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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 634  |  12 August 2015
Featured Story

Editor: Every two years commencing in 2008, the four Australian Mercy Congregation Leaders have jointly sponsored a Symposium on Catherine McAuley which is held in different Australian cities to enable maximum participation by Sisters and Partners-in-Mercy. This year the Symposium was held in Cairns, Newcastle and Melbourne.

Saturday, 8 August saw the conclusion of this year's Symposium in Melbourne. How fitting it was that on the feast day of St Dominic Guzman, founder of the Dominican Order (Truth) and of Australia's first saint Mary MacKillop, co-founder of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart (Justice), that we should be gathered in the name of Catherine McAuley - 'a woman who had a real heart for Mercy'- to hear from Brenda Dolphin rsm, Postulator since 2006 for the Cause of Catherine McAuley. The gathering took place at the Academy of Mary Immaculate in Fitzroy where Ursula Frayne, the twelfth Sister of Mercy, established the first Mercy house in Melbourne in 1857 and where she is buried in the Chapel that bears her name.

Brenda teaches at the Gregorian University in Rome in the areas of psychology, human development and psycho-spiritual integration. It was through these lenses that she invited us to explore anew the life, gift, challenge and legacy of Catherine McAuley to each one of us.

A report of the Australian Symposium and a copy of Sr Brenda's presentation (paper) are linked to this item.

Messages to: Brenda Dolphin rsm - Postulator

Image: L-r: Berneice Loch rsm, Institute Leader (ISMAPNG) with Brenda Dolphin rsm (The Congregation), Postulator for the Cause of Catherine McAuley, at the Melbourne Symposium on 8 August. Photo: Anne Walsh

As reported in Mercy eNews issue #615 (8 April 2015), this year marks the 25th anniversary of Catherine's being pronounced 'Venerable'.

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Vision in Action

The 'Churches and Mining' network is a faith-based coalition of about seventy organizations united by a shared commitment to bring visibility to, address the priorities of, and walk in solidarity with grassroots communities affected by extractive development, mostly in Latin America. See the group’s video (24:32; subtitled).

Along with NGO Mining Working Group partner organizations Franciscans International and VIVAT International, Mercy Global Action at the UN has worked with the Churches and Mining network since 2013, aiming to connect member organizations with opportunities to do joint advocacy at and through the United Nations...

Messages to:
Áine O’Connor rsm, Mercy Global Action at the UN Coordinator
Avery Kelly, Mercy Global Action at the UN, Fellow

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Mercy YCL eNews Series

This year the Sisters in Aotearoa New Zealand were invited to have gatherings of small groups of Sisters during winter for reflection.  The MIA reflections for the year of consecrated life have formed the basis for many of these conversations.  The group I have been part of has enjoyed praying and discussing together so much that the winter reflections for us will continue into Spring as we eagerly await the reflections to come out in the remainder of the year!

- Anna Nicholls rsm

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 eight on Service by Helena O'Donoghue rsm will be published next week (19 August, Issue #635).

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

God of love and mercy, touch with your healing power and restore to full health: John Sweeney, Greg Fennessey, Linda Scamuffa, Pat Burns 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: the Assumption

'Bless us as once you blessed Mary, O God,
with faith and trust in you. Amen
'Bless us as once you blessed Mary, O God,
with compassion for others. Amen
'Bless us as once you blessed Mary, O God,
with fidelity to Christ's message of love.

Source; 'Intercessions of Mercy', Joy Clough rsm

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

MIA Reflection Process

The following resources have been added to the list of suggested resources:

'Guidance map for Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato si’' produced by EcoJesuit, This is a free online resource

'Companion and Study Guide To The Encyclical Praise Be To You by Pope Francis'. Compiled by Professor Eamonn Conwayand Cathal Barry. It is published by the Irish Catholic ( paper) and by Trocaire, the Irish Catholic Relief Agency overseas, an organisation well placed to identify and deal with humanitarian crises. Colourful and well laid out. Very suitable for second-level students, indeed for everyone . Available from the Irish Catholic Shop

Messages to: Mercy International Reflection Process Team

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MIRP Microsite to be launched next week

The MIRP microsite will hold the resources we have published over past weeks on Laudato Si' as well as the documents and resources about MIRP.

Over the coming months, the resources for each of the stages in the reflection process will be added to this microsite making it an easily accessible repository of all the necessary materials for participating in MIRP.

Messages to: Mercy International Reflection Process Team

MIA Members News

Twenty-four students and staff from six Mercy-sponsored colleges and universities immersed themselves in issues of sustainability and climate change advocacy during a Mercy justice program in Washington, DC, August 2-6. The program was co-sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas' Institute Justice Team and the Conference of Mercy Higher Education.

Student participants learned about the Sisters of Mercy’s response to Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’; and climate change advocacy initiatives currently underway with the Sisters of Mercy and other faith-based organizations. After hearing from a panel of experts from faith-based organizations involved in climate change advocacy efforts, the students met with their legislators' staff to urge support of the newly released Clean Power Plan...

Messages to: Institute Justice Team

A report in the Catholic Sun  can be read here

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Editor: In January, Assumpta Walsh rsm was in Rome and as circumstances would have it, she had the opportunity to meet Pope Francis and request beatification of Catherine in 2016, the Holy Year of Mercy. Sr Assumpta describes her experience this way:

'I saw that he was given some presents but I did not have one for him except, a few days prior  a picture of Catherine McAuley fell out of my office book and I thought ‘I will take him that.’

'When it was my turn to walk up, I introduced myself by saying:

‘Most Holy Father I am a Sister of Mercy and you have declared 2016 to be a Holy Year of Mercy, my congregation would be delighted if you would beatify our Foundress next year.

He took the picture and read it carefully and said "Oh Yes". We talked for about five minutes and I told him I had the names of people in my pocket for whom I would like his blessings and he blessed me and said:

"Holy Sister, holy Sister, pray for me'

I really cannot say what it felt like except that somehow I felt I represented the whole Mercy World that morning...

Messages to: Assumpta Walsh rsm

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Mercy Matters

1987: Foundation to Hywany, Ballinasloe, Co Galway

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

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A reminder that a page of Quotations from the Writings of Catherine McAuley and a PDF (10 pps) of these quotes, on a backdrop of graphic elements from the Objects of the Congregation, can be accessed on the mercyworld.org site, linked to this item.

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Imagining what bright cities like Los Angeles could be with visible stars (02:05)

Turn off the audio track to make this video a more reflective piece

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A Symbol of Hope

'The Resurrection of Jesus is...a symbol of hope...I don't see how you can show love...without being in solidarity with the victims of this world. And if you are in solidarity with the victims, I don't see how you can avoid the cross. The theology of the cross is the theology of love in our real world.'
- Jon Sobrino, The Principle of Mercy: Taking the Crucified People from the Cross

With Catherine McAuley's vision as our shared inheritance MIA is called at this time to promote the vision in ways that are creative, life-giving, appropriate to the times and sufficiently compelling to claim Catherine as a canonised saint.

Canonisation section on mercyworld.org

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With its tranquil devotional chapel and comfortable amenities, the House of Prayer is a peaceful, hospitable oasis, a calming retreat where you can recharge and connect to God through prayer and solitude, spirituality programs, retreat experiences, spiritual direction and more

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Further Resources

Worth a Look:

'Embracing Emergence: Discussing the Future of Religious Life.' For four days in June, 120 Dominican women from fourteen congregations throughout the United States came together to discuss the future of religious life. The facilitators, Gail Worcelo SGM and Marie Chin rsm (Americas), led talks and sessions on creative ways of envisioning the emergence of the new cosmic knowledge and theology. The sessions were recorded and can be viewed online

Worth Playing:

' O my God I long for you' based on Psalm 62, written and performed by Chris Skinner sm, a Marist Priest from New Zealand living in Auckland. Watch/listen here (03:47)

Worth Reading:

Opposing Human Trafficking

Stop Enslavement August newsletter highlights the U.S. State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report and the global debate over Amnesty International’s proposed policy on prostitution which the MGA Working Group on Human Trafficking has been

Read it here (10 pps; PDF)

The Bottom Line:

' Someone like Catherine McAuley... will be remembered long after her death only if her contemporaries have carried on the work she created, told stories about her, and committed some of those stories to writing, and only if those who come after that generation have preserved these written materials and engaged in active dialogue with them.'

- Mary C Sullivan rsm, 'Catherine McAuley and the Tradition of Mercy', p v.

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

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