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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 709  |  22 February 2017
Featured Story

Editor: Patricia Pak Poy rsm AM was the founding National Coordinator of the Australian Network of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. She was a non-government member of the Australian Delegation to the discussions and negotiations for the UN Review of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and Protocol II and for the development of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and on their Destruction, signed first in Ottawa, in 1997.

Acknowledged for her 'tireless campaigning and encyclopaedic knowledge on the subject of landmines', Sr Patricia has been recognised for being 'absolutely central to Australia becoming a party to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and their Destruction' (Senator Paul Calvert).

The legacy of Sr Patricia's petition is SafeGround, which works towards eliminating explosive remnants (ERW) around the world. Next Monday, 27 February, SafeGround is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the presentation of the petition to Australia's Federal [National] Parliament. Fittingly, the celebrations will take place at Mercedes College, Springfield, South Australia, a school conducted in the Mercy tradition...

Messages to: Patricia Pak Poy rsm AM


Image: Patricia Pak Poy rsm AM. Photo: The Southern Cross. Used with permission

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Vision in Action

Editor: Following the welcome our compilations of free online resources for Lent and then Advent received in 2016, we have compiled a list of free online resources newly created for Lent 2017 and posted them on our website.

Should you know of any other new and worthwhile resources we've missed, please let us know and we will update our Lenten resources page in time for Ash Wednesday, 1 March.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Resources to: the Editor

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Programs this Year at MIC: Ethos Pilgrimage for partners-in-Mercy

This six-day program (13-19 August 2017) is open to all in the Mercy family. It is designed for administrators, staff and board of trustee members of Mercy ministries and all who want to deepen their rootedness in the Mercy story: the past, present and future.     
The program draws on the inspiration of the founding women of Mercy as it engages Mercy mission and leadership as it is lived today.Cost: €570 (Residential); €390 (Non-residential).

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

Last week we joined our Sisters in Kenya in prayer for a response at the highest levels to the effects of drought in Kenya .

On Monday, 20 February, we heard of famine being declared in South Sudan. The World Food Programme cites 3 UN Agencies as 100, 000 people facing starvation with a further million people on the brink of famine.

MIA joins with our Sisters in South Sudan in praying 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: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA


Image: Stock photo

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Invitation: Participate in the Third Lenten Fast for Climate Justice on 22 March 2017

Editor: The Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), of which MIA is a partner organisation, is once again organising a global fast for climate justice. This year, instead of coordinating different countries in a full 6-week Fast for Climate Justice, GCCM is inviting everyone to fast together on World Water Day, Wednesday, 22 March.

Details will shortly be posted on the GCCM website and once confirmed will be in a future issue of Mercy eNews.

'We will fast and pray for bold action to solve the climate change crisis. We will pray and fast for our own ecological conversion. And we will pray and fast that all people have access to clean, safe, drinking water, especially in light of the changing climate.'

Messages to: Global Catholic Climate Movement

Sisters of Mercy in Ireland working with victims of sex trafficking welcomed the successful passage of the ‘Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill, 2015', through both houses of the Irish Parliament on 14 February 2017. The Bill took 10 years of deliberation, which included garnering cross-party support and listening to the views of civil society in public hearings. Members of the Mercy Family were present at these...

Messages to: Denise Boyle fmdm - Mercy Global Action

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Editor: Fairtrade Fortnight begins in Ireland next week (27 February - 12 March) and for all of us Easter 2017 is on the horizon.Sisters of Mercy and our partners-in-Ministry working on opposing Human Trafficking are once again asking that we choose Fair Trade chocolate this Easter and all year round.

Farmers operating with Fairtrade Certification, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ Certification and similar stamps are engaging in good labour practices.

Messages to: MIA Working Group on Human Trafficking c/- Denise Boyle fmdm - Mercy Global Action

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MIA Reflection Process
Resource: Green Christian Monthly Prayer Guide

Editor: Since November 2001, monthly prayer guides drawing on a range of sources, including scripture, events, book references, quotes...have been produced by Green Christian (formerly known as Christian Ecology Link), a UK organisation concerned with matters of faith, ecology and the environment.

The Green Christian monthly prayer guide online has 5 versions to select from: Small Doc or Small Pdf; Large Doc or Large Pdf; or A4 Doc. The February edition is now online

The Guide can be downloaded online or emailed to you on request.

Readers may find the guide useful for general knowledge, research, assemblies, private prayer and workshops.

Image: iStock. Used under licence

Report from the 'Super Eight' Group (Aotearoa New Zealand)

The 'Super Eight' Group: 8 members: 3 Sisters of Mercy, 1 Auckland City Mission worker, a nurse, a small business owner and 2 friends who are former teachers have met every 2-3 weeks for two hours.

Download the report (PDF)

Messages to: Natalie Murphy rsm - Co-coordinator MIRP Aotearoa New Zealand

Image. Back L-r: Mary Neven rsm, Leona Garchow rsm (Facilitator), Kirsten Sloan, Anna Nicholls rsm
Front L-r: Helen Robinson, Sandra Barden, Joan Fogarty, Ally Hawkes

Stage 4 Report from Eblana Ave MIRP Group (The Congregation)

... Awareness emerged as a theme that resonated with us all. An awareness of the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor has taken on a whole new meaning.

Awareness of waste in our community, our responsibility to conserve heat and water and to do what we can to reduce our carbon footprint.

Issues that we need to concentrate on are firstly clean water.  We pledge to use only environmentally friendly cleaning materials and to conserve water.

Secondly, we propose to research use of electric cars at province level.Sisters expressed a desire to continue our meetings and it was proposed that we follow the “Be the Change Programme”.

Messages to: Sheila Curran rsm - MIRP Coordinator The Congregation

Image: Front: Srs Noreen O’Sullivan, Maire Ryan, Middle: Margaret McCarthy Mary Lavelle, Margaret Reid, Emile Maher, Tryphonia Joanes,  Back: Srs Mary Loftus, Marie Bernard Leeson, Cora Ferriter

Stage 4 Report from The Evergreens Group, Dublin (The Congregation)

With a name like this, it is no surprise that our main concern was Water and its use and abuse.

We decided on two approaches.

One is our personal approach to the use of water. We will take all personal actions to minimise waste of water

Our second approach is a collective effort to help others have water. We decided to take on a project for a year.

Read the Report here (PDF)

Messages to: Sheila Curran rsm - MIRP Coordinator The Congregation

Image: Back. L-r: Srs Doreen Figuiredo, Maria Goretti Smith, Brid Mullally, Kathleen Bugler, Nuala Kennedy, Patricia O'Donovan, Breda Burke, Margaret Casey . 
Front. L-r: Srs
Luarena McCormick, Louise Lyons, Agnes Coll, Kathleen Moran, Mary Anne Stafford, Frances Kelly, Dominica Downing. (Sr Thomasina Finn, a group member took the picture and Srs Dervilla Byrne & Cecily Magee were not available for the picture)

MIA Members News

Mercy's Institute Justice Team has endorsed this campaign organized by our colleagues at Faith in Public Life (FIPL).  It is a call to host public prayer vigils asking Members of Congress to overturn President Trump's executive orders impacting undocumented immigrants and refugees.

The campaign is tied to the one-year anniversary of Pope Francis' visit to the US-Mexico border and to the upcoming Congressional recess (21-24 February).  Just weeks into the Trump administration, immigrant and refugee families are now at greater risk than ever.  Other partners in the prayer campaign include LCWR, the Ignatian Solidarity Network, the Franciscan Action Network, and NETWORK. 

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy Institute Justice Team

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The Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland are preparing for their Chapter to be held July 21 – 28, 2017.  The theme of their Chapter is Mercying Into the future . . . Misericordiando hacia el futuro . . .  They invite Sisters, Associates and Colleagues to join with them and pray with them as they prepare.

As part of their preparation, and to deepen their appreciation of contemplative listening and dialogue, they are using a video prepared by Judith King, their Chapter facilitator. 

The video is linked to this item (15:28).

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy Newfoundland c/- Diane Smyth rsm - Chapter Committee

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Editor: In this her first commentary for the year (and eleventh to date), Sr Jo reminds us that the Scripture readings for the liturgical year since January move quickly in a trajectory through the life of Jesus leading to the climax of the Passion and Resurrection.  As a poet, Roy Campbell does the same.

Messages to: Jo O'Donovan rsm

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Sister Marilyn Lacey founded Mercy Beyond Borders in 2008 to transform the lives of women and girls in extreme poverty. Their work began in South Sudan and expanded to Haiti in 2012 after an earthquake killed a quarter-million people and displaced tens of thousands more.

This photo-essay profiles two nursing students who received scholarships from Mercy Beyond Borders. Living in South Sudan, they persevere through hardships and danger to fulfill their dreams...

Messages to: Marilyn Lacey rsm

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In Support of Nuclear Abolition (Americas)

The Institute Leadership Team is among the hundreds of Catholics who are signatories to a letter to President Trump in support of nuclear abolition.

The Pax Christi USA letter was in response to the Trump administration’s comments and policies about modernizing nuclear weapons and opposing existing treaties.

The letter of 31 January cited the efforts of the Holy See to promote abolition and strongly stated opposition to efforts aimed at modernising the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Messages to: Institute Leadership Team c/- Lauren Albright - Institute Communications Office

As the brightest minds in health care technology convene this week, Mercy leaders will take center stage, and with momentum – a culmination of three national technology awards.

The 2017 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference, set for Feb. 19-23 in Orlando, will bring together 40,000+ health IT professionals, clinicians and executives.

During that time, Mercy will receive the Nicholas E. Davies Award of Excellence, which recognizes outstanding use of health care IT to improve patient care and cut costs...

Messages to: Nancy Corbett - Executive Director of Media Relations & Social Media

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Mercy Matters
8th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A (Matthew 6:24-34)

' “Today’s trouble is enough for today!” These are the concluding words of the gospel for this Sunday. We are “not to be anxious”. Rather, we are invited to be single-minded in our commitment...'

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

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

Mercy Partners Queensland, creators of the popular 'Mercy Moments' and 'Board Prayer' for the Year of Mercy, has again produced a series of prayers for Boards, this time on the theme 'Nurturing a Merciful Heart'.

The series has also been adapted for general use. Prayers can be used individually or as a series.

Download the whole resource package or download individual resources by topic.

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1844: Margaret O'Brien, Sr M Agatha, second woman received in Americas

1911: Re-opening of St Mary's Hospital, San Francisco after 1906 earthquake

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

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'As Christians and all people of good will, it is for us to live and act at this moment...The grave danger is to disown our neighbors. When we do so, we deny their humanity and our own humanity without realizing it...

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World Bank's New Data Portal

Launched last month, TCdata360 is an open data portal featuring more than 1800 indicators on trade and competitiveness from over 20 sources includingWorld Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Economic Forum (WEF), and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  

The history of St. Mary's Medical Center, the oldest continuously operating hospital in the city, is an inspiring testimony to the tireless efforts of the Sisters of Mercy, outstanding physicians, and the many other dedicated individuals who have committed their talents and resources to serving the community of San Francisco, including the poor and marginalized. Read more

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

'Water is Life - Mni Wiconi' (song for Standing Rock) by Sarah Thomsen Watch/ listen here (03:48)

Worth Reading:

Famine: what does it really mean and how do aid workers treat it? Read the article here

The March issue of 'Update', LCWR's newsletter, is now online. Read it here

Cosmology & Eco-justice

'Mexico City, Parched and Sinking, Faces a Water Crisis'. The first in a series of articles about how climate change is challenging the world’s urban centers. Read the NY Times article here; Leer en español

In a letter to the United States Secretary of State last Friday, 17 February, the Chairmen of the US Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and Committee on International Justice and Peace, together with Sean Callahan, President of Catholic Relief Services, urged the Trump Administration to do everything they can to care for creation both domestically and globally. Read the letter here

UN Environment has released its Annual Report and Programme Performance Report for 2016. In his opening message, UN Secretary-General António Guterres stressed the far-reaching impact of environmental protection: “Many conflicts are triggered, exacerbated or prolonged by competition over scarce natural resources; climate change will only make the situation worse. That is why protecting our environment is critical to the founding goals of the United Nations to prevent war and sustain peace,” he said. Article here includes link to Report website

The Bottom Line:

'Trust the goodness of those who believe that love and wisdom will make justice not only desirable, but also politically possible.'

- Patricia Pak Poy rsm (2007)

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

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