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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 668  |  27 April 2016
Featured Story
A Call to Mercy: Online Graduate Certificate Available in Mercy Spirituality

Georgian Court University - the Mercy University of New Jersey - is once again offering an Online Graduate Certificate in Mercy Spirituality, combining formal academic coursework, spiritual reflection, and thoughtful dialogue with students and faculty from around the world. New for 2016 is the Noncredit Certificate in Mercy Spirituality. Choose the approach that works best for you!

The program is inspired by Mercy values such as justice, respect, integrity, service and compassion. It is ideal for people engaged in Mercy-sponsored works, affiliated ministries and organisations, or interested in further exploring Mercy.

The Program is designed to be completed in 18 months.

Download the flyer here (PDF)

Download the brochure and application form here (PDF)

Applications and inquiries to: Maria Colón - GCU Office of Graduate Admissions

Messages to: Mary-Paula Cancienne rsm - Faculty Leader

Vision in Action
MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week: People and Places in Ecuador and Japan Impacted by Earthquakes

We continue to pray with the people of Ecuador and Japan, for those residents and travellers who lost their lives as a result of the devastating earthquakes, and for the parts of these countries that felt the impact. We remember the relatives and friends of the victims who are forever changed by deep grief and sudden loss.

We pray for healing for those who have been injured and for the safety of the missing. We are mindful of all those who have lost their homes and their livelihoods. May they be given the gifts of hope and courage to start over.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
 

Image: Agencia de Noticias ANDES. Flickr. Used under CC Licence
 

As a Mercy Community we pray with those in need of prayer

God of love and mercy, touch with your healing power and restore to full health: Alicia Reynolds, Kira-lee Nicholas Davies 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 Reflection Process
Meet a MIRP Group from South Africa (The Congregation)

We are 5 of the Soweto Convent Community.

We took a two-pronged focus-i.e. literally feeding the poor who are on the feeding scheme and who come to our door and children who are hungry at school. Our front gate was closed lately during the day but we have decided to leave it open in case there are other people who need food. Already in the week two people have availed of this.

Included in this "feeding" is trying to have time to listen to the children who have problems which is most of them.

The other prong is to get the students in both schools to recycle.

I know this sounds as if we have got to the action stage already but this is an accurate account of what transpired at our meeting.

Messages to: Sheila Curran rsm - MIRP coordinator The Congregation

Image. Standing. L-r-:Srs Francis, Berchmans and Connie. Seated are Srs Agnes and May

Meet Sisters, Associates and Friends of Mercy from Cairns, Far North Queensland (ISMAPNG)

The Cairns Sisters of the Northern group of the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and PNG, together with the Mercy Associates and Friends of Mercy, participated in the first session of the Mercy International Reflection Process on 12 March. The person providing input and facilitation was Terry Power, the Manager Formation and Projects, Mercy Ministries FNQ.

After story telling in small groups, those gathered were able to focus at the conclusion of the group activity, on Pollution, Waste and our Throwaway mentality. The next meeting on the 4th June will look at the broader context.

The morning concluded with a prayer and final blessing. The participants look for- ward to the next meeting, with plenty of food for thought in the meantime, concerning our beautiful world.

Messages to: Adele Howard rsm - MIRP Coordinator ISMAPNG

Meet Members of Kathrine Bellamy Sisters Circle (Newfoundland)

 The issue we have chosen is 'Safe and affordable housing for men, women and children'.

Our reasons for chosing this issue are: 'We believe in the philosophy of 'Housing First' as housing is a growing need and concern in Newfoundland and Labrador.  Unless people have a safe place to call home they cannot work on other issues affecting their lives'.

The members of our group as positioned on the photo are:

Front left to right: Anne Willcott, Anita Best, Geraldine Mason, Maureen Lawlor, Margie Taylor (Co-Facilitator). Back left to right, Rosemary Ryan (Co-Facilitator), Colette Ryan, Ruth Beresford, Maura Mason, Georgina Quick.  Absent from photo is Josette Hutchings.

Messages to: Elizabeth Marrie rsm - MIRP Coordinator Newfoundland

Meet Members of the Hartford Sacred Circle Group (Americas)

We have an already established group which has been meeting bimonthly for several years. We agreed to gather monthly in support of the MIRP process.

Using contemplative dialogue, our first session focused on compelling stories, issues and concerns including: trafficking of children and women; fracking; plastic; fear of global warming and extinction of species in our life time; water; the Syrian refugee crisis.

We unanimously decided to focus on water because of a local concern wherein the Niagra Bottling Company,the Town of Bloomfield, CT, and the Metropolitan District Commission of CT entered an agreement for the establishment of a bottling plant in Bloomfield . This was done without informing residents of the town. ( see attached paper, 'Our Water- Not for Sale at Any Price').

Messages to: Marianne Comfort - MIRP Coordinator Americas

Editor: Resources chosen by the Guiding Team to assist with Stage Two on the area of concern of Water can be accessed here

Image: Front from left:  companion Sue Lavoie. Sisters Claire Fillipone and Mary Fahy.
Standing from left: Sisters Carmela Garofalo, Pat Colla, Cecilia Baranowski, Elaine Deasy, and Amanda Carrier.  
Missing:  Nancy Audette ( photographer) Ellen Flynn, Janice Kidney, and Mary Healy

MIA Members News

The theme for the 2016 AMSSA (Australasian Mercy Secondary School Association ) Conference (24-28 September) is 'Bridges of Mercy'.

It is hoped that the Conference will allow students to look at the place of Mercy in their lives, their school communities and in the world. There will be opportunities for learning, reflection, story sharing and recreation as we also visit important locations for the Sisters of Mercy in Australia, as well as for the Catholic identity of Australia.

Cost: $290 per student (subsidised by AMSSA); $670 per teacher (Full payment). The Conference has been capped at 70 students. Registration is online.

Details, including online registration, are linked to this item.

Messages to: Kitty Guerin - AMSSA Executive Officer

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'Planting tulips can get you arrested when the site of your future garden is considered prime real estate by an energy company looking to build a $700 million fracked gas power plant on it.

Mercy Sr. Mary Pendergast knew the odds of engaging in her symbolic action, but she did it anyway. "I'm following the directive of Pope Francis to put our lives on the line for care of the Earth," Pendergast explained in a statement...'

Sr Mary is one of three religious interviewed in this article in Global Sisters Report

Messages to: Mary Pendergast rsm

Editor: Watch/Listen to Sr Mary testifying against a fracked gas plant in Rhode Island earlier this month (03:31). Learn more about fracking and the Sisters of Mercy global stance here

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The latest issue (Vol. 23, No. 2) of The MAST Journal Now Available (Americas)

The latest issue (Vol. 23, No. 2) of The MAST Journal was recently published.  Editor Eloise Rosenblatt rsm reports that the issue 'Go Out To All the World: Mercy Foundresses' was inspired by guest editor, Julia Upton, RSM who wanted to feature the “next generation” of Catherine McAuley’s sisters—those who carried the charism of Mercy out from Baggot Street in Dublin to the world.

Contributors are: Srs Mary C Sullivan, Janice Edwards, Berenice Kerr, Julia Upton, Marcienne Kirk, Mary Kay Dobrovolny, Grace Leggio Agate, Madeline Duckett. Read more here (PDF)

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.

Past issues (vol 1-21) are now freely available online on the MAST website.

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

Messages to: Julia Upton rsm

'One of the key themes of Pope Francis in his encyclical letter Laudato Si’, on caring for our common home, is his insistence that all of us are capable of rising above ourselves, choosing what is good and making even a small gesture to give the world a better chance. “I appeal to everyone not to forget this dignity which is ours. No one has the right to take it away from us.” (LS, par. 205).

The pope goes on to speak of our duty to care for creation “through little daily actions”, not doubting that our efforts will help to change the world. “They benefit society, often unbeknown to us, for they call forth a goodness which, albeit unseen, inevitably tends to spread.... Such actions can restore our sense of self-esteem; they can enable us to live more fully and to feel that life on earth is worthwhile.” (LS, par 212)...

Messages to Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregation Leader

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'Mercy Sr. Gail Anne Jarvis is spreading her joy.

As a disc jockey on pinkscrystalradio.com, an online contemporary Christian music radio station featuring all genres of Christian music, the 60-year-old former parish minister is known as “DJ Joy.”

It’s a moniker that reflects the joy of mercy, the joy of her religious vocation and her desire to show that joy to others...'

Source: Catholic Herald, Diocese of Superior

Messages to: Gail Anne Jarvis rsm

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My name is Fidelma and I joined the Sisters of Mercy. In 1963 I came to the USA. Presently I live and work in San Jose, California.  Around 2000, I acquired a Celtic harp and this opened to me the music of the famous Irish harpist, Turlough O'Carolan and other harp composers.

Presently, I play with a group at Mercy Center for Taize around the Cross. I also play for memorial services in funeral homes. Some years ago, I volunteered at one of the local hospitals. It was here that I learned and experienced the effect of harp music on both the hospital staff and the patients...

Messages to: Fidelma Heeran rsm

Image: Sr Fidelma by a statue of O'Carolan

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Mercy Matters

'How many are the expressions of mercy with which God encounters us? They are numerous and it is impossible to describe them all, for the mercy of God continually increases. God never tires of showing us mercy and we should never take for granted the opportunity to receive, seek and desire this mercy. It is something always new, which inspires awe and wonder as we see God’s immense creativity in the ways [God] comes to meet us.'

- Pope Francis, Address at the Prayer Vigil on the Occasion of the Jubilee of Divine Mercy

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Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and an historic, special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court expands possibility for more than 2,300 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 30+ undergraduate majors and 10 graduate programs.

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The theme for Catholic Education Week, 1-6 May  2016 is: Opening Doors of Mercy/Ouvrir des portes de miséricorde.

Resources on these subthemes are freely available online: Mercy that Welcomes; Mercy that Loves; Mercy that Forgives; Mercy that Lives the Gospel; Mercy that rejoices.

Teachers in Mercy primary and secondary schools might like to explore these for possible use in your classes.

Read More

It's what all smartphone users dread most and what one in three Australians have experienced -- losing personal, sentimental photos and videos from their devices.

Read More
On This Day

1847: First profession in New York - M Vincent Haire (Foundress, Brooklyn 1855)

Editor: Read - Mercy Grows in Brooklyn: Mother Mary Vincent Haire  (21pps; PDF) by Julia Upton rsm (Americas)

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

'Keeping one’s word is a mark of honour in any society. To be asked to keep someone else’s word, as in today’s gospel reading, calls for a shift in our usual patterns of thinking and acting...'

-Veronica Lawson rsm

Read More
Further Resources

Worth Playing:

'Spirit of Life.' Written by Carolyn McDade and sung here by All Souls Choir. Video reflection by Michelle Sherliza op. Watch/listen here (03:44)

Worth Reading:
Opposing Human Trafficking:

Speech of Cardinal Vincent Nichols at UN event on 7 April: 'Cardinal to UN: Effective International Cooperation Essential to Eliminate Human Trafficking by 2030'. Read it here

Ecology and the Environment

Máxima Acuña, a 47-year-old grandmother and subsistence farmer from the Andean highlands of northern Peru, is the winner of  the 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize. Read her story here

An Interview With Gustavo Castro, Sole Witness to Assassination of Berta Cáceres. Read it in English, Leer en español

Worth Considering:

Gratefulness: Life as a Wholehearted Journey: Six week e-course (4 May 4, 2016 – 8 June, 2016 with David Whyte and Brother David Steindl-Rast

The Bottom Line:

'The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.'

- Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, lecturer, and poet

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

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