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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 664  |  30 March 2016
Featured Story

Editor: It's 50 years this year (1966) since Suzanne Toolan rsm (Americas), an internationally known composer of liturgical music and a prominent American spokesperson for the music and prayer of the ecumenical community of Taizé, wrote the much loved communion hymn 'I Am the Bread of Life'  for a Eucharistic celebration organised by the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

Every busy person who has said ‘yes’ to yet another request and every teacher will resonate with this scene: with the deadline looming, Sr Suzanne worked on the song during a free period in an unoccupied room next to the infirmary in Mercy High School, Burlingame, California where she taught Related Arts, Fine Arts and Religion and conducted the school chorale.

'When the bell rang for the next class I decided I didn’t like the music,' Sr Suzanne said, 'so I tore it up and threw it in the waste-paper basket. As I left my classroom, a freshman girl [first year high school student] came out and said, “What was that?  It was beautiful!”  I went back into my classroom, took the manuscript out of the basket and taped it together and it has had a life of its own ever since.'...

Messages to: Suzanne Toolan rsm


 Image: iStock. Used under licence

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Vision in Action
Invitation to Join Our Prayers with those of Our Representatives in Rome for Divine Mercy Sunday

Editor: On Sunday, 3 April 2016, a small but representative group of Mercy pilgrims— both Sisters and partners-in-Mercy— will be present in Rome for Divine Mercy Sunday, one of the events in the Vatican's Jubilee Year of Mercy Calendar. Mass will be concelebrated in Saint Peter's Square with Pope Francis on this day, with other events taking place on 1-2 April.

The group of 35 pilgrims includes representatives from each of the 12 Mercy Congregations and Institutes, with Mary Reynolds rsm, Executive Director MIA and Brenda Dolphin rsm (Postulator) who are co-leaders of the pilgrimage.

Those of us in the Mercy family in all other parts of the Mercy world on Divine Mercy Sunday are invited to use a prayer from one of the Stations of Mercy, which show the face of Mercy today to the world, and to pray personally or communally between 12 midday and 2pm our local time, thus participating in encircling the globe in prayer.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Rejoicing at 60 Years of Mercy Presence in Kenya

Mercy International Association joins with the members of The Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy (Ireland) in their rejoicing at 60 years of Mercy presence in Kenya today, 30 March.

We give thanks for all who have ministered in the name of mercy in Kenya and celebrate the many ways 'the kind word, the gentle compassionate look and the patient hearing of ...sorrows' (CMcA) have been expressed in the places where Sisters have established ministries in Kenya in collaboration with local people.

May the work continue to be blessed.

Messages to:
Sisters of Mercy Kenyan Province
Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week: Easter joy

Jesus, we stand in awe at the mystery of your death and resurrection. We wonder at the depths of your love for us. May all peoples of the earth receive the good news of your gospel. As your people we ask this day for the power to live in the joy of your rising. May we sing with all creation: Hail, O Light of Christ! Welcome, Risen Lord. Amen.

Source: Easter Sunday, Morning Prayer. Morning and Evening Prayer of the Sisters of Mercy

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA


Image: The End by George Stefanescu-Ramnic (2004)

God of love and mercy, touch with your healing power and restore to full health: 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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On Tuesday, 22 March, at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, the NGO Mining Working Group, Salesians of Don Bosco and Salesian Missions, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and the Permanent Mission of Palau to the United Nations co-sponsored an important side event entitled Women, Water and Wellbeing. The side event took place on World Water Day during the ongoing Commission on the Status of Women and follows the cosponsors’ critical and steadfast advocacy on the human right to water and sanitation throughout the negotiations leading up to the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development...

Messages to: Aine O'Connor rsm - MGA Coordinator at the UN

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On Thursday, 17 March, at the Human Right Council, the Sisters of Mercy and the NGO Mining Working Group joined the Western Downs and Wider Unconventional Gas Group of Chinchilla, Queensland, Australia to sound alarm bells at the international level regarding the urgent issue of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. On this occasion, the country of Australia appeared before the human rights body in Geneva to consider and adopt the outcome of its Universal Periodic Review (UPR)...

Messages to: Áine O’Connor rsm - MGA Coordinator at the UN

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MIA Reflection Process

Forty-two Sisters, members of Community South A, gathered at Santa Maria College, Attadale, Western Australia on 12 March for a facilitated session to commence the Mercy International Reflection Process.

Two groups were formed:

Group Focus 1: Displacement and Movement of Peoples caused by rapid climate change (carbon pollution), economic disparity, war

Group Focus 2:  Degradation of Water Supplies as a result of wastage and other ills affecting Humans and Nature.

Messages to: Beverley Stott rsm - Community South A Perth Facilitator

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Meet the Marymount Mercy Centre Group (Parramatta Congregation)

The multicultural group pictured here are in Australia for a Formation and Sabbatical program at Marymount Mercy Centre, a Spirituality Centre owned and operated by the Sisters of Mercy, Parramatta.

The group’s discussion centred on protecting the rights of nature. The group realized that we could only respect and care for nature if we love it and understand it as part of ourselves. The devastation of earth was lamented. The participants spoke from first hand experiences of how the earth and natural world is is being ravaged and politically compromised in South Korea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Northern Territory (Australia), Chili, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Thailand and Vietnam e.g. by logging, mining, over-fishing.

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

Image: Back Row. L-r: James O’Gara, Helen Stannard (MIRP Facilitator, Marymount 1), Mary Thi Ha Vy, Margaret Wangeci, Santhiyagu Sebamalai, William Lee, Ramil Baluran, Clothilda Chibiwen
Middle Row L-r: Aloysia Konau, Benedeta Otieno, Valda Dickinson (MIRP Coordinator, Facilitator Marymount 2), Assumpta Yotoo
Front Row. L-r: April Anne Acero, Maria Thu Nguyen, Mi-Soon Lee

Meet the Saint Mary Home, Hartford, Connecticut Group (Americas)

Saint Mary Home in West Hartford, Connecticut is an assisted Living facility for seniors. Meet the members of the Saint Mary Home MIRP group who are meeting monthly:

Back Row. L-r: Maureen Reardon rsm; Agnes Kiely rsm; Carol Duffy rsm; Eleanor Rathburn rsm; Patricia Brewer rsm

Front row. L-r:Norma Pelletier, Rosemary Ryan rsm; Jean Carroll rsm; Roberta Horton.

Missing from the photo: Grace Mannion rsm; Dolores Beshara rsm; Mary Ann Hubert

Messages to: Marianne Comfort - MIRP Coordinator

Meet Members of the Westport Cluster Gathered for MIRP (The Congregation)

Nine Sisters of Mercy in the Westport Cluster (Western Province)— seven of whom are pictured here— are meeting in the Westport Parish Centre as they undertake the MIRP this year.

Their hopes for the process are 'that it will open us to transformation, personal conversion, and change in our lifestyle choices'.

Messages to: Sheila Curran rsm - MIRP Coordinator The Congregation

Image: Back row. L-r: Srs Immaculata Brady, Kathleen Friel
Front row L-r: Srs Bernadette O’Grady, Kathleen Hunt, Mary Groarke, Mary Teresa O’Reilly, Margaret Mary Dempsey

MIA Members News

'Sr Therese Power rsm laughs at the suggestion that after nearly sixty years as a Sister of Mercy, she is now a mother and nanna. Not the biological sort, but one who mothers others, who cares for them and works hard to ensure they receive all the care and support possible.

For decades she taught children...now Therese has been asked to ‘mother’ women whose own mothers are worlds away, or lost to them forever. Therese, a Sister of Mercy, lauded educator, and staunch justice advocate, accompanies trafficked women as they rebuild a new life in Australia...'

A long-time member of ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans) she is a person many NGOs go to when a trafficked woman, who is accessing their services, needs someone to support them through emotional, relationship, legal, health and educational challenges...'

Originally published in Madonna magazine

Messages to: Therese Power rsm

Editor: The work of the Sisters of Mercy with trafficked persons, in collaboration with like-minded organisations, is the subject of Station of Mercy two: Jesus Carries his Cross.

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'The feast of the Annunciation coincide [d] with Good Friday this year, inviting us to think about the two feasts together. The liturgy has a marvelous way of collapsing time, making events that are separate in historical time coexist for the participants. If we keep in mind the two events of the Annunciation and the Passion, March 25 will be an occasion to reflect on how these mysteries meet in our own lives...'

Published in Global Sisters Report

Messages to: Mary Aquin O'Neill rsm

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Paddy McEvoy, Principal, St Aloysius College writes: 'We at St Aloysius College in Adelaide are very proud of our Greenhouse Group, which has sprung up in the last 6 months as a result of some Year 9 students learning about the effect of plastics on the world around them. I have been personally inspired by these young women of vision and I think Catherine McAuley would be very proud of their passion and commitment to creating change...

Messages to: the Greenhouse Group c/- Paddy McEvoy - Principal

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Colouring Page -Fundraising Initiative for Mercy schools in Samoa/Tonga (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Editor: Colouring-in, once considered the realm of young children, has been taken up globally by all ages as a tool for relaxing and for mindfulness, with colouring-in books for adults regularly on best-seller lists.

Anna Nicholls rsm has created 30 colouring-in pages which she is selling as a fundraiser for Mercy schools in Samoa/Tonga.  'I used them with our Year 12 students when they were on retreat the other week,' wrote Sr Anna, 'and they found the exercise very reflective. The pages have quotations from Scripture, Laudato Si, Misericordiae Vultus, and Venerable Catherine McAuley.'

Details of how to order the pages can be found on the Giving Light website

Messages to: Anna Nicholls rsm


Image; Some of the Year 12 Carmel Students colouring-in during silent mediation time

Mercy Matters
'Come, Eat my Bread ...' and 'I am the Bread of Life' by Kathleen Rushton rsm (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Kathleen Rushton rsm began writing scriptural articles for Tui Motu magazine in 2009 and since has shared her passion and scholarship month-by-month. A number of those articles can now be read online. These include:

'I am the Bread of Life' - John 6:41-51, 60-69 and

'Come, Eat my Bread ...' - John 6:1-15, 24-35

Image: Jesus feeds the crowd by Eric Feather

Living Spirit (Remastered)

Digitally remastered from the original 1970 album, this 17 track album from Suzanne Toolan rsm includes both 
'I Am the Bread of Life' and 'Living Waters'.

Purchase on *iTunes and *GooglePlay

Mercy Center Burlingame is an internationally known conference and retreat center sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, located on a 40-acre site 15 miles south of San Francisco, California. We provide a peaceful environment for women and men of diverse faiths and backgrounds to nourish their spiritual and professional lives, and a convenient location for nonprofit organizations to hold conferences and events.

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1956: Foundation to Nairobi from Dublin - M Imelda Collins

Editor: The Story of the Sisters of Mercy in Kenya is a story of faith, risk, challenge, adventure and hope.

It can be read here

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

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'Some of you may remember when we spoke of the Sundays “after Easter”. The terminology has changed and we now speak of the Sundays “of Easter”. In other words, we now recognise that the liturgical readings and prayers for each Sunday between Easter and Pentecost invite us into a different movement of the one great symphony of resurrection faith...'

- Veronica Lawson rsm

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'We belong to God. All in us is his.'

- Catherine McAuley, 'Familiar Instructions'

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:
'I am the Bread of Life' by Suzanne Toolan rsm. Watch/listen here (03:09)
Purchase on * iCloud *GooglePlay

Worth Reading:

The Spring 2016 issue of A Matter of Spirit—'Listen, Contemplate the Sacred'— from the Intercommunity Peace & Justice Center (IPJC) is now available online. Download it in PDF (16pps) or read onscreen here

This article 'The Idea of the Journey in Women’s Spiritual Writing' might be of interest in light of  the Stations of Mercy pilgrimage. Download it here (34pps; PDF)

The Bottom Line:

'Being merciful is about being truly present to the daily human struggle to reach beyond the dark. And that reaching for and glimpsing of the light is called resurrection made flesh. The Year of Mercy is also the Year of personal and universal resurrection'

- Fr Daniel O'Leary, 'Become Soaked in Mercy'

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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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)