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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 632  |  29 July 2015
Featured Story
World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, 30 July 2015

Editor: Tomorrow, 30 July is both World Day Against Trafficking in Persons and International Day of Friendship

The International Day of Friendship was proclaimed in 2011 with the idea 'that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities'. The World Day Against Trafficking in Persons was instituted two years later to inspire countries to work together 'supporting and protecting victims while pursuing and prosecuting traffickers'.

The UN designates days of special observance to both promote awareness and encourage action. It is not difficult in this year's messages to see how or why both of these observances should be designated for the same date.

We are each called by the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to 'act as one in the name of justice and dignity for all' (WDTIP) and to 'cultivate warm ties that strengthen our common humanity and promote the well-being of the human family' (IDF).

In this issue of Mercy eNews we hear from some of our Sisters and Partners-in-Mercy working with, companioning, educating and advocating on behalf of victims of human trafficking; inspired by Catherine, grounded in the Christian tradition, affirming the UN vision of a life of dignity for all.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA



Image: iStock. 65437653. Used under licence

Vision in Action

Many Sisters among the readership of Mercy eNews would know of and remember Kath Burke rsm (Brisbane Congregation) who died last week.

Kath was President of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy, Australia (ISMA, 1988-1992) during the establishment of Mercy International Centre and a member of the International Steering Committee. In 'Sharing Memories' of the Baggot Street project in the telling of the story of MIC last year, it was recalled that Kath felt an 'absolute confidence and huge joy that our widely-flung Mercy world would one day be more closely linked and it would be Baggot Street (and perhaps only Baggot Street) that would bring us all together.'

Kath gave voice to the hopes which stirred among all involved as they embarked on the new task of co-sponsoring World Mercy Centre, thus turning dreams into plans...

Messages to:
Catherine Reuter rsm - Brisbane Congregational Leader
Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Image: Members of the International Steering Committee at Baggot Street for the first meeting, May 1989
L-r: Srs Regina Kelly ( Ire), Catherine Quane (GB Institute), Margaret Mary Kennedy (GB Union), Kath Burke (ISMA), Mary Trainer (America - Merion) & Mary Gleeson (Aotearoa New Zealand - Christchurch)

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Editor: The third biennial Young Mercy Leaders' pilgrimage for Mercy secondary school students (14-17 July) concluded most successfully following a full program held at Mercy International Centre, the Catherine McAuley Building (Herbert Street) and St Conleth's school.

150 student participants from Mercy schools in Australia, Ireland - North and South, United Kingdom, USA, and Belize participated in these three days of rich and varied experiences (27pps; PDF)

Reports and photo galleries of the event were posted each day on the mercyworld.org website and on our Facebook and Twitter pages enabling the Mercy network to 'join in' and follow the events from anywhere in the world.

The report of the First Day of the Pilgrimage is linked to this item from which you can access the events of each day.

Messages to: Mary Kay Dobrovolny rsm - Assistant Director Heritage and Spirituality 

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Mercy International Association Appointment

Mercy International Association is happy to announce that Margaret Scroope rsm has been appointed to the recently advertised position of Assistant Director Administration and Finance.

Margaret is a Mercy Sister from New South Wales, Australia. For the last 10 years she has worked as a Schools Consultant/Professional Officer with the Catholic Schools Diocese Office of Lismore, NSW. She is also chair of the ISMAPNG McAuley Ministries Board. Previously, she worked as a teacher and Principal in a number of Mercy Schools. She has wide and varied experience in administration and finance, as well as working in a team context.

We welcome Margaret, who will take up her role in November  and look forward to collaborating with her in the development of the MIA  agenda.

Messages to:
Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
Margaret Scroope rsm
 

This is the final round of intergovernmental negotiations, scheduled for July 20-31, prior to the UN Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda.

Mercy Global Action at the UN is continuing to engage in the Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, advocating for a rights-based and people-centered approach to sustainable development. In particular, Mercy, along with our Mining Working Group and global water justice colleagues, remains adamant in the continued push to ensure that the human right to water and sanitation is explicitly named in the Declaration of the Post-2015 outcome document...

Messages to:

Áine O’Connor rsm - MGA Co-ordinator at the UN
Avery Kelly

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MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week: Responding to Victims of Human Trafficking

'God, rich in mercy, Catherine McAuley reminded us that “If we love You, we will undoubtedly love our neighbor also; they are as cause and effect.”

We pray that our love for You will give us the fortitude to work for an end to slavery for all our sisters and brothers. Give us the courage to touch the suffering flesh of Christ, revealed in the faces of those enslaved in our world today, so that like St Josephine Bakhita, all may be called fortunate. This we ask in your name. Amen'

Source: The MGA Working Group Opposing Human Trafficking Awareness Raising Prayer Service 2015

Download the Prayer Service here: A4 paper size (8pps; PDF); US Letter Size (8 pps; PDF)

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Editor: Denise Boyle fmdm conducted a workshop at the Young Mercy Leaders Pilgrimage at Baggot Street for students to learn how MIA / Global Action is addressing the issue of Modern Slavery at local and global levels. Participants had the opportunity to reflect on ‘who is at risk’ of being trafficked through examples and stories. Then together they looked at concrete ways in which they could raise awareness about this crime among teenagers and young adults.

A report of the workshop is linked to this item

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

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MIA Reflection Process
Share the Mercy International Reflection Process (MIRP) Issue of Mercy eNews

Last week's Mercy eNews focussed on the Mercy International Reflection Process.

The issue can be read online here.

If you know of someone in your Mercy community or ministry who did not receive this issue, you could forward them the news.

You could also copy and paste this link into an email: http://enews.mercyworld.org/e-news/mercy-e-news/185-2015-07-22.html

The link can be copied into a Facebook post or (Twitter) tweet; into a webpage or Word document.

Thank you for your assistance in spreading the news!

Messages to: Mercy International Reflection Process Team

We are delighted at the responses to the announcement of the Mercy International Reflection Process and invite you to share your initial reactions to this announcement and the opportunity it provides us all for global reflection throughout 2016.

Post your comment online. The page where you can do this is linked to this item. Or send it to us and we will post it for you if you would find that helpful.

The Guiding Team continue to welcome suggestions of resources, in English and Spanish, for the microsite which will be launched in eNews on 19 August. These resources could be in a variety of formats such as text, audio, video, image and powerpoint and in a range of categories including books, articles, films, artworks, video reflections etc.

Messages to: Mercy International Reflection Process Team

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MIA Members News

Sex trafficking is a growing problem in Ireland and around the world. The work of the Mercy community to end this dreadful trade in human beings is rooted in Catherine’s mission to protect vulnerable women and children from exploitation. Catherine’s sense of the injustices faced by women and girls is as pertinent to the Mercy mission today as it was when she first opened her house on Baggot Street.

During the Young Mercy Leaders Pilgrimage, I was asked to give a workshop on the issue of sex trafficking and took the opportunity to explore some of the complex causes that drive this modern slavery...

Messages to: Ruth Kilcullen

Editor: Ruth Kilcullen is the Campaign Manager of MECPATHS (Mercy Efforts to Counter Child Prostitution and Trafficking in the Hospitality Sector) and a communications consultant with APT (Act to Prevent Trafficking)

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As the second World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (30 July) approaches, my thoughts are raised once again to the all-pervasive global problem of human trafficking and to its severe implications for victims. They are the women, men, and children from every country in the world caught in the web of modern slavery...

My involvement in this ministry began in 2003 when I became an Outreach Volunteer with Ruhama, an NGO which works with women in on-street and indoor prostitution in Dublin. Since 2000, Ruhama also supports women who are trafficked. Through its services it provides counselling, English language classes, personal development, health care, computer training, legal aid, and much more for victims...

Messages to: Mary Ryan rsm

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Not knowing much about human trafficking, I got involved in this area as a result of an invitation from the Congregation Leadership team. The subsequent journey has been an eye-opener.

Trafficking in NZ is relatively hidden and certainly not in the same scale as some parts of the world. Therefore my focus has been on education and raising awareness. The tradition of mercy invites us all to do what we can for those in need and was has heartened me in this is the way that the students I work with at Carmel College...

Messages to: Anna Nicholls rsm

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Our organisation ANZRATH (Aotearoa NZ Religious against Trafficking of Humans) began in 2013. It consists of a small group of Sisters, Brothers and Lay people. I joined it over a year ago with another Mercy Sister, Valerie Gunnion.

We meet regularly and I am inspired and sustained by the enthusiasm and quiet dedication of each member. As a Mercy sister I believe that what I can contribute to the group is very much part of the works of Mercy. Catherine’s passion was for the poor and vulnerable, especially women and children...

Messages to: Jacqui Miles rsm

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Human trafficking or modern-day slavery is the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, debt bondage, or slavery...                                                           
Why are we Sisters of Mercy engaged in addressing this horrendous criminal activity?  We address the causes and effects of violence, racism, degradation of the Earth and injustice to immigrants and women and children.  By collaborating with others to abolish human trafficking through raising awareness, providing education, advocating for policy changes and stronger legislation and providing direct services to victims we understand the interconnectedness among our five Critical Concerns and human trafficking...

Messages to: Jeanne Christensen rsm

Image: Sr Jeanne at the Mercy table at the Ignite Conference in St. Louis, 2014. Image of young girl is from the ad that appeared in the December 2013 issue of the US Airways inflight magazine sponsored by US Catholic Sisters against Human Trafficking (USCSAHT)

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In 2004, Mercy House was asked to partner with the International Organisation of Migration in the protection of trafficked women who were awaiting repatriation. Since then, just over 300 women from Thailand, China, Nigeria, the Cameroons, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Swaziland, Lesotho, Rwanda and South Africa have found shelter with us. Most of these women were used in the sex trade. Others were sold into forced marriages, used in domestic servitude and unpaid labour in hair salons and other businesses.
Our staff has facilitated awareness workshops in schools and for various women’s groups across Gauteng Province. We have also facilitated training workshops for social workers, youth workers, field workers and church groups...

Messages to: Colleen Wilkinson rsm

Image: Human Trafficking Awareness with Primary School children

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Mercy Matters

Windows 10 is available from today, 29 July, with a free upgrade offer letting users running Windows 7 and 8.1 jump to the new OS without charge until July 2016.

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'We must bear all and work while we are young.'

-M Agatha Murphy

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Sisters of Mercy and our Partners-in-Mercy are actively involved in a number of organisations opposing trafficking in persons - as many of the Members' news items this week attest.

A list of the websites of these organisations is linked to this item.

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On This Day

No event of particular significance is recorded in the Mercy Through the Years Calendar as having taken place on 29 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

Resources for use on the Second World Day Against Human Trafficking

The resources on Opposing Human Trafficking published in Mercy eNews this year can be accessed here

The prayer service prepared by the four Australian Mercy congregations for the 20th Anniversary celebrations last year can be viewed online here. The music and text elements of the resource can be accessed here

A Prayer Service prepared by the SNJM (Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary) Anti-Trafficking Committee for shared use on the 2nd World Day Against Trafficking In Persons can be downloaded here (2pps; PDF)

'We have become so familiar with the sayings of Jesus that we can easily fail to notice the earth elements in the text or the constructed environment and treat them simply as backdrop for human activity rather than as having value in themselves. Jesus’ claim “I am the bread of life” invites us to consider bread as matter essential to life as well as a metaphor for the God’s Word become flesh. It invites us to consider what both material and symbolic dimensions of the statement might mean for living a gospel way of life...'

- Veronica Lawson rsm, Reflection on the Gospel-18th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B (John 6:24-35)

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

Earlier this month the Italian classical tenor, Andrea Bocelli, at a prayer gathering in the Vatican for persecuted Christians, sang Panis Angelicus before a full crowd in St Peter's Square. Worth stopping for. Watch/listen here (03:39). Purchase on *iTunes *Google Play

The Bottom Line:

'All great questions must be raised by great voices, and the greatest voice is the voice of the people - speaking out - in prose, or painting or poetry or music; speaking out - in homes and halls, streets and farms, courts and cafes - let that voice speak and the stillness you hear will be the gratitude of [human]kind.'

- Robert F Kennedy, Attorney General of the United States, Speech in New York City, New York, 22 January 1963

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)