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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 647  |  11 November 2015
Featured Story
On This Remembrance Day...

'...Catherine’s words reveal to us that, on this last day of her life on earth, the focus of her heart remained unchanged – resting in her unwavering trust in a Provident God and embracing with love and compassion her family, her sisters and her associates...'

- Sheila Carney rsm (Americas), Reflection given at Remembrance Day Mass, Baggot Street, 11 November 2010

Image: Catherine's resting place © Mercy International Association 2011. Photo: David Knight

Vision in Action

Prayers are asked for Marie Chin rsm, Former President of the Institute of the Americas and of MIA. With her permission, the following message is reproduced from last week's issue of the Institute's internal publication, 'Mercy Now'.

'Sister Marie Chin, former president of our Institute, sends you heartfelt gratitude for your beautiful prayers, care and concern which have carried her through her recent surgery. Her doctors have diagnosed her as having lung cancer, stage 4, for which treatment will begin next week. Please continue to remember her in your prayers.

Oren por la Hermana Marie Chin  

Hermana Marie Chin, anterior presidenta de nuestro  Instituto, les envía su sincera gratitud por sus bellas oraciones, su amor y preocupación que la han sostenido a ella a través de su reciente cirugía. Sus doctores han diagnosticado que ella tiene cáncer al pulmón, etapa 4, para la cual comenzará tratamiento la próxima semana. Por favor continúen recordándola en sus oraciones.'

Messages to: Marie Chin rsm

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MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week: Deceased Sisters of Mercy

On this anniversary of Catherine McAuley's death we remember her and all our deceased Sisters who have given their lives in service to others...

We pray for Sisters of Mercy throughout the world and all members of the global Mercy family, that Catherine's life and death may continue to call us to embrace the spirit of hospitality and service.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Adapted from 'Intercessions for Special Mercy Feasts' in the Morning and Evening Prayer of the Sisters of Mercy

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

Mercy International Centre provides accommodation for those attending programs in Mercy International Centre and when not fully booked for programs, offers bed and breakfast facilities to Sisters of Mercy, Associates, co-workers and family and friends of Mercy from March to November. If you are planning to visit Dublin you might like to stay with us.

We have simplified our online inquiry procedure. View the details linked to this item and see how easy it is to make an inquiry about staying in the first House of Mercy.

Messages to: Madeline O'Hanlon - Receptionist

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Reminder: Foundation Day Celebrations and The Opening of the Door of Mercy, Baggot St

Celebration of Foundation Day this year will be held on Sunday 13 December (3rd Sunday of Advent) to coincide with the opening of Doors of Mercy around the world.

Free street Parking.

Further Details to follow.

Messages to: receptionist@mercyinternational.ie using the subject line ‘Foundation Day Celebration’ or ring (01) 661 8061 during business hours.

MIA Members News

Editor: In the 12 August issue of Mercy eNews we reported on the visit to Australia by Brenda Dolphin rsm, Postulator, and shared reflections from some members of the audience at various gatherings. In the 26 August issue we told of the 'Write a letter to Pope Francis' campaign. Now in this Remembrance Day issue it is Sr Brenda's turn to share with us her reflections on her visit and the response to the letter writing campaign. Sr Brenda writes:

'The last few months have been an intense and exciting time in terms of the Cause for Beatification for Catherine McAuley. In July and August of this year, under the sponsorship of the four Mercy Congregations, I was invited to Australia to speak at three symposia on Catherine McAuley and the Charism of Mercy and to talk to a number of groups of Mercy Sisters around the country on the cause itself...'

Messages to: Brenda Dolphin rsm

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Since the beginning of 2015 we have sent ten of our sisters to God; our Mercy Associates have also lost members. Many tears have been shed for them by those of us who loved them...

The loss of our sisters might seem to leave us weaker, more vulnerable, like a house whose bricks are being removed one by one, so undermining the foundations of the Mercy Union family. Not so! The souls of our departed sisters are ‘in the hands of God’. They are our great cloud of Mercy women, witnesses who stand with countless others, before God, interceding for us, their sisters, on earth. In their lifetimes they journeyed with the wretched, the lonely, the refugee, the prisoner as we do. They fully understand our helplessness in the face of so much suffering today, and so, I believe, we can rely on their mediation and lasting concern...

Messages to: Brigid McNally rsm c/- Annette McCartan rsm

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Editor: 'This Above All Is Precious and Remarkable' was written by John Wain (1925-1994) journalist, novelist, literary critic and for a time Professor of Poetry at Oxford. 'I chose this poem, simply because I return to it again and again', writes Jo O'Donovan rsm, but that's not all she has to say about this poem. Through her reflective commentary she invites us to see 'in the strong and beautiful first lines... the shining jewel that is centre of the poem - that of trust'.

Messages to Jo O'Donovan rsm

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Reminder: Prayer Resources for Remembrance Day (Americas)

Editor: There are two prayer services available for use today, 11 November, the anniversary of the death of Catherine McAuley. These have been prepared in previous years by the Spiritual Life Committee of the Mid-Atlantic Community and we are grateful to the members of the committee for their generosity in making these freely available.

Download the prayer services here (7pps; PDF)

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

Women in Mercy (The Congregation)

Sister of Mercy Trustee Dr. Deirdre Mullan rsm delivered a lively presentation on the occasion of the inauguration of Dr. Joe Malback as the new President of Georgian Court University.

Speaking to a packed hall, Sister Deirdre invited all present to come with her on a Mercy Journey, using the Mercy GPS.

Sr. Deirdre reminded the audience that as we move toward the Year of Mercy each of us as Mercy men and women are called to manifest the Mercy of God wherever we find ourselves.

A summary of the presentation can be downloaded here (PDF)

Further information about the Mercy GPS can be obtained from Sr Deirdre.

Messages to: Deirdre Mullan rsm- Partnering Religious Communities to UNICEF and Executive Director of Mercy Reaches Mercy

Final Days: Pittsburgh Doctor named to CNN’s heroes list: Vote him Your support (Americas)

Editor: In MercyeNews #Issue 643 (14 October) we shared the news of the nomination of Dr Jim Withers from the remarkable medical outreach of  Pittsburgh Mercy’s Operation Safety Net® for CNN Hero of the Year.

Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, 15 November. Help Dr Jim and this unique street medicine program be recognised for the health care and hope it offers to the men and women living on the streets in Pittsburgh.

To vote click here and follow the simple and easy steps.

Messages to: Dr Jim Withers


Image: Jim Withers © 2015 Pittsburgh Mercy Health System. Used with permission

Last Friday, 6 November, four of the seven Facilitators of the Mercy International Reflection Process (MIRP) for The Congregation -  Sisters Mary O Dwyer, Southern Province, Angela Hartigan South Central Province, Rosemary Conlan, Northern Province and Elizabeth McNamee, Western Province —met at Baggot Street to be guided through the four stages of the reflection process by Sheila Curran rsm, Congregation MIRP Coordinator, with the support of Helen Diviney rsm, the International MIRP Coordinator.   

The day began with a short reflection remembering three of the Facilitators, who because of geographical distances, were unable to be present: Sisters Carmel Crimmins, US Province, Christine Jacob, South African Province, Felistas King'ori,  Kenyan Province. During the day the facilitators had an opportunity to share their concerns, raise questions and discuss how they might enable the membership in their provinces to engage with the process...

Messages to Sheila Curran rsm -  MIRP Coordinator

Image: L-r: Sisters Mary O Dwyer, Angela Hartigan, Sheila Curran, Rosemary Conlan, and Elizabeth McNamee

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Editor: Last Saturday evening, 7 November, Elizabeth Burns rsm, former President and CEO of Mercy Medical Center Sioux City, Iowa, was honored with the awarding of the prestigious Dr. George G. Spellman Annual Service Award.

Foundation Board President Gina Sitzmann said the selection of Sr. Elizabeth Burns was an easy decision to make. 'Anyone connected to healthcare in Siouxland is aware of the role Sr. Burns has played in this community,' said Sitzmann. 'The legacy she created at Mercy and in Siouxland is one that is sure to endure. She is a true servant-leader and the Mercy Foundation is honored to recognize her as this year’s recipient of the George Spellman Service Award.'

An overview of Sr Elizabeth's remarkable contribution to healthcare is linked to this item.

Messages to: Elizabeth Burns rsm

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The Sisters of Mercy thank President Obama for taking action to reject the building of the Keystone pipeline. We, along with other faith leaders, have joined the global community in advocating against the destruction of indigenous people’s land and culture in the tar sands region of Canada; and the perpetuation of our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels that are warming our planet to unsustainable levels...

'Our sisters in Latin America, the Caribbean and the Philippines who are experiencing melting glaciers, rising sea levels and devastating storms have been crying out for our action on this issue,' said Sister Patricia McDermott, president of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. 'By this action, the President has signaled that we join the world in recognizing climate change and our dependence on fossil fuels as issues that must be addressed.'

Messages to: Pat McDermott rsm - Institute President

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Editor: The latest issue of the Global Sisters Report, an independent, non-profit source of news and information about Catholic Sisters and the critical issues facing the people they serve, includes an interview with Marilyn Lacey rsm, founder of Mercy Beyond Borders, about the culture of the war-torn region of Suth Sudan and the work Mercy Beyond Borders is doing to help the women and girls in South Sudan.

Says Sr Marilyn : 'With women, we go directly to villages. We refuse to work in the capital city — that's where all the NGOs are, sitting in their air-conditioned buildings. We deal directly with women, and we teach them microenterprise and literacy. We are really making a tremendous change in their lives because it's more than learning literacy. It's learning, "You're a human being. You're accepted. You have talents.'"That's the kind of transformation we are seeing.'

Messages to: Marilyn Lacey rsm

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Mercy Matters

1841: Death of Catherine McAuley, Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy
1928: St Catherine's Orphanage transferred from Geelong to Highton - M Margaret Mary O'Brien
2011: Inaugural International 'Good Cup of Tea' Event

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

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'Her first and last injunction to all was to preserve union and peace amongst each other - that if they did they would enjoy great happiness such as that they would wonder where it came from.'

- Elizabeth Moore

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The e-book version of 'The Blessing of Mercy' is now available.

All readers wanting an e-book version need to order from Wipf and Stock. Details of how to order are linked to this item.

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Celebrate in prayer and song Catherine's anniversary by singing the Suscipe and praying the prayer for Catherine's Beatification.

Two versions of the Suscipe are linked to this page: Marie Cox rsm (The Congregation) singing the version with music by Elaine Deasy rsm (Americas) and Teresa Martin rsm (The Congregation) singing her own musical composition.

From the page linked to this item both tracks can be downloaded in mp3 format onto your computer. Further information is provided should you wish to purchase the albums on which these songs appear.

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Thirteen women died at Baggot Street prior to Catherine McAuley, and they are buried in the crypt at St Teresa's Church on Clarendon Street, Dublin. Visit the crypt online here.

Catherine McAuley was the first to be buried in the Baggot Street cemetery which was consecrated at the time of her death in 1841. The 49 Sisters who died at Baggot Street after Catherine are buried in this garden. The cemetery was closed for burials in 1884. Visit the garden cemetery online here.

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Give a gift that  will help break the cycle of poverty for women and girls in South Sudan and Haiti.

Mercy Beyond Borders provides a number of options: from Business Training to a Business Loan, from Primary Education for one year to funding a year's University Tuition.

Details are on the site homepage which is linked to this item.

Editor: Does your Mercy ministry offer the chance to give a Christmas gift with a difference? If so, please contact the Editor

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

'I will sing you home'. An initiative of The Rooms cultural facility in St John's Newfoundland in partnership with The Ennis Sisters, Shallaway Youth Choir and CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador. The performance captures the heartbreak and tragedy of losing a loved one to war. The emotive performance can be watched here (06:21) Lyrics can be read here . Further information about the recording can be found here Purchase on *iTunes

Worth Taking Action:

Participate in #Earth to Paris. Watch the video (01:53). Visit the website then send a message telling world leaders to make bold commitments to combat climate change at the UN 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21).
Share a Video or a Photo by 22 November using the hashtag #EarthToParis.

Worth Reading:


CIDSE, an alliance of 17 Catholic development agencies from Europe and North America under the umbrella of CIDSE to fight poverty and inequality, has produced a policy paper based on an ethical approach, inspired by Laudato Si'. The 20 page paper called Paris, for the People and the Planet: the Encyclical Laudato Si’ – what it means for the COP21 negotiations and beyond, can be downloaded in English and Spanish (PDF)

The 21 October issue of Mercy eNews featured the thematic article by Lynda Dearlove rsm who on Mercy Day visited the refugee camp at Calais known as 'the Jungle'. This article by Aamna Mohdin, herself the child of a previous generation of refugees, explains the origins of 'the Jungle' and its growth as a spontaneous settlement. 'If the French government declared it a refugee camp, it would have to provide the migrants with decent accommodation, food, and help integrate them into society. It has not.' Read the article here

The Bottom Line:

'Our religious convictions and traditions point to the relevance of theology for informing new models of development with social and ecological justice. Aware that governments and political agreements alone are not sufficient for the immense challenges ahead – our faith communities can provide solid grounding, moral support, ethical education and value-based sustainable development models which are needed for the global transformation process...'

From the Statement of Faith and Spiritual Leaders on the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21 in Paris in December 2015


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

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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)