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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 649  |  25 November 2015
Featured Story

Justice, as a term evokes a desire for order, fairness, equality, honesty, equity, integrity and even lawfulness.  The prophet Isaiah tells us that justice is rooted in the very nature of God (40:14). The work for justice involves working for systemic change in the world order and in our church. When we engage in doing this we “wake up the world”. Catherine McAuley’s pursuit of justice for poor women and children led her to open the house of Mercy on Baggot St. She met resistance from the homeowners on Baggot Street as well as some clergy, notably Matthias Kelly, who said, 'Who did this “upstart,” this “parvenu,” think she was?' [1] Catherine’s persistence in seeking justice for the poor led her to found a congregation that today is present in forty-four countries and six continents. She certainly did “wake up the world” of her day...

Messages to: Sheila Curran rsm

[1] Mary C. Sullivan, The Path of Mercy The Life of Catherine McAuley, (Dublin: Four Court Press 2012), 68.


Image: Morgan Sessions. Unsplash. Used with permission

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Vision in Action
Dedicate Your Local Door of Mercy on (or around) 13 December

'The logo for our Mercy International Reflection Process, unfolding during this Year, is centered on the red doors of Baggot Street. In a profoundly mystical way, these red doors connect all our doors of Mercy – in our convents and houses, in our places of ministry, in holy places around us, in Earth which nourishes us, in the cosmos which holds us in communion, and in the hearts of all Sisters of Mercy, Associates and Partners-in-Mercy.' Elizabeth Davis rsm (Newfoundland) in the video clip 'Doorkeepers of Mercy'.

What door of Mercy will you open on (or around) 13 December when the Holy Door in Rome and the Doors of Baggot Street are opened?

Classroom doors and Community Room doors, doors of hospital wards and aged care facilities, office doors and front doors to our convents, homes and gathering places... there are so many possibilities.

We suggest you choose a door that is used often so that in the rhythm of your going out and coming in over the next twelve months you have a mindfulness of going out in Mercy and of welcoming in in mercy.

We then invite and encourage you to share your Images and Stories of your local door opening with the Mercy world through Mercy eNews.

Messages to:
Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
Mercy International Reflection Process Guiding Team

Suggested Ritual for Opening Local Doors of Mercy Now Available in Both English and Spanish

The ritual can be downloaded in full colour or in black & white in PDF:


-Leader, Colour: [A4 Paper Size]; [US Letter Size]

-Leader, B&W: [A4 Paper Size]; [US Letter Size]

-Participants, Colour: [A4 Paper Size] ; [US Letter Size]

-Participants, B&W: [A4 Paper Size]; [US Letter Size]

*Practise your singing: Words and music are online here

*The Video of 'Doorkeepers of Mercy' is online here


-Leader, Colour: [A4 Paper Size]; [US Letter Size]

-Leader, B&W: [A4 Paper Size]; [US Letter Size]

-Participants, Colour: [A4 Paper Size]; [US Letter Size]

-Participants, B&W: [A4  Paper Size]; [US Letter Size]

Messages to:
Sheila Carney rsm (Americas) - Creator
Mercy International Reflection Process Guiding Team

In five days time (November 30), COP21 commences and so does our prayer roster. As we pray for the success of the UN Climate Change Conference, let us pray also for the safety of all those participating in this event and continue to hold in prayer the deceased, the wounded and all affected by the Paris Attacks.

Download the Prayer Roster here if you haven't done so previously:

English: [A4 Paper Size]; [US Letter Size]

Spanish: [A4 Paper Size]; [US Letter Size]

Further detail about Mercy's involvement in COP21 is linked to this item.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Editor: The Sisters of Mercy Newfoundland will prepare for COP21 in a seven-day vigil beginning on November 24 and ending on November 30, the day of the Conference opening. They will also join in the 12 Days of Mercy prayer. All are welcome to join them in their seven-day vigil . Details are here.

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March for Climate Justice

Editor: This coming weekend, 28&29 November, presents an opportunity to mobilize for climate justice prior to the commencement of COP21 in Paris and our Mercy 12 Days of Prayer.

With the major march in Paris cancelled for security reasons, an outcome of the Paris attacks, organisers are counting on bigger turnouts in the world's other cities.

The Global Climate March website (English)  provides details of the marches in key cities across the globe. Click on the capital city's name for details. The site is available in Spanish here

Unable to march? Here are some other ways to be involved by showing your support:

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Conference Facilities at Baggot Street

Located in the heart of the city, and served well by public transport, Mercy International Centre is an ideal venue in which to hold conferences, training programmes, seminars, workshops and meetings of all kinds during the day or evening.

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 booking our conference facilities.

Messages to: Madeline O'Hanlon - Receptionist

Image: Callaghan Room named after William Callaghan – the man who left his fortune to Catherine. The room is arranged in boardroom style for 6 people or less.

MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week: Elimination of Violence Against Women

Today, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. 

For members of the Mercy family, this day and the 2015 theme of Prevention echo the sentiments expressed by Catherine McAuley who wrote, ‘ ... that no work of charity can be more productive of good to society, or more conducive to the happiness of the poor than the careful instruction of women, since whatever be the station they are destined to fill, their example and advice will always possess influence...' (Rules and Constitutions of the Religious Sisters of Mercy, Chapter 2 'Of the Schools').

Today then is an invitation to refocus our efforts on and pray especially for the needs of women and girls worldwide who face violence in so many forms including domestic violence, forced marriage, enslavement, rape and murder and who are deprived of opportunity through poverty, lack of education and unequal power relations.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

#Read the complete Statement by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka  for International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Image: orange is the universal colour for this day

MIA Members News
Meet Catherine - a Four part Series (Americas)

In the weeks leading up to Remembrance Day, Marilyn Sunderman rsm prepared a series of reflections on aspects of Catherine McAuley's spiritual life: hospitality, charity, prayer, woman of God.

Access each part of the series:

Messages to: Marilyn Sunderman rsm -Associate Professor/ Chair Theology Dept, St Joseph's College Maine           

Read the Latest Issue of the MAST Journal (Americas)

The latest issue (Vol. 23, No. 1) of The MAST Journal was recently published.  Editor Eloise Rosenblatt rsm reports that the issue 'Women of Mercy, Women of Hope' was inspired by the Institute’s contemplative dialogue process that engaged all members in a common discussion.

Contributors include: Srs Mary Aquin O’Neill, Patricia Talone, Barbara Moran, Marilyn King, Katherine Doyle, Doris Gottemoeller, Rayleen Giannotti.

As usual, the issue provides discussion questions for those who want to use the essays for communal reflection with Sisters, Associates, Companions or Partners-in-ministry.

The MAST Journal is published three times a year by the Mercy Association in Scripture and Theology.  To subscribe please contact Julia Upton rsm.

Download a brief summary of each of the papers here (PDF)

Messages to: Julia Upton rsm

Mercy Matters

Only days away from COP21, here are 50 things you can do in your home to reduce the negative impact you have on the world around you. They aren’t difficult or expensive to do, and they all make a difference.

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'We should not be too anxious for anything in this short life.'

-M Cecilia Maher

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On This Day

1878: Death of M Cecilia Maher, Foundress of Auckland

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

Pope Francis at Audience: Door to God's Mercy never closed

As the extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy approaches, today we consider the great open door of God’s mercy, symbolized by the Holy Doors which will open in Churches throughout the world...How important it is for us to be good doorkeepers, capable of opening our doors and making our homes places of encounter and welcome, especially to our brothers and sisters in need!... As guardians of that door, we in the Church are called to be welcoming to all who seek to enter the fold of the Good Shepherd.  May the doors of our Christian homes be signs and symbols of the door of God’s mercy, a door ever open to all who knock and desire to meet Jesus.

2015-11-18 Vatican Radio

Mercy College is a Catholic, coeducational College established by the Sisters of Mercy in 1972. It caters for over 1600 students from Kindergarten to Year Twelve.

Mercy College is a community whose members work in partnership towards the education of young people. With Christ as our guiding light and in the spirit of Catherine McAuley, we seek to recognise, appreciate and develop the gifts of all in a spirit of collaboration, love and service.

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This program, a joint offering of the Sisters of St Joseph and CLRINSW, is designed for women and men religious, priests and Bishops, who have recently retired from full time active ministry or intend retiring from such in the near future.

Input will be from a variety of presenters, including Nancy Shreck osf (USA), Veronica Lawson rsm, Elizabeth Dowling rsm and Margaret Hinchey rsm.

Further details, including how to obtain an application form, are linked to this item.

Editor: Does your ministry offer a sabbatical or retreat opportunity given by Mercy Sisters and/or Partners-in-Mercy? Let us know and we can include it in this, our Mercy Resources section of Mercy eNews.

* John O’Donoghue, ‘For Retirement’, Benedictus

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

Come My Way. A video prayer reflection for Advent set to "Come, My Way" by Margaret Rizza. Watch/listen here (01:48). Purchase on *iTunes or *GooglePlay

Worth Reading:

Jan Richardson's new book Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons is now available. Details about how to order the print and ebook version can be found here

Climate Action

The personal fortunes of the 782 wealthiest people on the planet, many CEOs of major corporations, could power Africa, Latin America and most of Asia with 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, said Friends of the Earth International in a new report 'An Energy Revolution is Possible' released on 23 November. Read the report here (19 pps; PDF).

Today’s children, and their children, are the ones who will live with the consequences of climate change. This report, released today, 'Unless we act now: The impact of climate change on children', looks at how children, and particularly the most vulnerable, are affected and what concrete steps need to be taken to protect them. Read the report here (81pps; PDF)

A report released last week by the UN 'Climate Action Now – A Summary for Policymakers 2015' packed with best practice climate policies from across the world reveals a wealth of existing opportunities to immediately scale up reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while powering up ambition to keep the global average temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius. Read the report online here

Worth Watching:

Human: A film with three voices (those of the people, the testimony of the planet, the lyricism of the music)

What is it that makes us human? Is it that we love, that we fight ? That we laugh? Cry? Our curiosity? The quest for discovery?..

Human  'a sensitive and loved portrait of the Earth and its people' was released this past September in cinemas and on YouTube. Filmmaker and artist Yann Arthus-Bertrand spent 3 years collecting real-life stories from  2,020 women and men in 60 countries and 63 languages who addressed questions such as those above. These profoundly personal and emotional accounts are interspersed with stunning aerial footage that offers critical insight into life on earth.

Human: The website; the Blog; the YouTube Channel (trailer, extended version in 3 volumes, individual portraits). English with Spanish subtitles.

The Bottom Line:

'Empathy allows us to see the connections between us, making strangers less strange, foreigners less foreign. When we adopt other people's perspectives, we do more than step into their shoes - we use their eyes, we borrow their skin, we feel their hearts beating within us, we lose ourselves and enter into their world, as if we were them... With empathy, we do not step into others' experience to see it with our eyes -- empathy demands that we see it with their eyes. Through that experience we are fundamentally changed, for we see with a sudden, startling clarity that we are the other. All the good and the bad that we see in them we can also recognize in ourselves. The hurt, the shame, the fear of humiliation, the desire for revenge - these are as much parts of our own souls as the quest for honesty, the humble spirit, the forgiving heart.'

-Arthur P. Ciaramicoli and Katherine Ketcham, The Power of Empathy

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

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