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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 656  |  10 February 2016
Featured Story
The Works of Mercy on the Road of the Jubilee: Pope Francis' Lenten Message

''God’s mercy transforms human hearts; it enables us, through the experience of a faithful love, to become merciful in turn. In an ever new miracle, divine mercy shines forth in our lives, inspiring each of us to love our neighbour and to devote ourselves to what the Church’s tradition calls the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. These works remind us that faith finds expression in concrete everyday actions meant to help our neighbours in body and spirit: by feeding, visiting, comforting and instructing them. On such things will we be judged...'

- Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for Lent 2016

La misericordia de Dios transforma el corazón del hombre haciéndole experimentar un amor fiel, y lo hace a su vez capaz de misericordia. Es siempre un milagro el que la misericordia divina se irradie en la vida de cada uno de nosotros, impulsándonos a amar al prójimo y animándonos a vivir lo que la tradición de la Iglesia llama las obras de misericordia corporales y espirituales. Ellas nos recuerdan que nuestra fe se traduce en gestos concretos y cotidianos, destinados a ayudar a nuestro prójimo en el cuerpo y en el espíritu, y sobre los que seremos juzgados: nutrirlo, visitarlo, consolarlo y educarlo...'

- Mensaje Del Santo Padre Francisco Para La Cuaresma 2016

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Image: iStock. Used under licence

Vision in Action

'Gracious God, in baptism we were made your daughters and sons. We were called to live lives worthy of our calling. Throughout this Lenten season, may we put aside all that keeps us from responding freely to your love. May our deeds and words give glory to you and draw others to your family of fath. Now is the acceptable time, O Lord. Give us the courage to act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with you.

This we ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.'

from 'Prayer for Ash Wednesday', Morning and Evening Prayer of the Sisters of Mercy

The Prayers of Intercession for Ash Wednesday are linked to this item.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Image: Ashes to Ashes. iStock. Used under licence

Editor: Carbon Fast calendars for Lent have once again been created by Michigan (USA) Interfaith Power and Light  and CLRI NSW. 25+ Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint can be found here (for individuals). Guides to help congregations, ministries, parishes and other groups are listed here

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God of love and mercy, touch with your healing power and restore to full health: Kate Fritz, Corinne Ritchie, Mrs Shane Madigan, Kevin Mahony, Sylvia Walker, Aidan, Dawn and Matthew Staal 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

Editor: Tomorrow, 11 February,  Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, is the 24th World Day of the Sick.The National Association of Catholic Chaplains (USA) has made available for download Prayers for the Sick and Prayers for their Caregivers, in both English and Spanish, along with additional resources for the day. Download these here. Read Pope Francis' Message for the 24th World Day of the Sick 2016 here

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Year of Mercy Events at Mercy International Centre

The year-long extraordinary jubilee of Mercy will include a number of individual jubilee days for specific groups of people. Mercy International Association has planned parallel events which will take place at Baggot Street and at which all who are able to make the journey to Baggot Street are welcome.

You can find out all about the events planned in Rome and in MIA for the Year of Mercy 2016 here (2pps; PDF).

If you are planning any parallel events in your Mercy congregation or institute, please let us know.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Editor: On Monday this week, MIA marked the feast of Saint Josephine Bakhita and the World Day Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action Against Trafficking in Persons with prayer.

In the article linked to this item Catherine Gibbons rsm traces the history of MIA's choice of opposing trafficking in persons as one of its focus issues— the other being cosmology and eco-justice—and provides an overview of the work undertaken in this area through advocacy, victim support and education.

Messages to: Catherine Gibbons rsm - MGA Staff

UNANIMA International has produced a prayer leaflet for each of the 6 weeks of Lent on the theme of human trafficking. Download the prayer leaflets here

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MIA Members News
Deirdre Mullan rsm Launches Year of Mercy at Monte (Nth Sydney Congregation)

Deirdre Mullan rsm (The Congregation) visited Monte Sant' Angelo Mercy College, in Sydney, Australia to launch the Year of Mercy and give a keynote address on the Plight of Girls' worldwide at the Professional Learning Conference held at the College from 18 to 27 January

Explaining her role as the link in the Partnership for Religious and UNICEF, Sr Deirdre gave the address to the whole staff linking the Year of Mercy, Mercy Education and Living Mercy in 2016. Each member of the faculty was given a copy of the booklet The Mercy GPS. The little booklet is now in its sixth printing and over 62,000 copies have been distributed worldwide, in parishes, schools, colleges and hospitals!

Using up to date information from UNICEF - The United Nations Children's Fund, Sr Deirdre looked  at how religious extremist are targeting school children and in particular girls in many parts of the world in a bid to stop girls from going to school.

The previous day Deirdre gave a talk to key members of staff on the theme of Mercy Educators in the Year of Mercy.

Messages to: Deirdre Mullan rsm

Editor: Monte was represented this week (7-9 February) in New York City at the 2016 Global Forum on Girls' Education, Creating a World of Possibilities

Image: L-r: Jacqueline Magurren (DP Pastoral Care),  Deirdre Mullan rsm, Nicole Christensen (Principal)

Rahamim Ecology Centre has become a centre of contemplative 'Craftivism' since Bathurst Regional Council raised a controversial proposal to sell water from the Macquarie River to a gold mine.

Council plans to divert 10 megalitres (4 Olympic swimming pools) of river water per day, an amount which represents a high percentage of the flows of an already diminished river. Many endangered fish, frogs, platypus, riparian vegetation as well as irrigation rights of farmers are at further risk.

This is yet another example of the corporatisation of water, the diversion of the world’s water supply for commercial interests, which Sisters of Mercy around the world, motivated by Catherine McAuley’s words 'Water is free beverage', have worked to eradicate...

Messages to: Sally Neaves - Sustainability Educator

Editor: We welcome your 'Care for Creation' stories this month and each month. Email: the Editor


Image: Patricia Powell rsm speaking for the Maquarie River at Bathurst Regional Council meeting

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Editor: Carmel Bracken rsm and Margaret Twomey rsm attended the Rights of Nature Conference in Paris, 4-5 December 2015, held concurrently with COP21. Carmel shares her reflections -

Walking through  Montsouris Park  in Paris,  my  curiosity was aroused by the sight of electric blue busts that seemed to rise out of the water. This land-art installation, entitled Where the Tides Ebb and Flow  was created by Argentinian artist Pedro Marzorati as a visual commentary on rising water levels caused by Climate change. The more or less submerged sculptures represent people who are already sinking into the sea or are under threat of being overwhelmed by the water.   This electrifying artwork is a wonderful example of the power of  poetic activism...

Messages to: Carmel Bracken rsm

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“The old order changeth yielding place to new,
And God fulfils Himself in many ways” 

The English poet Alfred Lord Tennyson may not have had Pope Francis in mind proclaiming the Jubilee Year of Mercy nor Mercy International Association opening local doors of Mercy when a significant and unique event took place on 10 December in Tuam. A Door opened under the flagship of HSE - Family Life Resource Centre and Vincent De Paul House on the site of the former Mercy Junior School on the Dublin Road. The Centre, with its location, facilities and services is impressive.

The Infant School and site was gifted to the Vincent De Paul when the convent closed...

Messages to: Teresina Daly rsm

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Students from Mercy Secondary School in Galway City have won a top award for raising awareness of environmental problems caused by flushing wet wipes down the toilet.

The students’ project, entitled ‘Wet Wipe Hype Project’ came about following a beach clean-up they carried out two years ago – they discovered a huge number of wet wipes tangled up in seaweed...

Messages to: Mercy Secondary School Galway City

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In August 2015, Sister Justine “Tina” Geiger went on a medical mission trip to Nigeria in West Africa. In this just published question-and-answer interview, Sister Tina, co-director of Catholic Rural Ministry for the Oil City Deanery of the Erie Diocese (Pennsylvania) for the past four years. shares about her experience as a medical missionary in Nigeria...

Messages to: Tina Geiger rsm

Image: The medical mission team

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The Leadership Team Newfoundland invited every local community or Sister living alone and every place of ministry, on or near December 12, to name their Holy Door of Mercy, to celebrate its opening and to place on it a symbol.

Attached to this news item are the components (four panels) of our Collage for the Opening of our Holy Doors of Mercy. Sisters, Associates and Partners in Mercy have received the actual Collage which is in a larger size and which opens to be able to stand up on prayer tables or other special places.

An explanation of the doors on the panels can be found in the accompanying Notes.

Messages to: Elizabeth Marrie rsm - Congregation Leadership Team

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Update: Let Mercy Rain Drought Appeal for Papua New Guinea (Australia & PNG)

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the Let Mercy Rain drought appeal for Papua New Guinea (PNG). Unfortunately, despite rain in some parts of the country, the crisis continues.

Gaye Lennon rsm, Coordinator of Overseas and Indigenous projects for Mercy Works, has just returned from PNG and reports that 'there is still a real shortage of food in most areas, and in areas such as Lower Bamu, in the Western Province, there is no relief at all. It is predicted the first crops of the season will have very little value due to insect infestation and poor growing conditions'.

Read more here (PDF)

If you are able to donate or would like more information please visit our website.

Messages to: Elizabeth Grady - Fundraising Officer

Mercy Matters
Jesus' Ministry of Mercy: Two Distinct Meanings

'...English translations mask the fact of there being two distinct meanings regarding Jesus' ministry of mercy. On occasions when Jesus' healing is requested, as when the blind Bartimaeus shouted, 'Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me! (Mk. 10:47), the Greek verb used is eleeo. However, the verb used for Jesus' action in response for 'pity' is splagchnizomai, implying very graphically, 'to be heaved in one's bowels'. Such was Jesus' response to the bereaved widow of Nain: 'When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, 'Do not weep.' (Lk 7: 13).
Ancient Greek culture considered the bowels to be the seat of human passions. Thus Jesus' bestowal of mercy was, and always will be a profound visceral outpouring of steadfast love...'

from Marie Farrell rsm (ISMAPNG), 'The Mercy of the Lord Endures Forever' (5pps;PDF), published in Compass, vol 49, no 4 - Summer 2015. Compass is a Review of Topical Theology published quarterly by the Australian Province of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.

New Resource: Meeting the God of Mercy

Jude Groden rsm (RE Advisor, Diocese of Brentwood, UK) and Fr Christopher O’Donnell, O.Carm.who have previously collaborated on 8 books, have produced this resource for schools and parishes.

Part 1 Penance, Confession, Reconciliation.
Part 2 Reconciliation Services (10 complete services)
Part 3 Frequently Asked Questions.
Part 4 Further Resources.

Purchase online

View all listed Year of Mercy Resources online here

'A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of [their] own nature.'
-Henry David Thoreau

Situated on the land of the Awabakal people at the edge of Lake Macquarie, the largest coastal saltwater lake in Australia, Mercy Spirituality Centre Toronto offers a varied program of facilitated and private retreat times,  opportunities to enjoy ‘Sabbath Spaces’, days of reflection as well as seminars, in a reflective and beautiful environment.

Download the 2016 program here (20pps; PDF)

Come spend time here with us in this spectacular natural setting and be refreshed.

Image: View of Lake Macquarie from the grounds of Mercy Spirituality Centre

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On This Day

1832: First Annual Charity Sermon preached for the House of Mercy, Baggot St

1898: Foundation to Shanklin, Isle of Wight from Leeds.

Contribute a fact about the Story of the Sisters of Mercy in your congregation or institute to our online archive

Tips for Using Google

These two very helpful articles have appeared in recent issues of The Guardian online:

How to use search like a pro: 10 tips and tricks for Google and beyond

15 Fun Things to Type into Google

On Reconciling

‘This Year of Mercy is a good occasion to meet again, to embrace and forgive one another and to forget the bad things.’

-Pope Francis, 27 January 2016, General Audience in St. Peter’s Square:

Further Resources

Worth Playing:

World Day of the Sick

A reflection has been prepared by Catholic Healthcare USA using Marty Haugen's 'Healer of our Every Ill'  Watch it here (02:52). Purchase the song here *iTunes *GooglePlay Lyrics can be found here

Worth Knowing:

Further to last week's eNews items:
-Pope Francis' Care for Creation month video, released on 6 February, is on our homepage here (01:26)
-Details of the Global Catholic Climate Movement's Lenten Fast can now be found here in English; en español

Worth Viewing:

Another Kind of Girl

In this short documentary, a 17-year-old Syrian films an intimate portrait of life in her refugee camp. Watch it here (09:55)

Worth Reading:

Human Trafficking

The Super Bowl (US National Football League championship game) has become a platform for activism to draw attention to sex trafficking and other forms of modern slavery. This article 'How technology is taking down human trafficking' tells how tech entrepreneurs from places such as Silicon Valley have helped develop new weapons that are aiding in the fight. Read it here

The Bottom Line:

'“Sometimes being friends is not enough. You need family.

“I think we don’t talk enough about the ­happiness that it gives you to find new connections with strangers and people who aren’t familiar to you,” says Thompson. “If you look back at the last time there was a mass migration, it was from World War II. It was pretty similar to what we’ve got now — with an awful lot of fear, an awful lot of rejection and bigotry and cruelty. I think there’s a lot of denial … Perhaps the cynicism comes from a slightly deeper and better part of ourselves. Nobody’s comfortable with having so much more than other people. And so you have to find a way to say, ‘I don’t need to care because these people have brought it upon themselves’.”

from The Actress and The Refugee: Emma Thompson and the former child soldier who calls her Mum


Send suggestions and contributions for the 'Worth...' section 2016 to: the Editor

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								poverty demonstrated in the massive displacement of persons worldwide.
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