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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 712  |  15 March 2017
Featured Story

Editor: For Christians, bell-ringing has long been associated with coming together for prayer. On Sunday, 19 March churches and cathedrals of all denominations across Ireland and beyond these shores will ring their bells to drown out anti-immigrant views, replacing the sounds of hate with the call for justice. An initiative by the Church of Ireland Dean of Waterford, Maria Jansson, it will be launched by the former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, at 11am (Irish time) on Sunday in Christ Church Cathedral Waterford.

19 March also marks the conclusion of the St Patrick's Day long weekend in Ireland. St Patrick's Day (17 March) was traditionally a day in Ireland when people forced to flee from home —'exiles on many a shore' —were remembered.

'And our hearts shall yet burn, wherever we roam,
For God and St. Patrick, and our native home'
wrote Sr Agnes of Charleville Convent in the well-known song 'Hail Glorious St. Patrick' (1853).

Widely celebrated today as a cultural feast day, both in Ireland and the Irish diaspora, St Patrick's Day also invites us to be in solidarity with the displaced of our time. Human displacement has hit an all-time high, with 65.3 million people forcibly displaced among us. According to the UN, one in every 113 people globally is now an asylum-seeker, an internally displaced person, or a refugee.

Here at Baggot Street we will ring Catherine's bell (pictured) and we invite you to join us in doing so some time from 17-19 March. A recording of Catherine's bell is linked to this item for this purpose, should you wish to use it. Further information from Sr Mary about St Patrick and the 'Joy of Bells' initiative is also linked to this item.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA


Image: Looking up at Catherine's bell at Baggot Street © MIA 2011. Photo by David Knight

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Vision in Action

Registration for the fourth biennial Pilgrimage of Young Mercy Leaders, secondary school students (18 July- 21 July 2017) closes on Friday, St Patrick's Day, 17 March. Pilgrimage organisers are reminded that registrations must be received by Mercy International Association on or by that date (either electronically or by postal mail).

Materials for registration can be downloaded from our website page here and are linked to this item.

Messages to: Anna Nicholls rsm - Team Leader Heritage & Spirituality

Image: YML Pilgrimage 2016

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MIA Prayer Intention: Humanitarian Crisis

Last Friday, 10 March, the world learnt from UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien (text; video) that we now face the largest humanitarian crisis since 1945 with more than 20 million people in four countries —Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria —facing starvation and famine.  Mr O'Brien has urged global action to save people in these countries from starving to death. The UN needs at least $4.4 billion by the end of March to avert a catastrophe but has so far received just $90 million.

Sisters of Mercy are ministering in two of these countries - South Sudan and Nigeria and in Kenya where 4 million people are expected to be food insecure by April. Our prayers are needed in support of their efforts; for those with whom they minister, and for the affected populations in each of these famine ravaged countries.

Let us pray also for international action: to tackle the factors causing famine, to commit sufficient and timely financial support and to ensuring that fighting stops.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Image: Young girls line up at a feeding centre in Mogadishu.
09 March 2017
Mogadishu, Somalia
Photo # 716502
UN Photo/Tobin Jones. Used with permission

MIA Reflection Process
Earth Hour

Earth Hour this year is on 25 March, 8:30 pm (your time). Earth Hour was famously started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007. This year marks its 10th anniversary and its growth to engage more than 178 countries and territories across seven continents and aboard the International Space Station.

Earth Hour is more than an event. It is a movement that has achieved massive environmental impact, including legislation changes, by harnessing the power of the crowd.

Join the movement and use your power to change climate change.

Download and pin up the official earth hour poster (PDF)

Information, resources, sign- up opportunities and how to join in conversations on social media can be found on the Earth Hour website

Messages to: Earth Hour

GCCM Webinar: Mercy2Earth

Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) of which MIA is a member organisation, is hosting a webinar today,15 March, from 10:00-11:00 am US Eastern Time (see your local time here).

Speakers and topics:

-Overview of the Mercy2Earth Journey- Christina Leano-Associate Director, Global Catholic Climate Movement
-Significance of Pope Francis' "Show Mercy to our Common Home" message- Denise Boyle fmdm, Team Leader Mercy Global Action
A reminder that copies of the digital file of the MIRP 8th Work of Mercy poster in English and en Español can be downloaded here
-Greening your parish and city: the case of the Monterey Diocese- Sara Nelson, Executive Director, Romero Institute, California
-Praying with your Feet: Joining the People’s Climate March- Jason Miller, Director of Campaigns and Development, Franciscan Action Network

To register, contact GCCM

Messages to: Global Catholic Climate Movement

Stage 4 Report from NL-RSM-20, Huarmey Peru (Newfoundland)

Peru is among the countries most vulnerable or affected by climate change and global warming with 4 of the 5 elements that the UN considers necessary. We will address this urgent problem directly in the city and shanty towns. With our reflections, we feel more prepared to confront it.

  • Continue studying and investigating climate change so as to be more prepared to help others.
  • Meet with authorities, community leaders, institutions, organizations and groups. Make available pamphlets, articles, etc. about climate change, about effects of garbage
  • Receive information from similar groups in the process globally. Visit other areas of the city.
  • Have more radio and TV programs, to raise awareness and have all people work together.
  • Continue studying and investigating climate change so as to be more prepared to help others.

Messages to: Elizabeth Marrie rsm - MIRP Coordinator Newfoundland

Image: Marion Collins rsm (Left) with members of the MIRP group of 14 Partners in Mercy and 3 Sisters of Mercy following presentation of a póster of the 8th Work of Mercy (8th obra de la misericordia). A reminder that copies of the digital file of the MIRP poster in English and en Español can be downloaded here

Stage 4 Report from NL-RSM- 1 (Newfoundland)

Personal Commitments articulated:

  • To slow down, take time to be present to the people/situations around me
  • To “Wake Up the World,” be in touch with people in need and respond in Mercy, to ask myself daily: When/how have I opened my eyes/ears/heart in Mercy today?
  • To pray more consciously for grace of living Mercy daily, of being inclusive/relational and joyful
  • To put my new consciousness into action, even as I listen to the news/local issues
  • To revisit our vision statement in our circle each term next year as a way of staying faithful.

Messages to: Elizabeth Marrie rsm - MIRP Coordinator Newfoundland

Image: Back Row - L-R: Joan Gosse, rsm, Marie Beresford, rsm, Jane McGrath, rsm, Nellie Pomroy, rsm, Sharon Basha, rsm, Mary Pius Shea, rsm
Front Row - L-R: Charlotte Fitzpatrick, rsm (Facilitator), Patricia March, rsm
Missing: Sheila Grant, rsm

MIA Members News
An Ecological Reading of Matthew's Gospel: Part 2 (ISMAPNG)

Elaine Wainwright provides a fresh approach to understanding the Beatitudes in her interpretation of Matthew 5:1-12. Sr Elaine writes 'Each of the Beatitudes gives an invitation or even an imperative for the new vision that frames the Beatitudes (the basileia of the skies — Mt 5:3, 10) while right ordering infuses them through Mt 5:6,10 (the fourth and eighth beatitude). No longer can we hear this right ordering intended just for the human community. Rather it extends into all relationships in the Earth community. It is this that we hear in the words of the prophet Jesus who sits on the earth of the hillside and teaches'.

Read the article online

Download the article (2pps; PDF)

Messages to: Elaine Wainwright rsm

Image: Beatitudes - James Tissot

Women@theWell Member of Holy See Panel at CSW61

Editor: Lynda Dearlove rsm, Founder of Women@theWell, will be a panel member at the CSW 61 Side Event 'Economically Empowering Trafficking Survivors to Stay Permanently Off the Streets' on 22 March. Women@theWell is a women-only drop-in centre in Kings Cross, London, dedicated to supporting women whose lives are affected by or at risk of being affected by prostitution,

The side event has been organised by the Holy See and will be televised and archived on the UN Web TV Channel from 3:00-4:15pm next Wednesday. Check your local time here

Download the poster here (PDF)

Messages to: Lynda Dearlove rsm

Mercy Matters

Most of us wear synthetic fabrics like polyester everyday. Our dress shirts, yoga pants, fleeces, and even underwear are all increasingly made of synthetic materials—plastic, in fact.

But these fabrics have a big hidden problem: when they’re washed, they release trillions of tiny plastic bits—called microfibers—that flow down our drains, through our water treatment plants, and out into our rivers, lakes and oceans. In fact, microplastic microfibers released while washing clothes in washing machines are the biggest source of microplastics in the environment!

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Beeline changes the color of black text on web pages, creating lines of alternating color.

Read a review here

Purchase on *iTunes

BeeLine Reader - Chrome Web Store

BeeLine Reader on Android (free beta) :: Add-ons for Firefox for Android

Note: You can read as much as you want with Beeline for 30 days. After that, you can use Beeline up to 5 times every day for free, or subscribe to BeeLine Reader Pro for less than $1/month. Students and teachers can also apply on their website for a free Student Pass.

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New Mercy Resource: 'Union and Charity'

'Union and Charity' tells the story of the formation and development of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.

Written by Sisters Denise Colgan and Doris Gottemoeller, the 153 page book traces the birth of the Institute and its evolution over the years to the current Journey of Oneness.

Order online from Lulu.com. Available in both hardcover and paperback

Knowles Mercy Spirituality Centre is a Catholic retreat center located near the bank of the Platte River just west of Omaha, Nebraska welcoming people of diverse faiths and cultural backgrounds to share the comforts of our peaceful, prayerful environment.

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Third Sunday of Lent Year A (John 4:5-42)

'Those privileged to act as catechists in the RCIA program over the Lenten period will be introducing the candidates to some of our most treasured gospel stories...'

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

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

1894: Death of M Baptist MacDonnell, Buenos Aires (refounded there from Australia 1890)

1947: Candidates accepted for South Africa

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

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

For Lent: 'Return to God' by Marty Haugen. Watch/listen here (02:46). Purchase on *iTunes; *Google Play

Worth Watching:

If you missed the Voices of Faith event streamed live from the Vatican last week, it was recorded and archived online and can be watched in English and en Español
The text of the opening address by Arturo Sosa Abascal SJ, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, can be accessed here

Worth Knowing:

The 13th Annual National eConference organised by Broken Bay Institute (BBI) will be held on Thursday 10 August 2017 from 10:30am-2:45pm (AEST). The theme is 'Gospel Leadership in Times of Chaos: the Hope of Pope Francis'. Further information can be found here

Worth Reading:

Laudato Si'

Vatican Investment Conference explores clean energy for 'our common home'. Read the article here

SDGS and poverty

Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava, President of EcoSoc (main UN economic and social body) has urged us all to work harder to ensure ‘no one is left behind’. Read the article here

CSW 61

The UN Commission on Status of Women opened with calls for more men to stand up for equality. Read the article here Follow CSW 61 here and on the UN Web Tv Channel (no sessions held 14 March due to inclement weather).

The Bottom Line:

'Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.'

- Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Poet, analyst, author


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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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)