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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 660  |  09 March 2016
Featured Story

Editor: 'Those of us affiliated in one way or another with Catherine McAuley and her contemporaries are fortunate to have a number of extant primary sources, which convey across the centuries the genuine voice and the vision of those early inhabitants of 64A Lower Baggot Street Dublin,' writes Mary Wickham rsm. 'When we think of visual art and Catherine’s early companions though, our minds are most likely to turn to the exquisite work of Sr. Clare Augustine Moore that graces the early registers and other documents.'

Sr Mary's reflective exploration of Mercy using the Gospel story of the Good Samaritan, the words of Catherine McAuley, and the artwork of Clare Augustine Moore (see above), is linked to this item.

Messages to: Mary Wickham rsm


Image: Clare Augustine Moore’s depiction of the Good Samaritan story in Rule and Constitutions of the Religious Sisters of Mercy, Chapter III Of the Visitation of the Sick (PDF).

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Vision in Action

Volunteer positions are open to Sisters, Associates and Friends of Mercy. To Single persons or couples.

Further details are linked to this item.

Applications will be accepted up to 31 March 2016.

Please send a simple Curriculum Vitae, including your preferred dates, to:

Margaret Scroope rsm - Assistant Director-Administration & Finance

Image: iStock. Used under licence

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Stations of Mercy: Las Estaciones de la Misericordia

'It would be a mistake to assume that those who go on a group pilgrimage do not live out the experience in a personal way. In fact... pilgrims carry their own history, faith, lights and shadows of their own lives and when they enter a sanctuary they immediately feel at home, welcomed, understood and supported.'

- Pope Francis

Today we stop at the Seventh Station: Jesus Falls the Second Time. Séptima Estación: Jesús cae por segunda vez

Many thousands of members of the Mercy network are on the global pilgrimage. If you haven't begun the journey yet, there is still time to do so. You can access Stations 1-6 here

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

2016 theme: Integrated Futures

The European Commission is looking for innovations in products, technologies, services and models that can support the integration of refugees and migrants. Innovations can relate to any aspect of the reception and integration process including, but not limited to, ideas around:

  • education and skills development
  • employment and entrepreneurship
  • access to appropriate housing and health services
  • safety and human rights
  • community cohesion and cultural diversity.

Applications that are led by or have been co-created with refugees and migrants are encouraged.

Details can be found on the European Commission site which is linked to this item.

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Why Amazon?

Editor: When referencing a book in Mercy enews, I link the title to Amazon if the book is on offer there. This is for a number of reasons: to enable quick access for our global readership— most of whom have access to the internet— to find out more by 'sampling' the book's contents; to show the range of formats available from the publisher; to provide important details such as the ISBN, publication place and date so readers can give this information when placing an order at a local bookshop and, finally, AmazonSmile.

AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organisation of your choice if you and it are registered with them. Over time, those small donations add up. A number of Mercy ministries participate in Amazon Smile, such as Mercy Beyond Borders and Mercy Education Project (MEP) and will be grateful for your support in this way.

Messages to: the Editor

MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week: Those Who Gave Their lives This Week in Service of Others

In particular, we remember and mourn:

Honduran environmental activist and indigenous leader of the Lenca people, Berta Cáceres who was murdered at her home on 2 March. Ms Cáceres organized communities in peaceful protest against illegal logging and violent oppression from the Honduran police forces, most recently in the Gualcarque River basin. Ms Cáceres was awarded the Goldman Prize after she led a peaceful campaign to stop one of the world's largest dam builders from constructing the Agua Zarca Dam, which would have cut off the ethnic Lenca people from water, food and medicine and violated their right to sustainably manage and live off their land.

Read: 'Mercy Condemns Killing of Honduran Activist' on the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas website

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Mary Tinney rsm (ISMAPNG) writes: 'The Cosmology-Ecojustice Group has just held its first meeting for 2016.   The reports from the various countries will be posted in full on mercyworld.org, but I was so impressed by the reports that I am moved to draw out some highlights.   No picture is ever complete. Not all countries are represented even.  However this might whet your appetite for more...

Messages to: Mary Tinney rsm

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MIA Reflection Process

Editor: March could be considered an 'information and action' month for issues around climate change and the environment with Earth Hour, International Day of Forests and World Water Day all occurring this month. This week we highlight the first two events.

Earth Hour this year is on 19 March 2016 at 8:30 pm (your local time).

Watch the promotional video here (01:30).

Information, resources, sign- up opportunities and how to join in conversations on social media can all be found on the Earth Hour website which is linked to this item.

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International Day of Forests: Celebrate Forests and Water on 21 March

Did you know?

  • Forested watersheds and wetlands supply 75 percent of the world’s accessible freshwater
  • About one-third of the world’s largest cities obtain a significant proportion of their drinking water directly from forested protected areas
  • Forests act as natural water filters
  • Climate change is influencing the availability of water resources

This year FAO is raising awareness of how forests are key to the planet’s supply of freshwater, which is essential for life.

Watch the International Day of Forests video (1:00)

Find out about how forests contribute to our water needs by reading seven key messages on forests and water: in English; en español

Worth playing and dancing to on this day; 'The Tree Song' by Ken Medema. Watch/listen here (05:40)

Messages to: Anne Walsh - Communications Director MIRP

Sisters of Mercy from many countries of Latin America and the Caribbean were present in Panama for the Latin American Caribbean Conference (LACC) between February 21-25, 2016.

Elizabeth Davis rsm (Newfoundland) who is the liaison between the Mercy Leaders and the Reflection process, gave a presentation on MIRP to the assembly: A summary of Sr Elizabeth's comments in both English and Spanish is linked to this item.

This is a Kairos moment for Sisters of Mercy in all forty-four countries in which we live and minister. This is such a blessed moment because this is the Year of Mercy following the Year of Consecrated Life and because we have the opportunity to reflect together deeply on matters of great importance through the Mercy International Reflection Process....

Este es un momento de Kairos para Hermanas de la Misericordia en todos los cuarenta y cuatro países en donde vivimos y ministramos. Este es un momento bendito porque este es el Año de la Misericordia tras el Año de Vida Consagrada y porque tenemos la oportunidad de reflexionar juntos profundamente en asuntos de gran importancia en el Proceso de Reflexión de Misericordia Internacional.

Messages to: Elizabeth Davis rsm - Congregation Leader Newfoundland

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With the summer holidays now a distant memory and with autumn knocking on the door, the last Friday evening and Saturday of February saw 37 participants gathered in Wellington to begin their training as Facilitators of the Mercy International Reflection Process for Nga Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa Sisters of Mercy New Zealand.  The group comprised Sisters from across Aotearoa which included Sisters of Samoan and Tongan origins...

Messages to Natalie Murphy rsm, Teresa Anderson rsm - MIRP Coordinators ANZ and Kathleen Rushton rsm Key Facilitator

On the weekend of 6-7 February, eighteen Sisters and Mercy colleagues who will be facilitating the Mercy International Reflection Process (MIRP) for groups within Community Central B gathered at the Mercy Spirituality Centre, Toronto, New South Wales to learn more about their role...

Messages to: Eveline Crotty rsm  - Key Facilitator Community Central B ISMAPNG

Image: Participants in the Aotearoa New Zealand Facilitators Training

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MIA Members News
Ireland 2016 invites you to Remember, Reflect & Reimagine An téacs i nGaeilge le teacht

As we approach Easter weekend and the centre-piece of the State’s 1916 ceremonial programme, Irish citizens at home and abroad are invited to Remember, Reflect and Reimagine Ireland as it has evolved in the 100 years since the Rising.

The official government website for the 2016 Centenary Year can be found here can be accessed here

RTE is making a wide breadth of RTÉ 1916 content  available for free. On 14th March, RTÉ Player (across Desktop, iOS and Android app) will launch a dedicated 1916 Hub, offering a curated collection of RTÉ 1916 related television content. Find out more on the RTE 1916 website


Image: Sackville Street (now O'Connell Street), Dublin, after the Rising. Public domain

Doorkeepers of Mercy: Mercy Education Project, Detroit Michigan (Americas)

Editor: The Mercy Education Project (MEP) is one Mercy model of female-focused educational support aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty. Next month, for the 10th year in a row, MEP is holding its Annual Doorway to the Future Dinner & Auction.

MEP has long recognised that being a Doorkeeper of Mercy means opening doors to a brighter future. Every day more than 100 women and girls pass through the doors of Mercy Education Project as they pursue their educational journeys.

You might like to watch I Found Mercy. Written and performed by Mercy Education Project tutor, Antoinette Star Porter, this video was inspired by the women and girls of MEP. Watch it here (04:24).

Messages to: Mercy Education Project

'Mercymount Country Day School [Rhode Island} is undertaking a food recycling program during the Lenten season. Food waste from the cafeteria will be recycled, with the help of My Blue Heaven Farm in Pascoag, in an effort to reduce trash.

The new program reflects the school’s year-long focus on Mother Earth and a responsibility to take better care of the environment.

The program was proposed by music teacher and Cumberland resident Lisa Pare. Pare read about the waste recycling program taking place in the Cumberland public schools and felt that Mercymount students could, and should, do something similar...'

Source: The Valley Breeze

Messages to: Martha Mulligan rsm - Principal

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Reading Luke's Gospel with Ecological Eyes: Part 2 (ISMAPNG)

In part two of her series Elaine Wainwright rsm points to how time of day, place, materials and characters all contribute to understanding Luke 5:1–11.

Sr Elaine writes: 'An ecological reading of this biblical story, like the integral ecology that Pope Francis addresses in Laudato Si’, recognises that “everything is closely interrelated” (par 137).'

- Read the March article (PDF) here;
online here
- Read the February issue (PDF) here;
online here
- Subscribe to Tui Motu here

Messages to: Elaine Wainwright rsm

Thank you to Donors from the 'Let Mercy Rain Appeal' Organisers (Sisters of Mercy in Australia & PNG)

Thank you to everyone who has donated to our Let Mercy Rain Appeal, which has helped those suffering because of the drought in PNG. We have been overwhelmed with the generosity people have shown.

With your contributions we have been able to provide much needed health care for malaria and snakebites, as well as water purification systems...

Download the article here (PDF)

Messages to: Elizabeth Grady - Fundraising Officer Mercy Works

'The Irish missionary spirit has an incredible scope of outreach, so it should really be of no surprise to learn that a Sister of Mercy from Dublin works and lives at the edge of the Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland. Sr Mary O’Sullivan rsm has worked in the Centre for Dialogue and Prayer for seven years supporting English language groups visiting the museum, which ranges from visitors from Sweden to Japan, including survivors of Nagaski and Hiroshima.

“The mission of the centre is to contribute in a small way to peace and reconciliation,” Sr Mary says. ...

She explains the centre’s programme has four dimensions which are all based on listening: to listen to the voice of the Earth, to listen to the voice of your heart, to listen to the voice of the other and to listen to the voice of God...'

Source: Irish Catholic

Messages to: Mary O'Sullivan rsm


Image: Delia O'Connor rsm and Mary O'Sullivan rsm, in prayer at Auschwitz.. Photo is from the Third Station of Mercy

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Mercy Matters
New Resource: Preaching the New Testament: Rediscovering its Named & Unnamed Women in the Texts

Barbara A. Moore rsm, Dean of the Program for the Study of Women and Gender in Church and Society, and Professor of Preaching and Practical Theology at CRCDS, has written a new book which examines the myriad roles women played in the 1st century and beyond and includes their many challenges, including illness, vulnerability, caregiving and ministry.

For more information or to order her book, contact Sr Barbara

'...I rose up from the acres of self that I tended with passion
and defended with flurries of pride:

I walked out of myself and went into the woods of God's mercy,
and here I abide. 

There is greenness and calmness and coolness, a soft leafy covering
from judgment of sun overhead, and the hush of His peace, and the moss of His mercy to tread...'

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 1848: Death of M Xavier Tiernan, first American to enter Sisters of Mercy

1874: Foundation to Carrick-on-Suir from Wexford - M Borgia Corcoran

1894: Foundation to Stanton, Texas from San Francisco - M Berchmans Kast

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

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Marjorie Sinclair shares packing tips in this fascinating video and her '2-2-6' method. Not to be missed (08:04)

Another option: PackingEssentials.Com allows you to generate a custom packing list for your specific needs in just a few button clicks.

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Words of Mercy

'The voice of Mercy is truly authentic when it is the voice of Justice'.

- Ethel Bignell rsm (RIP)

Mary Wickham is a Sister of Mercy from Melbourne, Australia. She grew up by the sea in the west of Melbourne. She has degrees in Arts and Theology. Her Masters Thesis from Melbourne University was about the poetry of Elizabeth Jennings.

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

'Words of life, words of hope give us strength, help us cope in this world where'er we roam. Ancient words will guide us home.' From Ancient Words' (Lynn de Shazo) sung by Robin Mark.(03:30). Purchase on *iTunes

Worth Reading:

Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy

A series of previously published articles written by Br Mark O’Connor FMS, each a reflection on one of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy and followed by some reflective points for personal enrichment, has been gathered into a booklet for the Year of Mercy. Br Mark's reference points are wide-ranging: Mary Oliver, Caravaggio, Dorothy Day, Thomas Moore, Seamus Heaney...Download the booklet here (32 pps; PDF)

Thinking Faith, the online journal of the Jesuits in Britain, is publishing a series of reflections by a number of writers on the Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy in the context of Laudato si’. The first four reflections are online: To instruct the ignorant ; To counsel the doubtful;To bear wrongs patiently; To Comfort the Afflicted.
This week's bottom line comes from the author of 'To Counsel the doubtful', Margaret Atkins CRSA.

Worth Considering:
Slacktivism vs Activism

'The Art of Risk: The New Science of Courage, Caution, and Chance' by Kayt Sukel. Released on 1 March 2016. In an article about the book 'Why Do Some of Us Take Action and Others Stand Idly By?' Ms Sukel proposes that 'slacktivism' can be attributed to the way our brains evaluate risk.

The Bottom Line:

'There are devout Catholics who have doubts about concern for the environment. There are zealous greens who doubt the existence of God. There are those who believe in both God and the ecological crisis, but have doubts about what to do. Laudato si’ speaks to all these three groups. But it is not enough to be persuaded. As our doubts disappear, our responsibilities come into focus. We are called to inform ourselves of the facts and to ponder our place in creation under God. We are to open ourselves to new ideas, to support necessary change, to convert our ways of life and to teach our children. In other words, we too are called to counsel the doubtful, by the witness of our words and our actions..."

- Margaret Atkins CRSA, To Counsel the doubtful

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

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