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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 679  |  13 July 2016
Featured Story
Hearing the Voice of Earth in the Lukan Parable of the Pounds (ISMAPNG)

Editor: In Stage Three of the Mercy International Reflection Process we are asked to bring our new critical questions into dialogue with the Tradition, engaging anew with the Biblical,Theological, Spiritual, Ecclesial and Mercy Traditions.
Veronica Lawson rsm, Sheila Curran rsm and Elaine Wainwright rsm explore biblical texts in their interviews in MIRP VOICES with some other biblical text examples available here. The following article by Elizabeth Dowling rsm is an additional resource which uses two examples of brokenness, both of which are focal issues for Mercy Global Action.

'Context informs any reading of a biblical text. My reading of the Parable of the Pounds 1 in the Gospel of Luke (19:11–27) is informed by seeing and hearing the desperate plight of so much of the Earth community.2 Suffering  and brokenness within the Earth community is widespread and diverse. In this article, I seek to bring two examples of this suffering and brokenness from within the current Australian context, namely the fracking of Earth and human trafficking, into dialogue with the Lukan Parable of the Pounds...'12pps; PDF

Messages to: Elizabeth Dowling rsm

Download the article here (12pps; PDF). Published in the May 2016 issue of Colloquium: The Australian and New Zealand Theological Review. Published in Mercy eNews with permission


Image: On Oct. 12-13, 2015, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly took a series of seventeen photographs from the International Space Station during a single flyover of Australia. This first photo of the series was posted with the caption, "#EarthArt in one pass over the #Australian continent. Picture 1 of 17. #YearInSpace". NASA. Used with permission

Vision in Action
Enrol in a Program at MIC in 2017

Four programs are in place for 2017:

Watering the Roots at the Wellsprings of Mercy
4 June to 1 July 2017    

Pilgrimage of Young Mercy Leaders (for secondary school students):
18 July to 21 July 2017   

Come Home to Catherine:
30 July to 5 August 2017

Ethos Pilgrimage for Partners in Mercy:
13 August to 19 August 2017

Download the program here (PDF)

Messages to: Madeleine O'Hanlon - Reception

MIA Special Prayer Intention: Peace in South Sudan

South Sudan's situation has been described as 'dire and deteriorating' as gun fighting is heard across the capital, Juba, for the fifth day, despite forces being ordered to cease fire.

Prayers are asked for all those in South Sudan where safety is threatened and the humanitarian crisis is worsening.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

MIA joins with the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas in their expression of grief, call to prayer and working for an end to racism and building a culture of nonviolence.

In the words of their prayerful statement:

'The events of this week have laid bare the pain and bitter fruit of generations of institutionalized structural racism. The last months of hateful rhetoric and fear mongering in the public discourse in the U.S. have served to fan racism, islamophobia, anti-immigrant sentiment and the “blaming of victims” of impoverishment and marginalization, creating a sense of “we” and “they” that only serves to diminish all of us....'

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

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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:
Gerard Corcoran, Olan Hanrahan, Neil Shanahan 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
Preparing for Creation Time 2016 (1September- 4 October)

Editor: Since 1999 the European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) has urged churches to adopt a time for Creation from 1 September to the feast of St Francis on 4 October. Last year, Pope Francis designated 1 September as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation in the Catholic Church, encouraging all members of the Catholic community to 'rediscover in our own rich spiritual patrimony the deepest motivations for our concern for the care of creation'. Pope Francis said he was instituting the prayer day for Catholics because he shares the concern of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, who initiated the 1 September prayer day for the Orthodox Church in 1989 and the Christian community 'must respond respond together, in order to be more credible and effective'.

Resources already available:

CAFOD: World Day Of Prayer for Care of Creation

Eco-Congregation Scotland: Creation Time materials

As further resources become available, we will publicise these in Mercy eNews

Sisters of Mercy in Western Australia Report on Stage Two (ISMAPNG)

In the several weeks following MIRP Stage 1 when two critical concerns were identified namely, Degradation of Water and Displacement of Peoples, we had engaged ourselves in examining and reflecting on these concerns, giving particular attention to their causes and effects.

For Stage 2 on May 7, which we understood to be primarily educative (educating each other), we formed four working groups, each of approximately 8 members...

Individually we shared key learnings from our personal research into the critical concern. These key learnings then formed the basis of a group statement which addressed where and why the critical concern is happening, who is suffering because of it and how the earth itself is suffering.

Our Learnings can be read here (PDF).

Messages to: Adele Howard rsm - MIRP Coordinator ISMAPNG

MIA Members News
Sisters of Mercy and the Easter Rising 1916 (The Congregation)

Editor: This year Ireland is marking the centenary of the rebellion of Easter 1916, the event that is regarded as having led to Ireland’s independence.

Links Sisters of Mercy have with the events of 1916 are recorded in three articles on The Congregation's website:

Sisters of Mercy and 1916 by Thomasina Finn rsm - Congregational Secretary 

The Mystery of the Missing Letter: Eamon de Valera and Carysfort Training College 1916 by Marianne Cosgrove - Mercy Congregational Archives

Sisters in Revolution by Teresa Delaney rsm - Western Province

Messages to:
Thomasina Finn rsm
Marianne Cosgrave
Teresa Delaney rsm

Image: element from the Proclamation of the Republic (Irish: Forógra na Poblachta) a document issued by the Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army during the Easter Rising in Ireland,

On Saturday, October 29, 2016, Cranaleith Spiritual Center, Philadelphia, PA USA,will present a day-long special event celebrating great women who accomplished amazing feats in an effort to raise up the status of women in the 19th century and mark the addition of Cranaleith’s historic Victorian home (built in 1891) to the National Register of Historic Places. Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), Rachel Foster Avery (1858-1919), Minerva Parker Nichols (1860–1949), and Catherine McAuley (1778- 1841), all have an historical connection to Cranaleith and have left a legacy that continues to empower and inspire women today. The event will recognize them through historic reenactments, storytelling and an awards ceremony...

Book a ticket online to this special event

Messages to: Mary-Anne Smith Harris

Editor: Cranaleith is this week's featured Mercy website

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More than 300 Sisters, Mercy Associates and volunteers turned conversations about Mercy into Acts of Mercy at the Gathering of the Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community in Chicago. In two hours on June 25, they packaged 35,000 nutritious meals for food pantries and shelters in Chicago. Several young women from Saint Xavier University, members of the Knights of Columbus and volunteers from Mary, Seat of Wisdom Church joined in to help with this community service project.

Cheers of “Go Mercy Go” filled the room as the assembly line completed the boxes of meals, each feeding 216 people. The activity gave a deeper meaning to the Gathering theme, Together at the Doors of Mercy....

Messages to:  Mercy West Midwest Community c/- Patti Kantor WMW Communications Manager

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Reading Luke's Gospel With Ecological Eyes: Part 6 (ISMAPNG)

In the sixth part of the series Elaine Wainwright rsm interprets Luke 13:6-17 showing the importance of the principle of Sabbath for the health and well-being of all creation – human and other-than-human.

'The anniversary of Laudato Si’ provides us with an invitation to explore the principle of Sabbath anew in the entire Earth community', writes Sr Elaine.

Download the PDF here
Read Parts 1-5 online here

Messages to: Elaine Wainwright rsm

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

You expect to see crosses in a Catholic health care facility. You will see them every where in Mercy buildings, from the windowpanes to the walls. But a unique cross composed of 100 solar panels at Mercy Hospital Joplin in Missouri is helping to reduce impact on the environment while serving as a reminder that caring for the Earth is an important part of caring for each other...

The sustainability efforts began before crews turned a single scoop of dirt. We studied water runoff from the property and then designed detention areas to filter water and ensure we did not have an impact on glades downstream. We also identified more than 400 trees on the property that could be dug up, maintained and then replanted on site after construction was complete...

Messages to: John Farnen - Vice president, Mercy planning, design and construction, Chesterfield, Missouri

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Editor: Assumpta Walsh rsm, Chaplain at St Thomas' Hospital in London, was among the guests invited to the unveiling of a statue of Mary Seacole. Mary Seacole has been recognised for the part she played in the Crimean War, where a number of Sisters of Mercy also served.

Sr Assumpta writes: 'On the 30th June 2016,
I felt privileged to have been invited to the unveiling of Mary Seacole’s Statue at St Thomas’ Hospital.  Mary Seacole was a Jamaican born woman and it is believed that she is the first black woman to be honoured in the UK in this manner...

I felt humbled and honoured as I remembered our Jamaican Sisters on such an auspicious occasion and offered a prayer for them...

Messages to: Assumpta Walsh rsm

Image: Sr Assumpta Walsh beside the statue of Mary Seacole in London

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Mercy Matters

'The story of Martha and Mary has been interpreted fairly consistently over the centuries...

In recent times, some interpreters have re-evaluated this reading of the Martha-Mary story. They have drawn attention to the many voices that inform the gospels and have suggested that this particular text reflects a struggle in early Church communities over the role of women in leadership and ministry....'

-Veronica Lawson rsm

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Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Cranaleith offers a contemplative space for all those seeking wholeness and transformation for themselves and society.  We are committed to making Cranaleith accessible to all, especially to persons who are poor and those who work in solidarity with them.  We seek to invite those at the center of need and those at the center of influence to reflection, reverent dialogue and meaningful partnerships.

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Several years ago, Google engineers figured out a way to stitch together satellite imagery to remove clouds, giving Google Earth and Google Maps users a better and more comprehensive view of the ground below. Today, the company has repeated the process, but this time with newer, crisper imagery from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Landsat 8 satellite...

Source: Tech Crunch

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What is Pope Francis’ favorite word? Judging by his papal motto, the title of his recent book and the name of the Jubilee Year he kicked off this past December, I’d be willing to put money on “mercy.”

Source: America Magazine

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'Try to meet all with peace and ease.'

- Catherine McAuley

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1864: St Anne's Industrial School opened, Brisbane - M Juliana Bergin
1985: Mount Carmel House, Derby opened for caring for the elderly.

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:
Hillsong UNITED launch their Visual Album "Of Dirt And Grace - Live From The Land" on 15 July. Track 8 Prince of Peace recorded Live in Israel - From A Golan Heights Memorial Of War & By The Shining Lights of The Old City and with footage from Lebanon, is now available. Watch/listen here (08:04)

Worth Reading:
Climate Change

Climate Change Claims a Lake, and an Identity. 'After surviving decades of water diversion and cyclical El Niño droughts in the Andes, Lake Poopó [in Bolivia] basically disappeared in December. The ripple effects go beyond the loss of livelihood for the Quispes and hundreds of other fishing families, beyond the migration of people forced to leave homes that are no longer viable.

The vanishing of Lake Poopó threatens the very identity of the Uru-Murato people, the oldest indigenous group in the area...' Read the article in the NY Times here

Worth Knowing:

eConference on theme of Mercy
The 12th Broken Bay Institute eConference, Mercy: A Way of Being in the World to be held 20 September 2016, will feature Veronica Lawson rsm as one of the keynote Speakers. Registration: Free but mandatory. Details here We will publish a reminder next month.

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses),
Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim (Yale University) will teach four six-week courses online in September at no cost. Two courses will be on Journey of the Universe, a course on the Worldview of Thomas Berry, and an integrating capstone on Living Cosmology. The course descriptions can be downloaded here (PDF). We will publish a reminder next month.

The Bottom Line:

'Service is providing what's wanted, not what I'd like to give.'
- Brian Klemmer,  Author

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