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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 710  |  01 March 2017
Featured Story

'Lent is a favourable season for opening the doors to all those in need and recognising in them the face of Christ. Each of us meets people like this every day. Each life that we encounter is a gift deserving acceptance, respect and love...Lent is the favorable season for renewing our encounter with Christ, living in his word, in the sacraments and in our neighbor... and thus to favor the culture of encounter in our one human family. Let us pray for one another so that, by sharing in the victory of Christ, we may open our doors to the weak and poor. Then we will be able to experience and share to the full the joy of Easter.'

- Pope Francis

'La Cuaresma es un tiempo propicio para abrir la puerta a cualquier necesitado y reconocer en él o en ella el rostro de Cristo.Cada uno de nosotros los encontramos en nuestro camino. Cada vida que encontramos es un don y merece acogida, respeto y amor...Queridos hermanos y hermanas, la Cuaresma es el tiempo propicio para renovarse en el encuentro con Cristo vivo en su Palabra, en los sacramentos y en el prójimo...Y así favorecer la cultura del encuentro en nuestra única familia humana. Oremos unos por otros para que, participando de la victoria de Cristo, sepamos abrir nuestras puertas a los débiles y a los pobres. Entonces viviremos y daremos un testimonio pleno de la alegría de la Pascua.'

- Papa Francisco


Image: iStock. Used under licence

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Vision in Action

'Gracious God, in baptism we were made your daughters and sons. We were called to live lives worthy of our calling. Throughout this Lenten season, may we put aside all that keeps us from responding freely to your love. May our deeds and words give glory to you and draw others to your family of fath. Now is the acceptable time, O Lord. Give us the courage to act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with you.

This we ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.'

from 'Prayer for Ash Wednesday', Morning and Evening Prayer of the Sisters of Mercy

The Prayers of Intercession for Ash Wednesday are linked to this item.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Image: iStock. Used under licence

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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: Kath Ash, Jeannie Kennedy, Loretta Hart, Robert Meehan, James Jamison, Mary Keeling, Louise Whalley, Mary Buren 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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Tama tu, tama ora, tama noho, tama mate
Stand and live or sit and die.

This whakatauki (proverb) provides an insight as to what advocacy is about.  The whakatauki would be a maxim that Catherine McAuley would agree with and live by.  I am thinking of two phrases associated with Catherine:

‘It is not sufficient for Jesus Christ be formed in us, he must be recognized in our conduct.’
‘If we love God, we will also love our neighbor; they are as cause and effect’.

Messages to: Bridget Crisp rsm

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Editor: Our compilation of free online resources newly created for Lent 2017 can be accessed here on our website. Programs & Guides, Resources designed for Schools, an online Retreat, calendars and prayer opportunities are all included.

We have added some further guides, prayers and calendars this week. These new additions are highlighted on the page.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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MIA Reflection Process
9 Days of Prayer for Protectors of Mother Earth (Americas)

The Sisters of Mercy’s Institute Justice Team and the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach have prepared a guide to 9 days of prayer for Protectors of Mother Earth. This begins on Ash Wednesday, March 1 and includes the anniversary of the murder of Berta Caceres in Honduras, International Women’s Day and the Rise with Standing Rock events in Washington D.C.

This novena launches the Sisters of Mercy’s month of solidarity with impacted communities.

Download the 9 days of prayer (19 pps; PDF)

Messages to: Institute Justice Team

Mercy Young Adults Report on MIRP Stage 4 (Aotearoa New Zealand)

The focus of the group - 2 Sisters of Mercy, 7 Mercy Young Adults - was 'The Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor. Our actions are planned to be carried out with McAuley High School, Otahuhu, Auckland starting with litter (Cry of the Earth) and with Visitations, Feeding the Hungry and Clothing the Poor (Cry of the Poor).

Download the report (PDF)

Messages to: Natalie Murphy rsm - Co-coordinator MIRP ANZ

Image: L-r: Fatima Lemisio rsm, Antonina Lemalu, Sophia Tevaga, Saunoa Tootoo, Antonique-Fatima Apaga, Rebecca Sang Yum, Maruseana Sititi, Hollyanna Ainea,  Salome Ioane rsm

Report on Stage 4 from the Limerick MIRP Group (The Congregation)

Our group included six Mercy Associates, Catherine Ryan rsm and Martina Bourke rsm.

The focal issue we arrived at was ‘a compassionate stance towards the plight of refugees and asylum seekers.’

Stage 3 where we explored Biblical texts, writings of Catherine etc. brought us to a new vision of our issue, we want to be ‘a community that addresses the injustice which keeps minorities and those who are different outside the centre of things.’  So we got further in touch with the heart of the problem of refugees.

We now see ourselves involved in a work in progress as realistically one year is insufficient to address the theme. Our goal is to continue working on Stage 4, the action phase, by linking in with Doras Luimní an NGO here in Limerick working with and for Refugees and Asylum Seekers. 

Messages to: Sheila Curran rsm - MIRP Coordinator The Congregation

Image: Back Row. L-r: Martina Bourke rsm, Dolores Madden, Mary Heffernan, Mary McCarthy.
nt row. L-r: Lonan Ni Dhubhain, Catherine Ryan rsm, Helen Farmer

Stage 4 Report from Chimbote Peru MIRP Group (Americas)

El grupo estaba conformado por 8 mujeres...en el momento son 5, pues 3 de ellas por motivos familiares y de trabajo no han podido continuar.  Y aun la participación de las que continúan es muy intermitente, esto se debe a que ellas muchas veces se ven abrumadas con las tareas de la casa y parroquia...sin embargo, se ha acordado que nos integraríamos al colectivo ciudadano de "RECUPERACIÓN DE LA BAHÍA DE CHIMBOTE", pues el mar de Chimbote esta muy contaminado por las fábricas de pescado que operan muy cerca de la bahía y las embarcaciones que llegan a la misma para trasladar la harina de pescado...tengo la esperanza que podamos ser perseverantes en este compromiso....

The group was made up of 8 women ... at the moment there are 5, since 3 of them for reasons of family and work have not been able to continue. And even the participation of those who continue is very intermittent, this is because they are often overwhelmed with the tasks of the house and parish ... nevertheless, it has been agreed that we would integrate the citizen collective of "RECOVERY OF THE BAY OF CHIMBOTE ", because the sea of Chimbote is very polluted by the fish factories that operate very near the bay and the boats that arrive to the same one to transfer the fish meal ... I hope we can persevere in this commitment ....

Messages to: Marianne Comfort - MIRP Coordinator Americas


MIA Members News

Passport for Humanity is a new pocket booklet written by Carol Rittner rsm (Americas) and Deirdre Mullan rsm (The Congregation). It provides reflections and actions for today’s context, marked by polarization and competing freedoms amid a growing refugee/immigration crisis.

The Foreword, written by Cardinal Turkson who was appointed by Pope Francis to lead Justice and Peace issues, encourages each of us “wherever we are, with whatever we have to promote life in all its forms, to choose life, and to be life-giving"

Cost: $1, €1 or UK£1 plus cost of postage. Discount negotiated for bulk orders.

Download the flyer here (PDF)

Messages to: Deirdre Mullan rsm

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As the fifth largest Catholic health care system in the nation serving multiple states, Mercy’s mission is to bring to life the healing ministry of Jesus through compassionate care and exceptional service. This is achieved in several ways, including honoring the dignity of every person and pledging to be in right relationships with one another, regardless of a person’s social, cultural or religious traditions:

-A Tradition of Dignity and Justice

-Respect in Action

-Serving Others With an Open Mind and Open Heart

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

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'Sr. Consilio Fitzgerald is a pioneering Irish Mercy sister who has spearheaded the provision of residential treatment for those with addictions in Ireland for 50 years.

A nurse by training, she first began to help alcoholics in 1966, and her efforts later became Cuan Mhuire, which is the Gaelic for "Harbor of Mary."

Cuan Mhuire is known colloquially among those who have undergone treatment programs as a Haven of Love. Over the past five decades, Fitzgerald's centers have treated over 75,000 people with drug, alcohol and gambling addictions....'

Source: Global Sisters Report

Editor: Sr Consilio'sThe Harbour Within, a book which shows us how we can discover a place of peace, unconditional love and joy,  will be available in September. Order from Amazon. All royalties from the sale support the cause of the Cuan Mhuire rehabilitation centres.

Image: Sr Consilio. Source: Cuan Mhuire Facebook

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This was the title of a two day National Symposium held recently in the regional city of Ballarat, Victoria. The theme of love was a deliberate focus on the small acts of love which enhance life for people with dementia as well as their carers, partners and friends, shifting the emphasis from the measurable task oriented care that characterises much of the aged care industry.

The co-ordinator of the conference, Dr Catherine Barrett, who is Director of an organisation called Celebrate Ageing founded to challenge ageism and enhance respect for the elderly, had read a poem that I wrote about a friend, a Sister of Mercy, who has Alzheimer’s. The poem, titled The Dance of the Seagulls, can be read on my website. Dr Barrett invited me to speak at the Symposium and reflect on the nature of ongoing friendship with someone with dementia, as part of a segment about caring for people in residential aged care...

Messages to: Mary Wickham rsm

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'To celebrate the monumental year, the sisters are putting on a traveling museum...that will showcase visually rich panels and artifacts among other historical memorabilia that tell the story of the Sisters of Mercy from its foundation in 1946 to the present in the National Museum of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to reflect on our beginnings and to see how our sisters before us have worked so tediously to bring us to where we are now, it’s amazing what we have,” said Sister Marian Therese Arroyo, rsm and administrator of the Sisters of Mercy on Guam. '

Source: The Guam Daily Post

Pacific News Center aired a two-part radio interview in October 2016 with Cabrini Taitano rsm discussing the 70th anniversary.

Listen to part 1 here (interview follows song)
Listen to part 2 here (interview follows song)

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy on Guam c/- Marian Therese Arroyo rsm

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6 March marks 160 years since the arrival of the first three Sisters of Mercy — Ursula Frayne, Anne Xavier Dillon and Mary Joseph Sherlock— in Melbourne, Victoria, from Western Australia.

The theme chosen for the anniversary is ‘Many Roads, One Journey’.

Said Carole Carmody rsm, a representative of the committee coordinating events for the 160th celebrations, “Like Ursula and her companions, all of us have walked different paths in a physical, emotional, practical, educational and spiritual sense. Yet we are all part of the one journey of Mercy and the theme seeks to capture the essence of our combined journey, both now and over the past 160 years".

Messages to: Coordinating Committee c/- Carole Carmody rsm

Image: Portrait of Ursula Frayne together with Celebration Logo

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Mercy Matters

Seeking more Mercy facts

No events of particular significance are recorded in the 'Mercy through the Years' calendar as having taken place on this day. Tomorrow we will recall a number of events including that the Original Pugin designed convent in Bermondsey, the first Convent of Mercy in England (1839), founded by Catherine McAuley, was destroyed by a V2 rocket in 1945 and rebuilt after the Second World War. Today the Convent (pictured) is a Heritage Centre where visitors are welcomed from all over the world.

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

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Stations of Mercy online

In 2016 the Mercy family was invited to undertake a digital pilgrimage during Lent in the lead up to the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday in Rome on 3 April 2016 where a small group of Mercy pilgrims represented us all. The digital pilgrimage is still online. Readers may wish to revisit this prayerful experience this Lent or undertake it for the first time.

3 ways to access this global resource on The Face of Mercy:

The Stations of Mercy (English & some also in Spanish) can be accessed here
The Works of Mercy  (English & some also in Spanish) can be accessed here
The complete Stations and Works (English & some also in Spanish) can be accessed here

First Sunday of Lent Year A (Matthew 4:1-11)

'Lent comes around each year and presents us with its usual challenge to take stock of our lives, to see more clearly what is in our hearts, and to discover what might be calling us out of our comfort zones. It is a time for personal as well as group reflection, a time for entering into the “wilderness” and grappling with the mysteries of life, as well as a time of preparation for Easter...'

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

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

God's Mercy is Infinite

'We humans do not fully realize the vastness of God's mercy. We are too easily swept away with our judgements of both self and others, too quick to condemn and want retribution for those who deliberately hurt us or others. We want to be assured that they've paid the price for their harmful actions and have proven their willingness to change before we approach them with anything other than disdain or contempt.

Not so with God's mercy...'

-Joyce Rupp

Text reenactments of 10 of literature's most passionate, iconic plots including: The Odyssey, Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, The Great Gatsby and Jane Eyre. Enjoy!

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Our Lady of the Pines Retreat Center, a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, operates year round and accommodates retreatants from all over North America. The Pines is a space for all who seek to retreat from the busyness of everyday life.

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

'We Are Called' by Mary Verdi. Watch/listen here (03:09). Purchase on *iTunes; *GooglePlay

Worth Reading:


The Pontifical Academy of Sciences held a Seminar 23-24 February on “The human right to water”. The text of the  Address given by Pope Francis at the concluding session on 24 February can be read here

'"Turn the tide on plastic" urges UN, as microplastics in the seas now outnumber stars in our galaxy.' Read the article here  Join the UN Environment Programme 'Clean Seas' Campaign and take action here
It's a way to get involved ahead of the UN Ocean Conference taking place in June 2017.


'Why 20 Million People Are on Brink of Famine in a "World of Plenty"'. Read the article here 'Food waste in an age of hunger.' Read the article here


'How Poor Countries Foot the Refugee Bill.' Read the article here

The Bottom Line:

'Each time you say hello to a stranger, your heart is acknowledging over and over again that we are all family.'

- Suzy Kassem, American author, filmmaker, philosopher, cultural critic, essayist, and poet of Egyptian descent


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

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								poverty demonstrated in the massive displacement of persons worldwide.
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