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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 651  |  08 December 2015
Featured Story
8 December: Year of Mercy Commences & the Mercy International Reflection Process (MIRP) Begins

'The Mercy International Reflection Process that now begins is a gift of God to us, a sympathetic divine visitation.  To be invited as an international Mercy family to experience together the global sufferings and the outright devastations of this moment and then to act together in healing ways is a merciful gift of God.  Yes, it is a demanding invitation, but one in which, we may trust, God’s energy, compassion, and guidance will accompany us.  To participate in the MIRP in the ways we can, with whatever sacrifices of time, energy, and presence are needed, is not a casual option any one of us may easily lay aside.

Yes, Creation indeed waits with eager longing – for God’s help and ours...'

From 'Our Call to Weep and Act Mercifully' by Mary C Sullivan rsm (Americas).
Download it here [A4 Paper Size]; [US Letter Size] (5pps; PDF)

Messages to: Mary C Sullivan rsm


'El Proceso Internacional de Reflexión de la Misericordia que ahora empieza es un don de Dios para nosotras/os, una invitación compasiva divina.  Ser invitada como una familia internacional de la Misericordia a sentir juntas/os los sufrimientos globales y las devastaciones directas de este momento y luego actuar juntas de maneras sanadoras es un don misericordioso de Dios.  Sí, es una invitación que exige mucho, pero una en la cual, debemos confiar que la energía, la compasión y la guía de Dios nos acompañará siempre.  Participar en el Proceso Internacional de Reflexión de la Misericordia, de manera que podemos, con todos los sacrificios de tiempo, energía y presencia que sean necesarios, no es una opción casual que ninguna/o de nosotras/os podemos fácilmente poner a un lado...'

Sí, la creación de hecho espera con gran anhelo – la ayuda de Dios y la nuestra.'

De ‘Nuestro Llamado a Lamentar y a Obrar con Misericordia’ de Mary Sullivan, rsm.
Descargarlo aquí [A4 Paper Size]; [US Letter Size] (5pps; PDF)

Mensajes a: Mary C Sullivan rsm


Image: MIA Logo for the Year of Mercy. To obtain a copy for your community or ministry use,
email Anne Walsh

Vision in Action

The logos for the Year of Mercy and the Mercy International Reflection Process, the ritual for Opening Local Doors of Mercy, the official photo of the open Baggot Street door, the music for the ritual, the video of Elizabeth Davis rsm inviting us all to be doorkeepers of Mercy - these can all be accessed from the page linked to this item..

Share stories, photos & video clips of the Opening of your local Mercy door on our website or social media.

Send words and images (preferably in landscape format and uncompressed) to Anne Walsh.

Messages to: the Editor

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At a time convenient to you between 12 noon and 2pm your local time today, 8 December, you are invited to set aside your normal activity in order to participate in the global circle of Mercy Prayer by praying the prayer for the Earth/Oración por nuestra Tierra from Laudato Si'.

Messages to:
Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Image: © Used under License from 123RF Limited

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Editor: As we bring this year of sharing our global Mercy story to its conclusion and enter into the Year of Mercy, we invite you to tell us all how it has been for you in your Mercy community or ministry - through an anecdote, a greeting, a prayer, a wish, a dream you have or a plan for 2016.

Send in your greetings by Saturday, 19 December. The last issue of Mercy eNews for 2015 will be published on Sunday, 20 December.

Messages to: the Editor

Image: Christmas crib figures

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To mark the International Day on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Sisters of Mercy at the UN hosted a 23 November presentation entitled Exploiting Vulnerability: An exploration of the Lives of Filipino Women Trafficked for Sexual Exploitation.

A standing room only audience listened and interacted with Angela Reed rsm (ISMAPNG) presenting the results of seven years of work with trafficked women, culminating in the publication of I Have a Voice: Trafficked Women in Their Own Words, co-authored with Marietta Latonio.

Messages to: 
Angela Reed rsm
Rita Parks rsm

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MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week: Victims of Mass Shootings

Mercy International Association joins with our Sisters, Associates and partners-in-Mercy in the United States in prayers and heartfelt sympathy for the relatives, friends and community members of the deceased and wounded  victims of the mass shooting at the Inland Regional Centre in San Bernardino, California last Wednesday.

We also hold in our prayer the families, friends and citizens of Oregon and of Colorado Springs whose lives have been changed forever by recent acts of senseless violence in their neighbourhoods and all who have been affected by the gun deaths in the US this year.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Special Year of Consecrated life eNews Series

The final thematic response in our 12 month Year of Consecrated Life Series on the theme of 'Ordinariness' will be published in Mercy eNews next week, 16 December, Issue # 652. Brenda Dolphin rsm is the author.

We will also publish the series of articles next week as one PDF for readers who might like to download the complete series.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

The final issue of Mercy E-news for 2015 will be published on Sunday, 20 December. Please send in your Christmas greetings and your news items by Saturday, 19 December.

The first Issue of Mercy E-News for 2016 will be published on Wednesday, 27 January, 2016.

Please send your contributions to the Editor for the first issue of Mercy News by Friday, 22 January, 2016.

Messages to: the Editor

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God of love and mercy, touch with your healing power and restore to full health Martin Murphy 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

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MIA Members News

A group of Mercy International Reflection Process (MIRP) facilitators gathered in the Catherine McAuley rooms Parramatta on Thursday, 3 December.

Welcome to Country and Prayer for Our Earth were accompanied by a lively discussion on the Extraordinary Global Jubilee Year of Mercy, the MIRP Logo, the MIRP Reflection Process itself and logistics regarding ways forward.

It was refreshing to have a mixture of representatives from schools and colleges, social and pastoral works within parishes and other organisations, as well as Mercy Sisters.

Messages to Valda Dickinson rsm - MIRP Coordinator Parramatta and North Sydney Congregations

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On 5 December, 92 Sisters from the Brisbane Congregation gathered at Mercy Place, Bardon for our annual Advent Ritual. This year our ritual included 'Opening the Door' for the year of Mercy and accepting the invitation to participate in the Mercy International Reflection Process. The front cover of the ritual booklet featured many doors including the red door of Baggot Street and All Hallows Convent door – our foundation house.  Congregation Leader, Catherine Reuter spoke of Advent as a door that invites the response of being open to God’s grace in our lives. The readings from Misericordiae Vultus, the Constitutions of the Sisters of Mercy Brisbane and the Gospel of John encouraged us to be 'steeped in Mercy' bringing the goodness and tenderness of God to life (MV) especially during this Jubilee Year of Mercy.  The Advent ritual was repeated on Monday 7 December to enable the Sisters in our Aged Care facilities to participate...

The report, ritual booklet (20pps; PDF) and images are linked to this item.

Messages to: Sandra Lupi - MIRP Coordinator Brisbane Congregation

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Sr Jo writes, 'I chose this Kavanagh poem because we are in the Advent season and the poet’s language of mind-fasting and spirit-feasting speaks to us at this time.' She concludes:

'The poet himself believes poetic insight is always a surprise. For him it is also a gift of the Holy Spirit. But it must be guarded and nurtured by ‘the spirit that lives alone’ and it must not be scattered on trivia. Thus Kavanagh, finding in Advent a metaphor for poetic renewal, blessedly refreshes our language for appropriating this holy time.'

Messages to: Jo O'Donovan rsm

Editor: Mercy Global Action is producing a reflection for each week of Advent based on Laudato Si'. Access these here

Image: Patrick Kavanagh statue along the Grand Canal in Dublin

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'...Mercy is expansive and, to be real, reaches out. Mercy extended grows and has the power to change situations, people and lives. Mercy can enable someone to do the unexpected.

In proclaiming the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis reminds us that in the Gospel “mercy is presented as a force that overcomes everything, filling the heart with love…” and he encourages us not to allow mercy to drop out of use...'

Messages to: Philomena Bowers rsm - Congregational Leader

Image: the Good Samaritan

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The Gospel of Luke is often referred to as the 'Gospel of Mercy' - so what better gospel could there be for the Jubilee Year of Mercy!

The actual word ‘mercy’ only appears nine times in the NRSV translation of Luke’s gospel, but it manifests itself repeatedly in Jesus’ encounters, especially with the sick, the poor and the marginalized, and in the challenging parables he tells...

Messages to:

Ilsa Neicinieks rsm
Office for Worship
Diocese of Adelaide South Australia

Editor: The Year C Sunday Gospel Reflections prepared by Veronica Lawson rsm will be published on our website throughout 2016. Access the December reflections here or from the highlight button on the homepage.

Image: St Luke writes his Gospel. Detail from the mosaic frieze in the Lady chapel of Westminster. Lawrence op. Used with permission

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An Ecological Reading of the Gospel of Mark - Part 11 (ISMAPNG)

In this11th and final part in the series, Elaine Wainwright rsm looks at Mark 16:6-7 and points us back to Galilee to where the story started.

Download the final part of the series here (PDF)
Read the series online here
Download a PDF of the series here (16pps; PDF)

Messages to: Elaine Wainwright rsm

Editor: Next year Sr Elaine will write a series on Luke's Gospel to be published in Tui Motu. If you've enjoyed the Markan series and look forward now to the Lukan series, consider supporting Tui Motu with a personal or gift subscription and enjoy the wealth of writing this publication contains.

Editor: Throughout the Year of Mercy we hope to publish many stories of doorkeepers of Mercy. We begin this week with Mother of Mercy High School Cincinnati senior Hemen Aklilu who is raising money to support the education of children in her native homeland of Ethiopia. Having been given the advantage of an education in America, Hemen wants young children in the country of her birth to enjoy educational opportunities.The story, published in Cincinnati.com is linked to this item.

Messages to: Hemen Aklilu c/- Ellen Daniel - Director of Marketing & Communications Mother of Mercy High

We welcome stories from your archives as well as contemporary accounts of doorkeepers of Mercy for publishing throughout the Year of Mercy.

Stories to: Mercy eNews

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On 17 March 2015 the Cork and Ross Mission celebrated 50 years of its foundation with an extraordinary demonstration of gratitude on the part of the Peruvian people.  For the earlier missionaries it was wonderful to see those parishes and schools that they had initiated in the sand flourishing and growing.  The Cork and Ross Mission was formally closed in 2004 when the last two Irish priests left but the Mercy Sisters continue to work side by side with Peruvian priests, sisters and laity.  I will outline some of our current ministries with an emphasis on four: Drug Rehabilitation Centre, Mission in the Andes Mountains (Sierra), Alto Trujillo and Care Centres...

Messages to: Immaculata Murphy rsm

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Mercy Matters

Doras Luimní (Doras) was founded in the year 2000 by Ann Scully rsm (Lifetime President) in response to the increase of asylum applications and, in particular, the introduction of the system of Direct Provision for asylum seekers in Ireland. The word ‘Doras’ was chosen as it represented an open door welcoming those newly arrived in Ireland...

Read about the establishment and growth of Doras and visit the organisation's website linked to this item.

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New resource: The Mercy GPS

The Mercy GPS booklet has been produced to help keep us focused during the Year of Mercy 2016.
It is available by contacting Deirdre Mullan rsm

$1 each/ 1 Euro or UK. 0.50
Minimum Order: 10 booklets plus cost of postage

Download the flyer here (PDF)

1840: Foundation to Wexford from Carlow - M Teresa Green
1854: Foundation to San Francisco from Kinsale - M Baptist Russell
1860: Sr Vincent Whitty sailed from Liverpool to make foundation at Brisbane, Australia
1872: Foundation to Callan from Athy, Co Kildare - M Teresa Maher
1888: Foundation to Parramatta, Sydney from Callan, Co Kilkenny - M Clare Dunphy
2015: Commencement of the Year of Mercy and the Mercy International Reflection Process

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Mary Wickham rsm writes of her newly composed poem Door of Mercy 'The poem suggests many ways the metaphor can draw us in to the mystery of Mercy.  It celebrates the red door of Catherine’s house, but also invites consideration of every door of every place of Mercy. It reminds us of the literal doorways we go through and how Mercy is found there: ordinary doors as well as the special occasion places...'

Read the poem linked to this item

Read the introduction to the poem

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The Door by Miroslav Holub

A video by Enrique and Ricardo Serrano of the poem by Holub which reflects on the idea of how an open door is an opportunity to experience something new. Watch it here (02:24)

The text of the poem can be read here

Pope Francis: Stop climate change and curb poverty

'For the sake of our common home and for future generations, every effort should be made in Paris to mitigate the impact of climate change and, at the same time, to tackle poverty and to let human dignity flourish.

The two choices go together. Stop climate change and curb poverty so that human dignity flourishes.'

-Pope Francis, Angelus Address, 6 December 2015

Further Resources

Worth Playing:

Michael Herry fms, well-known in Australia as a composer of liturgical music, has composed 'Heart of Jesus, Heart of Mercy', a hymn for the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Ezekiel 36:24-28. In conversation earlier this year, Br Michael offered these to us 'as a gift'. The song can now be played and downloaded (mp3) without charge from his website here. music can be downloaded here
[Ed: the site appears to have gone down this morning so you will need to check back]

Worth Knowing:

Ecology and Justice

Orbis Books Ecology and Justice Series seeks to integrate an understanding of Earth's interconnected life systems with sustainable social, political, and economic systems that enhance the Earth community. The titles in the series can be accessed here

Worth Reading:

Human Trafficking:

Two new reports were published by UN University and the Freedom Fund to mark the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery on 2 December: 'Fighting Modern Slavery: What role for international criminal justice?' (40pps; PDF) Download it here and 'Unshackling Development: Why we need a global partnership to end modern slavery' (92pps; PDF).Download the report here

Ecology and Justice

'Integrating Ecology and Justice: The New Papal Encyclical' by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim in Solutions Volume 6, Issue 4, pp. 38-43. November 28, 2015. Read it here

Worth Considering:

'Open the Door: A Journey to the True Self' by Joyce Rupp (2008) has been recommended as a resource for the coming year. The book is structured as a daily prayer guide for everyday use over six weeks, each day offers a thematic reflection, a guided meditation, an original prayer, a thoughtful question, and a related scripture quote.

The table of contents can be read here
A sample of the contents provided by the Publisher can be read here (19pps; PDF)

Available in paperbook or kindle format  from Amazon

The Bottom Line:

'And we might, in our lives, have many thresholds, many houses to walk out from and view the stars, or to turn and go back for warmth and company. But the real one — the actual house not of beams and nails but of existence itself — is all of earth, with no door, no address separate from oceans or stars, or from pleasure or wretchedness either, or hope, or weakness, or greed... For whatever reason, the heart cannot separate the world's appearance and actions from morality and valor, and the power of every idea is intensified, if not actually created, by its expression in substance. Over and over again in the butterfly we see the idea of transcendence. In the forest we see not the inert but the aspiring. In water that departs forever and forever returns, we experience eternity.'

-Mary Oliver in 'Long Life: Essays and Other Writings'

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

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