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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 637  |  02 September 2015
Featured Story

Editor: This morning Angela Reed rsm (ISMAPNG), researcher and advocate on human trafficking, will arrive in New York to take up her nine month appointment at the Mercy Global Action Office in the role of Sister of Mercy in Residence, working with Aine O’Connor rsm, MGA Co-ordinator at the UN. 'Much of my work has been at the grass roots working with marginalised women as well as my more recent academic pursuits,' says Sr Angela. 'I believe that learning about advocacy and intervention at the UN will enhance my knowledge and understanding of Global Justice.'

It was during her seven years of working at Mercy Care (now McAuley Care), a safe house for women and children who are victims of family violence, that Sr Angela first encountered victims of sex trafficking. Listening to these women tell their stories and responding to them personally led her to explore the issue in depth, firstly through being awarded a fellowship in ethics and most recently her doctoral study. 'Trafficking, like family violence, is not a generic experience. There are so many different expressions, so many different experiences of it that the human story needs to be told'...

Messages to: Angela Reed rsm

Image: L-r: Faye Kelly rsm (Community Leader South C), Angela Reed rsm, Marietta Latonio, Annette Schneider rsm (Vicar, ISMAPNG) at the Australian launch of 'I Have A Voice: Trafficked Women in their Own Words' on 27 August. Photo: Anne Walsh

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Vision in Action

M. Lalemant Pelikan rsm, the only Sister of Mercy in the Diocese of Lubbock, in the Texas Panhandle, together with the four Mercy Associates is planning to make a “pilgrimage” on Mercy Day to visit the small town of  Umbarger, Tx., where our Mercy Sisters taught in the elementary and high school for many years.

What are your plans for Mercy Day? A pilgrimage? Watching Pope Francis address the US Congress (information about how to watch the live screening or the archived screening will be included in next week's eNews).

Let us hear your plans for Mercy Day 2015!

Messages to: the Editor

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Reminder: Celebrate 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 to Madeleine  using the subject line ‘Mercy Mass’, or ring 01 6618061 during business hours.

Download the invitation (PDF)

MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week: Welcoming the Stranger

The figures are staggering: 59.5 million people fled their homes and sought refuge and safety in 2014. 'Globally, one in every 122 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum. If this were the population of a country, it would be the world's 24th biggest' says UNHCR's annual Global Trends Report: World at War

The recent influx of migrants into Europe, mostly from the Middle East and Northern Africa, fleeing war or economic hardship, has overwhelmed some countries as news reports have shown.

EU interior and justice ministers will meet in an emergency session in Brussels on 14 September for talks aimed at resolving the crisis.

Let us pray each day in the lead up to that meeting that a solution may be found to welcome the strangers in our midst.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Editor: Last week's feature shared the news of the 'Write a letter to Pope Francis' campaign, an invitation to all Sisters of Mercy and Partners-in-Mercy from the International Canonisation Committee to write to the Pope to give thanks for the inauguration of the Jubilee year of Mercy and  to ask that Venerable Catherine McAuley might be beatified during the Holy year.

Sheila Carney rsm, Vice postulator (Americas) has since prepared helpful suggestions for the content of the letter and instructions for mailing it to Pope Francis.

Those suggestions are shared here to assist us all (PDF) and are also available on the mercyworld.org website page linked to this item.

Please pass on this invitation through your ministry, community and personal networks to all those influenced by Catherine McAuley and the charism of Mercy.

Letters should be sent to the Pope and the copy to Sr Brenda by Mercy Day.

Messages to: the Vice postulators
 

Image: iStock_000059077660. Used under licence

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Pope Francis declared 1 September to be an annual 'World Day of Prayer for Care for Creation''. 'The prayer for the earth' is a suggested prayer for this day. English here (PDF). Spanish here (PDF).

Other resources for this day can be found here

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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The great feast that unites the Mercy world is Mercy Day, 24 September.

All members and friends of the Mercy network are invited to send in your greetings for posting on mercyworld.org for Mercy Day. Greetings will be posted online as they are received.

Greetings should be sent to mercyenews@mercyinternational.ie by 23 September to make sure they are published for Mercy Day.

Messages to: the Editor

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MIA Reflection Process

The latest resources added to the resources section:

Laudato Si': Caring for Our Common Home Discussion Guide | en Español - This discussion guide, for use with Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si', can help small groups explore and dialogue with this important document. Prepared by USCCB Justice Peace and Human Development. (20 pps; PDF) 

Thomas Reese sj a senior analyst for National Catholic Reporter is publishing a series of columns on the chapters of Laudato Si’ in NCR. As these are published we are linking to them in the resources section on the MIRP microsite. The first four are online and can be accessed from the links on this NCR page

'Ethics and Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter Laudato Si'. Teaching Module (20 page PDF) and Student Handout (11 page PDF) by David E. DeCosse and Brian Patrick Green, Santa Clara University.

Study Guide for Laudato Si'. The Interfranciscan Commission for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation (17 pps; PDF). Download here

3 Video reflections on Laudato Si'

Messages to: Mercy International Reflection Process Team

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“Laudato Si’”: A Perspective from South America

Sister Ana Maria Siufi is a Sister of Mercy and justice advocate living in Patagonia. She shares this reflection on Pope Francis’ recent encyclical, “Laudato Si.’”

'As I was reading the encyclical, my heart lit up like the hearts of the disciples of Emmaus. I felt happy because the Spirit is offering a bright light to a world walking in darkness. Read more

La Hermana Ana Maria Siufi es una Hermana de la Misericordia y una defensora de la justicia que vive en Patagonia. Ella comparte esta reciente reflexión del Papa Francisco sobre la “Encíclica, Laudato Si’”.  

Mientras  leía la Encíclica, sentía que mi corazón se inflamaba como el de los discípulos de Emaús,  feliz  porque el Espíritu está ofreciendo una gran luz a un mundo que  camina en tinieblas. Leer Más »

We invite reflections on the encyclical from your part of the Mercy world for publishing on the MIRP microsite.

Messages to: Mercy International Reflection Process Team

MIA Members News

Maureen Sexton rsm went to Kiunga in the Diocese Kiunga-Daru, Western Province of PNG as a volunteer with Mercy Refugee Service in 2003.  Shortly afterwards she was joined by Catherine Corbett rsm.  The original focus of their ministries was West Papuan refugees living within the borders of the Diocese.  Overtime the ministries of Maureen and Catherine were merged with other projects supported by Mercy Works ISMAPNG.  In 2010 this was formalised as the Mercy Works Kiunga Program (MWKP) in partnership with the Diocese Kiunga-Daru. Now MWKP [has been] handed over to lay administration.

Messages to:
Maureen Sexton rsm
Barbara Broad rsm

Image: l-r: Steven Dude (Co-ordinator), Ailsa Mackinnon rsm, Josaiah Simon, Juliet Hmentori, Maureen Sexton rsm & Gaye Lennon rsm

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Editor: In last week's Mercy eNews (26 August) our prayer intention was for the victims and survivors of Hurricane Katrina on the occasion of the 10th anniversary.

On 28 August, the eve of the anniversary, Sisters of Mercy South Central Community Communications posted 'just a few stories of Mercy's survival and resilience' in the face of Katrina on the Institute website.

In the words of Sister Joan Maureen Landry, Biloxi, Mississippi, 'Hurricanes have a way of helping us know what we’re thankful for … and what’s important. Katrina left us with many challenges, not the least of which is determining who or what will fill the vacant slabs and spaces of our former lives. Our resurrection from Katrina has led to strong bonds of faith and hope among a pilgrim people—friends, strangers, companions on this journey—all of whom are building what we will become.'

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy living on the US Gulf Coast c/- Lauren Tyrrell - Institute Communications Office

Image: Wrecked chemistry lab at Our Lady Academy. Photo by Marc Cerisier

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Mercy Matters

 “For residents of Israel and Gaza, routine paths are full of reminders of last year’s war.'

You are invited to walk the path through this multimedia presentation

Source: The New York Times

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On This Day

1920: Opening of Secondary School, Ballinasloe, Co Galway
1983: Institute of Our Lady of Mercy formed

Editor: The Institute of Our Lady of Mercy Great Britain website is this week's featured site

1984: Foundation to Chepareria from Cloyne

'We are your voice to speak consoling words to those in need.'

-Suzanne Toolan rsm

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I Have A Voice: Trafficked Women in Their Own Words: New Resource

Rather than being subject to random acts of victimisation, the women in I Have a Voice reveal a slow process of victimisation beginning in early childhood, experiences that made them easy prey to traffickers.

They go on to describe their experiences as trafficked women, and their hopes and dreams for a better life.

Edited by Angela Reed rsm & Marietta Latonio.  Illustrated by  Marie Pegar SFX

Download an order form for the book here or order online

from 'The Church of Mercy with Pope Francis'

'Mercy is the practice of fraternal love, and it shows us the concrete ways of the incarnation of love: the reconciliation and the liberation from miseries. Jesus’ teachings reveal to us that practicing mercy is the only universal way that builds fraternity (that makes us brothers and sisters to one another)...
Indeed, the mission, the mercy and the service to the poor and to all brothers [and sisters] as a human and missionary experience must be a place of discovery of God, of greater knowledge of the face of God. God’s Spirit reveals [God]self in the values of self-giving and service, the aspirations to justice and solidarity, in each conversion, in the “little ones”, the suffering and the indigent…

-  from the essay 'The Church of Mercy with Pope Francis' by Oscar Andrés Cardinal Rodríguez M., S.D.B

A video of Cardinal Oscar reflecting on 'The Meaning of Mercy: A Reflection on a Central Theme of Pope Francis', the Regan Lecture, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University in January 2015 can be seen here  (92:44)

Inspired and energised by the compassion, courage and vision of our foundress, Catherine McAuley, we strive by our life of prayer and service, to be the merciful face of Christ in every circumstance of our lives. We commit ourselves to making Mercy the business of our lives through the service of poor, sick and underprivileged people.  

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

The Lord Bless You and Keep You (John Rutter). Watch/listen here (02:41)

Worth Reading:

Cosmology & the Environment

Cardinal Peter Turkson, the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, has renewed the call for radical changes in thinking and attitudes towards environment, ecology and creation. In a message delivered to the second international gathering for talks on climate change, organised by the Peruvian government in Lima, Cardinal Turkson invited participants 'to assume a new ecological spirituality which favors the bond between man and environment, through an integral, ecological, community conversion.' Read more here

Religious Life

The Fusion of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Newfoundland and Labrador with the Union of Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary took place on 25 August. A report of the Fusion celebration including the text of the ritual and the addresses by Mary Deane pbvm (Congregational Leader) and former Newfoundland leader Sharon Fagan pbvm can be accessed here

LCWR

'Transformational Leadership:Conversations with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious'  the volume of interviews with 18 theologians, psychologists, educators, and religious leaders from various fields and disciplines is now available for purchase. Among the 18 interviewees are Eileen Campbell rsm (Americas Leadership Team) and Breege O'Neill rsm (former leader of The Congregation). Reflection and Discussion Questions for use with the book have been developed by Solidarity with Sisters and can be downloaded here (14 pps; PDF).

Human Trafficking

'Ending Human Trafficking: Building a Better World and Partnerships for Sustainable Security and Human Dignity'. Remarks by David M. Luna at the OECD-APEC Roundtable on Combating Corruption Related to Human Trafficking. Read the article here

In India, 'Trafficking of minor girls – the second-most prevalent trafficking crime – surged 14 times over the last decade and increased 65% in 2014, according to new data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)'.  Read the article here

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

The Bottom Line:

'Poets warned us, writing of the heartbreaking beauty that will remain when there is no heart to break for it. But what if it is worse than that? What if it’s the heartbroken children who remain in a world without beauty? How will they find solace in a world without wild music? How will they thrive without green hills edged with oaks? How will they forgive us for letting frog-song slip away?...It isn’t enough to love a child and wish her well. It isn’t enough to open my heart to a bird-graced morning. Can I claim to love a morning if I don’t protect what creates its beauty? Can I claim to love a child if I don’t use all the power of my beating heart to preserve a world that nourishes children’s joy?...To love is to affirm the absolute worth of what you love and to pledge your life to its thriving—to protect it fiercely and faithfully, for all time.'

- Kathleen Dean Moore, Author, Moral Philosopher, Environmental Advocate

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

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