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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 670  |  11 May 2016
Featured Story
Mercy: 'the personal face of the only God we know' - Helena O'Donoghue (The Congregation)

'Mercy is often seen as an "extra", an optional addendum to justice, and not really required for moral conduct. Commonly, it is seen as weak, sentimental, and even a place of peril. To be at the mercy of the elements or of the ECB*, or of intruders is not a comfortable place to be. We live in that culture and are tainted by it. While we know that mercy is not a shortcut to quick forgiveness, nor an easy escape from accountability, we can often see it as a sharing of surplus resources or a light response to wrongdoing. We think of it as a kind attitude, a particular gift, or a characteristic of a good person or even of a good God. But mercy is more than all these concepts; it is divine size and is the personal face of the only God we know, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the very "glory" of God shining on the face of Christ...'

Messages to: Helena O'Donoghue rsm

Read the complete article here (4pps; PDF).
First published in the April 2016 issue of  The Furrow. Republished with permission.

Editor: An edited version of this article appears on The Congregation website here
Sr Helena contributed an article on the theme of Mercy as Service in the MIA Year of Consecrated Life (YCL) series. Read that article online here. Access the complete YCL series in PDF here: A4 Paper Size; US Letter Size

*European Central Bank

Image: iStock. Used under licence

Vision in Action

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: Craig only son of Frank & Robyn, Cindy Williams,  Marie O Sullivan, Pauline Rodden Aubut, Helen Mulholland, Hannah Gerloff Riley 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 Prayer Intention for the Coming Week: Fort McMurray, Canada

Prayers and support are invited for the people of Fort McMurray in northeast Alberta, Canada, where, since 1 May, fire has destroyed more than 2,400 homes and buildings, forced the 88,000 residents to evacuate the city, and resisted all efforts to try to wrestle it under control. The fire now approaches the Saskatchewan border.

Please pray for rain. Officials say the sheer size of the blaze— the size of Hong Kong and almost 25% bigger than New York City—and the fact it’s in tinder-dry forest, means only heavy rains will make a difference.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Image: Satellite imagery of the burn scar left by the wildfire on 4 May, 2016. Public Domain

MIA Reflection Process

GCCM (Global Catholic Climate Movement) are inviting membership in their newly forming Laudato Si' Animators program to help promote the Laudato Si' message in local communities.

The initial 2 months (from now until June 19) will be focused on organizing at least one Laudato Si' event in your community as part of Laudato Si' Week. Events can take the form of a workshop, prayer service, study group, nature walk, or community service project.

Further details are linked to this item.

Messages to GCCM

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Meet the Members of a MIRP Group in Rochester (Americas)

Six Sisters and a Mercy Associate form one of the Rochester, New York MIRP Groups and have determined their area of concern to be Water.

Messages to: Marianne Comfort - MIRP Coordinator Americas


Image: Front row. L -r: Sisters Janet Wahl, Therese Richardson, Phyllis Bernardo, Marilyn Williams;
Back row.  - r:  Sister Celeste Boyle, Associate Margaret Oberst, and Sister Mary Sullivan

Meet Members of the Commercial Road East London MIRP Group (GB Union)

Groups of Sisters from the Great Britain Union congregation gathered in three venues recently  - East London, Central London and Middlesex - to reflect on some of the key themes of Laudato Si.

During our Mercy Theological Reflection two main issues emerged: Displacement of persons and the Environment.

Messages to: Patricia McMahon rsm - MIRP Coordinator (GB Union)

Image: L-r – sitting: Sisters Christina Moloney, Anna Moloney, Kathleen Murphy, Jean Parkes, Elizabeth O’Connor, Frances Rowe, Mary Gorman, Patricia McMahon, Enda Foley, Marie Fay, Regina Malone, Josephine Browne; standing: Bernadette McCaffrey and Bernadette Glynn

Sisters in Adelaide, South Australia gathered last Saturday, 7 May for Stage Two of MIRP. The thirty-three Sisters who first gathered on 5 March had identified two concerns:

Focus 1: The plight of Refugees and Asylum Seekers

A number of underlying causes were identified. The three key factors that the group would like to bring to our engagement with the wisdom traditions were represented in the form of a diagram of a triangle: Greed, Fear and Misinformation, with Power and the Economy in the centre..

Focus 2: Heeding the Cry of the Earth

The group suggested changing the name from the Destruction of the Earth to “Heeding the Cry of the Earth”.

The three key factors identified:

The interconnectivity of all things
The attitude of individual acquisitiveness

Messages to: Duyen Nguyen rsm - Key Facilitator Community South A


Image: Local Facilitators and Keynote Speakers: Tess Flaherty rsm, Margaret Adams rsm, Duyen Nguyen rsm, Philippa Rowland,  Marie Ralph rsm, Patrick Wright and Anne Foale rsm

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MIA Members News
Belief in Jesus Changed the Church (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Kathleen Rushton rsm shows in John 16 how a new way of telling the story of Jesus grew out of the Johannine community’s experience of being Christian.

Sr Kathleen writes: 'Science has demonstrated beyond all doubt that our universe is unfinished. In his 2015 book, Resting on the Future: Catholic Theology for an Unfinished Universe, John Haught asks “what Catholic faith might mean if we take fully into account the fact that our universe is on the move . . . What if [we] began to take more seriously the evolutionary understanding of life and the ongoing pilgrimage of the whole natural world? . . . that the cosmos, the earth, and humanity, rather than having wandered away from an original plentitude, are now and always invited toward the horizon of fuller being up ahead?”...'

Download the article here (PDF)

Read the article online here

Messages to: Kathleen Rushton rsm

Four Mercy High School Rochester, New York students who took canvas shoes as their artistic canvas are in the running for a $50,000 prize if they can garner enough online votes by Wednesday, 11 May at 5pm PDT .

They are among 50 finalists in a sneaker design contest sponsored by Vans. The winners, determined in June, receive the money to support arts education in their school.

Mercy is the only New York school represented, and the 50 semifinalists are divided into five regions of 10 contestants apiece. The competition now advances to the frenzy of online public voting, in this case at vans.com/customculture

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Mercy Secondary Education Conference XXXV Program Confirmed (Americas)

Program and registration materials for the thirty-fifth Mercy Secondary Education Conference to be held 14-15 October 2016 hosted by Mercy High School Farmington Hills, Michigan are now available. The conference theme is 'The Heart of Mercy: Peace'.

Keynote Speakers are Patricia McCarthy CND and Richard Mary Burke rsm

Download: brochure (4 pps; PDF)

Download: cover letter (PDF)

Messages to: Mercy Secondary Education Conference Committee c/- Corinne Raven rsm - Director Network for Mercy Education

'Employees at Mercy Hospital in Springfield [Missouri]  wear many hats in addition to being doctors, nurses, and secretaries, they also volunteer their time.

This year, employees are putting in thousands of volunteer hours to try and build healthier communities.

Mercy is celebrating 125 years and employees are pledging to donate 125 thousand hours in community service by erasing the food desert and building a community garden at Ray D. Kelly Park...'

Source: Ozarks first.com

Messages to:  Mercy Hospital Springfield

More information about volunteering at the Springfield Community Gardens can be found here

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'“The Government has to change this mind-set,” reads one of the posters which Sister of Mercy Bridget Crisp took to the protest of peaceful civil disobedience outside Auckland’s Sky City Hotel on March 21. The other poster bears a quote from Pope Francis, “The same mind-set which stands in the way of making radical decisions to reverse the trend of global warming also stands in the way of achieving the goal of eliminating poverty.” (Laudato Si’, par 175)...

Said Sr Bridget: '“Sisters of Mercy recognise that climate change is globally the most crucial issue facing humanity at this time. In our part of the world, we have close neighbours in the Pacific who have real concerns about the impact climate change will have on their islands, primarily through sea-level rise and the salinization of land and fresh water."

Messages to: Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregation Leader

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Sabbatical Program 2017 (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Te Ngakau Waiora Mercy Spirituality Centre Auckland, New Zealand is delighted to offer a six week Sabbatical Opportunity (25 January – 10 March) for Senior Sisters from New Zealand and from overseas. This will be a time of Sabbath

  •  to live, listen, pray, sing, and laugh;
  •  to enjoy a community experience of enrichment with Sisters from a variety of backgrounds and ministries.
  • to experience the Joy of Love and the Love of Joy

On request we will send our registration form to you. Once this is filled in and sent back to us with a deposit, we will put the name down. Please remember that our spaces are limited.

Download the poster (PDF)

Download an overview of the program (PDF)

Messages to: Beate Matthies - Manager

Mercy Matters

1852: Foundation to Hartford, Connecticut from Providence, Rhode Island - M Francis Warde
1885: Opening of Meteor Park Orphanage, Rockhampton, Queensland
1912: Foundation to Tiffin (Toledo), Ohio from Cincinnati

Editor: Mercy Tiffin Hospital is this week's featured website
1928: Death of M Berchmans Deane, Foundress of West Perth, Western Australia

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

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‘If there is one word that we should never tire of repeating, it is this: dialogue. We are called to promote a culture of dialogue by every possible means and thus to rebuild the fabric of society..

Dialogue, with all that it entails, reminds us that no one can remain a mere onlooker or bystander. Everyone, from the smallest to the greatest, has an active role to play in the creation of an integrated and reconciled society.This culture of dialogue can come about only if all of us take part in planning and building it. The present situation does not permit anyone to stand by and watch other people’s struggles. On the contrary, it is a forceful summons to personal and social responsibility...'

- Pope Francis. Address at Being Awarded Charlemagne Prize, 6 May 2016
The International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen is the oldest and best-known prize awarded for work done in the service of European unification. The prize is named for Charlemagne, the Franconian king revered by his contemporaries as the ‘Father of Europe’.

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'In high school, I remember the word from “The Merchant of Venice,” when our assignment was to memorize Portia’s speech imploring for her beloved’s life: “The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven to the place beneath. …”
But it was the next line that stayed with me: “It is twice blessed. It blesses him who gives and him who receives.”  
An act of mercy is always a relationship, blessing and connecting two parties forever, because it IS a blessing, and blessings come from God...'

-Mary Ann Pajakowski CSC

Read More

So, with good old penmanship in mind, here's a bunch of great apps that are designed for tablet, with writing and colouring-in the name of the game.

Source: Huffington Post

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'Pentecost Sunday is often called the birthday of the Church. For the ancient Israelites, Pentecost (meaning ‘fiftieth’) was a harvest festival celebrated fifty days after the harvesting of the first sheaf...'

- Veronica Lawson rsm

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Mercy Health - Tiffin Hospital, a member of Mercy Health's northern Ohio region, was founded in 1913 by the Sisters of Mercy and is fully accredited by The Joint Commission. Mercy Health - Tiffin Hospital is an acute care facility characterized by its family-centered care, community involvement and progressive ideas in healthcare.

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

'The wide universe is the ocean I travel And the earth is my blue boat home' from Blue Boat Home. Written and sung by Peter Mayer, Minnesota Folk Singer-Songwriter. Watch/listen here (03:59). Purchase on * iTunes *Google Play Lyrics here

Worth Reading:

Cosmology and the Environment

Climate Change

Sea-level rise has claimed five whole islands in the Pacific: first scientific evidence published in Environmental Research Letters confirms the numerous anecdotal accounts from across the Pacific of the dramatic impacts of climate change on coastlines and people. Read the article here

In light of the above, the just released Pacific Climate Change Conference Outcome Statement carries even greater urgency.

Michael Edison Hayden in National Geographic looks at Atlantic City, one of the places that’s already paying the price of climate change, showing how a worsening environment exacerbates inequality by dividing the population between those who can leave, and the ones who are forced to stay. Read the article here


'A staggering 330 million Indians, making up a quarter of the country’s population (or roughly the entire population of the United States), are currently reeling under the effects of a severe drought, resulting in an acute drinking water shortage and agricultural distress.' Read the article here


To mark David Attenborough’s 90th birthday, Ed Yong has re-watched Attenborough’s entire Life Collection of nature documentaries—79 episodes spanning 29 years—ranked them, and catalogued each one’s highlights and number of Attenborough appearances. Here's a way to locate your favourite - or to find where to look for a particular program. Read the essay here


Two-thirds of U.S. Gas Supply now comes from Fracking, up from just 7% in 2000, according to a Report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Read the article (including a link to the Report) here

Researchers from Duke University have concluded in a newly released peer-reviewed study that thousands of oil and gas industry wastewater spills in North Dakota have caused “widespread” contamination from radioactive materials, heavy metals and corrosive salts, putting the health of people and wildlife at risk. Read the article (including the link to the Report) here

The Bottom Line:

'It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility.'

-Rachel Carson, American marine biologist and conservationist

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

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Today, Sisters of Mercy, through Mercy International Association, use their resources to respond to issues of global
								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)