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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 699  |  23 November 2016
Featured Story
Foundation Day Prayer Service

Editor: At the opening of the Jubilee Year of Mercy we gathered in our holy places and prayed for the energy and the courage to 'take up the joyful call to mercy'. Since then we have been presented with many opportunities 'to show and live the way of mercy' for our sisters, brothers and the planet. Some of the shared invitations and challenges for thought, prayer and action, reminders of the interconnectedness and interdependence of all of life, are pictured here.

Foundation Day was chosen by MIA for the formal end of our Year of Mercy activities, including the Mercy International Reflection Process, because of its connotations for us all of the new: new beginnings, new opportunities, new pathways, new outcomes.

We are invited on or around 12 December to use this prayer service as our shared prayer, knowing that while 'the jubilee year ends, the work of mercy goes on'.

Download the prayer service in full colour or black & white:

Leaders copy colour [A4 Paper Size]; [US Letter Size]; b&w [A4 Paper Size]; [US Letter Size]
Participants copy colour [A4 Paper Size]; [US Letter Size] b&w [A4 Paper Size]; [US Letter Size]


Copia de Lider: [A4 Paper Size]; [US Letter Size]; b&w [A4 Paper Size]; [US Letter Size]
Participantes: [A4 Paper Size]; [US Letter Size]; b&w [A4 Paper Size]; [US Letter Size]

Music for the prayer service is online here

Reports of your end of Jubilee Year celebrations for publishing on our website are both welcome and encouraged!

Messages to:

Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
Sheila Carney rsm - Author of the Prayer Service


Image: Aspects of our Jubilee Year of Mercy. © 2016 MIA. This image is available to any Mercy group who would like to use it. Please contact the Editor

Vision in Action

The 16 Days of Activism commence this Friday, 25 November. The launch video for the #16Days16Stories campaign is now online. Commencing tomorrow (24/11), the video stories will be uploaded, one story per day until all 16 are online.

The videos are being uploaded onto the MIA human trafficking microsite:
http://www.mercyworld.org/humantrafficking in the 'Project updates' section

They will also be available on http://www.16days16stories.online

These videos have been prepared for the sole purpose of education and Anti-Trafficking advocacy in line with the United Nations 16 days campaign to end violence against women.

How to use these videos and suggestions for where to share them are included in the attached document (PDF)

Read about the background to the campaign here

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

Read More
MIA Special Prayer Intention: People and Places Affected by Earthquakes

Yesterday (22 November) a magnitude 5.7 earthquake occurred 15 km SE of Culverden, central New Zealand, little more than a week after a powerful tremor centred in the upper South Island rocked the country and killed two people. Yesterday, a powerful earthquake struck off the coast of Fukushima in north-east Japan, the same region that was devastated in 2011. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Otto heads towards Central America, expected to bring rain and strong winds to parts of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama. It could become a Thanksgiving Hurricane.

Let us remember in our prayers the relatives, friends and communities of the deceased victims; the people and places in New Zealand and Japan impacted by the earthquakes, and all at risk in Central America.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Invitation to Prayer & Action: #RedWednesday

Wednesday, 23 November is #RedWednesday. Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) invites us to wear red to honour those who have suffered because of their religion, and to stand in solidarity with millions of people, targeted for their beliefs and living in fear of persecution, recrimination, discrimination or genocide. 

Let us pray that our governments will protect people of faith, find solutions to the problems that are fuelling extremist violence and make our world a safer place for everyone.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Enrol in a Program at MIC in 2017

Four programs are in place for 2017:

Watering the Roots at the Wellsprings of Mercy
4 June to 1 July 2017    

Pilgrimage of Young Mercy Leaders (for secondary school students):
18 July to 21 July 2017   

Come Home to Catherine:
30 July to 5 August 2017

Ethos Pilgrimage for Partners in Mercy:
13 August to 19 August 2017

Download the program here (PDF)

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

MIA Reflection Process
Report from the Ballymote Cluster (The Congregation)

What action or actions does the group recommend?

i. We engage with groups who are working with the Homeless/Refugees and displaced people and see the extent of this problem in our local area
ii. Meet with some people who are already engaged with the Simon Community in our local area.
iii. Respond to Laudato Si Cry of the Earth/Cry of the Poor by inviting members of other groups eg. St. Vincent de Paul to share with us ideas on how to put Pope Francis’s Encyclical into practice.
iv. To donate regularly –weekly- to the following needs

International -Vita, Trocaire, Clothing to War-Torn Areas
National -Fr. Peter Mc Verry Trust/ Homeless
Local - Homeless, Refugees, and Displaced People

How will we know if/when we have achieved this?

i. By evaluating at regular times during the year.
ii. Feedback from organisations and people working in those areas.

Image. L-r: Back row Loreto Hogge, Regina Lydon, Attracta Kilcawley 
L-R : Front row Elizabeth Mc Nicolas, Nell Chambers

Messages to: Sheila Curran rsm - MIRP Coordinator The Congregation

Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation Office Report on MIRP Focus Area

A group from the Brisbane Congregation Office have met now on three occasions, each time engaging with and reflecting upon the words of Pope Francis in both the Prayer for our Earth and the messages contained in Laudato Si’ – On Care For Our Common Home

After raising a number of diverse and varied issues, our conversation led us back to the words of our prayer ‘A Prayer for our Earth’ and our Office mission statement and values.  From here our discussion and focus turned toward the dignity of the human person in particular … ‘the abandoned and forgotten of this earth’...

Appreciating ‘the abandoned and forgotten of this earth’ is a wide focus area for consideration, the group intends to become more informed over upcoming weeks with the view of narrowing our focus even more. Some early examples from our discussion included: elderly people suffering isolation and loneliness; women, men and children whose lives changes through unexpected misfortune or circumstance; those without shelter and warmth this winter.

Messages to: Sandra Lupi rsm - MIRP Coordinator Brisbane Congregation

Report from the Liverpool/Oldham group at the completion of Stage 3 (GB Institute)

The group met to discuss and pray about Stage three of the process. Some research and work had been done by members of the group before the meeting took place.  

The group had changed significantly by this stage of the process because Sr Francis Rushton had been transferred to Whitby to be Community Leader there and Sr Cait O’Dwyer had returned to Ireland for a new ministry there. However, we initiated Sr Imelda O’Loughlin who has returned from Kenya and Sr Maureen Moss, transferred from North Shields, into the group...

Download the report here (PDF)

Messages to: Josephine Davies rsm - MIRP Coordinator GB Institute

Image: Mercy Convent Oldham

Report from Sacred Circle on Stage 4 MIRP Gathering (Americas)

This was our final meeting which we addressed through 3 lenses: our contemplative response, ascetic or individual response and our prophetic response.

Our opening prayer was a reading and quiet reflection on the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas --- Northeast Community Corporate Stand on Water, adopted May 8, 2009.

This was followed by a contemplative ritual where we each received a glass of water and for 10 minutes tried to imagine ourselves as a river or ocean, lake or river anywhere in the world. We tried to hear what the water might be saying to us in a word, a plea, a challenge. We shared what we heard and then drank the water as the living water of God...

Download the complete report (PDF)

Messages to Marianne Comfort - MIRP Coordinator Americas

Image: Sisters Cecilia Baranowski, Nancy Audette and Carmela Garofalo, represented their MIRP group and CT Earth Mercy Committee with the Save Our Water group in Bloomfield CT to protest at Niagara Bottling Company's construction site.


MIA Members News

Mary Ryan rsm presented a workshop 'Child Sex Trafficking in the Hospitality Sector', at the 2nd RENATE European Assembly, 6-12 Nov. 2016, in Rome.

Sr Mary's presentation is linked to this item.

Messages to: Mary Ryan rsm

Read More

'Where does the Year of Mercy go when it ends? The Jubilee will finish, but as Mary famously declared, “God’s mercy embraces the faithful from one generation to the next.” As the image of Mercy’s open doors fade, a new image emerges as another year of grace dawns. It is the living Advent wreath, green with the promise of an abundant nature which, given even half a chance, constantly renews itself. And a circle like Mercy’s own, that is called to widen itself until all are embraced and warmed in its light....'

From Imaging Mercy Today, November 2016

Messages to: Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregation Leader

Read More
Critical Concerns Week Georgian Court University (Americas)

During Critical Concerns week at Georgian Court University (GCU), which focused on Women’s Voices in the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Deirdre Mullan rsm (Congregation) was one of the keynote speakers at this weeklong event. Critical Concerns Week reflects the slate of issues addressed by the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. Each year since 2006, GCU has dedicated scholarly study to issues relating to the five critical concerns: the earth, immigration, nonviolence, racism and women. This year, in collaboration GCU is exploring women’s voices in the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Deirdre’s presentation looked at Women of Mercy as Agents of Change. She explored how Catherine McAuley in her day became an agent of change who challenged the status quo and how her vision continues to inspire her women across the globe. Deirdre reflected on five Sisters of Mercy on the five continents and explained how they too have become agents of change in their respective worlds.

Messages to: Deirdre Mullan rsm

Image: Sr Deirdre standing beside a bust of Catherine prior her talk, which was held in the McAuley Heritage Center

During their October 15-19 meeting in Belmont, North Carolina, Mercy's justice ministers and their leadership liaisons agreed to use Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si': Care for Our Common Home as a lens for their work in the time leading up to Chapter 2017 and beyond.

The Extended Justice Team (XJT) sees the document as a key Catholic Social Teaching resource for deepening a spirituality of justice, analyzing root causes and making the interconnections among the Critical Concerns.

Messages to: Mercy Extended Justice Team

Image: Seated, from left: Sister Anne Curtis, Mike Poulin, and Sisters Maria Klosowski, Mary Schmuck, Masbely Del Cid. Standing, from left: Sister Jean Murin; Kathy Ogle, interpreter; Sisters Ana Siufi, Suzanne Gallagher, Karen Donahue, Alicia Zapata, and Rose Marie Tresp; Marianne Comfort; Sister Janet Korn; Jean Stokan; Sister Mary Pendergast; Stephanie Heiland, Institute communications; and Elizabeth McMeekin, interpreter

Read More
Mercy Matters

'The conclusion of the Year of Mercy is... but the beginning of a lifetime of Mercy.

The initiatives and the focus that we have concentrated on, in regards to Mercy this year, must not now recede into the horizon of our lives.

Pope Francis so often calls for a practical charity and a practical Mercy. The spiritual and corporal works of Mercy continually help us to understand what this means in a more focused manner...

The Year of Mercy may conclude, but the life of Mercy is celebrated forever.'

- Christopher Prowse, Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn

Read More

''“Where is the Life we have lost in living?” asks the Chorus in T. S. Eliot's The Rock. The Jesus of Matthew's gospel is implicitly asking much the same question as Eliot’s Chorus. He is making much the same observation as Henry David Thoreau, “Most [people] lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them."...'

- Veronica Lawson rsm

Read More

1882: Foundation to Tumut from Goulburn - M Bernard Greenan

1905: Death of M Paul Fielding, Foundress of Yass/Wilcannia, New South Wales - from Rockfortbridge, Co Westmouth

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

Read More

There are more reasons than ever to understand how to protect your personal information.

Read More

The call to "Be merciful just as your Father is merciful" {Luke 6:36} will echo long after the #YearofMercy has drawn to a close.

Lyric video (04:16)

Read More
#16Days16Stories: Trafficked Women and Girls in Their Own Words

The launch video for the #16Days16Stories campaign is now available. Commencing 24 November 2016, the video stories will be uploaded, one story per day until all 16 are online.

View online:



Further Resources

Worth Playing:

Open Wide The Doors/Abre Bien Las Puertas by John Angotti. This song is included in the Foundation Day ritual. Learn/listen to it here (03:05). Purchase on *iTunes and on *GooglePlay

Worth Checking Out:

Advent Resources

To help each one of us prepare for the Season of Advent (27 November - 24 December), here are a number of new-for-2016 free online resources for your reading, viewing, listening, prayer and reflection. Access these resources here.

Worth Reading:

Syrian Expat Philharmonic Orchestra unites musicians who fled war to Europe

'We need to do something to unite as Syrians and do something for hope,' says Raed Jazbeh, founder of the orchestra. Heartwarming. Read the article and watch the clip (02:41)

Jan Richardson

Jan has just published 'The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief'. This book, her recently released 'Circle of Grace' and her other publications can be purchased here online

Cosmology & Eco-justice

The human cost of fracking. Photos and stories of six families impacted by hydraulic fracturing can be read here

'Leaked map reveals chronic mercury epidemic in Peru.' Read the article here

Worth Watching:

Cosmology & Eco-justice

On14-16 October 2016, the Center for the Study of World Religions (CSWR) at Harvard Divinity School hosted 'Religion, Ecology, and Our Planetary Future'. The 13 videos from this important conference can each be watched online here

How Fracking Has Changed One Womans' Life in Colorado. This video can be watched here (04:27)

The Bottom Line:

'Now is the time to unleash the creativity of mercy, to bring about new undertakings, the fruit of grace.'

- Pope Francis, Apostolic Letter 'Misericordia et Misera', 20 November 2016

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

Foundation Day 2016
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