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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 635  |  19 August 2015
Featured Story

That was the deep conviction, mission and joy of Venerable Catherine McAuley.  So strong was her awareness of this call-blessing that she had to be re-assured by Archbishop Murray before making her profession in George’s Hill that she and her companions would be able to continue their ministry out on the streets.  It was an imperative for her, an articulation of ‘charism’ - Mercy charism, a compelling urge of pure love to push the boundaries and go wherever need called.

The term ‘service’ is common in our vocabulary.  It has many connotations, some wonderful and some painful.  Sadly, it can still refer to oppression, menial tasks, second-class citizenship, and even perfunctory activity.  Power and humiliation often accompany it.  Such ‘service’ at best is without dignity or hope, and at worst is close to negation and even slavery.   ‘And Jesus wept’ at his city’s hard heart...

Messages to: Helena O'Donoghue rsm


Image: 'Service'. Used under CCO

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Vision in Action

Last Thursday, 13 August, was the anniversary of the publication of the first issue of Mercy eNews. On that date in 2001 the first edition of Mercy e-News was compiled and sent to the 100 (!) Sisters of Mercy world-wide who were known to have email addresses.

Today, Mercy eNews is read each week by many many thousands of Sisters of Mercy and Partners-in-Mercy in the 40+ countries where Mercy has a ministry presence— and in countries beyond— by an ever increasing readership who wish to be informed, connected or engaged in our global Mercy outreach.

If you know of anyone who might like to receive Mercy eNews for its information, inspiration or further resources, do send them the link so they can join us as we embark this week (Issue #635) on our 15th year.

As always, we welcome contributions for publishing.

Messages to:
Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
The Editor

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Dates have been confirmed for the following programmes in 2016:

Watering the Roots at the Wellspring of Mercy. Led by Kathleen McAlpin rsm, Elizabeth Davis rsm, Brenda Dolphin rsm & Elaine Wainwright rsm. 3-30 July

Come Home to Catherine. Led by Anne Reid & Judy Carle rsm. 12-18 June

Pilgrimage of Young Mercy Leaders: for University Students and Young Adults. 9-12 August

Come Home to Catherine. Led by Anne Reid & Mary Trainer rsm. 21-27 August

Mercy Leadership: Ethos Pilgrimage for Partners-in-Mercy. 25 September-1 October

For 2016, these will be the only week-long or longer generally advertised programmes. 

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

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God of love and mercy, touch with your healing power and restore to full health: Cindy Williams, Marilou Mercado 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

Please note: While we welcome requests for prayers for healing, to respect individuals' privacy, those who post prayers need to confirm by ticking the box on the prayer form that you have the permission of the person you are asking prayers for to post the request online.

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MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week: Victims of the Bangkok Bombing

Let us pray for the victims, their families and communities of the bombing in Bangkok near the Erawan Hindu shrine, of which there are at least 19 deceased and an estimated 120 injured.

May kindness, mercy, sympathy, and impartiality, the four faces of Thao Maha Brahma to whom the shrine is dedicated, be experienced by all who grieve and suffer at this time.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Mercy Day at Baggot Street

Sisters, Associates and Friends of Mercy
are invited to celebrate the Eucharist at 12.00 p.m. on the feast of Our Lady of Mercy
Thursday 24 September
at 64A Lower Baggot Street.

Celebrant: The Most Reverend Archbishop Charles Brown Apostolic Nuncio 

Re-dedication of the newly renovated International Room and lunch will follow the Eucharist

RSVP is essential by/on Friday 18th September: receptionist@mercyinternational.ie

using the subject line ‘Mercy Mass’ or ring 01 6618061 in business hours

Download the invitation (PDF)

Special Mercy eNews Series

We welcome your reflections online on the following themes, already published:

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

Whakawhanaungatanga – Making Right Relationship by Kathleen Rushton 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

MIA Reflection Process

The MIRP microsite is now online and accessible from the homepage of mercyworld.org as well as from the link attached to this item.

The microsite holds 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

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We welcome the ongoing responses to the announcement of the MIRP and invite you to share your thoughts online should you wish to do so.

Messages to: Mercy International Reflection Process Team

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MIA Members News

Nga mihi atawhai - greetings to all in Mercy! A word check through the writings and sayings of Catherine McAuley suggests that service is not a word she often used. But others who witnessed the work to which she and her associates devoted themselves were quick to spot service of the poor and the sick as central to their efforts. So much  so, that at a profession ceremony just six years after the Congregation was founded, Bishop John Murphy of Cork suggested that service be added to the vow formula of Sisters of Mercy, in addition to their commitment to poverty, chastity and obedience...

Messages to: Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregational Leader

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Catherine McAuley High School was a small, all-girls' Catholic school in the diverse community of East Flatbush in Brooklyn, New York. McAuley was founded in 1942 by the Sisters of Mercy and closed in 2013.

Last week Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn) joined New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, many of his Council colleagues and community members during a bill-signing ceremony last week to designate East 37th Street and Foster Avenue in Brooklyn as 'Catherine McAuley High School Way.'

Source: Caribbean Life News

Messages to: Lauren Tyrrell - Institute Communications Office

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'For the first time in Pennsylvania — and possibly in the nation — 13 care providers who are deaf will become nurse aides through a unique collaboration involving Delaware County Community College, Mercy LIFE, the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and South Jersey, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education...

Mercy LIFE (Living Independently for Elders), which operates Valley View and is a division of Mercy Health System, approached the college about the innovative partnership, which also allows the deaf staff to continue working at Valley View while taking classes at the college...'

Messages to: Mercy Health System Pennsylvania

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Professing Perpetual Vows (Americas; ANZ)

On Sunday 12 April Anna Burrowes professed her perpetual vows as a Sister of Mercy at Holy Name Church in Dunedin, New Zealand. Read more here

Messages to: Anna Burrowes rsm c/- Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregational Leader

Sister Taryn Stark professed her perpetual vows as a Sister of Mercy on July 11, 2015 witnessed with joy by many sisters, associates, friends and family at Mercy Chapel in Burlingame, California. Read more here

Messages to: Taryn Stark rsm c/- Lauren Tyrrell - Institute Communications Office

On August 2 Sister Jennifer Wilson professed perpetual vows as a Sister of Mercy at St. Bernadette Church in Orchard Park, New York. Read more here

Messages to: Jennifer Wilson rsm c/- Lauren Tyrrell - Institute Communications Office

Mercy Matters

Mary Wickham is a Sister of Mercy from Melbourne, Australia. Her experiences feature in her poetry and have shaped her sense of the human spirit and God’s grace at work in the world. Author of two books on poetry, Sr Mary's work is now freely available from this site online.

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'...You’d be surprised by the amount of personal information Windows 10 collects from its users—information including phone numbers, GPS location, credit card numbers, and even video and audio messages...'

Source: Wired

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'Let me know when you are closely pressed and I will divide with you, be it ever so little.'

-Catherine McAuley

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1901: Foundation to Beaudesert, Queensland from Brisbane - M Canice Phelan

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

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Catherine's Legacy: Cards for all Occasions

Greeting/Note cards, Bookmarks, Jubilee cards and Remembrance cards, etc.. Catherine’s Legacy presents a wide-variety of original designs and photos for Greeting Cards. We will also customize and personalize when requested.

View the catalogue here

Contact Sr Judy

Catherine's Spirituality: Prayer and Service Mingled (continued)

'Rather than activities in which we engage alternately, Catherine viewed prayer and service as reciprocal dimensions of spirituality. This teaching was repeated over and over again in her letters and instructions:

"Of all other gifts, the gift of prayer comes from God; hence we must beg it continually."
" The very best apostolate we can engage in is the witness of holiness of life."
"The time given to prayer...we must consider as employed to obtain grace, strength and animation, without which all our efforts would be fruitless."

Burns, Helen Marie rsm and Carney, Sheila rsm. Sisters of Mercy, France: Éditions du Signe, 1996, p.14.
To be continued.

Further Resources

Worth Playing:

The Mission / How Great Thou Art - ThePianoGuys. Watch/Listen here (03:55)

Worth Knowing:


Pope Francis has just declared 1 September to be an annual 'World Day of Prayer for Care for Creation', 'a precious opportunity to renew our personal participation in this vocation as custodians of creation'.  Read more here

The GCCM (Global Catholic Climate Movement) will be offering weekly reflections and a webinar series during the Season of Creation. More information can be found here

1 September to 4 October is celebrated as Time for Creation (World Council of Churches) or The Season of Creation

There are many resources that can be drawn on for prayer/reflection/information/action

United Church of Canada
World Council of Churches
A Catholic Season of Creation (Columbans)
Let All Creation Praise
Seasons of the Spirit
• Christian Ecology Link
European Christian Environment Network
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland

Worth Reading:

LCWR Assembly 2015

Reflections and Addresses from the 2015 LCWR Assembly on the theme 'Springs of the Great Deep Burst Forth: Meeting the Thirsts of the World' held 11-15 August can be downloaded here

Human Trafficking

'Putting slavery firmly on development agenda is just the beginning' by Kevin Hyland, the UK’s first independent anti-slavery commissioner. Read the article here

'Source Intelligence: New Provisions to the Modern Day Slavery Act to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery in Global Supply Chains' Read the article here

'Amnesty International Turns Its Back on Women'. Report from the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women International (CATW). Read it here

ACRATH August newsletter can be read here

The Bottom Line:

'The fact is that our work shapes us as much as we shape our work. Because of what we do and the way we do it, we become different people than we would have been without it. To know if the work we're doing is leading us to the fullness of ourselves, it's important to ask what we feel we'd lose - other than simply our wages-if we lost that work.'      

- Joan Chittister OSB, Benedictine nun, author and speaker.           

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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Certificate Number 194263. Public Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered Office: Mercy International Association, 11 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2. Registered Charity no CHY 10078
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)