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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 689  |  21 September 2016
Featured Story
Happy Mercy Day to Each of Us!

Editor: The Mercy family is vast and global: 7,000 Sisters, 5,000 Associates, 250,000 partners-in-Ministry and countless partners-in-Mercy (friends, family, neighbours...) in 44 countries. Each one of us has a name, a face and our own place in the Mercy story. Here we see just a few of us.

This year Mercy Day holds extra significance as we celebrate it in the Year of Mercy. Having prayed the specially composed 'Litany of Mercy' in solidarity with each other in the days leading up to the Feast of Our Lady of Mercy, we are invited to join via Livestream with those at Baggot Street in celebration at the Mercy Day Eucharist. Final details and Mass booklet are on our website here and in this issue of eNews.

The Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG) has shared a Mercy Day ritual (4pps; pdf) and the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of the Americas has shared a Mercy Day blessing (2pps; PDF)

Wherever you are this Saturday, however you celebrate, enjoy reading the many published greetings

¡Feliz Día de la Misericordia! Happy Mercy Day!

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Image: L-r: Top row: Mary Reynolds rsm (Executive Director MIA, Ireland), Scholasticah Nganda (MIA Board, Congregation Leadership Team, Ireland/Kenya)

Middle frow: Mary Shaw (Volunteer, former staff member, ANZ), Geoff Mills (School Principal, ISMAPNG), Anne Reid (Americas Associate, Ireland), Marianne Comfort (Institute Justice Team, Americas)

Front row: Carmen Rosa Ccallomamani rsm (School Principal, Americas/Peru), Mary Trainer rsm (MIA Program Volunteer, Americas), Ivette Diaz rsm (Vocation Minister Mid-Atlantic, Americas) 
© 2016 MIA

Vision in Action

Mass will be live streamed here on this page on the mercyworld.org website so that all the Mercy family can join in the celebrations via computer or mobile device.

Booklets now available for download or to read online:

Mass booklet prepared for Presider (with details of symbolic actions and complete liturgy)
A4 single page (20pps) (PDF)

Worship Aid (Songs, Readings Renewal of Commitment)
A4 two page spread (4pps) (PDF);
A4 single page scanned version (8pps) (PDF)

The live stream will commence at 11.30 am (Dublin Time) with a greeting from Mary Reynolds rsm, Mercy Day messages,  the specially composed 'A Litany of Mercy' and views of the congregation. You can check the time and date the livestream will start in your area by clicking here

Further details are linked to this item

Messages regarding live streaming to: Anne Walsh - Mercy eNews Editor

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There are a number of efforts for World peace this week which invite our involvement in prayer and action:

Tuesday, 20 September: World Day of Prayer for Peace (Assisi)

Wednesday, 21 September: UN International Day of Peace

Saturday, 24 September: International Day of Peace United Religions Initiative: World Peace Meditation

Details of these events are linked to this item.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

A Nonviolence and Just Peace conference was held in Rome from 11-13 April, 2016. Papers from the conference can be found on the conference website. Individuals and organisations are invited to endorse the appeal to the Catholic Church to re-commit to the centrality of Gospel nonviolence and to develop a Just Peace approach.
You may read the appeal and sign it here

It's 12 months since Alan Kurdi's small lifeless body on a Turkish beach drew the world's attention to the dangers facing refugees crossing seas to safety. View the video tribute here   (01:35)

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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:
Sr. Carmel Therese Favazzo, CSAC, Baby Brynn 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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'The House of Mercy was established to serve the needs of the poor, the sick and the uneducated...Like Catherine, we have established institutions to address our enduring concerns:
~ Through our sponsored works may we model mercy and justice and promote systemic change according to these ideals.

Catherine McAuley was assisted in her ministry by many who were animated by her vision of service:
~ By collaborating with others in the works of mercy, may we learn from them how to be more merciful.'

From: 'Intercessions for Special Mercy Feasts', Morning and Evening Prayer of the Sisters of Mercy, p855

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
Report from Oklahoma City Group

Our group met Monday, September 19th and shared some bibilcal/gospel texts and used prayers of the Native American Wisdom - For Caring for the Earth .  We used quotes on the environment  which referred to the overall critical concerns.   "Thousands Protest North Dakota Pipeline near Native American Lands" was also discussed.  It is of particular note  that we experienced a 5.8 earthquake on September 3rd.  The background of our reflection was based on the quote of Pope Francis "8th Work of Mercy- Show Mercy to Our Common Home".  We continue to address the conservation of Water.

Messages to: Marianne Comfort - MIRP Coordinator Americas

Image: Sisters and Co-worker, Oklahoma. Photo taken at an earlier meeting

Stage 3 Report from the Kentucky Folk Group (Americas)

What were the text or texts from our wisdom traditions that the group engaged with during this stage of the process?

Our “Kentucky Folk” group has been preparing the Sunday readings during Stage 3 from the guide published by the Columban Mission Institute.  This past week we spent the full time of our meeting in our chapel, using the, “Widening our Circle of Compassion/Mercy Ritual.”  This prayer service time was registered in the “Season of Creation” global map.

Download the complete report (PDF)

Messages to: Marianne Comfort - MIRP Co-ordinator Americas

Image: Some members of the group. Photo taken at an earlier meeting

MIA Members News

As we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the formation of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, we are embarking on a Journey of Oneness, an endeavor to acknowledge and strengthen the unity of the Institute through enhancing collaborative processes and presence.

As I reflect on my experience with Focus on Haiti (FoH), I believe it embodies the spirit of that Journey. It embodies Oneness in its beginning when a small group of Sisters of Mercy from each of the Communities of the Institute gathering around a lunch table talking about how to respond to the Chapter question:

 “God of Mercy, of Wisdom and Mystery, where do we need to be led now to come to both a deeper response to our Critical Concerns and a radical embrace of our identity?”

Our sharing led us to a dream of being Mercy in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. We were inspired by the legacy of Catherine McAuley to care for those in greatest need...

Messages to: Karen Scheer rsm, MD

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Governor General Sir Patrick Allen has issued a proclamation that, from this year onwards, the week in which September 24, Mercy Day, falls will be National Mercy Week. Here is an excerpt from the proclamation:

“Whereas, at this juncture in the Jamaican society, there is a constant call from citizens for justice tempered with mercy, in this Global Year of Mercy... and for the past 136 years, Alpha has served as a place of safety and refuge, extending Mercy values… and whereas showing mercy will foster a more caring society in the island of Jamaica. I do hereby proclaim the week in which the 24th day of September falls annually, National Mercy Week, and urge all citizens to join with the Mercy Sisters and associates in Jamaica, the originators of this observance, in recognition and thanksgiving for fostering works of mercy in our island, demonstrating the mercy of God to all humankind.”...

Source: Jamaica Observer

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy Jamaica c/- Lauren Albright - Institute Communications Office

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Reading Luke's Gospel With Ecological Eyes: Part 8 (ISMAPNG)

Elaine Wainwright rsm interpreting Luke 18:35-43 alerts the ecological reader to the sense of human superiority that could limit our relationships with the rest of creation.

Sr Elaine writes: 'There is a shift in human consciousness, or what we might call a growing ecological awareness emerging amongst us. It is enabling us to read our gospel story anew. This new reading in its turn, deepens our ecological awareness. Our monthly readings are drawing us into this spiralling process...'

Download the PDF here
Read Parts 1-8 online here

Messages to: Elaine Wainwright rsm


As part of the Shelter for All reflection and action project, 20 September [w]as earmarked for a pilgrimage and public witness at Parliament House in Wellington, 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,” says Congregation Leader Sister Katrina Fabish.

Messages to: Katrina Fabish rsm

See report on Radio New Zealand's website

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On behalf of the Sisters of Mercy of the Western Province, we invite you to be with us in 800 year old Ballintubber Abbey to celebrate this Year of Mercy. We gather with a song of joy and gratitude in our hearts, in the true and certain knowledge that God’s Mercy Has Found Us.

Evening of Prayer in Ballintubber Abbey on Sunday September 25, 7.30 - 9.30 pm. In this Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has invited us to consider pilgrimage as a way of experiencing God’s love, mercy and forgiveness. This evening we take up that invitation. And here in this beautiful Abbey, situated as it is at the beginning of Tochar Phádraig, the ancient pilgrimage route to Croagh Patrick, is the perfect setting for our Pilgrimage of Mercy...

Messages to: the Western Province Pilgrimage Planning Team c/-Teresina Daly rsm

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Online Presentations by Veronica Lawson rsm (ISMAPNG)

Veronica Lawson rsm was one of the presenters yesterday at 2016 Broken Bay Institute eConference 'Mercy: A Way of Being in the World'.

Sr Veronica presented twice: Leaving Space for Mercy: a Hebrew Perspective and Leaving Space for Mercy: a Lucan perspective. If you missed her presentations/the day's program, a full recording will be available online by Monday for the next two weeks. Check back at this address next week.

Messages to: Veronica Lawson rsm

Mercy Matters

For almost a decade, Dropbox has been one of the most reliable and popular file storage services on the planet... It can also do a lot more than just store your files.

Source: Field Guide

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Between 24 September and 12 December (the Season of Mercy), Mercy groups throughout the world are invited to join an international 'Good Cup of Tea' event. By supporting this event, you are helping Mercy International Association to keep the founding spirit of Catherine alive today.

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In September and October 2016, online presentations by Sr. Barbara Reid, OP and Fr. Steve Bevans, SVD on Mercy.Mission. Religious Life are being posted on the new wbsite of the Center for the Study of Consecrated Life (CSCL)

The introduction is online as is part 1 of Steve Bevan's presentation, 'God of Mercy'.

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1862: Foundation to Batavia, NY from Rochester - M Stanislaus McGarr

1893: Foundation to Marshalltown, Iowa from Providence, Rhode Island - M Angela Delaney

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

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House of Mercy

'Miss McAuley wrote to Miss Doyle saying that as all needful preparations would soon be completed she might enter if she pleased on the 23rd or 24th of the current month which was September. Miss Doyle, though she did not then know of the feast, fixed on the 24th but in another note remarked that she should be particularly rejoiced to begin her labours on that day as it was dedicated to Our Lady of Mercy, suggesting at the same time that House of Mercy would be a good name for the institution.'

extract from 'The Derry Large Manuscript' in Mary C. Sullivan Catherine McAuley and the Tradition of Mercy p.48

New resource: Picture Books about Catherine McAuley

Picture Books for Primary School and Lower Secondary School students telling the story of Catherine McAuley produced by Michael O'Sullivan - Principal, St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Brisbance, Queensland

Download the flyer here (PDF)

For further information about these books, contact Micheal O'Sullivan

Further Resources

Worth Playing:

'With your Grace' by Gina Ogilvie & Monica O'Brien. Watch/listen here (02.04)

Worth Considering:

The online Retreat "Mercy, A Chance for Life" commencing 25 September for 5 weeks, invites us to take time to become more conscious of God’s tender mercy in our lives. The new online retreat will have new content added throughout the five-week period and will then remain available online. The retreat can be found here. There is no charge to participate.This is the third online retreat made available by the Sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame (CND). The previous retreats which are still available online are 'In the Heart of the World' and 'Source of Living Water'

Worth Knowing:

Religious Life
The Center for the Study of Consecrated Life (CSCL) at CTU Chicago has a new website. Visit the site where you can subscribe to the quarterly newsletter. Look for the newly added Year of Mercy online presentations from Sr. Barbara Reid, OP, and Steve Bevans SVD, which is our Year of Mercy resource (above)

Land grabbing and environmental destruction
The International Criminal Court (ICC), which has almost exclusively investigated war crimes, has announced that it is to expand its focus. From now on, it will also investigate crimes linked to land grabbing and environmental destruction. Read the press release from Global Witness

Worth A Look:

The UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) has launched a new E-tutorial on mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This self-paced learning tool is free of charge and open to everyone. Details here

Worth Reading:

Human Trafficking
Stop Trafficking! September newsletter. Read it here

Fast Fashion
Clothes which are processed to get them on the market as quickly as possible come at a very high environmental cost, with millions of tons of clothes winding up in trash bins, incinerators and landfills. Read the article here

'Oceans Are Losing Oxygen—and Becoming More Hostile to Life' reports National Geographic. Read the article here

The Bottom Line:

'Mercy is the heart of God'.

- Pope Francis, Message for the World Day of Peace 2016

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)