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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 669  |  04 May 2016
Featured Story
Coming Soon: Laudato Si' Week

Editor: Last week, the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) to which Mercy International Association and some Mercy Congregations and Institutes are signatories, launched a new website, the Laudato Si Week Website, to mark the forthcoming first anniversary of the release of Laudato Si'. The site offers very helpful resources for those engaged in the early stages of the Mercy International Reflection Process, as well as for all who are interested in exploring the encyclical.

MIA was among the first dozen participating organisations to sign on to this site at GCCM's invitation. Mercy Congregations and Institutes, Provinces/Regions/Communities, Ministries and Works are all welcome to sign on.

In Mercy eNews, in the 15 June issue, we will be publishing reflections from some of the members of the Mercy family on 'Laudato Si': Twelve months on'. Readers of Mercy eNews are invited to post your comments online in response to these reflections.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Vision in Action
MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week. Humanitarian Needs

'We have arrived at the point of no return. At this very moment the world is witnessing the highest level of humanitarian needs since World War Two. We are experiencing a human catastrophe on a titanic scale: 125 million in dire need of assistance, over 60 million people forcibly displaced, and 218 million people affected by disasters each year for the past two decades...' (Herve Verhoosel, Spokesperson of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS))'  Read more

MIA invites our ongoing prayers for a response— individually, nationally, regionally and globally— to humanitarian needs.

While particularly conscious of peace hopes unravelling in Syria and the deaths of at least 60 people, including children and doctors, in airstrikes in Aleppo this past week, 'now is the time to create clear, actionable goals for change to be implemented within the next three years that are grounded in our common humanity, the one value that unites us all'. (Herve Verhoosel, Spokesperson of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS)).

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Editor: Find out more information on the forthcoming World Humanitarian Summit (23-24 May). Engage with the Humanitarian Challenge here.

Marking the April 22 International Mother Earth Day and the signing of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Sisters of Mercy at the UN and the NGO Mining Working Group delivered a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations. Endorsed by networks, organizations, and congregations who are part of the global water justice movement, the letter calls attention to the recently-established UN High Level Panel on Water...

Messages to: Áine O’Connor rsm - Mercy Global Action Coordinator at the UN

Read More
MIA Reflection Process
Meet Members of a MIRP Group in Belize (Americas)

Several members of the Sisters of Mercy and invitees from various fields of interest  met at Saint Catherine Convent in Belize City on 6 April, 2016 to begin the 1st of 4 stages of  the Mercy International Reflection Process.

Using the guide for facilitators, we focused on Stage One which addresses a burning issue/story/experience around the theme – the cry of the Earth and the cry of the Poor. We brainstormed to identify various topical issues based on personal experiences. The issue of filth in the city and the ambiguous use of paper cups (costlier) as opposed to plastic(cheaper) for drinks emerged as topics for lively discussion for all gathered.

During the last half hour of our session, we assigned ourselves the task of reading Paragraphs #101 - #136, which is the third chapter of the encyclical, “Human Roots of  the Ecological Crisis”. We are all reminded to identify what is the one burning issue that we would like to focus on as a group and which we will take forward into the succeeding stages of the process. This focus should be precise and manageable.

Messages to: Marianne Comfort - MIRP Coordinator Americas

Image: L-r: Sarita Vasquez rsm, Marta Mitchell (Mercy Associate), Anita Zetina (Director of Our Lady of Guadalupe Mercy Center), Frank Tench (Official Meteorologist and Climate Change advocate.), Carolee Chanona rsm, Molly Doley (Entrepeneur), Caritas Lawrence rsm.

Meet Members of the Northern Province MIRP Group (The Congregation)

Twenty-one Sisters of Mercy from the Northern Province (Ireland) met recently and shared their hopes and dreams for the Mercy International Reflection Process (MIRP). Among these were the following:

'That we Mercies across the world agree some action and give some leadership in responding to the “Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor”.'

'Action with focus. Identify a real and concrete change of way of being/living so that we are in real solidarity with people and the world around us…'

'A deeper understanding of ‘all is one”.'

'The energy from this group infects the whole province, the congregation and the world.'

Messages to: Sheila Curran rsm - MIRP Coordinator The Congregation

Meet the Members of the Community B 'Butterfly' Group (ISMAPNG)

 Mercy Sisters, Associates and friends form the Butterfly Group, meeting at Mercy Spirituality Centre, Toronto, New South Wales. Our area of concern is Waste.

Messages to: Adele Howard rsm - MIRP Coordinator


Standing.L-r: Srs Dorothy Campion, Pauline Murray, Anne Ryan, Helen Baguley,

Seated. L-r:  Gail Doolan, Pat Adams, Theresa Buckley, Mary Guy.

Meet the members of the St Louis Group (Americas)

The members of this group are: 4 Sisters of Mercy; 6 Associates; 1 Visitation Sister residing in our Mercy retirement center. The group is meeting monthly from 9am - 12 noon on Saturday mornings.

The area of concern is Water.

Messages to: Marianne Comfort - MIRP Coordinator Americas

Image: Front row. L-r: Judy Carron, RSM; Miriam Mahan; Carolyn McWatters, RSM; Connie Stelzer
Back row. L-r: Nathalie Williams; Deb Torres; Corlita Bonnarens, RSM; Jan Connors
Not pictured: Mary Jeremy Buckman, RSM;Marie Therese Ruthmann, VHM

MIA Members News
Reading Luke's Gospel With Ecological Eyes: Part 4 (ISMAPNG)

In the fourth part of the series published in Tui Motu,  Elaine Wainwright rsm writes of relationships restored by touch and healing in the lives of a woman and a girl in Luke 8:40–56 and of Earth healing in an ecological spirituality.

'Two stories are combined in Luke 8:40–56. The story of a woman who had suffered from haemorrhages for 12 years is inserted into the account of a young girl of 12 years old who is dying. The human body and its materiality is to the fore in these biblical stories. This alerts the ecological reader to Earth’s body that also suffers and is dying', writes Sr Elaine....

Download the PDF here
Read Parts 1-4 online here

Messages to: Elaine Wainwright rsm

Editor: a PDF of the complete series will be published in Mercy eNews in December 2016

The Traveling Door of Mercy (Americas)

When the Catholic Diocese of Burlington encouraged the schools to create their own Doors of Mercy, the Mater Christi School (MCS) community immediately set about planning its Door.

The students of Mater Christi School, with vision and guidance from faculty, came to school on Martin Luther King Jr Day to talk about the Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy, including racism. During those discussions, they created images depicting acts of mercy and the Critical Concerns...The panels were arranged into two unfinished pine frames, creating a pair of doors similar to the bronze Holy Doors on the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. You can see the panels here

Titled 'Contemporary Scenes of Mercy', these full sized doors welcome people into God’s love by reminding us how to be instruments of mercy. As part of our mission to be a cornerstone of our community, Mater Christi School is sharing our messages of compassion and mercy with public by sending the Holy Door on tour. Learn more

Messages to: Mater Christi School Community

Mercy Matters
Mercy and Compassion Flourishes in Kenya

'My favorite definition of mercy comes from Jesuit Father James Keenan, who defines mercy as “entering into the chaos of another.” His definition beautifully captures both the human and divine aspects of a theology of mercy. God enters into the brokenness, fragility, and chaos of our world in the incarnation, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. We see the grace of mercy throughout the gospels, but to recognize it in our world we must go out and listen. Mercy is always relational. It involves becoming vulnerable as well as opening ourselves to possibility.'

- Meghan J Clark


1879: Foundation to New Inn, Co Tipperary from Charleville - M Joseph Croke

Editor: Read: 'Sister Mary Joseph Croke: Another Voice from the Crimean War, 1854-1856'  by Mary Ellen Doona, Boston College (39 pps; PDF)


10 May: Brisbane Congregation celebrates 155 years since foundation. Messages to: Mary Lawson rsm, Congregation leadership Team

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

Read More

The Sisters of Mercy first came to this part of Ireland in 1838, with the opening of a convent in Charleville (1836). The Order spread rapidly and, as in other part of the country, a Mercy Convent became a feature of the landscape of many towns and villages as well as the larger cities. These included Cork City (1837), Wexford Town (1840), Killarney (1844), Kinsale (1844), Mallow (1845), Waterford City, New Ross (1853), Tralee (1854), Callan (1872), Borris (1873), Carrick-on-Suir (1874).

Visit our Provincial Heritage Site to learn more of our story.

Read More

'Loss is part of the human condition, and the physical death of a loved one is one of the most painful experiences of loss...'

-Veronica Lawson rsm

Read More

Here are 20 useful Excel spreadsheet secrets for beginners and advanced users.
Please note that all these functions are based on Microsoft Excel 2010.

Read More

'My God, I will look to you confidently for grace.'

-M Frances Warde

Read More
Further Resources

Worth Playing:

Acknowledging in song our pain for the world. For the Mothers. By Betsy Rose with the Womansong chorus. Listen here (04:51)

Worth Reading:

Displaced Persons

'Refugees have been stripped of their humanity, insofar as it is supposed to grant "inalienable" rights they are denied'. Read ' The Refugee Crisis is Humanity's Crisis'

Cosmology and the Environment:

Australia's Great Barrier Reef is the largest structure ever built by living creatures. Some 600 coral species and 1625 species of fish inhabit its warm, shallow waters 'Great Barrier Reef bleaching would be almost impossible without climate change'. Read the article here

'UN Predicts 40 Percent Water Shortfall by 2030'. Read the article here

Opposing Human Trafficking:

'The Francis factor in Abating Human Trafficking' is the May monthly reflection from US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking. Read it here

Worth Considering:
In a society troubled by growing economic inequality, how do the worship, music, and art of specific congregations proclaim God’s mercy and justice, and how might they do so more fully? Poverty, Wealth, and Worship,  an ecumenical, practice-oriented conference to be held at Yale University, New Haven, CT,July 19 - 21, 2016.Details here

Worth Watching:

Opposing Human Trafficking

24 April marked the 3rd anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh in 2013 which took the lives of over 1,100 garment workers and highlighted the need to promote decent work in global supply chains. The ILO have put together a photo report of their work in response.
Readers might like to watch the documentary, 'The True Cost' (2015)

The Bottom Line:

'Mercy: the willingness to enter into the chaos of another'
-James Keenan sj, The Works of Mercy: The Heart of Catholicism

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)