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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 682  |  03 August 2016
Featured Story
Learning from the Line of Women

Editor: The Visitation — a story of encounter, hospitality, support, friendship and wisdom— which Kathleen Rushton rsm (ANZ) —not surprisingly then —calls 'the story of mercy' is featured in the June 2016 issue of Tui Motu.

'The actions and language of mercy permeate the opening chapter of the gospel according to Luke and surround the story of mercy known as The Visitation. Two women, Mary and Elizabeth, stand in the biblical tradition of mercy. Mary proclaims that God’s mercy (eleos) is from generation to generation (Lk 1:50) and that God’s care and faithfulness to Israel flow from God’s mercy (eleos)(Lk 1:54). Later in this infancy narrative, Zechariah declares that God “has shown the mercy (eleos) promised to our ancestors, and has remembered God’s holy covenant” (Lk 1:72)...

Messages to: Kathleen Rushton rsm

Download the article here (PDF)
Read more scripture with Kathleen Rushton rsm


Image: iStock. Used under licence

'Learning from the Line of Women' made available with generous permission of Tui Motu

Vision in Action
Invitation: Help Light Up the World with Peace

The World Peace Prayer Society and James Twyman, peace troubador, are joining together for a year of Lighting up the World with Peace.

Starting this month, James will travel every month to a country at war or in conflict, or to an event that represents an important opportunity for creating peace, to focus the prayers of millions of people who are dedicated to healing the heart of humanity.

This month's prayer vigil focusses on nuclear disarmament. It will take place in Hiroshima on 6 August, the 71st anniversary of of the first atomic bomb.

MIA supports efforts for peace in our world and invites our readers to join your prayers with those of the World Peace Society.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

MIA Prayer Intention: For the Olympics

MIA joins in wishing all competitors, their supporters and the organisers of the Rio Olympics (5-21 August) a truly memorable Games.

We give thanks for this occasion when athletes from many nations in their coming together will model for us all acceptance of difference.

At a time when hostility, rejection and conflict are widespread in our world, may the witness of these athletes be a source of inspiration as to how we can all live together in peace and harmony.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

On 13 July at the UN Headquarters in New York, Angela Reed rsm was a panel representative for the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Global Action and Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH). She joined a distinguished line up of speakers reflecting upon the grave realities of human trafficking in children and youth. The panel focused on strategies for shaping a world in which trafficking does not exist...

Messages to Angela Reed rsm - Resident, Mercy Global Action

Editor: See also 'Catholic sisters continue to embrace international efforts against human trafficking' from Global Sisters Report.
Read the story here

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Mercy Global Concern Announcement

Sr Áine O’Connor resigned her position as the MIA Global Action Coordinator at the UN in mid July. A tribute paid to her on her leaving captures the extraordinary contribution made by Áine to this ministry in the last five years.

In her years in this ministry she worked tirelessly to understand, access and utilise UN systems and processes where Mercy could bring the voices of the marginalized to the table in critical ways... Her advocacy at the UN on behalf of Sisters of Mercy worldwide was rooted in the pursuit of justice rather than charity, with a relentless focus on root causes... She leaves a great mark on the advocacy efforts she was involved in, and her voice will be greatly missed.

The Tribute can be read here

Sr. Angela Reed, who is currently a Resident at the UN MIA Global Action office in New York, will take on the role on an interim basis. We are grateful to her for agreeing to take on this role and wish her every blessing. Recruitment to fill the role on a permanent basis will commence later in the year and will be advertised in Mercy e-News.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

MIA Reflection Process

A reminder that the Season of Creation is from 1 September - 4 October. MIRP VOICES is our key resource for marking this Season.

As we gather additional resources for commemorating the Season, we will advise of these in Mercy eNews. More have been added to our resources page since we first advised of this Season in eNews on 13 July, Issue #679.

This graphic (large size, print quality) is available for use by the Mercy family to celebrate the Season.

Messages to: Anne Walsh - Communications Director MIRP


Image: © 2016 Mercy International Association

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Meet a MIRP Group from Argentina (Americas)

Hola Mariana. Nuestro grupo reflexiona sobre: la fe, pobreza y causas sistemicas
Nos reunimos una vez al mes y somos 10 personas.
Te mando foto de una visita que hicimos a una casa ecológica hecha con barro y materiales reciclados. Saludos 

Hi Mariana. Our group ponders: faith, poverty and systemic causes
We meet once a month and we are 10 people.
Te mando photo of a visit we made to a green house made of mud and recycled materials. Regards, Ana Siufi

Messages to: Marianne Comfort - MIRP Coordinator Americas

Image: MIRP group visiting a house made up of mud and recycled materials.


Report on Stage Two Meeting in Cairns (ISMAPNG)

23 of the Cairns Sisters, Associates and Friends of Mercy were in attendance for the June Stage Two meeting. The focus of the group is Over-consumption and waste.

We examined and reflected on:
-the science and facts behind our global consumption;
-the accepted economic imperative for continual growth;
-the biological and psychological desire for survival and survival of one’s species and the implications of these on our over-consumption and waste.

As we gathered our thoughts re. the underlying causes, we identified the following as a key cause of over-consumption and waste:

Our tendency to be caught in, “I see it!  I want it!  I get it!” thinking and behaviour.

Messages to: Adele Howard rsm - MIRP Coordinator ISMAPNG

Image: Beryl and Kerry, members of the group and who are also Mother and Daughter

Meet Members of the SJOG/MIRP Group (ANZ)

2 Mercies, 1 John of God brother, 3 St John of God staff members, 1 SJOG resident, 1 Methodist Minister comprise this group.

Weekly meetings are held at St John of God, Halswell from 5 – 6 pm and are followed by a light meal.

Group Focus: Welcome the Stranger – Refugee Resettlement

Hopes:  To grow in understanding of the plight of refugees and to endeavour to have a practical project that will assist recent refugees.  

Messages to: Natalie Murphy rsm - Co-coordinator MIRP ANZ

Image: L – r: John Walsh (Volunteer SJOG), Joanne Hope (Director of Mission, St John of God Hauora Trust), Sister Mary Boyes rsm (Facilitator) Brother Stephen Coakley OH, (St John of God Brother), Glenys Webster (Pastoral Practitioner), Alan Webster (Methodist Minister), Seated Desmond Kale (Resident SJOG), Sister Mary Hanrahan rsm

MIA Members News

'Some 70 women gathered on Saturday, 23 July, to participate in a day of reflection hosted jointly by the local contact group of the Council for Australian Catholic Women and the Catholic Women’s League Australia Inc.

The day was ably led by Anne Ryan rsm, director of the Mercy Spirituality Centre at Toronto [NSW]. Sr Anne’s theme was “Woman, the way of mercy”, invoking the Jubilee Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis; "This is the year to put mercy to work."

Sr Anne invited us to participate in silence where appropriate, for “It is in being with each other prayerfully and in silence that we first support each other.”

She also invited her audience to “Allow yourself to be companioned by a woman of mercy today.” Suggestions ranged from “My mother” to the Venerable Catherine McAuley, who founded the Sisters of Mercy.'

Source: Catholic Diocese of Maitland Newcastle (text and photo)

Messages to: Anne Ryan rsm

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The Sisters of Mercy came to Parramatta in 1888 and have a strong connection to and appreciation of the history and culture of this early white Australian settlement. The Sisters were untiring in their efforts to establish schools and, in the early days, to visit the asylum hospitals, the Parramatta Girls’ Home and the Parramatta Gaol in order to bring compassion and comfort to the people suffering within the walls of these institutions.

We have come to understand and respect more recently the importance of the historic Aboriginal presence in the area that continues to the present. Evidence of this can be seen in sections of the precinct under threat by the proposed development.

The history and culture of such places should never be compromised by unsympathetic and inappropriate development to satisfy purely private commercial benefit.

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy Parramatta

Image: Sisters and others at an October 2015 Rally Oposing Development in Parramatta's Heritage Precinct

Read More

Editor: On 14 April 2014, 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped from the Chibok Government Secondary School, Nigeria by Boko Haram terrorists. 58 returned, 218 are still missing. The kidnapping gave rise to a movement to #Bring back our girls. Mercy schools were active in the movement.

At Our Lady of Mercy College Heidelberg, Victoria, a new commemorative sculpture 'Us' and reflective space outside the main entrance to Student Reception, has been recently erected in a garden area that intersects with major walkways. This has been done so that students and staff and 'all who pass this site to take a moment in prayer and unite with people everywhere in safeguarding human rights and strengthening our common humanity'.

Messages to: Julie Ryan - Principal

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Sister Diane Guerin recently celebrated her 50th year as a Sister of Mercy during the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. The following is a reflection she shared at her celebration.

Doors can be closed to isolate or exclude, or doors can be opened to invite and include.

In your lifetime, how many doors have been opened to you—bidding you to cross the threshold to find a new space, a better opportunity, a healing presence?

How many doors have you opened for another?

Doors of mercy are myriad.

Venturing forth one finds joy, compassion, laughter, presence, pain and suffering...

Messages to: Diane Guerin rsm

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Mercy Matters
'Launch us on the adventure of mercy!'

'Launch us on the adventure of mercy! Launch us on the adventure of building bridges and tearing down walls, barriers and barbed wire. Launch us on the adventure of helping the poor, those who feel lonely and abandoned, or no longer find meaning in their lives. Send us, like Mary of Bethany, to listen attentively to those we do not understand, those of other cultures and peoples, even those we are afraid of because we consider them a threat. Make us attentive to our elders, as Mary of Nazareth was to Elizabeth, in order to learn from their wisdom.'

-Pope Francis to WYD 2016 Pilgrims, 28 July

CST 101 is a collaborative 7-part video series presented by the USCCB and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) on Catholic Social Teaching. In this recently published fourth part of the series Kerry Weber (Mercy Associate and Managing Editor of America magazine), joins Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Fr. James Martin, SJ,and Thomas Awiapo as they discuss the Preferential Option for the Poor and Vulnerable. (04:26)

See also CST 101 Care for God's Creation featuring Hear from Father James Martin, SJ, Dr. Carolyn Woo, and Cardinal Peter Turkson. Watch it here (03:04)

Read More

Mercy Career & Technical High School is a private, urban career and technical high school sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy.

Within a 21st century learning environment, we provide a Catholic education and a comprehensive, academic, career and technical school experience which prepares students for the workforce and/or post-secondary education.

Read More

1873: Foundation to Rockhampton from Brisbane - M Vincent Whitty/M de Sales Gorry

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

Read More

20 of the world's most beautiful libraries

Source: Tech Insider

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'The longer form of today’s gospel brings together a number of loosely connected sayings of Jesus about trust and vigilance....'

Veronica Lawson rsm

Read More
Further Resources

Worth Playing:
Welcome to this Circle by Trish Bruxvoort Colligan. Watch/listen here (03:32)

Worth Reading:

Climate Change

'Ban urges burden-sharing, solidarity to combat effects of El Niño and mitigate climate change'. Read Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on need for solidarity here

'We’ve made huge progress reducing poverty. Let’s not allow climate change to reverse those gains' by Kofi Annan, Chair of the Africa Progress Panel, Nobel laureate and former Secretary General of the United Nations. Read it here


'If compared to the world’s top 10 economies, the ocean would rank seventh, with an annual value of goods and services of $2.5 trillion. And these assets are completely renewable if only they are managed in a sustainable way...' Read the article by Nina Jensen CEO, World Wildlife Fund

Human Trafficking
Report launched by Caritas for World Day against Trafficking in Persons casts spotlight on poor level of trafficking prevention in conflict and post-conflict situations. Read the report here (44pps; PDF)

'Collaboration: Ending Human Trafficking by Working Together' by Anne Victory, HM is the August reflection from U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking. Read it here

Worth investigating:

As we prepare for the Season of Creation  (1 September-4 October) the Awakening the Dreamer 2-Hour Online Course (on-demand, free, self-guided) might be of interest.

Worth Registering:

In Mercy eNews Issue #679 (13 July) we advised of the forthcoming Broken Bay Institute eConference 'Mercy: A Way of Being in the World' featuring Veronica Lawson rsm among the keynote speakers. Registration (mandatory) is now open for this free event being held on 20 September. The organisers say that a full recording will be available to watch online, free of charge within 3 days and available online for two weeks. This could be a Mercy Day activity! Details here

The Bottom Line:

' To live a greater interiority and spirit of contemplation; to rejoice in our humanity as the greatest gift of a God who was not ashamed to become one of us; to rejoice in our incompleteness as a way towards truth and to let grace open up the hidden ‘vaults’ of our spirits—these are our hopes on the journey of faith. '

- Mark O'Connor fms, 'God is at home'

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


Human Trafficking
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