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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 704  |  19 December 2016
Featured Story
Christmas Greetings & Blessings To All

May God preserve and bless you and grant you all the graces and precious gifts reserved for this holy season.

- Catherine McAuley

Letter to Frances Warde. December 23, 1837

Vision in Action
Christmas Greeting: MIA President

Christmas Greetings to you all as we prepare to celebrate the coming of the Christ-child, the basis of our belief that God is truly with us in this life, in this world, in this universe.  2017 has been a very special year for Mercy International Association.  Thousands of our Sisters and those who associate with us in a whole host of ways, have been part of the Mercy International Reflection Process, all of this taking place in the Jubilee Year of Mercy.  Action in response to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor is already happening as a result of the process and more action will follow, some of it at an International level.  Let us be deeply grateful for all those who join us on our journey of mercy or who find their own path to mirroring God’s mercy . 

Have a very happy Christmas!

Messages to: Berneice Loch rsm - President MIA Members

Christmas Greeting: MIA Board Chair

Around us we see the external signs of Christmas, evident in our streets, shops and homes. Pope Francis reminds us these ‘external signs’ of Christmas invite us to welcome Jesus who always comes and knocks on our door, and to recognise Jesus in the poor and needy we encounter. For us the Door of Mercy does not close.

As we move towards Christmas, let us hear the call to rejoice in the imminent coming of our Redeemer and to share this joy with others, giving hope to the poor, sick, the lonely and the abandoned.

As people of Mercy, may you be blessed with joy and peace.

Ron Ashworth, Peter Burnett, Kevin Hoy, Mary Moorhead and Sisters Scholasticah Nganda, Margaret Casey, Colette Cronin, Pat McDermott, Denise Fox and Mary Reynolds
MIA Board of Directors

Messages to: Denise Fox rsm - Chair
MIA Board

Christmas Greeting: MIA Executive Director

As we celebrate Christmas, may we open wide the inn doors of our hearts to welcome Christ into our lives.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Christmas Greetings from Mercy Congregations and Institutes, Mercy Communities, Sisters, Associates and partners-in-Mercy across the Mercy world are linked to this item.

Messages to: the Editor

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Thank you!

Thank you to all our contributors for news items, the longform articles and prayer services, the MIRP reports, MIRP VOICES and Stations of Mercy projects, the Season of Creation photographs, comments on the live streams and suggestions of resources, all of which have helped build the global Mercy community online.

Thank you to all our readers for your ongoing interest, support, encouragement, and feedback. A very special thanks to Elsa Valdiviezo and the Staff of the Communications Office at the Institute of the Americas for the translations of the key materials for the Mercy International Reflection Process (MIRP).

Messages to: the Editor

This is the final issue of Mercy E-news for 2016. All issues for this year have been archived online and are linked to this item.

The first Issue of Mercy E-News for 2017 will be published on Wednesday, 25 January.
Please send your contributions for the first issue of Mercy News to the Editor by Friday, 20 January.

Messages to: the Editor

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Programs on Offer at MIC

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

Editor: On Thursday 15 December, Betty Lacey (MGA researcher) and Denise Boyle fmdm (Director, Mercy Global Action) attended a conference hosted by the European Migration Network (EMN) titled: ‘Responding to the Refugee Crisis’.

The MGA report on the conference is attached to this item.  A number of the presentations given at the conference can be downloaded from the conference webpage

Messages to: Denise Boyle fmdm - Mercy Global Action

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MIA Members News

Kathleen Erickson rsm writes: 'I am so privileged to be able to visit immigrant women who are detained in a county jail. Some have been there a short time, but most spend months there before being deported back to their country of origin...They enrich my life, and along with them, I ask your reflection, prayer and active involvement in changing unjust systems such as the one that holds them captives.'

Messages to: Kathleen Erickson rsm

Image: iStock. Used under licence

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Editor: On Saturday 10 December eighty-five members of Brisbane Congregation gathered at ‘Mercy Place’ for the celebration of their annual Advent Prayer Ritual and the sharing of an early Christmas meal.

Their report of this celebration and a copy of the ritual used on the day is linked to this item, along with other reports previously received.

We do still welcome your reports, responses or reflections and your images from celebrations. These reports will be added to the site as they are received for the enjoyment of us all.

Messages to: the Editor

Image: Mary Royce (Staff member, Mercy Place) and Geraldine FitzGerald rsm enjoying the Brisbane celebration

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Mercy Matters

'...The prologue to Matthew’s gospel provides the first part of the gospel for the Christmas Vigil Mass.The first two words of the gospel (biblos geneseos) evoke the first words of the Book of Genesis and thus locate the child to be born within the broad sweep of the birth of the cosmos...'

- Veronica Lawson rsm

Editor: The January reflections are on our website and may be read online or downloaded here

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'Christmas offers a welcome reminder that God came among us, in the very midst of repression, disrupting empire with a most unexpected peace.'

The annual challenging yet uplifting Christmas video from Kairos Canada (02:19)

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Mercy Apps for Smartphone Users

The Mercy-ing app has been updated for 2017. Each month will focus on a theme. New users can download the app from *iTunes (Apple) or *GooglePlay

The Morning and Evening Prayer of the Sisters of Mercy (Mercy Prayerbook) app can be downloaded from *iTunes and the Amazon app store

Oracion Misericordia can be downloaded from *iTunes

On This Day

1914: Death of M Liguori Keenan at Carysfort, which she had purchased, Co Dublin

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

'...We will not close the Door of Mercy.
There will be room at our inn,
we will make space at the table,
the cooking pot holds ample.
Through the door is feast and safety,
hope and shelter...'

-Mary Wickham rsm (ISMAPNG)

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Each year Google compiles a short video from the top searches for the year using its search engine. This year's video may start with the tragic and the difficult, but it finishes so well. There is hope. (02:00).

[The song that the clip is cut to, Light the Sky, can be found here]

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:


What Christmas deserves - a big band sound! My Favourite Time of Year from The Florin Street Band, a unique Victorian-themed Christmas music project (04:29). Watch/listen here (04:29) Purchase on *iTunes; Amazon; GooglePlay

The Bottom Line:

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins: 

To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among others,
To make music in the heart. 

- Howard Thurman (1899-1981), African-American author, philosopher, theologian, educator and civil rights leader, 'The Work of Christmas'

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We will return on 25 January 2017.

 Resources for Year of Mercy
Readings for Mercy
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Mercy International Association Limited
Registered in Ireland.
Certificate Number 194263. Public Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered Office: Mercy International Association, 11 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2. Registered Charity no CHY 10078
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)