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Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, used her inheritance in service of the needs of her time. Today, Sisters of Mercy, through Mercy International Association, use their resources to respond to issues of global poverty demonstrated in the massive displacement of persons worldwide...This vision keeps alive the founding spirit of Catherine among peoples of the world most in need of God's compassion and mercy.
– from the MIA Visioning Statement 2007
'Sisters': Documentary Premieres on the Big Screen (Americas)
Editor: On Monday evening this week (21 October) the documentary 'Sisters' was premiered at Stockton Campus Center Theatre, New Jersey. Three years in the fundraising, 'Sisters' is the result of the vision and efforts of Executive Producer Carol Rittner rsm, distinguished professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Richard Stockton College, New Jersey. Asked why she wanted to make the documentary, Sr Carol replied, 'I wanted to show there is still energy, commitment and joy among American nuns. We're far fewer and older today, but there is still energy.'
Five women religious appear in the one hour documentary. Two are Mercies - Deirdre Mullan rsm, executive director of Partnership for Global Justice at the United Nations in New York City and Karen Schneider rsm, a pediatric emergency room physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Melissa Camardo, SCL, a hospital administrator in Denver; Monica Gundler, SC, who works with young people in New Orleans; and Michelle Lesher, SSJ, who works in campus ministry at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, are the three other faces of religious life today.
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is hosting the programme on its website (linked to this item) accessed from the VIMEO Channel of its director, three-time Emmy winner and Academy Award nominee, Robert Gardner, of Baltimore. 'Sisters' will be screened on PBS in the near future. Copies of the DVD can be purchased online from Gardner films Meanwhile, watch it online courtesy LCWR.
Carol Rittner rsm
Deirdre Mullan rsm
Karen Schneider rsm
Mercy International Association Intention for the Coming Week (MIA)
MIA joins with the Sisters of Mercy in Australia and Papua New Guinea (North Sydney Congregation, Parramatta Congregation, ISMAPNG and Brisbane Congregation) in prayers for the people of New South Wales where hundreds of homes have been destroyed and a life has been lost as a result of bushfires. 60 bushfires are burning, many out of control. Extreme fire danger warnings continue with properties and lives remaining at risk.
Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
New Assistant Director Appointed (MIA)
Mercy International wishes to announce the appointment of Denise Boyle fmdm to the post of Assistant Director Global Action. She will take up the position at the beginning of March, 2014, when the present holder, Mary Purcell, retires.
Denise is currently employed by the Mercy Congregation (Ireland) as Campaign manager of MECPATH (Mercy – End Child Prostitution and Trafficking in the Hospitality Sector). Previous to that she held the position of Executive Director of Franciscan International and has experience of working at the UN in Geneva and New York. She has also served as International Justice Coordinator for St. Patrick’s Missionary Society, Kiltegan, Ireland; as Overseas Project Officer for the Volunteer Missionary Movement (VMM) and as National Co-Ordinator of Women and Children’s Programme in Zimbabwe. Her previous experience also includes 15 years in Education Leadership roles in Australia and Regional Leadership roles in Zimbabwe.
Accepting the position Denise said, ‘It will be an honour and a privilege to work with MIA. Working collaboratively with the Global Action Team, my hope is that we will achieve our goals with and for the most vulnerable’.
Messages to: Denise Boyle fmdm
Catherine's Canonisation Cause: Prayer Requests (MIA)
Prayers with the intercession of Venerable Catherine McAuley are asked for all whose names are in our hearts and on our prayer list; in particular those whose names have been newly added: Nicholas Marendy, Emma Grace, Bill Pendergast, Kelly Harper, Kathy Brown, Laya Porter, Phyllis.
Anne Hannon rsm - Vice postulator Europe and Africa
Sheila Carney rsm - Vice postulator Americas
Caroline Ryan rsm - Vice postulator Australia & PNG, Aotearoa New Zealand, Philippines
Enrol in a Programme to be Held at Mercy International Centre in 2014 (MIA)
Details of the programmes on offer at MIC in 2014 were advertised in Mercy E-news Issue 532 (18 September 2013). Now you can enrol online (linked to this item).
For those who may find it helpful, brief biographies of the Facilitators and Resource people can be found here A print ready version of the 2014 programmes for noticeboards etc can be found here.
At Mercy International Centre - a place of welcome, hospitality, pilgrimage and renewal - we provide a 'well-spring' of nourishment in Mercy heritage, spirituality, charism and ethos to those members of the global Mercy family who wish to explore the significance of the Mercy story in their lives during time spent here at Baggot Street.
Come spend time with us here in Catherine's House of Mercy during our twentieth year!
Mary Kay Dobrovolny rsm - Assistant Director Heritage & Spirituality
Madeleine O'Hanlon - Receptionist
Mercy Health West's Living Roof (Americas)
Editor: Mercy Health West Hospital Cincinnatti, a 638,000-square-foot facility, located on 60 acres along Interstate 74, opens on 10 November,2013.
Mercy Health West is bringing something to the west side of town they've never had - a full-service full care hospital. While that is very important, what is unique about Mercy West is the hospital has a green roof that will be the largest living roof in the state of Ohio. According to Mercy Health, the roof spans 2.5 acres and will have 64,000 plants.
The plants had to be selected carefully for their tolerance to extreme heat and cold. They include: native prairie grasses, additional native prairie plants, allium, butterfly weed and pinks and sedums
As much as 75 percent of the rainwater that hits the roof is expected to be absorbed, reducing the impact on nearby drainage systems.
'Too often, an ailing patient looks out of the room, seeking to connect with God, and sees mechanical equipment stacked upon a roof,' said Gary Meisner, of Cincinnati, whose company designed the roof. 'The idea was to provide a sense of the ancient Midwestern prairie. We approached the design and colors of the landscape as would an artist with a mural.'
Messages to: Nanette Bentley - Director, Communications and Public Relations Mercy Health
Nuns With a New Creed: Environmentalism (The Congregation)
Editor: An Gáirdín is a ministry of The Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy, Western Province. It came into existence in 1994, say its founders, when 'a small group of us Mercy Sisters in Clonfert Diocese came together to find new ways of expressing our commitment to the Earth. We were awakening to the vision of Earth as a living organism, a great web of interconnectedness and interdependent life. We shared the desire to rediscover together who we humans are as a strand of this magnificent web. You could say we shared the desire to ‘come home’ to Earth after a long absence...'
An Gáirdín is profiled in a lengthy article published this week in the Atlantic online, along with the ecological works of other orders such as: Genesis Farm (Dominican Sisters), the Immaculate Heart of Mary's renovation of their Motherhouse in Monroe, Michigan, An Tairseach (Dominicans, Co Wicklow) and Green Mountain Monastery, Vermont. The article includes references to the writings of Sarah McFarland, Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme, as well as the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology whose website is well worth checking out for its resources and references.
Messages to: An Gáirdín
An Gáirdín is this week's featured Mercy website
Work at Jamaican Boys' School Taught Lawyer to be 'Outwardly Focused' (Americas)
Editor: Each fortnight Camille D'Arienzo rsm writes a column based on her conversation with a person of faith. The current column features her interview with Jay Sullivan whose two years volunteering at Alpha Boys School in Kingston, Jamaica, a ministry of the Sisters of Mercy, had a profound effect upon him, not least because of Sr Magdalen and particular young men he encountered there.
In this wonderful exchange, Sullivan recounts the impact of his time at Alpha and the impact Alpha has continued to have on him and his life experiences since his return to the US.
Messages to: Camille D'Arienzo rsm
Mercy Activities for Global Frackdown (Americas)
About 150 people, including Sisters of Mercy, protested about fracking in the city of General Roca, Province of Rio Negro, Argentina on 11 October. At the end of the demonstration they joined an act performed by 20 Mapuche (indigenous people of the area) who were celebrating their day of freedom against the occupation by Columbus...
Messages to: Ana Maria Siufi rsm
In Riverside Rhode Island, USA, 20 people attended St Mary Academy, Bay View for a showing of Gasland and discussion. The group signed a petition asking for a moratorium on all fracking until an independent study of the environmental, water and health risks could be determined.
Messages to: Mary Pendergast rsm
Willie McAuley - Resting in Peace at Bogan Gate! (ISMAPNG)
On 22 September, in Parkes, New South Wales, prior to the ceremony wherein each member received her copy of the newly revised Constitutions for the Institute, a number of Sisters of Mercy took the 20 minute drive to Bogan Gate outside Parkes, to visit the grave of William Armstrong Montgomery Macauley aka "Wild Willie" - the nephew of our Foundress, Venerable Catherine McAuley...
Messages to: Anne McGuire rsm
1852: Chicago Mercy Hospital founded
1898: Sisters take charge of Coromandel Hospital, Auckland
'May God's will be ever adored and blessed' : M Cecilia Maher
Raising Gentle Men: Lives at the Orphanage Edge (new resource)
Jay Sullivan is the Managing Partner of Exec|Comm, LLC, a communications consulting firm. In between graduating from Boston College and attending Fordham Law School, he taught English in Kingston, Jamaica at Alpha Boys School, a ministry of the Sisters of Mercy.
This is his story of those years.
All of the author's proceeds from this book go to support the work of the Mercy Sisters and the Jesuits in Jamaica.
Purchase it online from Amazon (paperback or kindle)
An Gáirdín, Portumna, Co Galway, Ireland
Organic Garden and Ecology Centre
'To make again a garden of this place' (Elisabeth Roberts) became our motto as we set out to learn to live in communion with one another and with the great diversity of life around us.
It costs nothing to click, respond and retweet. But what price do we pay in our relationships and our peace of mind?
Source: Aeon Magazine
Charismatic principles for modern religious
Mary Pellegrino, C.S.J., congregational moderator of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden, Pennsylvania, reflects on words spoken at the recent UISG meeting by Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Living. Read the article in America here
Worth a Look:
Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home and a Living Faith
Judy Valente, professional broadcast journalist, contributing correspondent to Religion & Ethics Newsweekly and poet, accepted an invitation from the Benedictine Sisters in Atchison, Kansas to teach a course on poetry. She returned to Mount Saint Scholastica for an average of a week a month over a three-year period, desiring to cultivate an interior life, and entered there into the life of the community. It was, shares Valente in this recent interview on Chicago Tonight, a life-shifting visit. View the interview with Valente here and read an excerpt from her book (07:55) Purchase the book here (paperback and kindle editions)
100 Women: What chance does a young girl have?
'When a young girl starts out in life, where will her journey take her? Will she have the same opportunities as the boys she grows up with? Will she face more dangers, or fight the same battles?'
Throughout October, the BBC's 100 Women season is looking at the world we live in today through the eyes of the women who make up half the world. Watch the very informative infographic animation on the 3.5 bn women in the world. View it here (02:50)
Malala Yousafzai's Jon Stewart interview
Interviewed on The Daily Show show on 11 October, 2013. View it here (16:11)
Anti-slavery charity Walk Free Foundation, ranked 162 countries on the number living in slavery, the risk of enslavement, and the strength of government responses to combating the illegal activity in the first ever 'Global Slavery Index' released last week. Modern Slavery includes slavery, slavery-like practices (such as debt bondage, forced marriage, and sale or exploitation of children), human trafficking and forced labour.
A key finding from this inaugural Index is that there are an estimated 29.8 million people enslaved around the world. Read the report here (136 pps) The Terminology, Overview and Methods of research are covered in the first 12 pages.
What have we done? How the changing climate is hitting the poorest hardest
Last week CAFOD released a new report into the effects of climate change. What have we done? How the changing climate is hitting the poorest hardest says that climate change is real, its effects are getting worse and the world’s poorest are suffering most. Read the report (16 pps), listen to a short interview on Vatican Radio and add your name to the 'Hungry for Change' campaign. Visit the CAFOD site here to take these actions
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Directors:Sister Patricia McDermott (US), Peter Burnett, Sister Colette Cronin (British), Maura Hyland, Sister Margaret Casey,
James Peppiatt-Combes (US) and Sister Denise Fox (NZ)