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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 692  |  05 October 2016
Featured Story
MIC Calendar Marks 190 Years of Mercy

Editor: 2017 marks 190 years since the opening of Baggot Street, the first House of Mercy, and 25 years since the establishment of Mercy International Association (MIA). As one of the events to mark the significance of the occasion, MIC has produced a calendar in an attractive, classic style.

The images in the calendar were taken by David Knight, a professional photographer specialising in Irish heritage and culture. David has photographed Catherine's letters and Clare Moore's illuminations, as well as other archival items for MIA. His photos of the inside and outside of Baggot Street have illustrated Mercy eNews and mercyworld.org website news items on a number of occasions.

Folded to A4 size, the calendar opens to A3 when hanging. The photos that illustrate each month are A4 size reproductions, suitable for framing and displaying in classrooms, board rooms, staff rooms, community rooms and elsewhere. You can view the calendar design and layout here: A4 (PDF); US Letter (PDF).

Calendars are €10 each plus €3.80 posted. Buy in person or purchase online through the MIC gift shop. View exchange rate here. Bulk orders of 10 or more calendars are welcome for which a special price will be negotiated with you. Do be quick to order though as this 2017 MIC calendar is a limited print run!

Messages to: Margaret Scroope rsm - Assistant Director Administration and Finance


Image: © 2016 MIA

Vision in Action
Mercy Global Action at the UN calling for reflections/feedback on UN Women Consultation

UN Women is currently undergoing a consultation which seeks views on sex work, the sex trade, and prostitution. All are invited to make their own personal response and /or NGO response to UN Women by 16 October.

Angela Reed rsm is currently preparing a response on behalf of Mercy Global Action at the UN, focussing largely on what formerly trafficked women say about these terms and the importance of listening to these voices.The MGA response will argue that the term ‘sex work’ conceals the abusive and exploitative nature that many formerly prostituted women experience. Please feel free to send Sr Angela on or before 10 October any comments or suggestions which you wish to be considered for inclusion in the statement.

Full details of the Consultation can be found here (PDF)

Messages to: Angela Reed rsm - Interim Coordinator, MGA at the UN

From 13 - 20 September 2016, the United Nations held the 71st meeting of the General Assembly. Mercy Global Action at the UN representative, Angela Reed rsm, attended the opening session of the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants hosted by the UN General Assembly on 19 September. At this session, the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants was officially adopted—expressing the commitments from nations to address the challenges and take responsibility for protecting refugees and migrants on a global scale...

Messages to: 
Angela Reed rsm -  Interim Coordinator, Mercy Global Action at the UN
Colleen Cloonan - MGA Intern at the UN

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Christian and Muslim children of Aleppo, Syria will gather together in prayer tomorrow, 6 October, to plead for an end to the violence and devastation in their city and country. The initiative will involve mostly primary school-aged children, who will add their signatures and fingerprints to an appeal to all world leaders, asking them to help stop the violence. Read more

Let us join our prayers with theirs and with the hope that world leaders—adults—cannot continue to turn a deaf ear to the cries of children.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Image: Credit: Oxfam via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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Catherine wrote ‘The principal aim of this congregation is to educate poor girls, to lodge and keep poor young women until they can provide for themselves in some suitable way, and to visit the sick poor.’ [Letter late 1833-early 1834]. Touched by God’s mercy and compassion and fired by the inspiration of the Gospel and Catherine McAuley, we give expression today to that same concern for women.

Catherine would certainly support the theme of this year’s International Day of the Girl commemoration: Girls' Progress = Goals' Progress: What Counts for Girls, a theme which highlights the ambition for gender equality in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Image: iStock. Used under licence

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MIA Reflection Process
Leonardo DiCaprio’s Documentary On Climate Change: ‘Before The Flood’

Editor: ‘Before The Flood’ is a call to action on climate change, filmed in many parts of the globe and featuring appearances and interviews from luminaries such as President Obama, Ban Ki-moon, and Pope Francis.

The environmental documentary debuted in a special screening at the White House on 3 October, following a public discussion between President Obama and Leonardo DiCaprio. That same day, a new report 'Climate Change Resilience' (177pps; PDF) was launched by the United Nations showing evidence is increasing that climate change is taking the largest toll on poor and vulnerable people. Read about the report here

You can view the trailer to 'Before The Flood' here (02:18)

You can watch Leonardo DiCaprio and Barack Obama Talk Climate Change at the White House - archived here (scroll down to access it)

'Before The Flood' will be in theatres in NYC and LA starting 21 October, and airing globally on the National Geographic Channel starting 30 October.

Image: iStock. Used under licence

Season of Creation Finishes but Our Work Continues

Thank you to each of our photographers who, throughout this Season, shared their talents with us on the homepage of our mercyworld.org website and so gave us all a new insight each day into the beauty of creation.

We thank: Elizabeth McNamee rsm, Kathy Higgins rsm, Ann Gilroy rsj, Elissa Roper, Terry Power, Ailish O'Brien rsm, Laurie Case, Carmel Ross, Maureen Sexton rsm, Annette McCartan rsm, Breda O'Reilly rsm, Stephanie Kitching rsm, Anne Foale rsm, Brenda Peddigrew rsm,  Adele Howard rsm, Joan Smith rsm, Catherine Ryan rsm, Liz Hartley rsm, Helen Diviney rsm, Rovena Duffy rsm, Phyllis Thompson rsm, Marilyn Lacey rsm.

We conclude this item by sharing the news that a growing body of research literature suggests that time spent gardening is as good for the gardener as it is for the garden. Read  the article here

Messages to: Anne Walsh - Communications Director MIRP

Image: © 2016 MIA

Report on Stage Three from NL-RSM-20 Huarmey, Peru (Newfoundland)

After having 6 meetings on this part of the reflection process the following shows the resources used and the conclusions from the group. (It is important to note, I think, that the dynamic of the group changed over the weeks as for work commitments, travel, etc. some members could not attend each time.)...

Download the report here (PDF)

Messages to: Elizabeth Marrie rsm - MIRP Coordinator Newfoundland

Image: 10 of the 14 partners-in-Mercy and 3 Sisters of Mercy who form the group: Flor Palacios S.and Juan Almeyda S, Haybi Barrientos S.and Juan Reyes A,  Esther Romero V. and Wilfredo Barrientos S, Maria Ortega. and.Freddy Blanco, Kathy Morales  F, Yolanda Quiroz V,  Rossana Sal y Rosas R, Teodora Vilca D, Marta Aguilar V, Carlos Rivadeneira, Marion Collins, rsm, Lily Ferrero B, rsm, Verna Aucoin, rsm

Stage Three Report from Hartford Sacred Circle Group (Americas)

Participants in our gathering brought different wisdom traditions regarding water as the attached notes reflect.

Download the report here (PDF)

Messages to: Marianne Comfort - MIRP Coordinator Americas

Image (taken earlier in the process): Front from left: companion Sue Lavoie. Sisters Claire Fillipone and Mary Fahy; standing from left: Sisters Carmela Garofalo, Pat Colla, Cecilia Baranowski, Elaine Deasy, and Amanda Carrier.  Missing: Nancy Audette (photographer) Ellen Flynn, Janice Kidney, and Mary Healy

MIA Members News

'Sisters of Mercy from across England, Scotland and Wales gathered at St. Francis Church in Handsworth, Birmingham to mark the 175th Anniversary of the nearby St. Mary’s Convent. The Pugin designed Convent opened in August 1841 – a few months after St. Chad’s Cathedral.

The Chief Celebrant at the Anniversary Mass was Archbishop Bernard Longley; Sr. Philomena Bowers, Congregational Leader of the Union of the Sisters of Mercy welcomed all to the celebration and reminded the congregation of how the Hardman Family, Augustus Pugin, the Earl of Shrewsbury and Bishop Walsh had all played a part in providing what the Sisters of Mercy Foundress Venerable Catherine McAuley described as a beautiful convent for the first Sisters...'

Source: Birmingham Diocese

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy Handsworth

Image:© Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk
Used under CC 2.0

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'One year ago, the city of Philadelphia was in the throes of the historical visit of Pope Francis. For two days, hundreds of thousands of people experienced spiritual uplift and hope in the glow of this remarkable global religious leader.

Many people expressed a sense that the Holy Father's visit as a transformational moment for our city. It is worth looking a back, a year later, to see what transformation has occurred.

Project HOME and many of our partners marked the papal visit by spearheading the Mercy and Justice campaign, to give concrete expression to the pope's global challenge that we reach out to those on the margins in compassion and justice...'

Source: Philly.com

Messages to: Mary Scullion rsm

Image: Mary Scullion rsm speaking at the Mercy and Justice press conference, June 2015. Photo courtesy of Debbi DellaPorta, ‎Director of Communications at Sisters of Mercy Mid-Atlantic Community (Americas)

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Cuan Mhuire (Harbour of Mary): Celebrating 50 Years (The Congregation)

Editor: It is 50 years this year since Consilio Fitzgerald rsm opened the first Cuan Mhuire in an old dairy in the Convent of Mercy in Athy, Co. Kildare. Today, Cuan Mhuire has centres nationwide and is Ireland’s largest voluntary provider of residential rehabilitation treatment for individuals suffering from addiction and other related issues. Over 75,000 people have received treatment and support from this organisation.

On 13 September a Mass to mark 50 years of the organisation was celebrated in Limerick. A report on the tribute paid to Cuan Mhuire during the Mass can be read here.

At a special #BeMercy Mass of Thanksgiving on Mercy Day evening in St Patrick's Cathedral Armagh, Sr Consilio, together with Trócaire director, Éamonn Meehan, received the St Patrick’s medal from Archbishop Eamon Martin, Primate of All Ireland, on behalf of all those who are ‘doing mercy’ in Ireland today. A report can be read here.

Messages to: Consilio Fitzgerald rsm

Image: Sr Consilio. Catholic Ireland.net

A Man with An Amazing Plan (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Kathleen Rushton rsm writes that by misjudging Zaccheus in Luke 19:1– 10 we miss his vision for a better community.

Sr Kathleen proposes that 'Zacchaeus’s amazing plan to restore 400 per cent resonates with one of the radical challenges in Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’ on Care for Our Common Home...'

Download the article here (2pps; PDF)

Read it online here

Messages to: Kathleen Rushton rsm

Image: The tax-collector's office by Pieter Brueghel the Younger. Google Art project. Public domain

Celebrating Mercy Day at McAuley High School Cincinnati (Americas)

As part of the 2016 Mercy Day festivities at McAuley High School in Cincinnati, students engaged in a new chalk mural competition in the school’s parking lot. Family Homeroom groups competed against each other in this fun, spirit-building activity. The chalk drawings focused on the theme of “hospitality,” a virtue that Catherine McAuley demonstrated at the highest level. In teams, the students created their own design concepts prior to Mercy Day, and they did the actual drawings on Sept. 23 during the Mercy Day celebrations. The students’ drawings incorporated many components of Catherine’s Mission, including “a comfortable cup of tea,” along with the school’s core values of Faith, Compassion, Service, Leadership, and Excellence. The completed chalk murals were a colorful reminder and visual presence of Catherine’s spirit and mission that live on through the students of McAuley High School.

Messages to: Patty Thelen ‘93 - Director of Marketing & Communications

Editor: Three Mercy schools: Damascus College Ballarat, Sacred Heart College Kyneton, both in Victoria and  Mercedes College in South Australia, share with us how they each celebrated Mercy Day in 2016.

Image: Craig Holmes, Principal, with senior students in front of the Sacred Heart College Kyneton Baggot Street Doors!

Thank you to all those who shared their Mercy Day greetings and reports of their celebrations with our readers in this and previous issues of Mercy eNews this year.
We look forward to enjoying more Mercy Day sharing from our readers in 2017!

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Mercy Matters

18 tricks, features and tools in Google docs. Worth exploring if you are a docs user.

Source: Field Guide

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'Every day we hear news of race riots, ethnic violence and discrimination somewhere in our world, often quite close to us...'

- Veronica Lawson rsm

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1917: Fire partially destroyed St Joseph's Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona (it was rebuilt within three months)

Editor St Joseph's is this week's featured website

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

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Dignity Health and St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center are committed to furthering the healing ministry of Jesus, and to providing high-quality, affordable healthcare to the communities we serve.

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Romero & Grande: Companions on the Journey by Ana Maria Pineda rsm

'On May 23, 2015, Pope Francis beatified Salvadoran martyr Archbishop Oscar Romero who was murdered while presiding at Mass in 1980. Three years before his murder, Rutilio Grande, Jesuit priest and friend of the Archbishop, had been murdered for the same offense–speaking up for the poor and vulnerable.... Salvadoran native Ana Maria Pineda once again catapults these martyrs into our collective consciences through a story that is both significantly personal and painstakingly researched during multiple trips to her homeland where she discovered surprising facts very close to home.' Available on Amazon

Recommended by Patricia Pora rsm (Americas)

1841 was an eventful year. We read that:

Fordham University opens
The London Brighton Railway opens
Patents are issued for the first light bulb and the first stapler
Thomas Cook opens the first travel agency

and Catherine McAuley arrives in Birmingham, England to establish a Convent of Mercy...

- Philomena Bowers rsm

Image:© Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk Used under CC 2.0

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Further Resources

Worth Playing and Praying:

Evening Prayer (Prayer to close a long day). Watch/listen here (02:54). The text of the prayer can be read here. The prayer comes from A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa (1989) p.184

Worth reading:

The October issue of LCWR's newsletter Update is now online and can be downloaded here (14pps; PDF)

Human Trafficking
USCSAHT October reflection 'Pray, Love, Act' is now online. It can be read here

'The forthcoming biennial 2016 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, which will be released in November, confirms that human trafficking flows generally follow the overall migratory flows'. Read the article from the UN News Centre here

Worth Watching:

All 3 parts of the presentation by Steven Bevans SVD on Mercy are now online at the Center for the Study of Consecrated Life (CSCL) website. You can view the 3 videos here

Worth Knowing:

On 15 September 2016, the drafting committee of the 3rd Global Conference on World’s Religions unveiled the 'Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions'. The Declaration can be accessed here in English and en español For background, see here

The Bottom Line:

'Truly we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood...'

-Mary Oliver -  Mysteries, Yes

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)