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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 694  |  19 October 2016
Featured Story
'Mercy And Its Works: If Things Fall Apart, Can They Be Put Right?'
Margaret A. Farley rsm

'I borrow here the title of one of Africa’s greatest novels, Things Fall Apart, written by one of its greatest novelists, Chinua Achebe. I do so because these are the words that have come to my mind all too frequently in recent months and even years: “Things fall apart.” Though set in different times and places from our own, this novel has long offered a paradigm for seemingly intractable conflicts between human individuals and within human societies. In our own times and places, we hear the stories of shattered lives, vicious assaults, enmities in all spheres of human interaction. Narratives like these are intimately accessible to us in a globalized world—whether focused on economic and environmental injustices, racial and ethnic fears, vast inequalities of all kinds, unending forms of violence and oppression. These narratives constitute a kind of “book of pain”—one that we must continue to read, and to read in the light of, or against, historical and religious old and new chapters.

This year we live into a designated extraordinary year of Jubilee...'

Download the complete article (8pps; PDF)

Messages to: Margaret A. Farley rsm

First published in Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA) Proceedings 71/2016.
Published here with permission of CTSA and Margaret A. Farley 
rsm under CC Licence 3.0


Image: Margaret A. Farley rsm photographed by Adele Howard rsm in the Yale Divinity School Chapel in 2016 for MIRP VOICES

Vision in Action
Ongoing Support for Haiti: MIA Prayer Intention

Editor: Haiti has had a special place in the heart of Mercy since 1991 when Ellen Flynn rsm (Americas) went there to serve—the only Mercy presence—returning home four days before the catastrophic earthquake on 12 January 2010. Immediate on the ground help in Haiti came from Sisters and Associates in the U.S., including Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care North Carolina which in May this year made its 14th return visit.

In April 2011 and again in October 2011, groups of Irish Sisters travelled to Haiti with Haven, an Irish NGO, to build houses for local people. Individual members travelled to Haiti in 2012 and in 2015 to give further assistance. Members of the Institute of the Americas created the Focus on Haiti group, reports of whose work can be read on our website, and Mercy Beyond Borders has been educating girls in Gros Morne, Haiti since 2012.

The UN estimates (15/10/16) that 546 people have been killed, 438 injured, and 128 are missing, with some 2.1 million people affected throughout the country.

Image: Haiti Hit by Hurricane Matthew
06 October 2016 Les Cayes, Haiti
UN Photo/ Logan Abassi. Photo # 697656. Used with permission

Ongoing Support for Haiti: Other Ways to Help

For those who are able to contribute, donations to one of the larger organisations, such as Catholic Relief Services (USA Caritas member organisation) Hope for Haiti, or Haven which has worked solely in Haiti since its foundation in 2008, are all recommended.

Readers in the USA are alerted that the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns invites signatures on a petition to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson to reinstate Temporary Humanitarian Parole for Haitians. Details can be found here

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Image: Haiti Hit by Hurricane Matthew
06 October 2016 Les Cayes, Haiti
UN Photo/ Logan Abassi. Photo # 697653. Used with permission

These and other scenes of the devastation have been posted in the carousel on the homepage of our website

MIA Reflection Process
Invitation: Women Acting for Climate Justice

The Women's Earth and Climate Action Network and the Women’s Global Call for Climate Justice have teamed up to organize Ten Days of Global Mobilisation. Between 28 October and 6 November, the two organisations are putting out a 'worldwide call for women, girls, and allies to bring light to their climate struggles and solutions'.

The campaign is being coordinated in advance of the November 2016 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - COP22 Conference in Marrakech, Morocco (7-18 November). There, they hope to continue to pressure world leaders and demand that all governments keep working toward climate justice with respect to all human rights.

There are several levels of participation offered on the Women Act for Climate Justice website which you might like to investigate.

Responding to Paris Climate Agreement Enforcement

On Friday, 4 November 2016, the Paris Climate Agreement enters into force, in time for the Marrakech Climate Conference (COP 22) in Morocco, 7-18 November, where countries will convene the first Meeting of the Parties to the Agreement. 

MIA welcomes the agreement coming into force and has produced a graphic which members of the Mercy family might like to use in your communications. This new graphic is available to you in print quality.

Regular readers of Mercy eNews will recognise that this new graphic complements that on our prayer sheet used during the 12 days of the COP21 conference last year.

Messages to: Anne Walsh - Communications Director MIRP

Image: © 2016 MIA

Report on Stage Three from White Rose UK MIRP Group (GB Institute)

We had begun by considering the wider context of our Wisdom search with reflections from Chief Seattle (1854) and then looking at a list of more recent worldwide efforts to understand what might be involved in caring for our common home: UNFCCC [Framework Convention on Climate Change] (1992);  UN General Assembly - Declaration on Environmental Ethics (Seoul 1997); Kyoto Protocol  (1997) and Amendment  (Dohar 2012); The Earth Charter (2000) and the Great Transition Initiative (Earth Charter at 2015) Earth Summit (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development 1992) and Earth Summit +10 ( Johannesburg 2002) and Earth Summit +20( Rio de Janeiro 2012); G20 Summit (2014); Paris Convention and Agreement (2015/2016)...

Download the complete report here (PDF)

Messages to: Josephine Davies rsm - MIRP Coordinator GB Institute

Image: Clockwise from left: Srs Joan Breen, Margaret Duffy, Colette Cronin, Jean Francis Fitzpatrick, Robert Snelling, Sr Barbara Jeffery. Absent Sr Maura Mullen

Proceso Internacional de Reflexión (Americas)

hola Marianne, nuestro grupo se reúne una vez al mes. Ahora estamos reflexionando la encíclica Laudato Si con el power point y una forma participativa y dialogada. Anteriormente vimos un poco de la Doctrina Social de la Iglesia. Siempre partimos de VER LA REALIDAD y luego juzgamos y vemos como actuar que es el método latinoamericano. Terminamos con una breve oración.

Creo que todos/as sentimos que nos enriquece  este diálogo reflexivo y lo seguimos con entusiasmo. 

Participan unas 8 a 10 personas y algunas están descubriendo la relación entre fe y política y como el Evangelio, los Documentos  y la Encíclica nos inspiran valores y acciones contrarias a las del sistema neoliberal global y su cultura individualista y consumista.

No tengo fotos actuales, pues me olvido de ellas cada vez que nos reunimos; perdón. Ana

A translation into English can be read here (PDF)

Messages to: Marianne Comfort - MIRP Coordinator Americas

Image: Ana Siufi rsm photographed at a fracking demonstration in Argentina in 2013

MIA Members News

This year marks two important milestones for Mercy’s beloved Sister Mary Roch Rocklage  – 30 years since she helped shepherd Mercy's transition from individual hospitals to a system as its first president and chief executive officer and 55 years of service with Mercy.

Sister Roch started as a nursing student and through the years held a variety of positions within Mercy including hospital president, health system president, chair of the board and currently health ministry liaison helping ensure the future of the health ministry with fewer Sisters of Mercy to serve...

Messages to: Mary Roch Rocklage rsm

Read More

Julie McAuley, of Australia, learned about her connection to Catherine while working with the Sisters of Mercy during her Ph.D. studies in Brisbane.

“They realized the spelling was exactly the same and said how rare that was,” Julie recalled. “I met with them for morning tea and they tried to do my family history because my father was born in Ireland.”

While not exactly sure how many greats to add, Julie is a great, great niece of Catherine...

Messages to: Bethany Pope - Mercy Media Contact St Louis

Image: Sisters with Julie McAuley (far right)

Read More
The latest issue (Vol. 23, No. 3) of The MAST Journal Now Available (Americas)

The latest issue (Vol. 23, No. 3) of The MAST Journal was recently published.  Editor Eloise Rosenblatt rsm reports that the issue entitled “Concerns of Pope Francis,” reflects the general enthusiasm for the papacy and inspiration of Pope Francis.

The list of authors and topics can be downloaded here (PDF)

The MAST Journal is published three times a year by the Mercy Association in Scripture and Theology. To subscribe, please contact Julia Upton rsm or subscribe online.

Editor: The MAST organisation is this week's featured Mercy website

Messages to: Julia Upton rsm

In the Church of St. Pudenziana in Rome one can see the original and miraculous painting of Our Lady of Mercy. In the 19th Century, as a sign of approval and benediction and as the emblem of the new congregation of Sisters of Mercy, founded by Catherine McAuley in Dublin, Pope Leo XIII gifted the Sisters with an oil painting reproduction of this image which hangs in the Baggot Street chapel.

Since that time there have been other copies and images of Our Lady of Mercy and one that is well known within the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea is this one painted by Sister Margaret Mary Batros...

Messages to: Anne McMillan rsm

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Mercy Matters

'The parable of the Pharisee and the toll collector follows that of the persistent widow and the unjust judge.
Luke frames the parable with comments about being just or in right relationship (translated “virtuous”) and justified (translated “at rights with God”)...'

- Veronica Lawson rsm

Read More

An online database of over 5 million acronyms and abbreviations.You can search or filter terms from a number of categories, including IT terms, business & finance, and organisations.

This is the site to visit if you are trying to discover what a particular acronym represents.

Read More

1924: Foundation to Clonbur, Co Galway from Ballinrobe, Co Mayo

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

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2016 Catholic Press Association Book Awards Honorable Mention- Gender Issues

A collected volume of essays by renowned ethicist Margaret Farley, including articles previously published in scholarly periodicals as well as unpublished lectures and spiritual writings.

Purchase online from Orbis or Amazon

Read More

The purpose of MAST is to promote studies and research in Scripture, Theology, Spirituality, Church and congregational history and themes, the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy Direction Statement including those issues that have been named as “critical concerns,” and topics related to ministries supported or sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy and the broader community of Mercy, as well as ongoing spiritual development and enrichment.

Volumes 1- 22 (1991 - 2014) of the MAST journal are archived on the site and can be read online or downloaded.

Read More

'The works of mercy “reawaken in us the need and the capacity to make faith live and work through charity. I am convinced that through these simple daily gestures we can effect a true cultural revolution… If each one of us, every day, did one of these, this would be a revolution in the world! But all of us, every one of us..."'

- Pope Francis, General Audience, 12 October 2016

Read More
Further Resources

Worth Playing:

The Calais Sessions is the recent album that resulted from the collaboration between the professional UK and amateur refugee musicians in the 'jungle' camp at Calais to raise spirits and funds. Har dil jo pyar karega’ - ‘Every Heart that loves’ can be watched/ heard here (03:13)

The camp was due to close on 17 October and the estimated 10,000 refugee inhabitants, 10% of them unaccompanied minors, to be re-settled. Read more here

Worth Listening:
Human Trafficking

On 12 October, a service to commemorate the work of William Wilberforce and to inaugurate the office of the Independent Anti-slavery Commissioner was held at Westminster Abbey.  Addresses given by Cardinal Nichols, Archbishop Welby, Prime Minister Theresa May and Kevin Hyland OBE, can be heard here. The texts of the Addresses by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Prime Minister May posted on other sites can also be accessed from this page

Worth Watching:
Religious Life

The second of the three-part video presentation 'Biblical Encounters: from Being Mercy'd to Becoming Mercy-Full and Merciful' by Barbara Reid OP, is now online at the Center for the Study of Consecrated Life (CSCL) website. You can view Sr Barbara's video 'Becoming Mercy-Full'  here (06:08)

Worth Knowing:

'This is what happens when we build walls and fences to keep people out'. How border fences have spread across the continent to block refugees’ migration routes, but only succeeded in diverting them to other, more dangerous paths. Read the article here

Worth Reading:

The Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, said the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 'depends upon going beyond the language of economics and statistics,” adding that “considerations of a moral, spiritual and religious dimension cannot be ignored without serious detriment to the person’s development.'  Read the Statement here


 'In a 13-day relay, Davila-Day and dozens of fellow participants in a Native American ritual are walking the entire length of the Potomac, praying for its return to unpolluted health. They will speak to the water, sing to the water, and pray for the water.' Read the article here

The Bottom Line:

'One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.'
- Chinua Achebe, Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic

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

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