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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 640  |  23 September 2015
Featured Story
Letter of Greetings to Pope Francis for Mercy Day from Our World Mercy Leaders

'24th September 2015

His Holiness, Pope Francis
Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City

Dear Pope Francis,

Sisters of Mercy worldwide bring you greetings of peace, joy and well-being on this feast of Our Lady of Mercy. As seventy-five hundred women religious living in forty-four countries across Earth, we are encouraged and challenged by your consistent emphasis on mercy. Our founder, Catherine McAuley, opened our first House of Mercy in 1827 to address the pressing needs of women and children in Dublin, Ireland. For almost 190 years, as Sisters of Mercy, we have committed ourselves to raise up this critical virtue of Jesus: mercy. Your presence and leadership, Pope Francis, have stirred our hearts and renewed our commitment to walk in mercy on Earth, among people and in our Church.

Our many congregations and institutes, while maintaining our original canonical independence, have formed a federation known as the Mercy International Association (MIA) to support each other, challenge each other and share our  rich mercy resources to help make our world more just, more peaceful and more interconnected...'

Download a copy of the letter in English and in Spanish (5pps; PDF)

Messages to:
Berneice Loch rsm - President
Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director


Image: Mandalas representing the Member and Associate Member congregations and institutes prepared for the 1994 dedication of Mercy International Centre. The mandalas are on permanent display in the International Room at Baggot Street and images of the mandalas are still used on the Mercyworld.org website and in Mercy eNews to represent the Mercy congregations and institutes, a symbolic reminder of our coming together as Mercy International Association in 1992.

Vision in Action

Join With Us to watch Pope Francis address the US Congress on Mercy Day and then on Friday, the UN General Assembly.

All is in readiness on our website. Details are linked to this item.

We invite you to post a comment online after hearing the Addresses and to send in a photo if you gather in a group to watch these historic events.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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The great feast that unites the Mercy world is Mercy Day. Its origin dates back to 24 September 1827 when the House on Baggot Street opened as a school for the education of poor young girls and as a residence for homeless girls and women.

As we celebrate Mercy Day, may our hearts be attuned to the whisperings of the Spirit so that like Catherine we will freely respond to the call of our time.

Do enjoy the Mercy Day messages linked to this item.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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MIA Intention for the Coming Week: To Live What We Proclaim

'The House of Mercy was established to serve the needs of the poor, the sick and the uneducated...Like Catherine, we have established institutions to address our enduring concerns:
Through our sponsored works may we model mercy and justice and promote systemic change according to these ideals.

Catherine McAuley was assisted in her ministry by many who were animated by her vision of service:
By collaborating with others in the works of mercy, may we learn from them how to be more merciful.'

From: 'Intercessions for Special Mercy Feasts', Morning and Evening Prayer of the Sisters of Mercy, p855

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

God of love and mercy, touch with your healing power and restore to full health: Bamarik Towney, Paige Scott, Christine Miller, Mary Elizabeth McConlogue Skorupa and all whose names are on our prayer list.

We ask this with confidence through the intercession of Venerable Catherine McAuley. Amen.

We also remember in a special way this Mercy Day all our Sisters, Associates, Partners in Ministry, Benefactors, Friends and family who are in need of healing.

Messages to: the Vice postulators

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MIA Members News
Advance Notice of Important New Text 'The Blessing of Mercy' (ISMAPNG)

Editor: Veronica Lawson rsm, one of Australia’s leading Catholic biblical scholars, well-known to readers of Mercy eNews for her accessible and engaging weekly reflections on the Sunday Gospels, as well as for her presentations at Wellsprings 2013, and her video lecture 'Mercy in the Gospel' has produced a gift to the Church to help us prepare for and celebrate the Year of Mercy.

Sr Veronica combines deep scholarship to uncover the richness of the ‘mercy texts’ that abound in the books of Old and New Testaments; and she invites us to re-read the biblical texts in light of the Pope’s encyclical Laudate Si' with its appeal for us to listen to the cry of the Earth and the Earth’s poor.

'The Blessing of Mercy' is due for release in October. Advance orders are now possible.

Download the flyer here (PDF)

Download the order form here (PDF)

Order online here

Messages to: Veronica Lawson rsm

In Kenya, there is a Swahili saying that goes; Siku njema huonekana asubuhi and indeed the morning of 21st of August 2015 had a clear indication that good things were about to unfold. The time scheduled for Mass was 10 o’clock, however, the Sisters of Mercy arrived long before time and were seen chatting joyfully and reconnecting with one another. ..

The brides of the day Srs. Agnes, Felistas and Rosemary were the reason of our being here in Our Lady Queen of Peace South B Parish, Nairobi Archdiocese. These Mercy women had one word written all around their faces – Joy...

Three as a symbol of the Holy Trinity and a perfect number was evident in the Kenyan Province this year. It was yet another “birth” on the 30th of August 2015, exactly nine days after three Sisters took their final vows, when three women Agnes M Kitaka, Regina W Kariuki and Sylvia N Matanda were received into the Novitiate...

Read the complete article attached to this item

Messages to:
Srs. Agnes, Felistas and Rosemary and Agnes, Regina and Sylvia c/- Anne Itotia rsm - Provincial, Kenya Province

Image: L-r: Anne Itotia rsm, the three received, Margaret Casey rsm, Congregational Leader

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Reminder: Prayer Service for Mercy Day (Americas)

Editor: Renewed thanks to Anna Marie Saltzman rsm and the Mid-Atlantic Spiritual Life Committee for generously sharing their Prayer Service for Mercy Day with us all. The Prayer Service has been designed to be used as Morning and/or Evening Prayer, and may be adapted according to individual and/or community practice.

The Prayer Service provides options for singing and alternative readings, as well as Focus Questions for Reflection and/or Sharing.

Download the Prayer Service here (6pps; PDF)

Messages to: Marie Ann Ellmer rsm - Chair Mid-Atlantic Community Spiritual Life Committee

A reminder that the Mercy Prayerbook and Oración Misericordia apps and PDF can be downloaded here

Editor: The home page of the ISMAPNG website features a video reflection prepared for Mercy Day, based on the lyrical, prayerful song 'As Mary did'  by Michael Herry fms (04:05). The video reflection could also be used on other Marian feast days.

The reflection can be played full screen by clicking on the four-cornered icon to the right above the taskbar.

The recording of the song can be downloaded without cost here

The sheet music can be downloaded at no cost here (PDF)

A reflection by Madeleine Duckett rsm (ISMAPNG) has also been provided. It can be downloaded here (PDF)

Messages to: Anne McMillan rsm

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Mercy Matters

May the blessings of this house-
A house
Imagined in unlikeliness,
Dreamt with daring,
Built with love,
Founded on mercy-

Speak to your spirit
In whatever room in the world you are reading,
In whatever place you are called to mercy.

First published in 'Souvenirs of Spirit' (Spectrum, 2006), the complete suite of Baggot Street poems by Mary Wickham rsm (ISMAPNG), are now freely available online.

Enjoy poetry about Mercy this Mercy Day.

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Between 24 September and 12 December (the Season of Mercy), Mercy groups throughout the world are invited to join an international 'Good Cup of Tea' event. By supporting this event, you are helping Mercy International Association to keep the founding spirit of Catherine alive today.

Read More

1846: Foundation to Chicago II - Superior M Agatha O'Brien (just professed)
1850: Foundation to Loughrea, Co Galway from Tullamore - M Joseph Delamere
1873: Foundation to Michigan from Brooklyn, New York - M Joseph Lynch
1875: Foundation to John's Hill, Waterford from Clonakilty - Margaret M Maher
1954: Foundation to Tacloban City, Phillipines from St Maries of the Isle, Cork

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

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Further Resources

The Bottom Line:

' '[Catherine] immediately made plans to establish her long-cherished dream: a center in the city where she could begin in a comprehensive way to offer to the poor the practical help they needed, She purchased a block of land in Baggot Street, then a most desirable part of Dublin, and gave an outline to her builders of the kind of building she wished to have erected there...

When she made these preparations she had no assurance that anyone would in fact join her, but she trusted serenely in God, that [God] would touch the hearts of other compassionate women if [God] wished the work to go on. God answered her trust by sending her assistance beyond her greatest dreams. In 1827...Catherine's dream became a reality: the House of Mercy was blessed and opened...'

-Carmel Mary Bourke rsm, A Woman Sings of Mercy, (Sydney, EJ Dwyer, 1987), p 5

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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)