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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 629  |  08 July 2015
Featured Story
Act with Mercy: Promote Justice

Editor: Pope Francis’ itinerary for his visit to the United States in September includes two days (26-27 September) in Philadelphia where the World Meeting of Families (WMOF), held in a different city every three years since 1994, the International Year of the Family, will be taking place from Tuesday-Friday, 22-25 September.

Mary Scullion rsm (pictured above), President and Executive Director of Project HOME, is Chair of the WMOF Hunger and Homelessness Committee. Project HOME staff, residents and supporters are deeply involved in raising issues of hunger, homelessness and poverty in preparation for the papal visit to the poorest among the nation's 10 biggest cities.

At a press conference in Philadelphia on Monday, 22 June, 2015, the Committee unveiled a three-pronged mercy and justice initiative to make the impact of the papal visit extend far beyond  a weekend in September. Details of the Francis Fund, the Act for Justice Campaign and the public art project Undoing the Knots can be found here

The global Mercy network has an opportunity to help the Committee spread the vision of mercy and justice underpinning this initiative. Find out more (PDF), sign on for mercy and justice and let Sr Mary know of your prayerful support.

Messages to: Mary Scullion rsm


Image: Mary Scullion rsm speaking at the Mercy and Justice press conference. Photo courtesy of Debbi DellaPorta, ‎Director of Communications at Sisters of Mercy Mid-Atlantic Community (Americas)

Vision in Action
Mercy YCL eNews Series

'These reflections each month have been invaluable. I use them for community prayer and for prayer with retreatants in Glendalough hermitage Centre. Thank you for the wonderful resource.'

- Doreen Figueiredo rsm

'The last of the six "Wake Up The World To Mercy Autumn Series Seminars" saw participants reflect on Compassion in the light of their personal story and within our current historical context.  Ms Claire Thomas, Director of Mission at OLMC Parramatta, led participants in a reflection on Compassion informed by Sr Breege O'Neill's article Called to Compassion.Read more here

- Parramatta Congregation

How are you/your Mercy community or ministry using these monthly thematic reflections? Do let us know in feedback or by posting your response online.

Theme seven 'Right Relations' by Kathleen Rushton rsm will be published next week (15 July, Issue #630).

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Enrol in a Program at Mercy International Centre

If you are considering or have yet to make a retreat this year and haven't yet confirmed your arrangements, there are still a few places available in the following programs at MIC:

Mercy - the wildness of Divine Love
Led by Mary Trainer rsm
26 July to 1 August 2015
Download flyer (PDF)

"What had God in mind...?"
(C. McAuley)
Led by Áine Barrins rsm
23 August to 29 August 2015
Download the flyer (PDF)

Visions of Mercy
led by Mary Wickham rsm
20 September to 26 September 2015
Download the flyer (PDF) 

To book your place on any of these programs, please contact Madeleine O'Hanlon - Receptionist at MIC

Messages to: Madeleine or call MIC on (353) 1 661 8061    

MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week: A Prayer for Nigeria

A suicide bomber attacked a church in Nigeria last Sunday, 5 July, capping a week in which more than 200 people died in Nigeria of  Boko Haram violence.

At least five worshippers were killed in Sunday's attack as they were entering the Redeemed Christian Church of God on the outskirts of Potiskum in Yobe state. In other attacks on Sunday, twin explosions hit a shopping complex and a mosque leaving dozens dead or severely injured.

MIA joins with the Sisters of Mercy in Nigeria in praying for an end to violence and bloodshed in Nigeria.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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

Read More
MIA Members News

In this sixth article in the series published in 'Tui Motu InterIslands', Elaine Wainwright rsm focuses our attention on place and time in Jesus' feeding of the five thousand in Mark 6: 30-44.

'People “in place” may be an appropriate way for an ecological reader to characterise not only the opening verses of Mark 6:30-44, but the entire passage. Place will, therefore, be a significant focus in an ecological reading of this text familiarly called “the feeding of the five thousand” ', writes Sr Elaine.

Download the July article here (PDF)

The February - June articles are linked to this item.

Messages to: Elaine Wainwright rsm

Read More

'Omaha’s inner city is lucky a Kansas City nun saw that bumper sticker. Marilyn Ross rsm had been looking for a job when the fateful message crossed into her lane: Holy Name neighborhood, a good place to live. Intrigued and fairly new to town, the former teacher and eldest of 11 siblings nosed around.

Her subsequent visit to the church with a Holy Name launched a three-decade-long mission during which Sr Marilyn  has led an investment of about $65 million into housing — mostly into north Omaha. About 700 homes in some of the most decaying neighborhoods have been built or rehabilitated through Holy Name Housing Corp., a nonprofit that is affiliated, but independent, of the church. Sr Marilyn has worked there for all but one of its 33 years...'

Listen to Sr Marilyn talk with passion about this call and mission (03:06)

Messages to: Marilyn Ross rsm

Image: Omaha World Herald

Read More

Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change is to be very much welcomed.  It is a first from the heart of the Vatican at this level. It’s also another step in highlighting the global and indeed devastating impact of environmental degradation on the world’s poorest peoples and on the ever accelerating rate of habitat destruction and species extinction...

More than ever before deep wisdom is called for today.  Much of that wisdom is to be found in the world’s religious traditions including Christianity. Some of it has an uncanny resemblance to the insights coming to us from contemporary scientific understandings of our universe. One place where such wisdom can be found is the Celtic tradition—with its mystical overtones— particularly because this tradition has always had a strong focus on creation and saw the human person belonging within that larger context....

Messages to: Margaret Twomey rsm - Congregational Ecojustice Co-ordinator

Editor: The Congregation's Statement in response to the papal encyclical Laudato Si' was prepared by Sr Margaret. It can be read here

Read More

In bookstores and libraries it is possible to find volumes containing the collected letters of a celebrated person of former days. The blurb on the cover will stress the importance of the letter in providing information about the person and their times. As the art of letter writing declines, maybe such books will not be a feature on shelves in the future?

How blessed we are to have a collection of letters of our Foundress Catherine. These letters tell us much about our founding story, about the times, about Catherine’s vision of Mercy, about her influence on others.
However, they tell us so much more about the writer, about Catherine herself...

Messages to: Philomena Bowers rsm

Read More

1,226,400 hours; 51,100 days, 140 years, or 1.4 centuries.

On June 30 1875, the Sisters of Mercy took over the Forest City Marine Hospital at East Broad and Gordon streets.

During the last 140 years St. Joseph’s Hospital has grown from a ramshackle, 12-room building to the technologically advanced 330-bed medical center of today.

'On this day we recognize not only one of the oldest hospitals in the nation, but also how the Sisters of Mercy have been visionaries for healthcare and for the betterment of our community,”'said Paul P. Hinchey, President & CEO of St. Joseph’s/Candler.

Messages to: Board of Trustees c/- Helen Amos rsm

Read More

This year, Sisters of Mercy aged 65 and under are participating in gatherings to explore together how they can continue to help the Institute respond to the demands of its mission and to nurture communion among its members into the future.

The theme of the gatherings is ‘Shining Lamps’, from Catherine's words: 'We should be as shining lamps, giving light to all around us.' 39 Sisters gathered in Goroka, Papua New Guinea from 29-31 May with a second gathering bringing 65 Sisters together in Adelaide last weekend (3-5 July).

A video of the gathering in Goroka, made by some of the participants, can be viewed here (14:59)

Messages to:
Ann-Maree O’Beirne rsm
Angela Reed rsm

Image: Participants in the PNG gathering

Read More

Editor: For International Nurses Day we featured the Civil War Sisters website in Issue #620

We thought readers might be interested in the report on the talk recently given by history professor Dolores Liptak rsm at the Knights of Columbus Museum, New Haven, Connecticut in which she explained how 'from the bloodiest war America has ever experienced [came] a change in attitude toward Catholics, in particular Catholic women religious'.

Messages to: Dolores Liptak rsm

Image: Civil War Nurses Memorial (Nuns of the Battlefield) (ca. 1924) SE of DuPont Circle in Washington, D.C.
This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Carol M. Highsmith.

Read More

Stephanie Salvatore reckons women’s homelessness is a bit of a taboo subject, one most people find uncomfortable and prefer not to discuss. She’s having none of that! Instead she wants it to become part of our community’s conversation and action.

Stephanie, and Steph Rutter, both Year 12 students at Our Lady of Mercy College (OLMC) in Heidelberg, along with the Year 12 social justice team, have certainly put family violence and women’s homelessness on the social justice agenda at their school as part of a partnership project with McAuley Community Services for Women.

The project, called No Place Called Home, was funded through a $5,000 Lord Mayor’s grant and has produced a ‘how to’ template and a brief video clip on family violence and homelessness awareness raising and fundraising that could be used by other schools.

Messages to:
Julie Ryan - Principal OLMC Heidelberg
Jocelyn Bignold - CEO McAuley Community Services for Women

Read More
Mercy Matters
Mercy Health: Helping You Be Well

Mercy Health (formerly Catholic Health Partners) – a Catholic healthcare ministry serving Ohio and Kentucky – has devoted the fifth of its monthly Mercy Health: Helping You Be Well video series to diabetes awareness.

What causes diabetes? (02:10)

What can I do to prevent diabetes? (01:346)

What are side effects of diabetes treatments? (01:24)

How is diabetes treated? (01:29)

No event of particular significance is recorded in the Mercy Through the Years Calendar as having taken place on 8 July. We know, however, that the Works of Mercy continued to be carried out and so we remember on this day Catherine and all our Sisters, Associates and Co-workers who have given their lives in service to others.

We invite contributions for this date to be be added to the mercyworld.org online calendar.

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

Read More

None of us are home until all of us are home™

The mission of the Project HOME community is to empower adults, children, and families to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty, to alleviate the underlying causes of poverty, and to enable all of us to attain our fullest potential as individuals and as members of the broader society....

Read More

'The task of prophets is, in Catherine’s words, to speak what their mind/heart direct and act courageously.'

- Helen Marie Burns rsm

Read More

'Whether you are striving for more impressive Instagram-worthy shots on your smart phone, or you are a DSLR photographer in the making, these tricks will help lead you down the road of picture taking mastery.'

Source: Lifehack

Read More

'...We are at a critical moment in world history; facing a series of tests and choices that will determine not only the fate of millions of our fellow global citizens now, but tests and choices that will define the future of our planet. I spoke in January, at the launch of the European Year of Development, of my belief that 2015 is on a par with 1945 in terms of the potential that it has to reshape how humanity deals with the challenges we face. By the end of this year, the post-2015 development agenda will have to be finalised and the new Sustainable Development Goals will be called upon to provide a roadmap for the future...'

- President Michael D Higgins, Keynote Address at the Irish Humanitarian Summit, O’Reilly Hall, University College Dublin, 2nd July 2015

Read More
Further Resources

Worth Playing:

'Homes of Mosul' is a call to not forget the persecuted Christians of Iraq. This recently released track by Italian rock band The Suns begins by posing 3 questions to the listener: 'Where is love? Truth? Compassion?' While the song is sung in Italian, the language of the suffering depicted in the imagery in this video clip needs no translation. Watch/listen here (03:54).

Worth Watching:

Religious Life

Carol Zinn ssj has been on a speaking tour around Australia since early June, offering her insights on religious life drawn from her own lived experience and her leadership roles within her congregation; from her time in  LCWR where she was President for 2013-14 and from the many years she spent as the NGO representative at the UN on behalf of the Congregations of Saint Joseph. On 28 June, the Queensland branch of Catholic Religious Australia (CRAQld) and the Diocese of Townsville hosted Sr Carol speaking on 'One God, One Earth, One People and One Living Community: Am I One with All?' which can now be watched here online (01:30:47). A second recorded workshop was given by Sr Carol on Catholic Social Teaching (01:12:27).


The film 'He Named Me Malala' documents Malala's journey and will be released globally this autumn/fall. Promotion has commenced with the release of the official movie trailer. Watch it here (02:24).

Laudato Si'

This video reflection was produced by the Vatican to accompany the release of the papal encyclical. Texts appear first in Italian then in English translation. This resource provides a visual entry point for engaging with the themes of the encyclical  The reflection can be viewed here (06:18).

Salt and Light TV (Canada) have produced a video reflection on St Francis' 'Canticle of Creation', the prayer  from which Pope Francis has taken the name of his encyclical. Watch it here (02:30)

Worth Reading:


New research just launched by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) confirms that trafficking in persons and other forms of exploitation occur in times of crisis yet remain largely overlooked in the context of humanitarian response. The press release can be read here. The full briefing document  'Addressing Human Trafficking and Exploitation in Times of Crisis' can be read here (14pps; PDF).

The Bottom Line:

'In a world filled with violence can any reasonable person hope for peace?... Might not the vocation of religious people be not only to strive to live justly and to pursue a mission of justice, but to be a community in which the priority of justice is not allowed to be forgotten. In a world and a society in which violence is such an assumption, we need to be a community that remembers we are called to peace--and a people with the religious imagination to think of possibilities of reconciliation. If the world laced with injustice and soul sick from violence forgets the God given dream of justice and peace planted deep within the human heart, we must not forget.'

- Donald Senior, CP,  President Emeritus, Chancellor, Professor of New Testament Studies at Catholic Theological Union.

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

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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)