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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 695  |  26 October 2016
Featured Story
We Came Home to Catherine

Editor: The most recent of the six-day Come Home to Catherine programs was held from 21-26 August 2016. At Baggot Street and in Dublin, in Catherine's house and in her room, says Anne Reid, co-facilitator of the August program and of previous programs, participants experience Catherine 'on holy ground' in a way they couldn't anywhere else. 'It is an experience that touches people's hearts.'

Participants agree. As one expressed it: 'I knew about Catherine but didn't know her until this week. I had read books but here I walked in her footsteps, I met her'. Echoed another: 'Catherine McAuley is a wonderful retreat director! I have spent time here with her. I have felt Catherine. It has been life-changing. I will leave changed for the better.'

The next Come Home to Catherine program is planned for Sunday 30 July to Saturday 5 August 2017. Only one Come Home to Catherine program will be offered in 2017 and these programs are always filled. Expressions of interest are welcome.

Messages to: Mary Kay Dobrovolny rsm - Assistant Director Heritage & Spirituality

Image L-r: Anne Reid (Co-facilitator, Ireland), Ellen FitzGerald rsm (Americas), Geoff Mills (ISMAPNG), Genevieve O'Keefe rsm (The Congregation), Bernadette Knopek rsm (The Congregation), Ivette Diaz rsm (Americas), Mary Trainer rsm (Co-facilitator, Americas), Helen Culhane (The Congregation), Judith Kapp (Americas), Brigid Courtney (Brisbane), Michele Schroeck rsm (Americas). Photo: Anne Walsh

Vision in Action
Commemorating the 175th Anniversary of Catherine's Death: Baggot Street Celebration

Sisters, Associates and Friends of Mercy
are invited to celebrate the Eucharist at 12.00 p.m.on the 175th Anniversary of Catherine’s death.

Friday 11th November at 64A Lower Baggot Street
Lunch will follow

RSVP is essential by Friday 6th November:

Messages to: receptionist@mercyinternational.ie using the subject line ‘Mass/lunch Nov 11’, or ring 01 6618061 in business hours.

Street parking only.

Some accommodation available.

Download the invitation (PDF)

Commemorating the 175th Anniversary of Catherine's Death: Online Celebration

Editor: Commencing on 2 November, the Feast of All Souls until Remembrance Day, 11 November, we are invited to pray as our prayer for the day a prayer written by Catherine. Then, on the anniversary of her death, we are invited to visit her graveside online and post a prayer, thought or reflection or simply to be present.

Full details, including the prayer sheet, will be in next week's Mercy eNews.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

MIA Prayer Intention: Peace in the Middle East

The Holy See has  announced that there will be an international and ecumenical day of prayer on 31 October, for peace in the Middle East. This is on the occasion of the Pope’s Apostolic Voyage to Sweden to mark the ecumenical commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.It is the first time that leaders of the Catholic and Lutheran Churches will pray in unity.

Let us join our prayers with those gathering in Sweden that all sides engaged in conflicts in the Middle East will come together to find a peace solution to conflict.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Editor: A ritual to give thanks for the Year of Mercy is in preparation by Sheila Carney rsm. It will be made available in both English and Spanish in Mercy eNews in the issue of 23 November. It complements the ritual for Opening Local Doors of Mercy and will include a follow-up poem to The Door of Mercy by Mary Wickham rsm.

Two songs will form part of the ritual: 'Open Wide the Doors' by John Angotti and What Mercy May Yet Be' written by Cynthia Cerjak rsm (Americas) which was used in the Opening ritual for the Year of Mercy.

The music and lyrics for these two songs are linked to this item for those who might like to start practising their singing.

Messages to:
Sheila Carney rsm
Anne Walsh

Read More
MIA Reflection Process
Report from the Berwa- Chain MIRP Group (GB Institute)

The members of Berwa-Chain (Bermondsey and Wanstead communities) met on 20 September

The meeting began with an extended meditation and shared reflection on John: 8: 1-12 the woman taken in adultery  which was most fruitful and focus given on how demand fuels Trafficking...

Agatha has written a letter as part of her work for TRAC, concerning questions to MPs requesting that regarding the modern Slaveries Act, focus to be on the demand which fuels trafficking... A copy of the letter is attached (PDF)...

Download the report here (PDF)

Messages to: Josephine Davies rsm - MIRP Coordinator GB institute

Image: (L-R Seated) Srs Catherine Quane, Anna O’Toole, Catherine Heron, Mary Horan.
(L-R Standing) Nicole Keenan, Srs Monica Sheehy, Agatha Collopy, Elizabeth Wright

Stage 4 Report from MIRP Group SE Qld (ISMAPNG)

In Stage 4 of the MIRProcess, a group who gathered in Brisbane in S E Qld, built up a Solution Tree in response to their identification of the interconnectedness of the cries of shattered Earth and displaced people.  They had previously constructed a Problem Tree in which  society’s obsession with “stuff” and a pyramidal world view were identified as significant causes of the problem.  In their visioning they highlighted that “recognising beauty can change the way we relate to things and to ourselves”, and they stressed also a vision of connectedness rather than of domination.   It is not surprising that their recommendations come out of a sense of reverence for all, and out of a strong desire to attend to the inner and outer dimensions that will  help address the cries of Earth and her people.

Download their recommendations (PDF)

Messages to: Adele Howard rsm - MIRP Coordinator ISMAPNG

Photography Celebrating and Illustrating the Rich Diversity of Life on Earth

The “BigPicture” exhibit, on display at the California Academy of Sciences until 30 October, features 48 photographs from 27 countries. The judges this year awarded prizes in seven categories: Human/Nature; Terrestrial Wildlife; Landscapes, Waterscapes, and Flora; Aquatic Life; Winged Life; Art of Nature; and Photo Essay: Coral Reef. Prize-winning images and finalists in each of these categories can be viewed here

Prize-winning photos in the National Geographic Travel photographer of the year contest have also been announced. Editors' favorite submissions in each of the categories (Nature, Cities, People) can be viewed and downloaded to your desktop, tablet or phone. View/download the images here

El Niño drives concentration of C02 in atmosphere to new high – UN weather agency

“The year 2015 ushered in a new era of optimism and climate action with the Paris climate change agreement. But it will also make history as marking a new era of climate change reality with record high greenhouse gas concentrations,” said World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General Petteri Taalas yesterday. Read more

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.

Messages to: Anne Walsh - Communications Director MIRP

Image: © 2016 MIA

MIA Members News
Crossroads into Sabbatical Time (Americas)

6-week Sabbatical Program (18 September - 29 October) at Mercy by the Sea, Madison, Connecticut, USA.

The cost of the Sabbatical is US$4,600 including a US$250 non-refundable deposit due at the time of application.

Applications for the fall 2017 Sabbatical are due on or before June 1, 2017. Applications and full information may be obtained from Rosemary Jones at 203.245.0401 ext.114 or email Rosemary@mercybythesea.org

Download the flyer here (PDF)

Messages to: Rosemary Jones

Mercy Spirituality Program Online (Americas)

The Georgian Court University Online Certificate program in Mercy Spirituality combines formal academic coursework, spiritual reflection, and thoughtful dialogue with students and faculty from around the world.

Mary-Paula Cancienne rsm writes: 'The first cohort has been a wonderful experience. We will begin our second cohort in January 2017 and it promises to be international with four countries represented thus far!'

This online program is Ideal for people engaged in Mercy-sponsored works, affiliated ministries, and organizations or people interested in further exploring Mercy.

Download the brochure (PDF)

Messages to: Mary-Paula Cancienne rsm

They are homeless, single moms or working poor. Sister Lisa Atkins and the Mercy Hospital Community Health and Benefit team are working hard alongside others to administer holistic care for them all. She and the team try to bring about change for those who feel invisible or who fall between the cracks and cannot obtain medical treatment or other fundamental services. Ironically, their world in Rogers, Arkansas, is near the prosperous world headquarters of several well-known, Goliath corporations.

“There are so many companies here and a significant amount of wealth. The wealthy are getting wealthier and the poor are getting poorer,” says Sister Lisa. “In this area, those really suffering are hidden from view.” ...

Messages to: Lisa Atkins rsm

Read More

I arrived at St Mary’s Convent on the 14th September 2016 to start my postulancy.  I received a wonderful welcome, by the whole community.  I arrived just 10 days before the 175th Anniversary.  What a time to arrive, so much to be completed, but so much excitement in the house.  It was Mercy charisma at its best.  Not just with the community, but all the Sisters staying in the house and visiting.  For me a newbie, it was wonderful to see, and very encouraging of what my future looks like. 

On the Friday, some of the visiting Sisters were taken to the church to look at the focal point, it was about 5pm, and I said, “This time tomorrow it’ll all be over”.  I was informed, “no dear, you’ll be making cups of tea”.  This was so true, but with so many memories to be remembered and over a good cuppa tea, it was one tradition I was happy to be a part of...

Messages to: Nicole Keenan c/- Annette McCartan rsm

Photos of the celebrations can be viewed here

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

Read More
Mercy Matters

'Last week’s gospel story featured an unnamed toll collector, someone who found devious ways to make a living, yet faced his shortcomings and came before God in openness and humility. This week’s gospel features
Zaccheus of Jericho who, like the toll collector of the parable, is willing to admit his failings and is unafraid
to demonstrate his faith in a very public way.'

- Veronica Lawson rsm

Read More

Redemptorist TV Canda has gathered its recordings of a number of Canadian women speakers, including Elizabeth Davis rsm, under the heading Catholic Women in Leadership. Sr Elizabeth's talks are on two themes: Mary (14 videos recorded in 2013) and right relationships and justice (7 videos recorded in 2015). The clips are between 5 and 10 minutes in length, perfect for an introduction, short reflection or prayer for individuals or group sessions.

Read More

Four Courts Press advises that they only have 30 copies left from the print run of this thorough and scholarly biography of Catherine McAuley by Mary C Sullivan rsm. If you were thinking of purchasing this biography, now is the time! Available to readers outside the United States only. Readers in the USA must purchase through Catholic University of America Press. The MIC Gift shop also has some copies.

Read More
More Music for the Jubilee of Mercy

In honour of the Jubilee Year, The Sistine Chapel Choir, the world's oldest choir, has recorded an album of pieces by Palestrina that focus on mercy. The album 'Palestrina. Missa Papæ Marcelli – Motets', is the second recorded inside the Sistine Chapel. Proceeds from the CDs sold be given to the papal charities.

View the Sistine Chapel Choir - Palestrina - Choir & Vatican (Trailer) here (04:43)

Purchase tracks/the album online

1990: Foundation to Secunda, South Africa

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

Read More

You know you should use two-factor authentication everywhere you can, but there’s also “two-step” authentication, which may come off like the same thing. They’re really not. Here’s the difference, and what you should know about both.

Read More
Further Resources

Worth Playing:

'Let there be light where there was darkness,
Let there be love where there was hate,
Even in the terrors of the night,
Sooner or later, comes the day' sings Chris de Burgh in People of the World. Watch/listen here (03:49) Lyrics are here

Worth Reading:
Human Trafficking

On Wednesday, 12 October, the UK's Independent Anti-slavery Commissioner released his first annual report. It can be downloaded here (51pps; PDF). Last Tuesday, 18 October, the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking released its annual report on human trafficking. Read the Report here (28 pps; PDF)

Ecology & Eco-justice

‘The Sky’s the Limit: Why the Paris Climate Goals Require a Managed Decline of Fossil Fuel Production’ Download the report here (60 pps; PDF)


The latest Caritas State of the Environment Report for Oceania has found widespread hunger and thirst across the Pacific in 2015/2016. Download the report here (68 pps; PDF)

Report from the Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch: 'Keeping Seeds in People's Hands' can be downloaded here as one PDF (88pps) or as separate articles

Save the Children UK has released a report 'Every Last Girl' which explores three key barriers that hold girls back: child marriage, poor access to good-quality services and girls’ lack of a voice in private and public spheres. Download the report here (40pps; PDF)

Worth Watching:

Religious Life

The third 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 'Merciful' here (22:31)

The Bottom Line:

Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.

- St. Francis de Sales

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)