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Edition No. 672 | 25 May 2016
A Heart for Humanity (Americas)
Editor: On Monday and Tuesday this week (23-24 May), the World Humanitarian Summit was held in Istanbul, Turkey, convened by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon because the scale of human suffering experienced in our world today is the highest it has been since the Second World War. Bringing together the global community in this way was a first of its kind effort to harness commitment to new ways of collectively working together for the most vulnerable persons among us.
Closer to home, and in an example of what is possible, Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care North Carolina is the recipient of the Urgent Care Association of America's 2016 Humanitarian Award for the staff’s dedicated philanthrophic work in Haiti. That work began in February 2010 when a five-member medical team went on a 10-day mission to work in two hospitals in the Port-au-Prince area following the catastrophic earthquake on 12 January 2010. It has resulted in teams returning to Haiti four times each year since then to provide treatment for prevalent illnesses. This month's visit makes the fourteenth trip.
In accepting the award last month on behalf of the staff, Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care Medical Director Ellen Lawson, M.D. said 'When the devastating earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, we felt the call to serve as emergency disaster relief because we could be the hearts, hands and feet of mercy on the ground in Haiti'.
'Pope Francis has declared this year as the Jubilee Year of Mercy, so the timing of this award has special meaning for us', said Dr. Lawson.
Mercy Urgent Care Staff have documented their ongoing relief efforts using their emails, voicemails, texts and images. You can follow the narrative online here
Messages to: Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care Staff c/- Tim Johnston, President & CEO
Image: Dr. Ellen Lawson, medical director of Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care in western North Carolina, checks a patient in Haiti during a mission trip.
MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week: Sri Lanka and Bangladesh lashed by Major Flooding
Let us remember in our prayers the people of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
Heavy rain, strong winds, floods and landslides have forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes after a major storm hit Sr Lanka and Cyclone Roanu lashed the coast of Bangladesh. At least 23 people are dead in Bangladesh as a result with 82 dead in Sri Lanka as the island nation experiences its worst flooding in over a quarter of a century.
Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel
Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
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: Mathew Hawkins, Will Hamill, Alicia Reynolds 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
Mercy Contribution to 'Living in the Planet Earth: Faith Communities and Ecology' Book (Aotearoa New Zealand)
Srs Elaine Wainwright (ISMAPNG) and Kath Rushton, Alice Sinnott, Elizabeth Julian and Bridget Crisp (ANZ) each have chapters in Darragh, Neil, ed. Living in the Planet Earth: Faith Communities and Ecology. Auckland: Accent Publications, 2016.
This book reflects on the actions taken by faith communities to address ecological issues facing our planet earth.
Launched last month, the book can be ordered online from the publisher, the Theology Research Unit of the Catholic Diocese of Auckland
Eco-Parish Guide: Bringing Laudato Si to Life!
GCCM (Global Catholic Climate Movement) have released their Eco-Parish Guide: Bringing Laudato Si to Life!
Developed in cooperation with GCCM’s partners around the globe, the guide is directed at Catholic parishes globally to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by addressing actions in relation to parish operations, the congregation, and the broader community.
The Guide can be downloaded from the GCCM site. To do so, you need to input an email address.
Messages to: GCCM
Meet Sisters in the Middlesex Area Engaged in the Process (GB Union)
The meetings in the London and Middlesex areas generally opened with Pope Francis' Prayer for our Earth which led to some rich sharing, reflection and anecdotal stories relevant to the topic. Horrific experiences of sweat shops and the grave injustice to poor workers were among the sharings. We also touched on the topic of welcome' especially the stranger when there are so many displaced people in our world today. An old Irish custom was remembered - standing in the doorway to welcome the person to our home … how relevant that is today.
Left to right – Sitting: Sisters Catharina Lawlor, Ignatius Costello, Mildred Butler, Teresa Minogue, Nano Spillane, Constance Sullivan, Katherine O’Reilly,
Standing: Mary Jo Brennan, Angela Gallagher Margaret O’Shea, Johanna O’Brien, Anne Fitzmaurice, Winifred Graham, Liamie Cummins and Patricia McMahon
Meet Sisters in Central London Participating in MIRP (GB Union)
We were energized and enriched by the remembering and sharings. The video clips helped us understand that Laudato Si' is a work of healing. It invites us into something deeper and mysterious, challenging us that domination is not the way forward. We must network and work together for the common good.
During our Mercy Theological Reflection two main issues emerged:
-Displacement of persons and
Messages to: Patricia McMahon rsm - MIRP Coordinator GB Union
Left to right: Sisters Kathleen Mary Grogan, Angela Moroney, Maureen McNamara, Goretti McNamara, Mary Horgan, Brigid Collins and Margarita Cunningham
Mercy: the Beating Heart of the Bible (Aotearoa New Zealand)
On 18 May 2016, the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Committee for Interfaith Relations together with the Wellington Abrahamic Council of Jews Christians and Muslims hosted a discussion on Mercy in our Sacred Scriptures in an Abrahamic Celebration of the Year of Mercy.
The capacity audience heard speakers JoEllen Duckor (Jewish), Elizabeth Julian rsm (Christian) and Sultan Eusoff (Muslim) give presentations on Mercy and its place with other virues— such as compassion, justice and unbounded love— in their faith traditions.
Sister Elizabeth's full presentation 'Mercy: the Beating Heart of the Bible' is available here (13 pps; PDF)
Messages to: Elizabeth Julian rsm
Image: iStock. Used under licence
Editor: Giving a presentation this year for the Year of Mercy? We'd love to hear from you and with your agreement, republish your talk in Mercy eNews. Contact: the Editor
Deirdre Mullan rsm (The Congregation) was the recipient of one of the three Spirit of Mercy Awards presented at the Yale Club, New York City on 10 May, 2016.
Sister Pat Vetrano, President of the Mid-Atlantic Sisters of Mercy who welcomed ovet 200 guests at the event said: 'Tonight we honour three extraordinary individuals who manifest Mercy – Daniel E. Martin (CEO – Housing Partnership Development Corporation), Sister Deirdre Mullan (UNICEF – Partnership with Religious Congregations) and Gerard Mc Caffrey, (CEO – Mercy First). These three honorees authentically reflect God’s mercy in their work and witness the mission and values of the Sisters of Mercy...'
Image: L-r: Sisters Kathleen Keenan, Honoree Deirdre Mullan, Carol Conly and Carol Rittner at the recent Evening of Mercy in New York City.
Messages to: Deirdre Mullan rsm
OKLAHOMA (April 26, 2016) – Shorter hospital stays, fewer complications and better patient results are just a few metrics used to rank Mercy as one of the top five large health systems in the nation, alongside Mayo. The 2016 Truven Health 15 Top Health Systems, which includes five large, five medium and five small systems, analyzes 338 health systems and 2,912 hospitals across the U.S. Click here to find the listings.
'It’s an honor and no small feat to be recognized as one of the top systems in the nation for our quality efforts to provide better care and service to our patients,' said Dr. Keith Starke, an internal medicine physician for more than three decades and Mercy’s chief quality officer. 'What we do every day can be the difference between life and death for our patients. It also impacts how long they stay within our walls and if they have any complications. It’s a job that’s never finished so we’re constantly working to improve patient care.'..
Messages to: Courtney Landsberger - Media Relations Specialist Media Relations Specialist
The expansion of Arrupe Place in Western Sydney demonstrates the collaboration between the Mercy Sisters of Parramatta, Sisters of Charity and Good Sams who bring their own traditions of wisdom and service to the work of Jesuit Refugee Service, as the ministry continues to draw not only on other religious congregations but different sectors of the Catholic community.
Was it serendipity or providence?
Fr Aloysious Mowe SJ, Director of Jesuit Refugee Service Australia (JRS), says a chance encounter with Sr Catherine Ryan at a celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Mercy in 2014, led him to ask if the Sisters of Mercy had any available properties in the Parramatta area...
Messages to: Catherine Ryan rsm - Congregation Leader
Mercy Associate Ramona Casas was 12 years old when she crossed the border in the trunk of a car, buried in clothing as her uncle's friends drove her from Mexico to the Rio Grande Valley. After three years of working as a babysitter, she returned home to her parents and 18 siblings in Mexico.
She got married in Reynosa, Mexico, and a few years later came back to the United States with her new family, settling in Las Milpas, Texas, an underserved and impoverished neighborhood in the cit of Pharr, Texas. It wasn't until President Ronald Reagan's amnesty bill — the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 — that her status became legalized.
The following year, she met Mercy Sr. Gerrie Naughton, an Irish immigrant who came to the United States with a vision to transform the community by empowering its immigrant women. Naughton founded ARISE (A Resource In Serving Equality)...
Messages to: Ramona Casas c/- ARISE
Anne Curtis rsm, Institute Leadership Team member, was among several Catholic women who shared responses in the Huffington Post.
Sr Anne's response reads: 'What I see in this announcement is opportunity. Each time we, as a Church, engage in study and dialogue, we open the door to possibility, growth and deeper understanding of how we might better respond to the needs of our world. The challenges arise when we hesitate to see what these moments offer us. I hope for open and honest dialogue and a deeper understanding of the role of women in the Church. Sisters of Mercy are guided by a statement that calls us to act in solidarity with women seeking fullness of life and equality in church and society. The work of this commission can offer women a greater recognition of their dignity and gifts. I hope a way is opened for women to assume leadership, decision-making and to act as full participants in the life of our Church.'
Messages to: Anne Curtis rsm - Institute Leadership Team
Editor: The GSR/NCR interview on this issue with Sr. Carmen Sammut, president of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) can be read here
On the Eve of Pentecost (North Sydney Congregation)
On the eve of Pentecost, the North Sydney Mercies gathered for a theological reflection using the lens of the Mercy GPS as a means of focussing on Creation, our Social Environment and the Corporal Works of Mercy.
Considering Creation and Our Social Environment, they apologised to their sisters and brothers in developing countries for the lucrative ways we live in Australia. The reflection then moved to the Corporal Works of Mercy which led to a focus on the children of our world who are suffering the results of war, abuse and trafficking...
Read the complete article (PDF)
Messages to: Jennie Ryan rsm
South Sudan's first ever Olympic team will compete in Rio later this year. Against all the odds, refugee and Perth resident Mangar Makur Chuot will represent his country.
Mangar Makur Chuot along with his siblings is a former student of Aranmore Catholic College,
Messages to: Mangar Makur Chuot c/- Janina Pascoe rsm
Twenty-six pages of prayers contributed by Mercy secondary school educators.
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'The gospel for today brings together elements that have traditionally formed part of Christian worship.'
- Veronica Lawson rsm
No events of particular significance are recorded in the 'Mercy through the Years' calendar as having taken place on this day.
We know, however, that the Works of Mercy continued to be carried out and so we remember on this day Catherine and all our Sisters, Associates and Co-workers who have given their lives in service to others.
Contribute a fact about the Story of the Sisters of Mercy in your congregation or institute to our online archive
Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care offers compassionate health care at a fraction of the time and cost of an ER visit. No appointment necessary. Insurance accepted. Financial aid available.
'What is happening today is that we are sending out the starting signal for the implementation of an inclusive system of global approaches, of global activities, the purpose of which is to assist people in need. And in so doing we want to make it very clear that we all live on the very same planet, that every human being has but one life and every human being is entitled to live that one life in a sustainable and meaningful way and in order for them to be able to do so they have to be provided with the opportunities. Far too many people don't enjoy these opportunities.'
-Angela Merkel (Germany), World Humanitarian Summit (Istanbul, 2016), Member States and Stakeholders Announcements. Video (05:22)
'We're All In This Together' (Ben Lee) Music Video. Watch/listen here (05:04). A Song of Hope for Humanity and a Better World. Listen on Soundcloud. Purchase on *iTunes
Worth a look:
Book: 'Frackopoly: The Battle for the Future of Energy and the Environment.' Details here
'Heat & Light'. A novel by Jennifer Haigh.
'Forty years ago, Bakerton coal fueled the country. Then the mines closed, and the town wore away like a bar of soap. Now Bakerton has been granted a surprise third act: it sits squarely atop the Marcellus Shale, a massive deposit of natural gas.To drill or not to drill?' Read a Review here.
'Homeless at home: most displaced people found in Syria, Yemen and Iraq'. Conflict, violence and natural disasters forced nearly 28 million people to leave their homes and move somewhere else within their countries last year, according to a report from the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre Read the Report (Online); Download the Report (108pps; PDF). More people were displaced in 2015 by hydrometeorological disasters (14.7 million) than by conflicts or violence (8.5 million). See: 'Climate Change Compounds Humanitarian Crises in Global South'. Read here
'EU report warns that children have become preferred target for criminal gangs amid concern over thousands of minors disappearing from official view'. Read the article 'Human traffickers "using migration crisis" to force more people into slavery', here
The Bottom Line:
In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.
- Thurgood Marshall, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1967- 1991
Send suggestions and contributions for the 'Worth...' section 2016 to: the Editor
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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)