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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 716  |  12 April 2017
Featured Story

Each time we cycle round to preparing for Holy Week, memory carries me back to my childhood and the surprising Holy Week reforms of 1955.

In the parish elementary school where I sang in the choir beginning in the third grade, my first lessons in the real meaning of liturgy came with the final revision of the Holy Week liturgy that year.[1]  Not only did the choir learn the new music, but our enlightened choir director also meticulously explained the reason for the changes.  Similarly, my mother bought every pamphlet printed on the subject of the Holy Week reforms, so even as young children we were not merely observers of the changes, but we entered into them, learned them by heart and lived them deeply in the moment.  Mother also imposed another liturgical practice on her daughters.  Saturday nights after we had our baths and our hair had been washed and curled in preparation for being our Sunday best, Mother would have us read the Sunday gospel.  At the time it seemed like a huge imposition on our free time, which we would have rather spent reading Nancy Drew or some other novel.  Now I see just how devout Mother was, and how she unknowingly shaped me into a student of liturgy...

Download: A4 Paper Size (6pps; PDF);      US Letter Size (6pps; PDF)

Messages to: Julia Upton rsm


[1] Acta Apostolica Sedis [AAS] 47 (1955): 838-847.  The unexpected experimental revisions to the Holy Week liturgy came as a one-year trial in 1951, and extended the following year for another three years.  See AAS 43 (1951): 130-137; AAS 44 (1952): 48-63.

Image: iStock. Used under licence

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Vision in Action

'Sacred Waters' is the topic of part 4 of this 12 week series.

Each week's reflection includes:

  • Excerpts from Pope Francis (primarily from the encyclical Laudato Si')
  • A video clip that you can watch (just hover your cursor and click the link to watch)
  • An opportunity for action and prayer reflection

Download Part 4: A4 Paper Size (PDF) ; US Letter Size (PDF)

Previous issues are linked to this item.

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

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MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week: Holy Week

Gracious God, you have heard the cries of your suffering people. You have sent Jesus to us to be our Redeemer and brother. Open our eyes to see the immensity of your love for us and the wonder of what you have done for us. Give us the courage to be your hands and heart for those who are in pain. Give us the wisdom to speak out for justice and righteousness. May your will be done in us today and always. Amen.

Source: Palm Sunday, Evening Prayer. Morning and Evening Prayer of the Sisters of Mercy

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA


Image: iStock. Used under licence

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 - Team Leader Mercy Global Action

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From 13-27 March, together with Angela Reed rsm, Colleen Cloonan and Bridget Crisp rsm from our NY office, and more than two thousand women from around the globe, I participated in the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 61). This is the principal global intergovernmental body of the UN that deals with the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women...

Messages to: Denise Boyle fmdm - Team Leader Mercy Global Action

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Editor: Since 1896, the Feis Ceoil Association has promoted excellence in the learning and performance of music across all ages, levels and disciplines. This year's Dublin Feis Ceoil (Festival of Music) competition concluded on 7 April.

Since 2010 Mercy International Centre has presented the Sr Catherine McAuley Perpetual Cup to the highest marked performer at the Feis from the combined scores of the Advanced Organ, Senior Organ and Stanford Prize competitions, a prestigious competition which attracts competitors of a high calibre...

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Image: Shane McLoughlin holding the Sr Catherine McAuley Perpetual Cup with Adjudicator Colm Carey who, in addition to his career as an organist, is master of music of the Chapels Royal, HM Tower of London

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Thank you to all who sent messages to us in response to the news of the award. We are so pleased that you share our delight in what is good news for us all.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

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MIA Reflection Process
Invitation to Participate in 'Mercy To Earth'

22-23 April this year is Mercy2Earth weekend. That name, an initiative of the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), comes from Saturday being known since 1970 as Earth Day and Sunday this year being Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast celebrated always on the Sunday after Easter.

As part of our Mercy global response to the 'cry of the Earth and the cry of the Poor', we have created resources for use on this weekend and beyond. In using the term 'Mercy to Earth' and in working with our existing MIA logo, we are highlighting in a particular way our response to the invitation of Pope Francis: 'May the works of mercy also include care for our common home'.

We invite you to use these materials and to share them with others in your network. Please feel free to give out the link to the page on our website where these resources can also be accessed:

Messages to: Anne Walsh - Communications Director MIRP

Image: Logo & resources: © 2017 MIA

The following resources (digital files) are available for use by members of the Mercy family and our partners-in-Mercy:

-Logo: Irish,  English, Spanish, Maori,
Tok Pisin

Posters Sets: These sets of 8 posters include lines from the text of the Prayer for the Earth:

High resolution:

- English A3 (40mgb, PDF); English A4 (35 mgb, PDF)

- Spanish A3 (40mgb, PDF); Spanish A4 (35 mgb, PDF)

- Maori A3 (40mgb, PDF); Maori A4 (35 mgb, PDF)

- Tok Pisin A3 (40mgb, PDF); Tok Pisin A4 (35 mgb, PDF)

NB. Single posters in each of the 5 languages in both A3 and A4 can be downloaded from the page linked to this item.

A reminder that the 8th Work of Mercy poster (digital file) in English and Spanish is also available for use. It can be downloaded here

Inquiries about the wording of the 'Mercy to Earth' logo in other languages to: Anne Walsh

Image: Logo & resources: © 2017 MIA

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MIA Members News

Editor: At this time in the United States when there is a threat from the federal government to step up enforcement of immigration law through the deportation of immigrants who do not have valid green cards or visas, St Patrick Parish Norristown, Philadelphia, has come up with a unique solution to attend to those fearful of seeking out medical care: bring it to them at the parish.

Among the supports of this unique response are Mercy Medical Center and the Sisters of Mercy.

The inspiring article in CatholicPhilly.com is linked to this item.

Messages to: Ann O’Connell rsm c/- Lauren Albright - Institute Communications Office

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Read and Pray Mercy Stations of the Cross (Americas)

This Holy Week, we invite you to read, or reread, the Stations of the Cross series, available here: English; en Español
Sisters of Mercy have contributed reflections throughout this season of Lent to encourage us to find Mercy as we walk the road to Calvary with Jesus.

Reflections are posted each Wednesday and Friday, with the last reflection on Good Friday. Thank you to the following Sisters for their contributions to this series: Sisters Margaret Mary Knittel, Rose Weidenbenner, Mary Ellen Twist, Anne Connolly, Marie Immaculee Dana, Jean Evans, Marilyn Sunderman, Mandy Carrier, Eileen Smith, Helen Libo-on, Maureen Mulcrone, Fran DeMarco, Carmen Rosa Ccallomamani and Mary Ellen Thornton.

Messages to: Lauren Albright - Institute Communications Office

Walk for Solidarity for Immigrants & Refugees (Americas)

The Archdiocese of St. Louis is an archdiocese of immigrants with Mass celebrated in 13 languages. Archbishop Robert J. Carlson (St. Louis) issued a Pastoral Statement:  "May our commitment to walk with the immigrant and refugee be a light in the darkness for others to see and follow."  Pastoral Statement: English; en Español

The Peace and Justice Commission of the Archdiocese of St. Louis organized a Walk of Solidarity with Immigrants & Refugees which was held April 8, 2017.

The walk began on the campus of St. Louis University to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis for Eucharistic Liturgy. The Universal Prayers were given in English, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Arabic and Swahli. Victoria Incrivaglia rsm, daughter of an immigrant, gave one of the Universal Prayers.

There were 28 sponsors for this event and The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas was one of the sponsors.  The march was led by the Matachine dancers, an integral part of celebrations honoring the Virgen de Guadalupe, the Patroness of the Americas.  

Messages to: Victoria Incrivaglia rsm

Image: Back Row: Srs Katherine Doyle, Christine Blair, Victoria Incrivaglia, Marilyn Gottemoeller, Agnes Brueggen, Ginger Andrews, Maire Hearty The Congregation (Ireland), Anne Henehan
Second row:  Srs. Patti Baca, Claudia Ward, Barbara Grant, Kelly Williams.
Absent from photo but on walk: Srs Miriam Nolan, Michelle Marie Salois

A public art installation highlighting the crime of human trafficking has just completed its month-long tour around Ireland. The GIFT Box is a walk-in sculpture designed to raise awareness of this human rights abuse...

APT (Act to Prevent Trafficking), an organisation Mercy is active in, works to raise awareness of sex trafficking and has partnered with the Loreto Sisters and the Department of Justice to bring the GIFT Box to Ireland...

From Dublin, the GIFT Box travelled to Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, where a small but dedicated band of volunteers, including Sr. Catherine Ryan and Sr. Martina Bourke, helped promote the Box, handing out literature to passers-by and encouraging students to go inside and take a look at the exhibit...

Messages to: Ruth Kilcullen - MECPATHS Campaign Manager

Image: UN Gift Box outside the Central Bank in Dublin with volunteers (in high vis vests) and visitors to the installation

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Mercy Matters
Easter Sunday Year A (Matthew 28:1-10)

'After death, Jesus is cared for by a faith-filled man in the presence of two faith-filled women. These three people are fearless in the face of possible reprisals for their support of a “political criminal”...'

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

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

The Jesuits in Britain, producers of 'Pray-as-you-go', have made available two audio experiences for Holy Week which you can listen to on our website, download to your computer and share with others should you choose to do so.

Imaginative Conversations: A Journey Through Holy Week

Stations of the Cross: An Audio Journey

Image: RTF. Used under licence

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'Band of Sisters' can now be streamed, rented or purchased and downloaded via seven popular retailers

This documentary which shares the story of Catholic  women religious in the United States and their work for social justice after Vatican II, features Sisters of Mercy JoAnn Persch and Pat Murphy. It was produced and directed by Mercy Associate Mary Fishman.

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1853: Opening of House of Mercy for Maori women, Auckland

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

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Google to Fact Check Search Results; Facebook to Educate on 'False News'

Google will now fact-check search results as part of a new global initiative to combat the spread of fake news. Find out more

As of 7 April Facebook has implemented an initiative to educate users on how to spot 'false news'. People in 14 countries will begin seeing a link to a "Tips for spotting false news" guide at the top of their News Feed. Clicking it brings users to a section offering 10 tips as well access to related resources in the Facebook Help Center.
Find out more

Uploaded the wrong photo or want to change one over? You can do that without losing comments and reactions. Here's how...

Source: NY Times

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

To accompany this week's feature article, here is a contemporary version of The Exsultet by Karl Kohlhase. Watch/listen here (08:12)

Worth Watching:

'Oh Mercy' Lyric Video - Stu Garrard, Matt Maher and Audrey Assad from The Beatitudes Project out on 21 April. Watch the video here (04:32). Read about The Beatitudes Project here

Worth Doing:

NASA Celebrates Earth Day by Letting Us All #AdoptThePlanet. NASA has sectioned off 64,000 individual pieces of Earth to be 'adopted' by supporters on their website. Details here

Worth Knowing:


'Mercy is radical kindness', says Anne Lamott, the best-selling Christian author and 'patron saint' of writers everywhere, who started thinking about mercy and says she 'accidentally' wrote the book “Hallelujah Anyway”, published last week. Article here. Order from Amazon

Cosmology & Eco-justice

'An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power' (2017), the follow-up to Al Gore's award-winning 2006 documentary, 'An Inconvenient Truth'.  Official - Paramount Pictures Trailer. Watch it here (02:31). In theatres 28 July 2017. Read more here Official website

'No is Not Enough'. A new book from Naomi Klein. Due for release 13 June 2017. Details here

Worth Reading:

Human trafficking

Polaris Project has released an report entitled, “Typology of Modern Slavery”, Following an analysis of more than 32,000 cases of human trafficking documented between December 2007 and December 2016, Polaris created a helpful typology of sex and labor trafficking in the US. Download the report here (80 pps; PDF)

Cosmology & Eco-justice

Find out about the Leuser Ecosystem in Indonesia and how to 'join a global movement to save a global treasure'. Visit the website here

The Bottom Line:

'This Jesus, who accepts the hosannas of the crowd, knows full well that they will soon be followed by the cry: “Crucify him!”...  He is present in our many brothers and sisters who today endure sufferings like his own: they suffer from slave labour, from family tragedies, from diseases… They suffer from wars and terrorism, from interests that are armed and ready to strike.  Women and men who are cheated, violated in their dignity, discarded… Jesus is in them, in each of them, and, with marred features and broken voice, he asks to be looked in the eye, to be acknowledged, to be loved.

It is not some other Jesus, but the same Jesus who entered Jerusalem amid the waving of palm branches...'

Pope Francis, Homily for Palm Sunday, 9 April 2017

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

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