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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 674  |  08 June 2016
Featured Story

We sat down to talk of Jubilee – Mercy, Golden – and wondered where the years since Silver had gone. Hard to grasp that it was our turn to be golden. We thought of those who seemed so venerable in our early Carysfort days# even before they reached this milestone. Perhaps it is true what they say - that those who were teens in the sixties never think they can grow old. 

With a big effort to absorb our incredulity and our maturity we decided we would walk through the Holy Door in Rome in this Year of Mercy. It became our focus, the focus of our pilgrimage and our marking of this time in our lives...

Our Roman pilgrimage was like a crown upon our fifty years. The alleluia still sings in us.

Messages to: Srs Agnes Coll, Luarena McCormick,Thomasina Finn, Colette Mullett, Catherine Dooley, Bonaventure Higgins c/- Thomasina Finn rsm


Image: L-r: Srs Agnes Coll, Luarena McCormick, Thomasina Finn, Colette Mullett, Catherine Dooley, Bonaventure Higgins

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Vision in Action
MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week: In Celebration of our Jubilarians

We give thanks for all Sisters of Mercy celebrating jubilees in this Year of Mercy. We pray with gratitude for the gift of their persons, the witness of their lives, their generosity of spirit and their years of faithful service in carrying out works of Mercy.

We are grateful for the support and encouragement they give to their communities, friends, families and those encountered in their ministries.

May they be richly blessed.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Report of MGAN May Conference Call with Reports from Member Congregations and Institutes

On 12 May, a number of the Mercy Global Action Network (MGAN) group linked up for a conference call meeting, with participants from New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and the US. We were a smaller group than usual,however, it was a stimulating and most interesting meeting.  The reports received before the meeting reflected the range and variety of justice work that the Mercy Family are engaged in...

Read the report on the MGAN meeting (PDF)
Read reports from:
*GB Institute (PDF)
*Newfoundland (PDF)
*Americas (PDF)
*The Congregation (Ireland) (PDF)
*Aotearoa New Zealand (PDF)

Messages to: MGAN Network c/- Denise Boyle fmdm - Mercy Global Action

Repeated: 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

Special MIA Prayer Intention: All Affected by Widespread Flooding

Torrential rains across central Europe have led to the worst flooding in decades, claiming the lives of at least 82 people. In other parts of the globe, there have been evacuations and loss of life as a result of heavy rains and mudslides, floods and landslides, in parts of China, the Philippines, Iran, Nepal, and Australia.

We pray with all those whose lives and livelihoods have been affected by rain and flood. May they have the strength to work through their present circumstances, the courage to undertake the journey ahead and the support and assistance needed to face the future with hope.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

MIA Reflection Process
Hartford Sacred Circle Report after Stage 2 of MIRP (Americas)

Cecilia Baranowski, Nancy Audette and Carmela Garofalo of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas represented their MIRP group and the Connecticut Earth Mercy Committee at a protest of the Niagara Bottling Company's construction site. The MIRP group has been analyzing and reflecting on the proposed plant and its impact on the local community.

Members of the group identified the underlying causes of the siting of the bottling plant as greed, advertising that creates a false 'need' for bottled water, and a 'grab and go' culture. They also named their own complicity in hesitating to speak out and choosing to remain unaware.

They determined through their analysis that powerful corporations appear to be the major beneficiaries of any kind of water control. They also recognized that all of creation is harmed by any abuse of water rights, but especially the poor, indigenous women, and future generations....

Read the complete report here (PDF)

Messages to: Marianne Comfort - MIRP Coordinator Americas

Meet the Members of St Mary’s Community, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand MIRP Group

A group of Sisters, which comprises Sisters of Mercy, a Sister of Compassion (dolc) and a Missionary Sister of the Society of Mary (smsm) has been gathering every week since the beginning of March at St Mary’s in Auckland, sharing stories that concern them in relation to the cry of Earth and the cry of the poor.  They have now completed Stage 1 and have chosen ‘the Dignity of Work’ as their issue for reflection for the Year of Mercy.  This includes an exploration of the implications of a living wage for people on low incomes.

Messages to: Natalie Murphy rsm - Co-cordinator MIRP Aotearoa New Zealand

Image: From left to right: Srs Gwenda Williams, Patricia Clark, Irenaeus Murphy, Peggy Brown dolc, M. Brendan Somers, Dora Hotchin, Marcienne Kirk, Patricia Erin O'Dwyer, Maureen O'Brien, Frances Stewart, Gaynor Laverty smsm,  Margaret Timms. The group facilitator, Rosemary Revell took the photo.

World Oceans Day

Editor: Today, 8 June, is World Oceans Day There are a number of reasons oceans are important to us, including regulating our climate, generating oxygen, cleaning our drinking water and supplying us with food.

Yet every year about 8 million tons of plastics enter the ocean—which is equivalent to dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute. More about the plastic pollution problem can be found here

Readers looking for recent resources for this day/on this topic might like to explore one of the following:

The 2015 documentary feature The Plastic Age is available on YouTube. Watch/listen here (17:44).

Jeff Bridges narrates the Plastic Pollution Coalition's video released in March 2016. Watch it here (03:55)

A shorter reflection, the trailer from the recently released documentary Plastic Oceans, can be viewed here (02:08). The website can be found here

A reminder that more opportunities for action for the environment this month can be accessed on our site here


Meet a MIRP Group from Canberra ACT Australia (ISMAPNG)

Srs Jo Doyle , Kathleen Keenan , Eileen Savage , Catherine McMahon, Kathleen Costain form one of the CEntral A groups. They meet at Sr Kathleen's home in Canberra [Australia's capital city]. Their focus is on Productivity – growing in awareness of where goods are from that appear on our shelves and the impact on local farmers of imports e.g. fruit, tinned food.

Messages to: Margaret Hart rsm - Key Facilitator Central A Community

MIA Members News

The NL Hydraulic Review Panel has forwarded its Final Report to Government.  The Report endorses the recommendations that were made in the submissions from Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice (PDF) and from the Roman Catholic Religious Leaders of Newfoundland and Labrador (PDF)(of which our Leadership Team are members).  While they have not recommended a complete ban on fracking, they have suggested that much more information and certainty is needed before fracking can be allowed to proceed in this province – that information not only relates to the science and technology involved but equally to public health and socio-economic matters.

It is worth noting that, in a number of places, the authors of the Report use the actual wording from our Religious Leaders’ submission.  As a result, the submission from the Religious Leaders is actually cited in the Bibliography at the end of the Report.  We do believe that we influenced the Panel on matters relating to the appropriate health system infrastructure if fracking is undertaken (they specifically quote our submission on this point)....

Messages to: Elizabeth Davis rsm - Congregation Leader

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The Anointing Woman (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Kathleen Rushton rsm reveals in her June article in Tui Motu that the woman who anoints Jesus’ head in Simon the Pharisee’s house in Luke 7:36-8:3 is a different woman from Mary Magdalene or Mary of Bethany, with whom tradition has confused her.

Sr Kathleen writes: 'Do you share the surprise on the faces of the two disciples on the left and right of the woman at the top of the remarkable The Anointing illustration of 1260? My students do. After comparing and contrasting the anointing woman stories in the four gospels, they exclaim: “Anointing Jesus’ head? Never heard that before!”...'

Download the article here (PDF)

Messages to: Kathleen Rushton rsm

The first Sister to enter our Congregation in Newfoundland and also to be the first Sister to die in Newfoundland was buried in what has come to be known as “The Forgotten Graveyard.” A number of our Sisters gathered with members of the Benevolent Irish Society (BIS) and other community members on Saturday, May 28, 2016 to dedicate a plaque in memory of the first Catholic graveyard in St. John’s as well as to honour the memory of Sister Mary Joseph Nugent. This plaque has been installed on the stone wall near the bottom of Long’s Hill.

The Forgotten Graveyard, located on the grounds on which the Kirk now stands and extended to Queens Road and west to Long’s Hill, opened in 1811 but was no longer in use by 1849. In those years over 400 people were buried there...

Messages to: Sheila O'Dea rsm - Congregation Leadership Team

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Intergenerational Forum at Mercy Spirituality Centre (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Global Warming, Domestic Violence, Mercy Values and the Freedom of Speech were some of the issues discussed at our Intergenerational Forum in May 2016.

Five tables with one “middle aged” facilitator at each table accommodated about 30 young people and older adults. Everybody was involved when current topics were debated. No shouting, no interrupting – everybody’s opinion was important. “I felt safe in the environment to share my opinion and really appreciated the opinion of the older people.” wrote one of the female students in her feedback form...

Read the complete report here (PDF)

Messages to: Beate Matthies - Manager Mercy Spirituality Centre

Editor: Next Monday,13 June, at a special evening prayer service at the Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi in Metuchen, the current — Lisa D. Gambacorto rsm — and former — Mary Kerwin rsm — Directresses of Mount St Mary Academy, Watchung, New Jersey, will receive the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, the highest Papal honor awarded to laity and clergy for distinguished service to the church.

'I am deeply moved to receive this award, not only in my own name but for all the Sisters of Mercy who have served the church,' said Sr Lisa, Directress since 2000, on receiving the news in April. 'I stand on the shoulders of my Sisters.'

Said Sr Mary who was Directress of Mount Saint Mary from 1967 to 1974, "I was deeply overwhelmed and honored. It came as a beautiful surprise. I treasure every moment that I was able to give to the Diocese.That was my apostolate for a good number of years.'

Messages to:
Lisa D. Gambacorto rsm
Mary Kerwin rsm

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The Jubilee Year of Mercy is a wonderful opportunity to reflect more deeply on what it means to give and receive mercy, on all levels – personal, communal, organisational and global. In writing this reflection, I especially find myself thinking of how much the gift of mercy is needed to change   lives, especially in my own country of Papua New Guinea. I am reminded of the well-known words attributed to Ghandi - 'We must become the change we want to see in the world'…

Can we use our collective voice to raise awareness of the ‘plight’ of peoples in developing countries and so support them in their struggle for justice? Surely this is mercy in action!

Messages to: Theresia Tina - Institute leadership Team

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Mercy Matters

'Whether or not we can see them, like the stars, refugees exist. Also like stars, they exist as individuals but also in relationships. And just like stars, each refugee (and each person for that matter) is beautiful. Constellations remind me of the families that have fled their homelands, individuals but connected....

Refugees are grandparents, students, teachers, engineers and so much more. They are our brothers and sisters. I hope that every time I look up at the night sky I will remember them.'

-Robert McCarthy, second year at the University of Virginia

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1815: Birth of Sr Angela Borini, Foundress of Nottingham, Barnsley and Oldham in Birmingham

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

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Remember that:

1. mercy lies deepest in God’s heart.
2. mercy is the essence of all true religion.
3. we all stand forever in need of mercy.
4. having received mercy, we must show mercy to others.
5. only the practice of mercy sets us free.
6. mercy is not opposed to justice, but is its fulfillment.
7. only the practice of mercy will make God’s Kingdom come.
8. mercy needs too to be practiced collectively.
9. mercy calls us to do works both spiritual and physical.
10. our lives are a dialogue between God’s mercy and our weaknesses.

An explanation of each 'commandment' is linked to this item

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Editor: The second half of this article has practical advice for users who've experienced problems in upgrading to Windows 10.

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'A foot massage is a very intimate experience...'

- Veronica Lawson rsm

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Mount Saint Mary Academy is a Catholic, independent school that provides an exemplary college preparatory education for young women in grades 9 through 12. As a sponsored work of the Sisters of Mercy, the Mount is rooted in the values and traditions of the Venerable Catherine McAuley.

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

The official song for of the 4 Jubilee Tours of Rome in this Year of Mercy has now been launched. Watch/listen to The Jubilee Routes Ave Maria (03:37) composed by Romano Musumarra, words of Grant Black. Sung by British mezzo soprano Carly Paoli Purchase on *iTunes *Amazon (Italy)

Worth Reading:

Climate Change

Climate change is one of the biggest risks for World Heritage sites according to a new report released at the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) on 26 May 2016. Read the report here (88pps; PDF)

Governments Agree to 25 Landmark Resolutions to Drive Sustainability Agenda and Paris Climate Agreement: far reaching decisions on issues such as marine litter, the illegal trade in wildlife, air pollution, chemicals and waste, and sustainable consumption and production. Article here.


The Crisis in Flint Isn’t Over. It’s Everywhere. Ripple Effect. Online magazine article by Ben Paynter, photographs by Dan Winters. Read it here

Human Trafficking

The Vatican news report on Pope Francis' unexpected appearance at the Judges' Summit on Human Trafficking and Organized Crime on 3 June can be read here

The Bottom Line:

'Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.'
-Matsuo Basho, Japanese poet

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

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