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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 706  |  01 February 2017
Featured Story
Mercy in Joint Submission to 55th Session of the Commission for Social Development

Editor: The fifty-fifth session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD) opens at the United Nations Headquarters in New York today, 1 February, until 10 February 2017. The priority theme for the 2017-2018 review and policy cycle is “Strategies for the eradication of poverty to achieve sustainable development for all”.

In a joint Written Intervention submitted with the Dominican Leadership Conference and Unanima International, entitled 'Land and the eradication of poverty for Indigenous Peoples', Mercy argues that 'Land is life' for Indigenous peoples, proposing that preserving their land, culture, and traditional practices can actually prevent poverty.

Download the Intervention: English (4pps; PDF); Spanish (4pps; PDF)

Details of a CSocD side-event to be held on 2 February, co-sponsored by Mercy, can be found here (PDF)

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


Image: Peruvian women in the Sacred Valley. iStock. Used under licence

Vision in Action
MIA Prayer Intention: World Interfaith Harmony Week (1-7 February)

Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General, emphasised the importance of this week when he wrote "World Interfaith Harmony Week celebrates the principles of tolerance and respect for the other that are deeply rooted in the world’s major religions. The observance is also a summons to solidarity in the face of those who spread misunderstanding and mistrust."

We are called in a special way this week to be inclusive and to help build the world where all belong, regardless of their race, colour or creed. 

Let us pray
for 'Understanding that puts an end to strife;
Mercy that quenches hatred, and
Forgiveness that overcomes vengeance'.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Image: iStock. Used under licence

Programs this Year at MIC: Watering the Roots at the Wellsprings of Mercy 2017

Watering the Roots at the Wellsprings of Mercy, the month-long renewal program for vowed Mercy women, is again being offered this year, commencing Sunday, 4 June through to Saturday, 1 July.

Presenters this year will be: Anne Reid and Aine Barrins rsm (Week 1), Helena O'Donoghue rsm and Mary Reynolds rsm (Week 2), Johann M. Vento (Week 3) and Ann Brady rsm, Paula Carron rsm, Mary Conway rsm and Lily Sexton rsm (Week 4). Full details are in the program.

Download the program (2pps; PDF)

Messages to: Mary Kay Dobrovolny rsm - Assistant Director Heritage & Spirituality
Bookings to: Madeleine O'Hanlon - Receptionist

Image: Wellsprings 2016. Photo: Mary-Ann Lennon rsm

As a Mercy Community, we pray with those in need of physical healing through the intercession of Catherine McAuley.

God of love and mercy, touch with your healing power and restore to full health: Tom Scott, Fr. Edward (Ted) Hughes, Bruce and Joanne Parker, Mary Novak, Maggie Mawe, Clare Wallace, Richard McCluney, Ella Ferson, Samuel, Danny, Helen Ouellette, Ruth Goodwin and all whose names are on our prayer list.

We ask this with confidence through the intercession of Venerable Catherine McAuley. Amen.

Messages to: the Vice postulators

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Messages to: the Editor

MIA Reflection Process
Seven Day Celebration Concludes MIRP in Newfoundland

We wish to share with you copies of the Seven Day Celebration (26 January-1 February 2017) which brings to closure our participation in the Mercy International Reflection Process and carries the fruits of that Reflection Process into the planning for our Chapter 2017.  

In this way, we continue to move through the spiral of which the Reflection Process was such a rich moment and of which our Chapter (21-28 July 2017) will become another rich moment.

Download the booklet:
English (6pps; PDF; continuous format)
Spanish (6pps; PDF; continuous format)

Sisters of Mercy Newfoundland c/- Elizabeth Marrie rsm - MIRP Coordinator

Report on Stage 4 from MIRP Group in Cairns, Far North Queensland (ISMAPNG)

The focus of the Cairns group of 17 Sisters, Associates and friends-in-Mercy, was on the issue of Over-consumption and Waste. The group began their work on Stage 4 by revisiting and recalling their work from Stages 1-3. There were a number of responses and commitments made, including six participants committing to make further use of the VOICES video resources produced for MIRP - to view these and gather on scheduled occasions for discussion and sharing with others.

Download the Report here (3pps; PDF) 

Messages to: Adele Howard rsm - MIRP Coordinator ISMAPNG

Third Friday MIRP Group from Rochester Report on Stage 4 (Americas)

The Third Friday Group whose focus question was 'How does both our individual and collective  (commercial, political, civic) use of water affect the common good (the right to survive)? has nominated a number of possible action steps, ranging from awareness and accountability of personal water useage to addressing Nestlé’s efforts to privatize water supplies 

Download their report here (2pps; PDF)

Messages to: Marianne Comfort - MIRP Coordinator Americas

MIRP Report from Oklahoma City (Americas)

Of our community of 12, 3 sisters offer prayer for these concerns and 8 of us along with co-workers considered phase 4 and determined to continue to emphasize "Conservation of Water" - see article "Water for the World".  Our Chaplain at our Convent is from Uganda. Only recently they have had rain which they had not experienced since last April.  In the article Sister Rosemary is featured [pictured] and is the Sister for whom we save can tops for purses she makes. Along with our Mercy Hospital we strive to recycle newspaper, cardboard, milk cartons,  ink cartridges, batteries, and plastics. This coming year we are going to try to improve these actions.

Messages to: Marianne Comfort - MIRP Coordinator Americas

Editor: More information about Sr Rosemary Nyirumbe and the University of Oklahoma's Water Technologies for Emerging regions (WaTER) can be found here

MIA Members News

The Sisters of Mercy denounce as immoral the Trump Administration’s Executive Orders issued this past week to halt refugee resettlement in the United States, ban entry of persons traveling from seven Muslim majority countries, call for construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall, increase immigrant detention, and more.

Please join with us as we urgently call for our policy-makers to rescind these Executive Orders, and defend the very principles this nation was built upon.

These measures are counter to our Gospel call to “love our neighbor” and “welcome the stranger,” as well as this country’s founding principles and values.

Messages to: Institute Justice Team

See also: Sisters of Mercy Oppose Trump Administration Immigration Actions

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Mercy Joins Marches for Justice and Peace (Americas)

More than 125 Sisters, Associates, Companions, staff, volunteers and friends of Mercy participated in the Women's March on Washington, D.C. and sister marches in 24 cities across the United States on January 21. The peaceful, nonviolent demonstrations meant something unique for each attendee, but most cited that they wanted to unite peacefully to raise their voices about one or more of Mercy’s Critical Concerns – women and children, nonviolence, immigration, anti-racism and care of the earth.

Sisters Deborah Troillett and Anne Curtis, Institute Leadership Team, articulated the reasons they attended in articles for America magazine and Global Sisters Report

Messages to: Institute Justice Team

The Holocaust and Nostra Aetate: Toward a Greater Understanding (Americas)

On January 25, 2017, Carol Rittner rsm, educator, writer, advocator and a woman who has spent over 40 years in the classroom encouraging students to ask questions, published her 20th book, The Holocaust and Nostra Aetate: Toward a Greater Understanding (Greensburg: Seton Hill University, 2017).

The Holocaust and Nostra Aetate is a work about greater understanding about the Holocaust and its impact on the Vatican II document, Nostra Aetate (1965). The essays in the book are intended to inspire more informed learning at a time when we need to promote dialogue in our fragile and fractured world.

Messages to: Carol Rittner rsm

An Ecological Reading of Matthew's Gospel: Part 1 (ISMAPNG)

This year Elaine Wainwright rsm turns her attention to an ecological reading of Matthew's Gospel. In this first part, Sr Elaine explains how the opening verses of the Gospel of Matthew situate Jesus in the Earth and cosmological community.

Download the article here (2pps; PDF)

Luke's Gospel: Download the complete series from 2016 (22pps; PDF)

Mark's Gospel: Download the complete series from 2015 (16pps; PDF)

Messages to: Elaine Wainwright rsm

Image: St Matthew by Titian

Mercy Matters

It is said of Brigid’s successors at Kildare
that they kept her fire alight
a thousand years or thereabouts...

- Mary Wickham rsm (ISMAPNG)

Image: Detail from the Saint Brigid window in the Baggot Street Chapel created by the Henry (Harry) Clarke Studio (1929). Photo David Knight. © 2012 Mercy International Centre

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On This Day

1990: Mercy schools in Western Samoa devastated by cyclone Ofa

2007: CEIST - Catholic Education an Irish Schools Trust launched. 70 + Mercy Secondary Schools included

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

'God leads Abraham out of the tent, in reality out of his narrow visions, and He shows him the stars. To believe, it is necessary to be able to see with the eyes of faith. They are only stars, which all can see, but for Abraham, they must become the sign of God’s fidelity.

This is faith; this is the way of hope that each one of us must follow. If for us also the only possibility remains to look at the stars, then it is time to trust God. There is nothing more beautiful. Hope does not disappoint...'

-Pope Francis, General Audience: On Hope, 28 December 2016

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Some of the 'under-the-radar' services Google offers.

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5th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A (Matthew 5:13-16)

'In today’s gospel, Jesus addresses two short parables to his disciples in the presence of the crowds. The crowds, as well as the disciples, hear what he has to say...'

Listen to the Gospel read by Fr Eamonn O'Connor

Read the reflection on the Gospel by Veronica Lawson rsm

Tomorrow, 2 February, is the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life. Any of the Twelve thematic Responses on Mercy Themes produced for the Year of Consecrated Life (2015) make for good reading on this day (and beyond).

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

For the Feast of St Brigid celebrated today (1 February) enjoy 'Gabhaim Molta Bríghde' (I Give Praise to Saint Brigid) by Aoife Ní Fhearraigh.
Watch/listen here (03:06) Lyrics are available on the page. Purchase on *iTunes; *GooglePlay

Worth Reading:

The February issue of Update, the newsletter of LCWR, can be read here (11pps; PDF)

'Women own less than 20% of the world's land. It's time to give them equal property rights'. Read the article here

Cosmology & Eco-justice

'Ireland could be the first country to divest from fossil fuels.'
Read the article

With the Rise of Trump, Is It Game Over for the Climate Fight?' asks Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, an international environmental organisation. Read the article

The Bottom Line:

'Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.'

-  attributed to John Wesley (1703-1791) - founder of Methodism

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								poverty demonstrated in the massive displacement of persons worldwide.
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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)