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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 708  |  15 February 2017
Featured Story
Mercy Congregations Call on Government to Resettle Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Australia (Australia)

Editor: Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Congregation, Mercy Foundation (North Sydney Congregation) and the Institute of Sisters of Mercy Australia & Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG), are among the coalition of more than 100 religious orders, community groups and organisations that have joined the Refugee Council of Australia in urging Australia's major political parties to form a bipartisan commitment to bring the 1600 refugees detained by the Government on Manus Island and Nauru, to Australia for resettlement.

This call for immediate action follows the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the resettlement 'deal' with the United States. 'The most obvious and humane solution is to clear the camps and bring these people to Australia until a safe long term, appropriate outcome for them can be guaranteed. We do not have years. Australia cannot allow another person to die or suffer because of our actions' reads the Open Statement.

A petition started by the Refugee Council in support of the Statement can be signed here

Messages to:
Maria Lawton rsm - Parramatta Congregation Leadership Team
Barbara Bolster rsm - ISMAPNG Leadership Team
Felicity Reynolds - CEO Mercy Foundation

Image: Walk for Refugees 2015. Photo: Anne Walsh

Vision in Action
Programs this Year at MIC: Come Home to Catherine

This program is an experience of being with Catherine at home in Baggot Street. It offers an opportunity to pray with Catherine in her places and spaces, and to walk in her footsteps through the city of Dublin reflecting on her life and ministry.  There will be input and time to reflect on and reconnect with Catherine, the tender woman of mercy who continues to inspire and journey with us towards God.

This experience is being offered from 30 July - 5 August 2017. #

Áine Barrins (The Congregation) & Anne Reid (Ireland) will be the facilitators.

Cost: €570 (residential) €390 (non-residential).

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

Image: L-r: Áine Barrins & Anne Reid

Editor: # Sisters enrolling in Wellsprings 2017 will participate in their own Come Home to Catherine in Week One

MIA Prayer Intention: End to Drought in Kenya & the Region

MIA joins the Sisters of Mercy in Kenya in praying for an end to drought. An estimated 2.4-2.7 million people are affected and without rains, by April the situation will be critical.

The Vatican reports that the Kenyan Government has declared the drought situation, a national disaster with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) stating that prolonged and worsening drought conditions across Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya means that more than 11 million people in the region are facing severe hunger and are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

Please pray for the rains to come and for the help that is needed to be given generously.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to:
Anne Itotia rsm - Provincial leader Kenya Province
Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Image: Drought-induced livestock deaths (image courtesy of ILRI/George Wamwere-Njoroge via Flickr CC BY 2.0)


MIA Reflection Process

Editor: Late last month Cardinal Turkson, the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, gave a talk to a gathering of Bishops from all over the world about Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato si’.

The talk entitled Catholicism and the Environment: Reflections on Laudato si’ , included an overview of Laudato si’, some key perspectives on its contents, and a demonstration of its relationship to important principles of Catholic social teaching.

The text of the presentation is linked to this item.

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Stage 4 Report from Parish Group St John Bosco Engadine (Parramatta Congregation)

The Engadine NSW Parish MIRP Group has been focusing and reflecting on Asylum Seekers and Refugees. This is very “hot” and divisive issue in Australian society with our detention camps, offshore processing, visa restrictions and a sizeable fear, in the general public, of Muslims, who make up a large number of the asylum and refugee population.

At a practical level the parish had a reflective evening discussing the topic Changing the Conversation About Asylum Seekers and Refugees. On this occasion, participants listened to the personal story of a refugee. This proved to be an eye opener eye opener for many about the struggle of new- comers to settle into a culture with different language and customs. The parish is very mono-cultural...

Read the complete report (PDF)

Messages to: Valda Dickinson rsm - MIRP Coordinator Parramatta and North Sydney Congregations

MIA Members News

Editor: Regular readers of Mercy eNews will recall reading about Sisters JoAnn Persch and Pat Murphy's ministry with immigrants, most recently in the 14 December 2016 edition.  What began as a prayer ministry outside the federal detention center in Broadview, Illinois, in 2007, has evolved into the nonprofit Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants (ICDI),

"We work peacefully and respectfully, but we never take 'no' for an answer," [Sr] Persch said. Whether it's the prayer vigil at Broadview, meeting with detainees at county jails or protesting the discrimination of Muslims, the duo said they aren't stopping anytime soon.

"They are our brothers and sisters," [Sr] Murphy said, referring to refugees and immigrants. "We really believe that. They're the ones that keep me going."

Source: Chicago Tribune

Messages to: JoAnn Persch rsm and Pat Murphy rsm c/- ICDI

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The Sisters of Mercy strongly reject the Army Corp of Engineers’ decision to immediately issue an easement allowing the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under the Missouri River in the Dakotas near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and through its treaty lands.

Over the past few months, Mercy advocates have been joining with the tribe’s efforts to protect their water, land and sacred sites from the threats posed by the pipeline. Mercy Investment Services has been engaging companies in both the financial and energy sectors on community and environmental impacts of the pipeline, and has been collaborating with the Standing Rock Sioux tribal leadership on the most appropriate ways to use our role as investors.

Messages to: Institute Justice Team

Read More
Give Your Cloak As Well (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Kathleen Rushton rsm continues her monthly series in Tui Motu this year and we are delighted to be republishing these monthly gospel reflections.

In her interpretation of Matthew 5:38–48, Sr Kathleen shows how Jesus calls disciples to engage in non-violent resistance of evil.

Read the article online here

Download the article here (2pps; PDF)

Download Sr Kathleen's 2016 11-part series here (22 pps; PDF)

Messages to: Kathleen Rushton rsm

Homelessness should not be a problem in a country like the United States of America—a country with so much wealth and opportunity, but it is a huge challenge!  In our provincial and cluster gatherings it has emerged as one of the most critical issues of our time, writes Susan DeGuide rsm.

In this article Sisters in the U.S. Province share how they are working with this challenge of Homelessness as part of their ministries.

Messages to: Susan DeGuide rsm

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'[I]t is worth recalling the commitment made in the Year of Mercy by Nga Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa to the goal of te whakaruruhau mo nga iwi katoa - shelter for all. The task we have set ourselves is to care for our common home...

Mercy will continue to press for an end to child poverty, in this country and in all others. Human trafficking is another emerging priority... And Mercy will continue to advocate for the victims of climate change, especially in the islands of the South Pacific where rising sea levels have begun to rob people of homes and livelihoods.

So begins our new year. A full agenda, if Mercy is to keep its word of working for a future to hope in...'

Messages to: Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregation Leader

Image: L-r: Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett with Tui Cadigan rsm,  Katrina Fabish rsm and Mercy Aged Care Manager Sandra Hunt, during the Shelter for All gathering at Parliament in 2016.

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With Cardinal Turkson in Saint Peter’s (The Congregation, Americas)

Sisters Carol Rittner and  Deirdre Mullan spent the last week in Rome where they did some work with Cardinal Peter Turkson at the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. Sister Deirdre was gathering data for UNICEF and the Partnership with Religious Congregations.

While in Rome, Sister Carol presented Cardinal Turkson with a copy of her most recent book – The Holocaust and Nostra Aetate: Toward a Greater Understanding

In a conversation about a forthcoming new publication – Passport for Humanity – Cardinal Turkson agreed to write the foreword to this new and important little booklet. Writing in the foreword Cardinal Turkson encourages readers to reflect on the challenges presented in the booklet. “It is my hope that it will help students, teachers, clergy and indeed all of us to become more compassionate and ethical, according to Gospel values, to engage in the struggles of our time, and to strive to be people who have a deep respect for one another, for life, truth, justice and peace- a people who contribute positively to the life of the world.”

Details about 'Passport for Humanity' and how to order copies will be available soon in Mercy eNews.

Messages to:
Carol Rittner rsm
Deidre Mullan rsm

Image: L-r: Deirdre Mullan rsm, Cardinal Turkson, Carol Rittner rsm in St Peter's Rome

Mercy Matters
7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A (Matthew 5:38-48)

'Today’s gospel is a continuation of Jesus’ teaching on the sort of righteousness, the right relationship and justice, to which his followers are called in their living of the Law...'

Listen to the Gospel read by Fr Eamonn O'Connor (Ireland)

Read the Reflection on the Gospel by Veronica Lawson rsm (ISMAPNG)

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1839: Ellen Whitty (M Vincent) entered Baggot St

1889: Opening of Mercy Hospital, Detroit

1894: Foundation to Orpington, Kent from Bermondsey - Sr Martha Scannell

1957: Foundation to Haverford West, Dyfed, Wales from Cahir, Co Tipperary

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

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The Correspondence of Mother Vincent Whitty 1839 to 1892

Containing over 340 letters written by, to, or about Mother Vincent (Ellen) Whitty, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy in Queensland, Australia. The letters span a fifty-three year period from the time of Ellen Whitty’s entrance into the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin in 1839 to her death in Brisbane, Australia in 1892.

Download an order form

'Mercy is a love that responds to human need in an unexpected or unmerited way...Mercy begins by opening oneself to those with whom one might strongly disagree. Mercy doesn’t end there, of course, but it begins with such small acts of understanding, which can lead to life-changing experiences of love.'

-Mathew Schmalz, Associate Professor of Religion, College of the Holy Cross

Read More

The Romero Centre exists as a place of welcome for refugees and asylum seekers, as well as a support service to assist with successful settlement in Australia. Our clients are primarily from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, India, Sudan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Myanmar, South America and Pakistan.

The Romero Centre has a special focus on asylum seekers on bridging visas without the right to work.

Read More
Further Resources

Worth Playing:

By the Waking of our Hearts by Ricky Manalo (CSP). Watch/listen here (05:36)

Worth Watching:


80 years apart, these two refugees have more in common than you’d think. Harry aged 92 and Ahmed aged 12 tell their stories. Watch the video English subtitles here ; Spanish subtitles here (02:05). Read more about the project and the issue of child refugees, here

Worth Reading:

Cosmology & Ecojustice

'This vast lake in Canada is the first Unesco Biosphere Reserve led by an indigenous community. They guard it as if it were the last hope for humanity. They may have a point.' Read the article 'Guardians of a Vast Lake, and a Refuge for Humanity.' here

'Army Approves Construction of Dakota Access Pipeline.' Read the article here

'The next phase of climate action'. Read the article here

Human Trafficking

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences has issued a statement following its summit on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism which was held in Rome 7-8 February. Read the Statement here


'Holy See calls on UN to address economic, social, spiritual poverty'. Read the article here

Worth Knowing:

Coming Events

'Climate Justice: The Struggle for Our Common Home' Conference at Loyola University-Chicago, 16-17 March 2017. The Keynote Speaker will be Mary Robinson who will present on The Nexus of Food, Water, Poverty, and Climate Change. Information and registration here

Faith in the Future: Religion in Ireland in the 21st Century' Conference at Boston College on 16 April. Speakers include Dr. Michael Jackson, Church of Ireland, Archbishop of Dublin, Baroness Nuala O'Loan, Maire Collins, Patsy McGarry, Religion Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin. No cost. Details here

The Bottom Line:

'Issues of development are extremely complicated matters, requiring complex balancing of choices between the generation of material wealth, the urgency of the needs of poorer citizens, and the long-term imperatives of environmental sustainability and the rights of indigenous people.'

Presiden Michael D. Higgins, Keynote Address at the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs , 9 February 2017. “When the gaze must not be averted: The testament for humanity in the universality of Roger Casement's humanitarian vision”

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

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Today, Sisters of Mercy, through Mercy International Association, use their resources to respond to issues of global
								poverty demonstrated in the massive displacement of persons worldwide.
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