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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 630  |  15 July 2015
Featured Story

Life is a process of establishing relationships, of relating well, of seeking right relations.  In Scripture, mercy is always a relational concept. Mercy grounds both the covenant relationship of God with God’s people and the relationships of God’s people with one another and with creation. The concept of mercy, which is a summary of the people’s understanding of God, is beyond being able to be expressed by one word. In scriptural language, mercy is like a prism with many fine cuts: different groups of words like hesed or rahamim refract distinctive aspects of mercy and at times are used interchangeably. However refracted, mercy in Scripture is always action-orientated...

Messages to: Kathleen Rushton rsm


Image. Delicate by Coley Christine. Unsplash. Used with permission

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Vision in Action

The Young Mercy Leaders’ Pilgrimage got off to a great start yesterday morning in St Conleth’s School. The participants and their teachers/chaperones arrived full of the joys of life from Australia, USA, Belize, United Kingdom and Ireland north and south.

The morning began with registration during which each Young Mercy Leader received a pilgrimage pack and a small stone which they were invited to decorate. This stone would be used later as part of the Opening Ritual.

Messages to: Mercy International Centre

Image: Flag and candle for Belize among some of the decorated stones in the ritual centrepiece

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Special Issue of Mercy eNews Next Week

Next week's Mercy eNews will be focussed on the Mercy International Reflection Process (MIRP), initial news of which was published in Issue #625 (17 June 2015). Other news and information items will be held over but please do send in your news for publication as usual.

This coming week provides a further opportunity for Sisters and Partners-in-Mercy who do not receive a personal copy of Mercy eNews to subscribe to it. Subscriptions may be made online here

Messages to: the Editor

God of love and mercy, touch with your healing power and restore to full health: Leo Cingolani, Helen Martin, Caroline Rock Farrell, Patti Adams, Chris Martin, Emaly Tucker  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: Young Mercy Leaders

MIA invites you to join us in prayer for all the young women and men on pilgrimage at Mercy International Centre this week (14-17 July).

During their days at Baggot Street and St Conleth's School may they
deepen their understanding of Mercy;
strengthen their commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ:
broaden their horizons through all they hear and see and do;
form strong ties with other young Mercy pilgrims;
carry home a desire to be of Christian service in the Mercy spirit;
and be a source of inspiration for their peers upon their return from the birthplace of Mercy.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Editor: The first UK-Irish Mercy Archives Conference was held at Baggot Street from 30 June - 2 July. Maureen O'Sullivan rsm (Southern Province/The Congregation) has provided a detailed report of the three-day program which is linked to this item. The report is accompanied by images and enthusiastic comments from some of the 54 attendees.

It is hoped in a future issue of Mercy eNews to share presentations given at the conference by the many expert presenters.

Messages to:
Maureen O'Sullivan rsm
Marianne Cosgrave - The Congregation and MIA Archivist, Conference organiser

Image: Conference delegates in the recently renovated International Room at Baggot Street. Many of the photos selected for the slideshow in the accompanying article have been chosen to provide readers with views of the recently renovated International Room. Do enjoy the tour!

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Reminder: Places Available in 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 Members News
Cardinal Turkson Receives Copy of 'The Human Right to Water' at the UN (The Congregation)

'Last week I had the privilege to be in the company of Cardinal Peter Turkson twice in one day!' writes Deirdre Mullan rsm.

Cardinal Peter Turkson was in New York to speak about the new encyclical launched by Pope Francis on the environment.

UNICEF - the United Nations children's organiation hosted a special event on Tuesday June 30 to look at the consequences of not acting NOW for the sake of future generations and all who share this planet we call home. In particular the section on the Human Right to Water was highlighted from the encyclical. Pope Francis writes: 'Even as the quality of available water is constantly diminishing, in some places there is a growing tendency, despite its scarcity, to privatize this resource, turning it into a commodity subject to the laws of the market'.

Later Cardinal Turkson shared his insights and reflections on the encyclical to a packed hall at UN headquarters.  Sr Deirdre presented the Cardinal with a copy of the booklet 'The Human Right to Water' which was launched to celebrate World  Water day earlier this year.

Messages to: Deirdre Mullan rsm - Partnering Religious Congregations- UNICEF

Editor: Details of how to order 'The Human Right to Water' from Sr Deirdre can be found here
The UNICEF, WHO: Lack of sanitation for 2.4 billion people undermining health improvements, Final MDG progress report on water and sanitation can be accessed here

Image: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. 30 June 2015. UN New York. Photo # 636587. Used with permission.

Editor: Grace Miller rsm opened the House of Mercy in Rochester, New York, on 1 October 1985, in response to the pressing need for shelter for the homeless of the city.

This week Sr Grace, 60 years a Sister of Mercy, celebrates her 80th birthday. In her honour, the House of Mercy is holding a fundraising campaign, aiming to raise $80,000, one thousand dollars for every year of Sr Grace's life. So far they've fundraised to her 35th year!

In a newspaper interview published last Saturday and linked to this item, Sr Grace indicated that she is looking to open another shelter for longtime homeless people who have had to vacate their shelter in a warehouse.

"I want a permanent place so no one can ever say to them again, 'Leave,'" she said.

Details of how to support the campaign can be accessed here

A video interview with Sr Grace 'Looking Back, Turning 80, and 60 years being a Sister' can be viewed here (04:49)

Messages to: Grace Miller rsm

Image: Sr Grace in her office in front of a wall covered in funeral booklets of the people she has helped bury

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Mercy on the Radio: Planet FM 104.6 (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Te Ngakau Waiora Mercy Spirituality Centre, Auckland, New Zealand, has its own radio program and invites readers of Mercy eNews from near and far to listen in!

Beate Matthies, the manager of the Centre runs the radio program called Muffin Talk on Planet FM 104.6 at 8.40am on Friday mornings. Since the start of this 30 minute program in April 2014, Beate has interviewed Sisters of Mercy and other persons who are committed to Social Justice or involved in the Church. Each interview is available online for a week and some are then archived online.

An interview with Elaine Wainwright rsm about the Papal Encyclical Laudato Si’ will be online until 17 July.  Listen/download Sr Elaine's interview here

Forthcoming interviews include Pip Nicholls (17-24 July) – Monastics on the Market Place; Lynda Smith (24-31 July) on Mercy Hospice Auckland and Mary Neven rsm (31 July-7 Aug) on Consecrated Life.

Further information about how to listen in and how to download an archived program can be found here.

Messages to: Beate Matthies

'The world-wide interest, pre-publication, in the Encyclical Laudate Si was amazing, and the introductory passages of the actual encyclical are inspiring. However, the central messages of the encyclical stem from the grim situation today of our common home, the Earth, as grounded on the conclusions of the majority of contemporary scientists.

It is reassuring that the encyclical is more than pious or purely theological rhetoric in that Pope Francis has himself a scientific background...'

Prepared by Anne McLay rsm and members of the Care for Creation Group

Messages to: Anne McLay rsm

Editor: A number of Mercy congregations and institutes have published statements online welcoming the papal encyclical. These statements can be accessed here

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Happy 21st Birthday (The Congregation)

Editor: Twenty one years ago yesterday, 14 July, the members of The Congregation gathered at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, Dublin and in their communities to celebrate coming together as one congregation. 

Today, 2,077 members of The Congregation follow in the footsteps of Catherine McAuley, in 9 countries.

We wish all members of The Congregation a very happy birthday and every blessing for the coming years.

Messages to: The Congregation


'New Zealanders will recognise this month's topic, Right Relations, as an indigenous contribution to Mercy's global mix.

It's our commitment to honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi that helps us to see why building right relationships is so important. The broad sweep of whanaungatanga takes us from Te Atua, God, through nga tupuna, our ancestors, to te whenua, land, te taiao, environment and te tangata, other people. To overlook one piece in this interlocking jigsaw of family connections is to risk a major misalignment in our lives...'

Messages to: Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregational Leader

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Mercy Matters

Mindfulness is a way of developing the human capacity of paying attention to life experience with kindness and curiosity. The Young Mercy Leaders on pilgrimage to Baggot Street this week have the opportunity to participate in a workshop on this technique. You can join them at home!

Mary Conway rsm who is teaching this technique has recorded five practice tracks (linked to this item) which you can listen to online or download to your computer (click the downward arrow).

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'Our common home is being pillaged, laid waste and harmed with impunity. Cowardice in defending it is a grave sin. We see with growing disappointment how one international summit after another takes place without any significant result. There exists a clear, definite and pressing ethical imperative to implement what has not yet been done. We cannot allow certain interests – interests which are global but not universal – to take over, to dominate states and international organizations, and to continue destroying creation. People and their movements are called to cry out, to mobilize and to demand – peacefully, but firmly – that appropriate and urgently-needed measures be taken. I ask you, in the name of God, to defend Mother Earth. I have duly addressed this issue in my Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’...'

-Pope Francis: Speech at World Meeting of Popular Movements, Santa Cruz, Bolivia, 9 July, 2015

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Doing one of these 10 things that only take a few minutes is said to improve your day, your health and your mind-set:

  • meditation,
  • aromatherapy
  • foot massage
  • mindfulness (see also today's Mercy resource)
  • laughing
  • writing
  • being outside
  • coloring in
  • power-nap replacement
  • movement

Source: Fast Company

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'Catherine’s acute awareness of contemporary needs made her a catalyst in an uncaring society.'

-Angela Bolster

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On This Day

1855: Death of M Francis Creedon (8pps; PDF) Foundress of Newfoundland
1874: Alderney Convent, Channel Islands founded from Guernsey - Sr Francis Tadman
1891: Death of M de Sales Gorry, first Queensland postulant and first Rockhampton Superior

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


Te Ngakau Waiora Mercy Spirituality Centre is a work of the Nga Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa Sisters of Mercy New Zealand. It provides a city oasis which seeks to create a place for learning and for a deeper relationship with God, fostering the inner search for personal, social and spiritual renewal. With its spacious, well established grounds, mature trees and gardens and organic gardening practices, the Centre also reflects a commitment to care of the Earth.

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Further Resources

Worth Knowing:

In Mercy eNews issue #628 we published a report by Denise Boyle fmdm, Mercy Global Action, on the 'Meeting the Challenge of Climate Justice: from evidence to action’ conference which she attended. The conference organisers now have the keynote speaker videos and other presentation formats online on the conference site

Worth Looking out for:

Human Trafficking

'Difret' is based on a real-life story. Hirut aged 14, faced a possible 25-year prison sentence for killing a man who had abducted and raped her in order to marry her. In her village, the practice of abduction into marriage is common and one of Ethiopia’s oldest traditions. Due for release in the US in fall 2015. Watch the trailer here (02:12)

Worth Reading:

Human Trafficking

'Holy See condemns human trafficking as “crime against humanity”‎' Msgr. Janusz Urbanczyk, the Holy See’s permanent observer to the United Nations in Vienna, used the strong words to condemn the practice on Monday in an address to the ‎15th  conference of the ‘Alliance Against Trafficking in Persons’, ‎convoked by the Organization for Security ‎and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). A report on the conference can be found here

'How Pimps in Mexico's Smallest State Trick Young Girls Into the World of Sex Trafficking'. Read the report here

Year of Consecrated Life

The Year of Consecrated Life  is the main topic of Vol. 12, Issue 2 (Spring/Summer) of the CRC Bulletin.  Access the separate articles and the PDF of the entire issue online here

Worth Watching:

Ladato Si'

Michelle Sherliza op has created four video reflections in thanksgiving for the encyclical using the music of four well-known musicians -
Jan Novotka:  'In The Name Of All That Is'. Watch/listen to the reflection here (04:18)
Marty Haugen: 'With Our Working Hands'. Watch/listen to the reflection here (05:06)
Brian Doerksen: 'Creation Calls'. Watch/listen to the reflection here (05:56)
The Medical Missionaries: 'Mystery'. Watch/listen to the reflection here (05:40)

Worth Considering:

'Releasing the Contemplative in You' is a new eCourse from Joan Chittister OSB at Spirituality & Practice. Begins Monday, 27 July  through to Friday, 21 August. Details and enrolment here

Worth Acting on:

Feed the world

Under French law supermarkets must now give unsold produce to the poor and homeless. The  EU is consulting on how to stop supermarkets cancelling vast orders of food farmers have grown for them. And the UN is agreeing a goal to halve food waste by 2030. Sign on to the Stop food waste, end hunger! petition here

The Bottom Line:

'Community is a place of belonging where each person can grow to become fully him or herself. It is belonging for becoming. We belong to each other so that each member can become more human, more loving, more free, more open to others, particularly to those who are different. When each member can develop their unique gifts and help others to develop theirs, members are no longer in competition but in collaboration, in cooperation and in mutual support. To become is not to prove I am better than you, but rather supporting together each other in opening up our hearts. Thus community is a place of transformation...'

- Jean Vanier, Canadian Catholic philosopher, theologian and humanitarian

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