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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 673  |  01 June 2016
Featured Story

Editor: When the World Trade Center fell on September 11, 2001, one tree — a severely damaged Callery pear tree—survived through the wreckage and was given the name 'The Survivor Tree'.

Each year since 2013, the 9/11 Memorial has given seedlings grown from the Survivor Tree to three communities that have endured recent tragedy. The 2015 seedlings were given to Newtown, Connecticut; Madrid, Spain and to Joplin, Missouri where, on 22 May, 2011, 161 lives were lost, hundreds were injured and the city torn apart by the deadliest tornado to strike the U.S. in decades.

Mercy [Health] marked the fifth anniversary of the Joplin tornado on 22 May 2016 by hosting the planting of the Joplin sapling at Mercy Hospital Joplin, the facility which replaced the former St. John’s Regional Medical Center which was destroyed by the tornado.

'We have chosen to place this tree outside an area of our hospital known for its survivors – our cancer center,' said Whit Sanders, Executive Director of Cancer Services at Mercy Joplin, during the ceremony. 'Near the healing garden, we hope it serves as a source of comfort and inspiration to those who are going through treatment. May they remember that they, like the tree, can be survivors. With our roots firmly planted in our community, may this tree remind us of the lesson we learned during the night of May 22, 2011. When we branch out to care for each other, we can grow, even through adversity.”

Messages to: Sonya Kullmann - Media contact Mercy Springfield Communities

Image: Whit Sanders, Executive Director of Cancer Services at Mercy Joplin, plants a sapling from the 9/11 Memorial Tree near the cancer center’s healing garden at a ceremony Sunday, 22 May during the fifth anniversary of the Joplin tornado. Photo supplied

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Vision in Action

Editor: Global Sisters Report (GSR) is focusing a special series on mining and extractive industries and the women religious who work to limit its damage and impact on the environment, health, and social issues.

Mercy Global Action has now contributed two articles to this series:

Mining and Extraction Coalition at UN Holds Countries, Companies Accountable, as previously reported in Mercy eNews and most recently:

'Digging at our conscience' -- The Courage to Seek Justice in Mining Projects

Messages to:
Denise Boyle fmdm - Director Mercy Global Action
Aine O'Connor rsm - MGA Coordinator at the UN

Image: iStock. Used under licence

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Forward Notice on a Vacancy at Mercy International Centre

Mary Kay Dobrovolny, rsm will complete her assignment as Assistant Director Heritage and Spirituality at Easter 2017. The recruitment process to fill the post will commence in September 2016. This is now being announced so that anyone who may be interested in making an application has forward notice and can plan accordingly. Queries regarding the position or indications of interest in the position are welcome. To allow for a transition period, the starting date for the incoming Assistant Director will be the beginning of March 2017.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Today, 1 June, is International Children’s Day. The Catholic and Orthodox Christian Communities in Syria will together make a special prayer for peace, which will have children themselves as its protagonists. The Syrian children invite children from around the world to join their prayer for peace.

Let us join our prayer for peace with theirs.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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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: Ronald Cosentino 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
June Brings Us All More Opportunities for Action for the Environment

Editor: World Environment Day (5 June), Sacred Earth, Sacred Trust (12 June) and the first anniversary of Laudato Si' (18 June), forming part of Laudato Si' week (12-19 June) are important environmental events this month

Information, resources, sign- up opportunities and invitations to join in conversations on social media can all be found on the event websites.

The Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) and Catholic Climate Covenant (CCC) are each offering free webinars.

On Thursday, 9 June CCC is offering a webinar Climate Change's Canaries: Oceans and Vulnerable Populations with representatives including Wendy Flannery rsm ( Brisbane Congregation), convener of Climate Frontlines at Friends of the Earth Australia {Brisbane} and member of Earth Matters. Information and enrolment here.

GGCM is organising webinars as part of its Laudato Si' Online Conference with representatives including Bishop Sanchez Sorondo from the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Jeffrey Sachs from the Earth Institute at Columbia. Register here for further information

SDSN Spain has recently translated the mini-MOOC 'Laudato Si. A study on the encyclical' into Spanish. This course (at no charge) was originally launched by SDSNedu in 2015 and will be available with Spanish subtitles from today, June 1, 2016. The trailer of the MOOC (v3; 01:51), narrated by Bono, was screened during the event. The final version of the trailer, also useful for a reflection, can be played here (02:36)

Image: iStock. Used under licence

Meet the Members of Puerto Eten, Peru (Newfoundland)

From Chiclayo Province, Lambayeque Region in northern Peru: three Sisters of Mercy, four members of Puerto Eten (district), three members of Reque (district), one member of Eten City district.

Issue: Contamination: problem of garbage

A common problem in our three pueblos: Eten; Puerto Eten; Reque; that directly affects and damages the Earth and the poor

*Back Row.  L-r:
Augusto Rodolfo Martínez  Ibáñez:
Linda Ilma Ayasta Cruz:
University Student –Sociology

Mildred Brennan: RSM (Facilitator)
Gustavo Raul Cumpa Carvallo:
High School Teacher Psychologist

*Front Row. L- r:
Rosaly Vargas Mendoza:RSM
Angela Karla Navarro Calderón:
Parish Secretary
Elmer Reupo Durand:
Agricultural Engineer

Lucía Maria Reupo Durand:

Alicia Mackey:RSM
Luisa Mercedes Fontanas Vega:
Retired Teacher
Juan Julio Rodríguez Pastor:
High School Librarian

Messages to: Elizabeth Marrie rsm - MIRP Coordinator Newfoundland

Meet the Members of Monte Sant' Angelo Mercy College Board: Engaged in MIRP (Nth Sydney Congregation)

The Monte Sant' Angelo Mercy College Board comprises the Principal, Finance Director and Board members who have chosen to focus on ‘Pollution’ as it embraced the key causes that brought about inequality and destruction to our world and was the major cause of poverty in developing countries.

The group hopes to respond to ‘The Cry of the Earth, the Cry of the Poor’ through practical measures, renewed policies within the College and a more intense focus on education and action in our community.

Messages to: Valda Dickinson - MIRP Coordinator Parramatta & North Sydney Congregations

Image: Standing. L-r: Nicole Christensen (Principal), Peter Raper, Trevor Hamilton, Eizabeth Dodds rsc, Steve Rubic ( Board Chair), Glenn Ollerton, Jennie Ryan rsm (Facilitator)
Seated. L-r: Brian Bissaker, David Robinson, Neil Schafer, Catherine Kernot, Margaret Farrell rsm

Meet the Members of the Congregation Centre Parramatta Staff MIRP Group (Parramatta Congregation)

The Congregation Centre Parramatta Office Staff Group focus is Homelessness in Parramatta [a suburb and major business district in the metropolitan area of Sydney]

A breadth of issues was shared in our meeting... Given that this Centre overlooks a park where the homeless are fed twice a day and where many sleep at night the group decided it was appropriate for us to focus our attention on the homeless of Parramatta.

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

Image: L-r: Back Row: Connie Yue, Mary Louise Petro rsm, Kim Brennan, Elizabeth Cove, Maria Lawton rsm
Front Row: Elaine Butler, Catherine Ryan rsm, Joan Keogh rsm, Noni Ball rsm

MIA Members News

Holy Angels in Belmont, North Carolina, provides specialized, round-the-clock care for children and adults with intellectual developmental disabilities and delicate medical conditions. In an environment fostering loving and compassionate care, opportunities for dignified living, and innovative learning programs, Holy Angels empowers people who have capabilities as well as challenges. Sister Nancy Nance is vice president of community relations for this nonprofit ministry...

Messages to: Nancy Nance rsm

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NyPPaW Sisters Make Historic Decision, Elect Chapter Delegates (Americas)

A bold decision in January by Sisters discerning leadership for the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas New York, Pennsylvania, Pacific West (NyPPaW) Community, was affirmed by a vote on April 27 during the Community assembly in Erie, Pa., USA.

In January, 13 discerners recommended that there not be an election of a new leadership team at the assembly and instead begin with Journey of  Oneness with the Institute.

Sisters at the assembly voted unanimously to recommend to the Institute Leadership Team that NyPPaW “relate” to the ILT as of Jan. 1, 2017.

Read the report here (PDF)

Messages to: Gary Loncki - Director of Communications, Sisters of Mercy NyPPaW

Image: Sisters raise green cards to affirm a recommendation that NyPPaW 'relate' to the ILT as of Jan. 1, 2017

Editor: Janet Ruffing rsm, a professor in the practice of spirituality and ministerial leadership at Yale Divinity School, and Ginger Andrews rsm, a spiritual director who ministers at the Mercy Conference and Retreat Centre in St Louis, Missouri, are among a number of spiritual directors interviewed for this article in Global Sisters Report (GSR).

Messages to:
Janet Ruffing rsm
Ginger Andrews rsm

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Editor: In providing us with this poem Sr Jo O'Donovan writes; 'I’m offering you this poem because we have just celebrated Corpus Christi and June is the month of Eucharist.

The poem comes from a private collection [written] by Sr Nora Wall...one of our well-loved Mercy Sisters in Limerick....

Now in her nineties and using a walking aid to get around, I see her there before me each morning at Mass. The first line, I'’m going now to the mystery...,‘ says it all.'

Messages to:  Sr Nora Wall  c/- Jo O'Donovan rsm

Image: Peter Casamento. Used with permission

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Mercy Matters

Google has launched a new application for iOS devices called Gboard that puts the power of Google search directly into your mobile device’s keyboard...

By tapping the included “G” icon, you’re able to immediately search Google without exiting your keyboard and launching a browser or the Google app...'

Source: Tech Crunch

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In Praise of Patience

'Patience recognises suffering in the difficulties of one’s life and that of another... Unlike resilience, which implies returning to an original shape, patience suggests change and allows the possibility of transformation as a means of overcoming difficulties. It is a simultaneous act of defiance and tenderness, a complex existence that gently breaks barriers. In patience, a person exists at the edge of becoming. With an abundance of time, people are allowed space to be undefined, neither bending nor broken, but instead, transfigured.'

- Samira Thomas, Essay: ' In Praise of patience'

Editor: The members of MAST (Mercy Association in Scripture and Theology) have given the Mercy network and beyond a most generous gift in deciding to put all previous years' issues of this enriching publication online at no charge (1990-2015).

The MAST Journal is published three times a year. To support this fine journal, fill out the form and send it to Julia Upton rsm. Details here

Information about the current issue (vol 23 no 2 can be read here

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'Liberation or release for the most marginalised is at the heart of the mission of the Lukan Jesus...'

-Veronica Lawson rsm

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Since our creation in 1986, Mercy is the seventh largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves millions annually. Mercy includes 46 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, more than 700 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

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1875: Foundation to Rathangan, Co Kildare from Alton Towers, Shrewsbury, England - M Magdalen Monaghan

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

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:
'Wood hath hope' . Music by John Foley sj; lyrics based on a poem by Caryll Houselander. Listen here (02:32)

Worth Reading:

'In 2015, NASA's satellite data revealed that 21 of the world's 37 large aquifers are severely water-stressed. With growing populations, and increased demands from agriculture and industry, researchers indicated that this crisis is only likely to worsen.'. Read the article 'The Third World War Will be About Water' here


Environmental impacts are responsible for nearly 25 per cent of all deaths, according to a new study published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Read the article here. Download the study 'Healthy Environment, Healthy People' here (56pps; PDF)

Ending Hunger

The latest IRP (International Resource Panel) report lists 12 ways to use natural resources more efficiently, improve human health and reduce the environmental damage caused by food systems. Read the article here. Download the report summary here (34 pps; PDF) or full report  (164 pps; PDF) here

World Humanitarian Summit, Istanbul 23-24 May
Chair's Summary (Advance, unedited version) is now online. Read it here (8pps; PDF)

The June issue of Update, LCWR's monthly newsletter, can be downloaded here (11pps; PDF)

Worth Exploring:

SDSN.edu is the online education initiative of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a Global Initiative of the United Nations. Among the free online self-paced courses on offer are: One Planet - One Ocean: From Science to Solutions; The Age of Sustainable Development; Transforming Our world: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Laudato Si'

The Bottom Line:

'Keep busy with survival. Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember nothing stays the same for long, not even pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.'

- May Sarton, American poet, novelist and memoirist

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)