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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 714  |  29 March 2017
Featured Story

On the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, March 25, 2017, the little Chapel at Convent of Mercy in Mobile, Alabama, USA, was overflowing with Sisters of Mercy, their Associates, and friends of Sister Mary Aidan Donaldson.  All had assembled to celebrate the Feast Day and to pay tribute to a grand lady and a true daughter of Catherine on her 90 years as a Sister of Mercy.

Born August 20, 1908 in Newry County Down, Northern Ireland, Sister Mary Aidan at the age of 19 departed her homeland and the father who had raised her after the early death of her mother.  In February 1927, Sister arrived in Mobile and began her education ministry that September which lasted some 50 years.  At that time Sister Mary Aidan transitioned into pastoral ministry, caring for those who were sick and shut-in...

Messages to: Sr Mary Aidan c/- Deborah Kennedy rsm


Image: Sr Mary Aidan renews her vows

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Vision in Action

We welcome applications to volunteer at Baggot Street!

Volunteers need to be able to commit to 8 – 12 weeks between 22 January 2018 & 30 November, 2018.

Volunteer positions are open to Sisters, Associates and Friends of Mercy, to Single persons or couples.

Further details are linked to this item.

Applications will be accepted up to 30 April 2017.

Please send a simple Curriculum Vitae, including your preferred dates, to: Margaret Scroope rsm

Messages to Margaret Scroope rsm - Team Leader Administration & Finance

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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: Anna Nicholls - Team Leader Heritage & Spirituality
Bookings to: Madeleine O'Hanlon - Receptionist

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

Editor: In Mercy eNews Issue #710, we highlighted the forthcoming Ocean Conference (5-9 June) sponsored by the UN. The focus of the Conference will be the implementation and achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 14:
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. In preparation, MGA at the UN is providing a weekly reflection for our readers. Part 1, 'Our Connection to Water' was published last week and can be accessed again below.

'The Ocean - Our Climate Regulator' is the topic of Part 2 of the Water & Ocean Reflection series.

Download Part 2: A4 Paper Size (PDF) ; US Letter Size (PDF)

Download Part 1: A4 Paper Size (PDF) ; US Letter Size (PDF)

Download the Series Introduction: A4 Paper Size (PDF) ; US Letter Size (PDF)

Messages to: Bridget Crisp rsm - MGA at the UN Intern

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Water and Sanitation: A People's Guide to SDG6

Editor: Goal #6 of the 2030 Agenda is dedicated to action to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Hundreds of millions of people do not have access to essential water, sanitation, and hygiene services.

To achieve and stay truthful to the global pledge of leaving no one behind, the NGO Mining Working Group (MWG), a coalition of NGOs that, in partnership with its members and affected local communities, advocates at and through the UN for human and environmental rights as related to extractive industries, has worked together over the past 18 months to develop a rights-based approach to the implementation of SDG #6.

Download the Guide here (20pps; PDF; 2mgb)

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

MIA Prayer Intention: for Peru & People & Land in Path of Cyclone Debbie

Reports have been received from some of our Sisters in Peru and are included in the Members' News section (below). These reports paint a picture for us of the devastation, suffering, and heartbreak being experienced by the Peruvian people.

As we continue to pray for the people and land of Peru suffering the effects of the most severe flooding in 30 years, including loss of life, please keep in your prayers all in the path of cyclone Debbie in Queensland, Australia, where heavy rainfall and strong wind gusts are causing significant damage to buildings and landscape.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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: Penny McCarthy, Rowena Moore, Alice McConville, a couple expecting a baby, Erin Harrington, Kate Gaudiosi, James Jamisom, Shawn Dobbin 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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MIA Reflection Process
Anti-racism: MIRP Report (Americas)

We have a group of about 18 that chose anti-racism as the topic for the MIRP.  We began that process whenever it started and we took some time off  this winter and are starting up again this month.  One of our discoveries was that most of us did not have regular or even ANY contact with people of color.  We read and we watched videos; and had a black speaker; some of us went to  a performance of "Colored Girls" a play about abuse; and we discussed, but we got to the point of 'spinning our wheels" and decided we needed relationship with people of color...and every way we thought seemed artificial....plus our ages and physical limitations precluded going to black churches and some of the ideas we had.  Plus most of the rest of us were not looking to add another activity or meeting to our lives.

Read the report here (PDF)

Messages to: Marianne Comfort rsm - MIRP Coordinator Americas


Stage 4 MIRP Report from Baulkham Hills Parish Group 2 (Parramatta)

Baulkham Hills Parish Group 2 facilitated by Barbara Stenning took as their focus family breakdown and homelessness. Following their reflections on the situation in the Hills District and beyond and on relevant scripture texts, they decided on a number of action steps for Stage 4.

Download the report here (PDF)

Messages to: Valda Dickinson rsm - MIRP Coordinator Parramatta

Image: L-r: Jenny Hayek, Magda Marconato, Veronica Earls rsm, Barbara Stenning, Kath Sayer, Lyn Keane, Anne Yammine

MIA Members News
Mercys with a Presence in Peru Share News of the Situation (Part 1)

The worst floods and mudslides in almost 30 years are affecting over half of Peru due to an abnormal warming of Pacific water caused by El Niño weather phenomenon.

From the Sisters of Mercy Newfoundland (27/3):

'Happily there are no rains to report except further north where it rains almost constantly. We saw it last night on TV (Sunday), what desperation for the people and loss, destruction, heart breaking.

This data, national level, came out last night from the Minister of Defence. 

90 dead, 120,899 people have lost everything, 742,101 people affected, many from Puerto Eten would be included here. 347 people  wounded,  20 people disappeared, 14,301 homes collapsed, 14,668 homes inhabitable. 40 Educational Centers collapsed,  1,391 schools affected, and 449 declared habitable.'

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy Newfoundland

From The Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy Southern Province:

The Southern Province is in communication with their Sisters in Peu and are sharing an email with us written by Angélica, a Peruvian national, who is a member of the Province.

'The solidarity of the people is comforting and people’s solidarity with the victims is impressive. Institutions, organisations, families are sharing out of their simplicity. It is a manifestation of the merciful face of God...'

Download the email here (PDF)

Messages to: Southern Province

We include also a report in Spanish from Instituto Bartolomé de las Casas.

Mercys with a Presence in Peru Share News of the Situation (Part 2)

From the Mid-Atlantic (Americas) Community Leadership Team

Torrential rains have drenched parts of Peru, including Chulucanas, where Sisters of Mercy still minister, including Sister Mary Ellen McKenna rsm. Ten times more rainfall than normal caused rivers to overflow and mudslides to destroy roads and farms. More than 70 deaths have been attributed to the flooding, which has isolated hundreds and displaced thousands. Homes have collapsed, others contain bacteria and mold.  Worst of all, the markets in Chulucanas are running out of food.  Markets in the capital of the region are selling food to the highest bidder. Our sisters report that they are safe, but many of the families they serve have been affected. Please pray for all impacted by the storms. You can also support the efforts of our sisters in Peru who are helping victims of this damaging weather. Because we have sisters living and working there we can wire money directly to them and they can use it immediately to help people in need.
To contribute, you can donate online at https://2611.thankyou4caring.org/.
Please indicate that your gift is for Peru Flood Victims, or send your donation payable to the Sisters of Mercy, Mid-Atlantic Community, Development Office, 515 Montgomery Avenue, Merion, PA 19066, Attention: Peru Flood Victims  Thank you for your response and concern!

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy Mid-Atlantic

Image: Courtesy Columban Communications. Taken 22 March 2017

Lynda Dearlove rsm Member of Holy See Panel at CSW61 (Institute)

Editor: Lynda Dearlove rsm, Founder of Women@theWell, was 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, organised by the Holy See, was televised and archived on the UN Web Tev channel.

The recording can be watched here. Sr Lynda is introduced at 50:16 and concludes at 59:54.

Messages to: Lynda Dearlove rsm

Spiritual Themes in the Writings of Thomas Merton (Americas)

'...With respect to sustainable practices, I believe Merton would insist that all be done by humans in order to grow into greater union with God by loving all of God's creation...I am convinced that Thomas Merton would argue that any sustainable actions of the human community be entered into in order to live simply so that others, including Earth itself, might simply live and that simplicity of life is always a work in progress', writes Marilyn Sunderman rsm, Professor of Theology and Chair of the Department of Theology at St Joseph's, Maine, in her reflections on the spiritual themes of Thomas Merton.

Download the article here (16 pps; PDF)

Messages to: Marilyn Sunderman rsm

Mercy Matters
5th Sunday of Lent Year A (John 11: 1-45)

'Today’s readings touch into the most profound of human mysteries, the mysteries of life and death. To hold a new born child or to see a sick person restored to health is to experience the wonder of life. On the other hand, the unexpected death of a loved one can bring unimagined grief and pain.'

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

'In a world that was all too familiar with the tragedy of walls and divisions, it was clearly important to work for a united and open Europe...Yet today the memory of those efforts has been lost. Forgotten too is the tragedy of separated families, poverty and destitution born of that division. Where generations longed to see the fall of those signs of forced hostility, these days we debate how to keep out the "dangers” of our time: beginning with the long file of women, men and children fleeing war and poverty, seeking only a future for themselves and their loved ones.'

- Pope Francis: Address to EU Heads of State and Government, 24 March 2017

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Mercy Center Auburn is a Retreat and Conference Center located in the beautiful foothills of Northern California's Sierra Nevada mountains.

Mercy Center is designed to serve individuals, groups, religious organizations of diverse faiths, and non-profit organizations. In the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Center is a place of hospitality with a special mindfulness toward providing quiet and solitude so needed in our culture of ongoing distractions.

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The Atlantic online has launched what they call the 'Life timeline'. Fill in the date of your birthday and they will show you how the world has changed during your lifetime.

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1869: Independence, Iowa founded from Davenport - M Francis Monholland

1883: Death of M Vincent Haire, Foundress of Brooklyn

1978: Inauguration of Aged Care Services by Perth Congregation

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

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Ways to improve the battery life of your iPad by adjusting settings in iOS.

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

'Lent: A Time for Feasting and Fasting' by Michelle Sherliza op. Watch it here (03:27)

Worth Reading:


The April 2017 issue of 'Update', the newsletter of LCWR is now online. Access it here


At its Closing session the UN Commission agrees on a roadmap to women’s economic empowerment. Read the article here


New Zealand's Whanganui River  has been given legal status as a person. On 15 March, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Te Awa Tupua Bill which states that the river is 'an indivisible and living whole', making it the world's first river to be given this special designation. Read the article here. A short film on the legend of the river can be watched here On 20 March, the Ganges and its main tributary, the Yamuna, were also accorded the status of living human entities. Read the article here.

'RiverBlue' is groundbreaking documentary examining the destruction of our rivers, its effect on humanity, and the solutions that inspire hope for a sustainable future. Watch the trailers of this new film and check out where it will be screened in 2017.

Climate Change:

The Holy See has called on the United Nations to promote "responsibility for those who come after us", in the areas of climate change and justice for the poor. Archbishop Bernardito Auza's words came in an address to a high-level discussion at the UN on "Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Agenda". Read the address here

'Indigenous, accompanied by church, fight for rights in Amazon rainforest.' Read the article here

The Bottom Line:

'Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.'

- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) Transcendentalist poet and essayist

Send suggestions and contributions for the 'Worth...' section 2016 to: the Editor

The Mission of Mercy
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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)