country...
Messages to: Margaret Duffy rsm and Monica Butler rsm
Ministry Position: All-Africa Conference: Sister to Sister (Americas)
The All Africa conference: Sister-to-Sister (AACSS) is seeking a full time leader to share responsibilities of leadership, organizational development, fundraising, and fiscal management of AACSS.
The All-Africa Conference: Sister to Sister is a ministry that assists indigenous women religious in sub-Saharan Africa in their efforts to address the suffering caused by the HIV and AIDS pandemic. This entails key projects of education and development of skills not only in regard to HIV and AIDS but also in response to expressed needs for relevant learning in faith development and spirituality.
Download the position description here (3pps; PDF)
Messages to: Eileen Hogan rsm - All-Africa Conference: Sister to Sister
When the Institute Chapter of 2005 voted to include the issue of immigration in the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas’ Critical Concerns, the New Hampshire Sisters asked each other how they might respond to this new call. They first met with a group of local immigrants in order to learn about their lives and the challenges facing them in their new environment. When asked what they needed most, they said, “learning English”. This was a good fit for a community with many retiring teachers. In April of 2006, a program began in a church basement with four sisters and a small group of Sudanese women. Now in its tenth year, there are eleven Sisters and four other volunteers dedicated to the learning and well-being of immigrant families in the Manchester area...
Messages to: Madonna Moran rsm
In partnership with the Parramatta Sisters of Mercy and Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), Arrupe Place provides a range of services to refugees and asylum seekers living in Western Sydney including food vouchers, computer use, casework services, general information and referrals, financial assistance and social support activities. It is located in Coolock Cottage on the Sisters of Mercy premises in Parramatta and opened in early 2015...
Our Lady of Mercy College is also situated on the Sisters of Mercy property, thus making Arrupe Place our neighbour...
Messages to: Claire Thomas - Director of Mission OLMC Parramatta
words locked behind our eyes.
Fettered tongues on Visitation.
It is a long journey from Syria to Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Oceans of memories between.
I am a volunteer for the NGO, English Language Partners, New Zealand's largest settlement agency.
The group offers a community-based volunteer service that provides English Language skills and social support to adult refugees from non-English- speaking backgrounds.
A net-work of ELP Centres across the country, offers programmes that help bridge the barriers of fear, loneliness and isolation faced by many new residents in a new land...
Messages to: Anne Campbell rsm
'My heart dies a hundred deaths. What have I done to my family?'
These anguished words of Ali still resonate deeply within me and bring tears yet again even though months have passed since I sat with him. Our tears welled up and slipped down our faces as his story unfolded, a story which tragically mirrored the lives of thousands of other asylum seekers.
As a volunteer with the Jesuit Refugee Service I had previously served as a pastoral worker to asylum seekers detained in Curtin Detention Centre, Western Australia. Yet nothing had quite prepared me for Christmas Island, a small island situated in the Indian Ocean, approximately 2,600km north-west of mainland Australia, and 500km south of Java, Indonesia. I’d been gently guided by Sisters Valda Dickinson, Rita Hassett, Joan Kelleher and Dorothy Bayliss, RSC, all of whom were experienced pastoral workers, yet the plight of Ali and hundreds of other asylum seekers on Christmas Island shook me...
Messages to: Margaret Sheppard rsm
Image: Christmas Island
This time last year we reported on the opening of Mercy House of Welcome Adelaide. At that time about 170 people had attended the house and six new clients were joining each fortnight.
Today there are over 350 clients on our database. We average between 35 and 40 clients a day for English classes and have over 30 volunteers on our books to run these classes. Other clients come for material or legal assistance. The majority are still Hazara or Iranian with several Africans from Chad and Sudan...
Messages to: Margaret Coulter - Development Officer Mercy Works
...Some weeks before returning to Ireland I became aware that Ireland was about to open its doors to refugees and that a Centre for Asylum Seekers was about to be set up in Athlone as well as in other towns throughout the country. I saw this ministry as a continuation and extension of my South African ministry. I made enquiries and learned that a support group was being set up in Athlone to help the residents at the Lissywollen Accommodation Centre, where 100 mobile homes had been built in order to house between 400 and 500 asylum seekers. I wrote to the chairperson of the support group and offered my services in whatever way I could assist. I received a letter on return of post thanking me and welcoming me to the support group...
Messages to: Gerardine Kelly rsm
Image: Lissywollen Accommodation Centre, Athlone, 2013. Source: Asylum Archive
Every year, at the company's annual Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple distributes its annual Design Awards to recognize high-quality apps produced by independent developers that combine design and technology in creative, compelling, and powerful ways.
Attached is this year's list which include include popular calendar app Fantastical 2 and personal automation tool Workflow.
'Solidarity with migrants and refugees must be accompanied by the courage and creativity necessary to develop, on a world-wide level, a more just and equitable financial and economic order, as well as an increasing commitment to peace, the indispensable condition for all authentic progress...'
Pope Francis: Church without frontiers, Mother to all
Message for the 101st World Day of Migrants and Refugees 19 January, 2015
The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas have organized a Pinterest board to house all information and resources related to the Encyclical. This resource has been designed as a 'one-stop place' to go to for the latest news and opinions surrounding the Encyclical.
1847: Death of M Joseph Nugent, professed Newfoundland 1843. Maria Nugent was the first Sister of Mercy professed in North America.
1881: Sisters began ministry in workhouse, Birr
1896: Death of Jessie McAuley, wife of Willie, Catherine's nephew, Colac, Victoria
'Whatever trials or difficulties Catherine had she never appeared sad or dejected.'
-M Vincent Harnett
Our Vision is to provide a contemporary Mercy education that empowers young women to lead with courage and act justly, making a difference in whatever sphere of life they choose to move, in the spirit of Catherine McAuley.
The Center for the Study of Consecrated Life (CSCL) at Catholic Theological Union (CTU) Chicago is holding a conference from 15-17 October on 'The Global Call of Religious Life Today'. Details can be found here
A specialised centre for women and children victims of human trafficking in Vietnam, built in the framework of a project launched in 2007 with the support of The Spanish Cooperation, has become a reference model for the local system for the protection of victims. Read the article here. The handbook which describes the journey of clients, from the initial contact and arrival at the Peace House Shelter and the process of recovery and reintegration, can be downloaded here (72 pps; PDF)
'European banks join drive to combat human trafficking using data' Read the article here
The Bottom Line:
'A church that does not provoke any crisis, preach a gospel that does not unsettle, proclaim a word of God that does not get under anyone's skin or a word of God that does not touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed: what kind of gospel is that?'
- Blessed Oscar A. Romero, Bishop and Martyr in El Salvador
Send suggestions and contributions for the 'Worth...' section 2015 to: the Editor
Mercy World E-News is the Online Newsletter of the Mercy International Association. We hope you value this email. However, should you no longer wish to receive this eNewsletter, please unsubscribe
.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)