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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 684  |  17 August 2016
Featured Story

Editor: The third biennial Young Mercy Leaders' pilgrimage for Mercy college students and young adults (9-12 August) concluded most successfully following a full program held at Mercy International Centre and the Catherine McAuley Building (Herbert Street)

69 participants participated in four days of rich and varied experiences.

Reports and photo galleries of the event were posted each day on the mercyworld.org website and on our Facebook and Twitter pages enabling the Mercy network to 'join in' and follow the events from anywhere in the world.

From the report of the First Day of the Pilgrimage linked to this item you can access the accounts of each day.

Messages to: the Organising Committee: Srs Mary Kay Dobrovolny, Kathy Higgins, Margaret Scroope

Save the Date: The fourth pilgrimage of Young Mercy Leaders (secondary school students) is scheduled for Tuesday, 18 July to Friday, 21 July 2017.


Image: Georgian Court students and Staff pose outside Mercy International Centre at the conclusion of the pilgrimage. Photo: Anne Walsh

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Vision in Action
MIA Ministry Positions

Applications are invited for the following two positions which will become available early in 2017:

Assistant Director Heritage & Spirituality (Commencing 1 March, 2017).
Hospitality and Facilities Manager (Commencing 1 February 2017).

The positions will be based in Dublin, with initially a 3 year contract.

Download the Job Descriptions:

- Assistant Director Heritage & Spirituality (PDF)

- Hospitality and Facilities Manager (PDF)

Please apply, attaching a Curriculum Vitae and names of 2 Referees, to: Mary Reynolds rsm, Executive Director MIA

Closing Date:  23 September 2016

Indications of interest are also invited for the post of MGA Coordinator at the UN, New York. The recruitment process to fill the post will commence in November 2016.

Contact: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

'God of all blessings,
source of all life,
giver of all grace..

We thank you for this day:
for life
and one more day to love,
for opportunity
and one more day to work for justice and peace,
for neighbors
and one more person to love
and by whom be loved,
for your grace
and one more experience of your presence,
for your promise:
to be with us,
to be our God,
and to give salvation...'

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

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MIA Reflection Process
Invitation: Season of Creation Photographic Meditation

For each of the 34 days of the Season of Creation we plan to offer a daily visual meditation—a photograph of an aspect of the beauty of our world —on the homepage of our mercyworld.org website.

We invite our readers and members of the wider Mercy network who are keen photographers to send in an image you have taken with your SLR or smartphone camera to be shared in this way.

Requirements are simple. Images need to be landscape in shape, to be focussed and clear and to be uncompressed (ie taken at a large size and at least 1mb). JPEGS are preferred.

Please provide a caption identifying the location as this, along with your name, will accompany the photo.

Photos can be sent in at any time from today. Send images to Anne Walsh.

Messages to: Anne Walsh - Director MIRP Communications

Invitation: Prayer for the Earth During the Season of Creation

During the Season of Creation we are invited to use the prayer for the Earth as part of our prayer each day. The Season of Creation offers us all an opportunity to renew our focus on using this prayer which is the prayer we have adopted for the Year of Mercy.

A sheet with the prayer, using the graphic accompanying this item and suitable for posting on noticeboards etc, will be made available through Mercy eNews.

Messages to: Anne Walsh - Director MIRP Communications

Image: © MIA 2016. This image is available to any one or any group who would like to use it. Contact Anne to obtain a large size, high res version.

Meet the MIRP Group at Mercy Services (ISMAPNG)

Our group of five Sisters of Mercy and seven Mercy Services staff facilitated by Lawrie Hallinan, Manager Mercy Services, has met every second month since May 2016 at Mercy Services Centre, Tighes Hill, NSW.

At our first meeting there were many topics that members wanted to explore through the Process. Eventually we decided on the focus topic of: violence against people and against the environment.

At our second meeting people came prepared to share their research on various aspects of this topic.

After our third meeting many of us left with a buzz of excitement. Our diverse group drew on many wisdom traditions. There was areal sense of the commonality of the perspectives expressed best in this quote:

'To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order; we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right' (Confucius).

Messages to: Adele Howard rsm - MIRP Coordinator ISMAPNG

Image: Back row L-r: Sr Eileen Tobin, Michelle Richards, Jude Brookes, Sr Kay Sheridan, Carolyn Leishman
Front row L-r: Sr Patricia Lake, Sonia Lee, Sr Pauline Burg
Absent: Robyn Houston, Sr Judith Murphy, Mel Wills, Lawrie Hallinan

Mercy Sisters in Perth, Western Australia, Engage in MIRP (ISMAPNG)

Mercy Sisters in Perth engaged in the MIRProcess on Saturday, 13 August. All were welcomed by the Local Community Leader, Marie Duffy rsm.

It was a most enjoyable and effective meeting with ample time for reflection and prayer.

Caroline Ryan rsm worked with the Key Facilitator, Beverley Stott rsm to run the Stage 3 Session. Adele Howard rsm gave a brief overview of the themes and navigation of the MIRP Voices videos.

A great day was enjoyed by all at the beautiful location of Santa Maria College, which is located on the banks of the Swan River.

Messages to: Adele Howard rsm - MIRP Coordinator ISMAPNG

MIA Members News
RIP Sr Patricia Joseph Corkery (Americas)

'Patty Jo' who died 12 August 2016 is affectionately remembered for her appearance as Catherine McAuley during the dedication of Mercy International Centre in 1994.

When she presented President Mary Robinson with the bust of herself as a lay woman, she addressed President Robinson personally: 'Mary, I do believe there's a bit of me in thee!' and a tear trickled down Mary Robinson's cheek.

Today we can take joy in imagining Catherine saying to Patty: 'Patty dear, thank you for animating my sisters and colleagues to realize that they, too, are part of the fire of Mercy Christ is kindling all over the earth'.

Messages to: Mary Trainer rsm

Image: Sr Patricia Joseph Corkery (as Catherine McAuley) makes presentation of small bust of Catherine by Sculptor Michael Burke to President Robinson during the dedication of MIC in 1994

A call to action on behalf of the homeless has come from Katrina Fabish rsm, Congregation Leader of Nga Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa Sisters of Mercy New Zealand.

Her appeal comes in a 13 July letter sent to all leaders and board chairpersons of Mercy’s ministries, inviting them to raise a collective voice in this Year of Mercy on behalf of all who seek shelter. The theme of shelter has also emerged as a topic from groups meeting throughout New Zealand as part of a worldwide Year of Mercy reflection process initiated by the Mercy International Association.

Tuesday 20 September has been earmarked for a pilgrimage to Parliament, preceded by a letter-writing campaign to Members of Parliament. 'There is power in numbers and our hope is to have every adult, child, staff member, client, volunteer, friend, board member, parent and family member associated with any of our ministries sign or write a letter into our petition books', wrote Sister Katrina...

Messages to: Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregation Leader

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More than 200,000 people in five states will get a lift from $600,000 in grants earmarked for the homeless, elderly, children and uninsured who have chronic illnesses.

The Mercy Caritas and Catherine McAuley Area of Greatest Need grant programs provide funds to health and human services programs that meet unique community needs.

'Caritas is a local, community-driven effort', said Kevin Minder, executive director of mission and community health. 'These grants assist organizations that help the most vulnerable members of our communities gain access to needed care and services'...

Messages to: Todd Nighswonger - Mercy Media Contact

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In the Litany of Loreto, Mary is called "cause of our joy." There are many reasons for considering her such; many of them are caught up by the feast of the Assumption.

This glorious feast, celebrated today, August 15, is a testimony to the power of the laity and of our devotion to the mother of God. It also underscores Catholic belief in the goodness of the human body and in its promised resurrection. The feast likewise counters any and all tendencies to think that the female human body is excluded from such goodness and from the possibility of glorification with God in eternity...

Source: Global Sisters Report

Messages to: Mary Aquin O'Neill rsm

Image: detail from Pietro Perugino Pala di Corciano (Assumption of Mary) (1513)

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Advance Notice: Australasian Mercy Secondary Schools Association (AMSSA) Staff Conference 2017

The  Mercy Staff Conference in 2017 will be held in Melbourne at Our Lady of Mercy College, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia. The dates for the Conference will be Thursday evening 3 August - Saturday evening, 5 August 2017.

Please add the dates to your 2017 calendar.

The Organising Committee have begun the planning process and further details will be available before the end of 2016.

Messages to: Kitty Guerin - AMSSA Executive Officer

Image: iStock. Used under licence

With a mission to share an appreciation of the Mercy heritage and values with the Carlow University community, the Center for Mercy Heritage and Service organizes pilgrimages. Participants can join the pilgrimages through the Mercy Leaders and the McDarby Institute.

Two pilgrimages have been conducted this year: the May 2016 McDarby Institute Pilgrimage and the August 2016 Mercy Leaders Pilgrimage.

Reflections from some of the participants are online and linked to this item.

Messages to: Sheila Carney rsm - Office of Mercy Heritage Carlow University

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Mercy Matters

Georgian Court University is a coeducational, forward-thinking institution that encourages intellectual inquiry, moral analysis, and social dialogue.

Founded and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is located in Lakewood, New Jersey.

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On 15 August Google released Google Duo — a simple 1-to-1 video calling app available for Android and iOS - Google's answer to Apple's FaceTime. According to Google 'Duo takes the complexity out of video calling, so that you can be together in the moment wherever you are...'

Read The Guardian's article on Duo to find out more

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1851: Foundation to St Oswald's, Old Swan from Liverpool.
1863: Foundation to Ipswich from Brisbane, Queensland - M Benedict McDermott
1893: Opening of Health Services, Grand Rapids
1966: Mission to Beirut from Albany - M Christian Noonan

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

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'We all know people or groups who seem to have an ingrained sense of entitlement or privilege, people who put themselves first without regard for the sensitivities or rights of others...'

- Veronica Lawson rsm

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'We are called to serve the crucified Jesus in all those who are marginalized, to touch his sacred flesh in those who are disadvantaged, in those who hunger and thirst, in the naked and imprisoned, the sick and unemployed, in those who are persecuted, refugees and migrants. There we find our God; there we touch the Lord. Jesus himself told us this when he explained the criterion on which we will be judged: whenever we do these things to the least of our brothers and sisters, we do them to him (cf. Mt 25:31-46).'

- Pope Francis, Address at Conclusion of the Way of the Cross, World Youth Day Krakow, 29 July 2016

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Catholic Relief Services (CRS) USA has produced a number of resources for the Year of Mercy and made these freely available on their website. Among these are the Corporal Works of Mercy Slideshow, a powerpoint presentation available in English and En Español 

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

Over the Rhine perform "Let It Fall". Watch/listen here. (04:18). Lyrics here. Purchase on *iTunes on *GooglePlay

Worth Reading:


The New York Times Magazine has, for the first time, devoted an entire issue to a complex story—from the US invasion of Iraq to the rise of ISIL to the global refugee crisis— through the eyes of six characters in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan. Read it here

Cosmology and Eco-justice

In The New Yorker, Robert Macfarlane writes about scientist Merlin Sheldrake’s work in London’s Epping Forest unraveling the mysteries of the 'Wood Wide Web', a fungal communications network that plants use to transfer information and nutrients.  Read it here

Researchers say that by the end of the century most of the world will be too hot to host the Olympics in Summer. A news article which includes a link to the study can be read here

'A Summer Reading List on Earth.' 18 books on Earth’s beauty, resources, and challenges suggested by Stanford faculty. Worth looking at in preparation for the Season of Creation. Read the booklist here


According to a study published last week, at least 6 million Americans in 33 states are being exposed to unsafe levels of industrial perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) chemicals in their drinking water. Details of the study can be read in this article in The Washington Post

Addresses during Assembly 2016
-Presidential Address by Marcia Allen CSJ: 'Transformation – An Experiment in Hope'. Read it here (8pps; PDF)
-Keynote Address, 11 August: Pat Farrell OSF - 'Leading from the Allure of Holy Mystery: Contemplation and Transformation'. Read it here (11pps; PDF)

Some additional resources from the conference are available here Further items will soon be made available on that page.

Reports and commentary on the Assembly can be accessed via the links on the Solidarity with Sisters website

CDs and DVDs of individual sessions or packages of all recorded sessions at the Assembly can be ordered here

Human Trafficking

Some 76 percent of migrants who make it to Italy via the Central Mediterranean Route have been exposed to human trafficking and other exploitation while journeying from North Africa to Europe, according to a survey published by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Friday. Read the article which includes a link to the study. The Guardian reports on the work of Nigerian Princess Okokon, who was herself trafficked from Nigeria in 1999 and who now works with trafficked Nigerian women. Read the article, watch the video here

Celebrating the feast of the Assumption just three days after visiting a group of young women rescued from the sex trade, Pope Francis prayed for all exploited women and girls. Read the report here

The Bottom Line:

'If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.'

- Meister Eckhart, 13th Century German theologian, philosopher and mystic

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)