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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 638  |  09 September 2015
Featured Story
On Mercy Day, Join With Us to Watch Pope Francis Address the US Congress and then on Friday, the UN General Assembly

Editor: On Mercy Day Pope Francis will address a joint session of the U.S. Congress, the first pope to do so. The address will begin at 9:20 AM Eastern Daylight (US) Time (2.20 pm Dublin time) and will be available via CSPAN for live and later viewing and by internet livestream.

On 25 September Pope Francis will formally address the UN General Assembly of world leaders beginning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight (US) Time (1.30 pm Dublin time) This address will be screened live on the UN Web TV Channel and will be archived online for later viewing. From 25-27 September the Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda will convene.

Join us live or later for these historic events then take the opportunity to post your comment on mercyworld.org and send us a photo of your gathering.

NB: We will publish a reminder in Mercy eNews on 23 September as well as have the livestream embedded on the mercyworld.org homepage ready for ease of viewing by the Mercy family. Just come to our website each day.

The complete schedule for Pope Francis' September 2015 Apostolic Journey to the United States of America can be read here

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA


Image: Official Papal Visit 2015 Logo. Used with permission

Vision in Action
MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week: A Change of Heart

In our feature article for our World Day of Refugees issue of eNews (Issue #625, 17 June) we quoted the poet Warsan Shire's powerful line from her poem 'Home':

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land

Since then we have seen in our papers and on our screens scenes of desperation unimaginable - unthinkable - since World War 11 as thousands of migrants, mostly from the Middle East and Northern Africa, seek safe harbour in Europe.

As EU interior and justice ministers prepare to meet in an emergency session in Brussels on 14 September for talks aimed at resolving the crisis, please continue to pray each day in the lead up to that meeting that all countries may accept their moral obligations 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: MIA is one of 14 NGOs in Ireland calling on the Irish government to take immediate steps to respond to the displaced persons of Northern Africa and the Middle East.

'Without compassionate and courageous action and leadership, more lives will be lost, more families will be destroyed and the bodies of more children will wash up on European shores....'

The statement from the organisations including CORI, Trocaire and the Irish Refugee Council, is on the homepage of our Mercy world website and linked to this item.

Included on the page are links to online petitions to the Irish, Australian and English governments to respond to the cries of the poor.

If you know of another online petition from one of our member countries, or details of a prayer vigil or rally, please send the link to the Editor and it will be added to the page.

Messages to:

Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
Denise Boyle fmdm - Assistant Director Mercy Global Action

Image: Mercies at the #Light the Dark rally, Melbourne, 7 September. Photo: Anne Walsh. More images can be seen on the homepage of mercyworld.org

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Reminder: Invitation to 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. Arrangements will be in place to enable attendees to watch Pope Francis address the US Congress.

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)


Image: Celebrating Mercy Day 2014 at Haddington Road. Photo: Adele Howard rsm

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'  - Elizabeth Davis rsm

Called to Compassion - Breege O'Neill rsm

Extravagant Mercy—A New Story in an Ecological Key - Elaine Wainwright rsm

'Take from My Heart All Painful Anxiety': Catherine's Courage - Janet Ruffing rsm

'God's Healing Mercy is Forgiveness' - Kathy Rule rsm

Every Grace Abundant - Sheila Carney rsm

Whakawhanaungatanga – Making Right Relationship - Kathleen Rushton rsm

'It is a SPECIAL FAVOUR of God to be made SERVANTS of his suffering poor' ('Sayings') - Helena O'Donoghue rsm

Theme 9: Respect  - A ‘Looking Again’, an Enlarging of Love by Jo O'Donovan rsm will be published in next week's eNews (Issue #639, 16 September).

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

God of love and mercy, touch with your healing power and restore to full health: Loretta Cappiello Curran 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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More Mercy Day Activities For Your Participation

Send in your Mercy Day Greetings by 23 September to make sure they are published for Mercy Day.
Details of how to do this can be found here

Share Your Mercy Day 2015 Plans and News with the Mercy World
Details of how to do this can be found here

Join in the Letter Writing for the Cause for Beatification of Venerable Catherine McAuley
Helpful suggestions for the content of the letter and instructions for mailing it to Pope Francis can be found here

Messages to: the Editor

MIA Members News
ACRATH to Advocate in Federal Parliament (ISMAPNG)

Commencing on Monday, 7 September, ten ACRATH members (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans), including Anne Tormey rsm (National President) began their annual week of advocacy in Australia's Federal Parliament.  During their time in Canberra ACRATH members will engage with Senators, Members of the House of Representatives, Ministerial advisors, Departmental staff and Embassy staff.

ACRATH will acknowledge the work of the Australian Government in reviewing the Human Trafficking Visa Framework and establishing the Supply Chain Working Group of the National Roundtable on Human Trafficking and Slavery. Advocacy issues will include the needs of those in Australia facing forced marriage and the needs of overseas workers facing forced and exploited labour in Australia.

A copy of the briefing paper can be downloaded here (2 pps; PDF)

ACRATH would be grateful for your prayerful support during our time of advocacy in Canberra.  Thank you.

Messages to:

Anne Tormey rsm - ACRATH National President                          

Mercy Theologians Contribute to Anthology of Essays on Women and Family Life (Americas & ISMAPNG)

Editor: Mercy theologians Margaret Farley rsm (Americas), Mary Aquin O' Neill (Americas) and Janette Gray (ISMAPNG) are among the diverse group of 44 contributors to a new publication 'Catholic Women Speak: Bringing Our Gifts to the Table' (Mahwah NJ: Paulist Press, 2015) to be published in time for the Synod on the Family and available now for pre-order

The collection, described by its publisher as 'groundbreaking', is edited by the The Catholic Women Speak Network (CWSN), a forum for theological dialogue and collaboration around issues relating to Catholic women's roles. Short biographies of the contributors, who include well-known theologians, up and coming voices from the global South, and women sharing personal stories of faith and struggle in different contexts, can be found here. A list of the contents, including a link to the Foreward by Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator SJ, an Introduction by the Editorial Team and the Introductions to each of the four parts of the book can be read online here. Italian and Spanish versions of some articles, including an Italian translation of the introduction to the book, can be accessed from that same page.

The book will be launched at the Pontifical University Antonianum Rome on 1 October. Details can be found here

Messages to:
Margaret Farley rsm
Mary Aquin O'Neal rsm
Janette Gray rsm

A review of Margaret Farley's recently published book  'Changing the Questions' (April 2015) can be found in this week's America online. Read it here

In July, Sister Mary Pendergast went on a pilgrimage to the tar sands in Alberta, Canada, which are natural deposits containing small amounts of crude bitumen, which can be refined into oil. The area, home to the largest unspoiled forest in North America, is being destroyed in a quest for oil that harms not only the natural surroundings but the indigenous people there as well.

'A meaningful journey to a sacred place for inner change and transformation, for a greater sense of one’s purpose, for an appreciation of life, for healing—these are the words associated with pilgrimage.

Sister Maureen Wild, SC, and I began our sacred time at Lac Ste Anne, a large lake in central Alberta, Canada, which is a site holy to First Nations people...'

Messages to: Mary Pendergast rsm

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Deirdre Mullan rsm writes:

'Long before there was a UNICEF, faith communities were among the greatest advocates for the world’s neediest children, providing guidance, aid and comfort to millions of disadvantaged families.[1]

As a consultant to UNICEF, I see great potential in this development. There is growing recognition in international development and humanitarian communities of the role of faith in providing significant moral, social and political agency for human development and resilience in the face of hardship and adversity. Religious institutions, communities of faith and faith-based NGOs are carrying out critical development and humanitarian relief activities, including in entrenched situations of conflict...'

Messages to: Deirdre Mullan rsm

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Mercy Matters

1877: Foundation to Mobile, Alabama from New Orleans
1887: Foundation to Kansas City from Louisville, Kentucky - M Agnes Dunne
1935: Opening of St Joseph's School, Swanage

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

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Praying with the psalms is a privileged way of becoming attuned to God’s presence in today’s world and in the life of the person at prayer... And they make the reader part of a great chorus of psalm-users, going back over 2,500 years, remembering that Jesus himself grew up learning and praying the psalms.

Order online from the publisher, Dominican Publications

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'Sometimes a zephyr, sometimes a mighty gale – God’s spirit can nudge our timid choices, strengthen our frail resolve, reverse any misdirected course.'

Doris Gottemoeller rsm

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The streamed events can be watched:
-via a computer or other digital device
-via a computer or other digital device linked to a data projector
-via a computer linked to a television...

We published these instructions to assist the Mercy family in setting up for the 20th anniversary livestreams and repeat them here as many found them helpful. If you know of other helpful online advice we would appreciate receiving the link/s to publish for the benefit of all.

Please send link/s to the Editor

Image: courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Catherine for Today

'In a world yearning for the touch of mercy, Catherine's example may be both encouraging and empowering. She had no great design, only a desire to make some lasting effort for God's poor. This yearning engendered a response that was practical and immediate, warm and cordial, enabling and respectful. Through this personal and simple approach, she invites us to walk in the path of mercy, the principal path marked out for those who wish to follow Jesus.'

Helen Marie Burns rsm and Sheila Carney rsm, Praying with Catherine McAuley, p33

There is a small school with a big heart in Rosebank, South Africa. It was started in 1930 when three Sisters of Mercy welcomed their first five pupils to a garage in Keyes Avenue, Rosebank. There was no government support of any kind for Catholic Schools so, of necessity, the school was private. With careful management and through the support of parents, the school was financially viable and was gradually able to extend its facilities along Keyes Ave to meet new needs. It was one of the first schools in the country to defy Apartheid laws and admit pupils of all races.

Read More
Further Resources

Worth playing:

Mercedes Sosa (1935-2009), the celebrated Argentinian folk singer and political activist, sings Gracias a La Vida (Thank you to life) written by Chilean composer, folk singer and visual artist, Violeta Parra (1917-1967). An impassioned rendition of a song that celebrates life's gifts. Thanks are given for eyes, ears, sound, the ability to walk with tired feet... Lyrics are here in Spanish and English. Watch/listen here (05:29)

(Well) Worth Watching:

A special edition of the US television channel ABC’s program 20/20  last Friday night, Friday, 4 September featured Pope Francis. Audiences were gathered in Chicago, Los Angeles, and McAllen, Texas, places Pope Francis won't be visiting on this Apostolic tour. While a 'virtual audience' with the Pope through video connection, it was very much a personal encounter. Watch this moving program here (41:50)

Worth Reading:

Human Trafficking

Europol says human trafficking is at a "very high" level as criminal gangs use social media to exploit the refugee crisis. ... Rob Wainwright, the head of the EU's policing body Europol, said 1,400 new cases of human tafficking had been opened in 2015. Read here (article includes embedded videos)

The Bottom Line:

'It is ... violence to erect walls and barriers to block those seeking a place of peace. It is violence to push back those fleeing from inhuman conditions in the hope of a better future. It is violence to exclude children and the elderly from society and from life itself! It is violence to widen the gulf between one that wastes the superfluous and one that lacks what is necessary!'

- Pope Francis, Message to the International Meeting for Peace, 29 August 2015

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)