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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 628  |  01 July 2015
Featured Story

Editor: Mercy Sisters, academic colleagues, other religious and lay women and men were among the large crowd of Christians from East and West -the Russian Orthodox and Catholic communities- who were present for the launch on 16 June of Feasts of Glory: In East and West by Birute Arendarcikas rsm.

Sr Birute's academic interest is Ecumenism, in particular the relationship between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. 'As a result of my study, I came to a deeper appreciation of how both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches are supported by the one mystical life, which is grounded in the mystery of the Holy Trinity, revealed in Jesus Christ. They, truly, are sister churches.  An implication for me of this relationship for future research was to examine those things that make them true sister Churches,' said Sr Birute.

Feasts of Glory: In East and West, presently being translated into Russian and to be published in Russia, is one outcome of her personal search and deeply held conviction.

Messages to: Birute Arendarcikas rsm


Image: L-r: Dr Frances Baker rsm, Deputy Master of Catholic Theological College (CTC), Melbourne, University of Divinity; Archpriest Nicholas Karipoff, Rector of Holy Protection Parish, East Brunswick, Victoria; Dr Birute Arendarcikas rsm, Lecturer Department of Systematic Theology CTC and Pastoral Assistant at the Russian Byzantine Catholic Church in Melbourne; Very Rev. Assoc. Prof. Shane Mackinlay, Master of Catholic Theological College, Melbourne, University of Divinity and Very Rev. Denis Stanley EV Episcopal Vicar for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations. Photo: Adele Howard rsm

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Vision in Action

Many members of the Mercy Family participated in this excellent international conference that was co-hosted by Maynooth University; Trocaire; and St. Patrick’s College Maynooth. A number of speakers reminded us that 2015 is a critical year in addressing the impending climate emergency and charting a path towards a more sustainable future. The year will culminate in the UN Summit (COP21) in Paris, in December.

A report on this conference is linked to this item

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

Editor: Conference materials are available on the Trocaire website where video recordings of the conference will be made available in the coming days.

Image: Mary Robinson addresses the Conference at Maynooth. Photo used under CC 2.0 licence

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Six Reflective Papers and Accompanying Resources Now Available on Mercyworld.org

The monthly articles for this year are so well researched and presented. I use them with My Mercy Associates group and staff members at our Immaculata Shelter for the Homeless, in Rosebank as they are really interested in learning more about Catherine.

- Marie McIntyre rsm, South Africa

We welcome your reflections online on the following themes:

Daring Hospitality - 'I was a stranger and you welcomed me' by Elizabeth Davis rsm

Called to Compassion by Breege O'Neill rsm

Extravagant Mercy—A New Story in an Ecological Key by Elaine Wainwright rsm

'Take from My Heart All Painful Anxiety': Catherine's Courage by Janet Ruffing rsm

'God's Healing Mercy is Forgiveness' by Kathy Rule rsm

Every Grace Abundant by Sheila Carney rsm

Feedback on how you are using these reflective materials personally, in small groups, in community and congregational meetings, with staff and board meetings is also welcome.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

God of love and mercy, touch with your healing power and restore to full health: Sharon Walsh, Laoise Fitzgerald, Jack Lynch, Joe and Jussie, Eileen Hasson Doyle, Cynthia Halloran 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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MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week: Shine a Light in the Darkness

Terror attacks on three different continents last Friday in places of work (a chemical plant in France), of prayer (a mosque in Kuwait) and of relaxation (a seaside resort in Tunisia), that killed and injured dozens of civilians going about their day to day activities, are yet another horrifying reminder of 'what darkness waits when we leave the light behind' (Carrie Newcomer).

MIA invites us all to light a candle as we pray for peace

Light your candle in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Simplifying Access to All Our MIA News Items on the MIA Website

Some weeks are busier in the news department than others so it is unfortunate that we can't display all our current news items on the homepage of mercyworld.org at the one time. Instead, we have resorted to rotating items.

To make it easier for visitors to our website to quickly access all our published news, we have added a new button (see graphic) labelled 'Click here for all our news' to the homepage of mercyworld.org. This button will take you to the Current (most recent) News, including items linked to from Mercy eNews. From there you are able to access all our previously published news.

We invite you to click on this new button on the homepage and follow the trail to see how much simpler it is to keep up with all the news.

Messages to: the Editor

Mercy Global Action at the UN, together with colleagues of the NGO Mining Working Group, released a response to the Zero Draft of the outcome document for the Summit to Adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The response presents proposed amendments and critical rationale in order to improve the Agenda in five main ways:

1.  Anchor the Post-2015 Development Agenda in human rights
2. Make poverty eradication the objective over economic growth and prosperity
3. Explicitly name and include the human right to water and sanitation in priority themes
4. Safeguard essential public services from public private partnerships (PPPs)
5. Ensure effective participation of affected communities and civil society

Messages to:
Áine O’Connor rsm - MGA Co-ordinator at the UN
Avery Kelly - MGA Fellow

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Post a Comment Functionality on Special News Items

To help build our global Mercy identity, we now ask that you add the country where you are in ministry when posting a comment on a "special" news item, such as in response to the launch of the encyclical Laudato Si' and to Sr Sheila's thematic work 'Every Grace Abundant'.

The identification by place helps each of us 'to foster unity of mind and heart ... and to increase awareness and experience of [our] global interdependence' (Aims of MIA).

Messages to: the Editor

Mercy eNews: Spread the Word

A reminder that Mercy eNews is available without charge to all members of the global Mercy family and to anyone who is interested in the vision and mission of Mercy International Association (MIA).

Our special eNews series for the Year of Consecrated Life has interest beyond the Mercy Family and has been so well received. We welcome all readers who are interested in this topic. Please pass on the invitation to those in your networks and send them this link which provides quick access to the subscription form for eNews: www.mercyworld.org/mercyenews

Messages to: the Editor

MIA Members News

By way of introduction to my having been invited to attend the EMPT biennial Conference in 2011 at Walsingham and subsequently to speak at the 2013 and 2015 Conferences, I should mention that my connection came through the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary (ESBVM) of which I am a life member.

This year there were eighty pilgrims welcomed from England, Scotland, Ireland, India, Finland and ‘yours truly’ from Australia. The gathering of laity across denominations, clergy (including several bishops and Church leaders), and religious sisters represented a wonderful microcosm of the communio hoped for among worldwide Christian Churches today – all drawn together at “Mary’s Nazareth” to promote ecumenical reconciliation under the aegis of Our Lady of Walsingham...

Messages to: Marie Farrell rsm

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Mission experience in Ethiopia following her retirement from teaching led to Rosario Staunton rsm working in Maridi, South Sudan. That is where she was approached by the bishop of the diocese in nearby Yambio at the beginning of 2013 to help out in his seminary. When Sr. Rosario arrived in Yambio she discovered that the 'seminary' was a ramshackle, rundown dilapidated building, which needed cleaning and painting in preparation for use by the students beginning their priestly training.

She immediately set about the task of making the environment more pleasant, welcoming and suitable for the 19 young men who were beginning their two year course in Philosophy. Engaging some local volunteers she led by example rolling up her sleeves set to sweeping, cleaning, scrubbing, and painting the building...

Messages to: Rosario Staunton rsm

Image: Sr Rosario with some of the Seminarians

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Pilgrimage is a meaningful journey to a sacred place, a place of transformation. To go on a pilgrimage is to be open to inner change and inspiration, perhaps to focus on the journey of life and what really matters. It may result in a greater sense of one’s purpose, or appreciation for the gift of life or even healing. I have been preparing, in a sense, to surrender...

This July, I will be going on a pilgrimage to the boreal forest...

Messages to: Mary Pendergast rsm

Peregrinación en las arenas de alquitrán

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Thanks to a generous grant from Dignity Health, the Architects of Peace project is being exhibited at Mercy High School, San Francisco.  The photo exhibit – in the form of banners posted outside the main entrance, fine arts courtyard, and in the McAuley Pavilion rotunda -  features portraits of and quotes from peacemakers around the globe who seek to bring about a more just and peaceful world.  The preeminent portrait photographer and founder of Architects of Peace, Michael Collopy, has played a key role in making this exhibit a reality.

Messages to: Rita Cutarelli - Associate Principal for Mission & Campus Life, Mercy High School, San Francisco

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Mercy Matters
New Resource. Feasts of Glory: In East and West

Sister Birute has provided a beautiful display of art to illustrate the great Feasts of both the Eastern and Western Liturgical years. These are accompanied by Scripture texts and by excerpts from the great Christian writers.

Purchase online

Download the flyer (PDF)

Anne Sekul rsm, Iconographer, Oregon, USA

Anne Sekul rsm, shown here with her icon of Catherine McAuley, is a gifted iconographer. When she was 10, Sister Anne’s Yugoslavian father took her to a collection of icons, telling her she would never see anything more beautiful. She says he was right. After years as a teacher and principal and psychologist, she pursued that old passion and enrolled in the Iconographic Arts Institute.

Icons, such as the one here of Catherine, are the result. An early image of Sr Anne's studio can be seen here

Sr Anne can be contacted by email

'We are in the epoch of globalization, and we think about what globalization is and what unity would be in the Church: perhaps a sphere, where all points are equidistant from the centre, all equal? No! This is uniformity. And the Holy Spirit doesn’t create uniformity! What shape can we find? Let us consider a prism: the prism is unity, but all its parts are different; each has its own peculiarity, its charisma. This is unity in diversity. It is on this path that we Christians do what we call by the theological name of ecumenism...'

-Address of Pope Francis, Pentecostal Church of Reconciliation, Caserta, Monday, 28 July 2014

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Obi (means 'heart' in the Nigerian Igbo language), a baby Pygmy Hippo, ventured out with mum, Petre, for a swim in the big pool for the first time last week at Melbourne Zoo.  (01:19)

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1896: Sisters invited to take charge of Hospital in Castletownbere, Co Cork

1959: Pittsburgh Sisters assume sponsorship of Holy Cross Hospital, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

1977: Opening of St Catherine's Villa, Grafton - M Eymard Kennedy

1999: Mercy Pacific Hui held in Kaikoura.

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

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'The choice for a life in union with Christ is a choice for a life within Christ’s church.'

-Doris Gottemoeller rsm

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

'The only peace this world will know/Can only come from love', sings Carrie Newcomer in 'I heard an Owl Call Last Night'. A song for these troubled times. Watch/listen here (04:14) Chords and Lyrics can be accessed here Purchase on * iTunes * Google play

Worth Reading:

New Book

'Inequality What can be done?' (Harvard University Press). Anthony B. Atkinson has spent many years researching the topic. His recently published book looks at both the theoretical and practical experience and he presents concrete policies which could bring about change. Table of Contents, Reviews etc can be found here Order from Amazon (kindle or hardcover).

Human Trafficking:

'United Way Worldwide, the world's largest charity, has launched a center to combat modern-day slavery and is pushing to make the eradication of human trafficking a priority for the next U.S. president', reports Thomson Reuters Foundation. Read the article here. Visit the center here

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Microsoft on Tuesday launched 6degree.org, a crowdfunding portal that allows people to directly support survivors through online donations.


'Earthquakes Tied to Fracking Boom, Two New Studies Confirm', reports Eco Watch. Read the article here


The figures are staggering: One out of every 122 people is internally displaced, seeking asylum or a refugee, according to new figures, just published. The annual global trends study by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, warns that the world is failing people in an “age of unprecedented mass displacement”. Download the 'World at War' report here (56pps; PDF)

Worth Knowing:

Artists' Conference

Plans are underway for a Catholic Artists Conference in Autumn/Fall 2016. 'Arts from the Heart of God' will explore prayer, the creative experience, and how sacred art draws one to prayer. It will feature Catholic fine art, sculpture, architecture, music, and film with presentations by notable artists and speakers.

To build excitement, organisers have assembled a gallery of Catholic art at www.Catholic-Artists.org To exhibit in this gallery for FREE, register in the Catholic Artists Directory at www.Catholic-Artists.com Have a look at the catalogue on the Faces of Christ exhibition which is expected to tour in the United States in 2016 - 2017.

Year of Consecrated Life

"Wake Up the World: Consecrated Life For Our Time." This new course offering from the Center for the Study of Consecrated Life at Catholic Theological Union (CTU) Chicago, will be offered on Wednesday evenings from 7-9:30 p.m. beginning on Wednesday, 9 September, 2015. For more information or to register, check here

The Bottom Line

'For a good many of us, “Laudato Si” (Praised Be) will be the most subversive text we will read all year, or indeed for many years. The extraordinary eco-encyclical from Pope Francis contains explosive truths, not about the science of climate change, but about the persistence of poverty, the excesses of a market economy, the fetish for technology and the technocratic solution, the consequences of middle-class aspirations, the failings of the media, even the role of the human in a “rapidifying” world.

“Laudato Si” offers the kind of radical reading that subverts our assumptions, challenges our deepest convictions, makes us see anew...'

- John Nery, Journalist and Writer

Download the encyclical here (PDF) Read the encyclical here (Link) Access the NCR Reader's Guide here (multiple formats). Watch America magazine's Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Laudato Si' (04:22)
Post your comment on the encyclical here on mercyworld.org


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)