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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 746  |  25 October 2017
Featured Story
Mercy Global Presence a Focus of Mercy Asia Pacific Leaders' and Teams' Meeting

On 18 and 19 October 2017, Mercy Leaders and Team members from the Aotearoa New Zealand, Brisbane, ISMAPNG (current and incoming teams), North Sydney, Parramatta and the Philippines Congregations/Institutes met at the Parramatta Congregation Centre, where we were hosted by Mary-Louise Petro rsm and her team. The group was joined by Elaine Wainwright rsm, who was the International coordinator of the MIRP program in 2016, and the various Congregation MIRP coordinators: Srs Adele Howard, Valda Dickinson, Sandra Lupi, Natalie Murphy and Teresa Anderson, to explore ways in which we could ‘take the next step/s’ in exploring our understanding of Mercy Global Presence and in enhancing our Mercy Global Presence in the Asia Pacific Region.

It was a wonderful opportunity for leadership teams to meet each other, pray and reflect together and share their experiences. Using the 4 step Mercy International Reflection Process, we focussed on the issue of ‘Mercy Global Presence’ and a number of possible actions emerged from our deliberations. These included a commitment to continue the meetings in the future and the identification of a range of strategies to make Mercy Asia Pacific a reality under the umbrella of Mercy International Association.

For further information you are welcome to contact:

Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregation Leader Aotearoa New Zealand
Catherine Reuter rsm - Congregation Leader Brisbane
Berneice Loch rsm - Institute Leader ISMAPNG
Loreto Conroy rsm - Congregation Leader North Sydney
Mary-Louise Petro rsm - Congregation Leader Parramatta
Marian Ladrera rsm - Superior General Philippines

Image: Leaders, Teams and former MIRP personnel in the grounds of Parramatta Congregation Centre. View more photos from the meeting. Photos: Parramatta Congregation

Vision in Action
MIA Prayer Intention: Working for Mercy & Justice

24 October is United Nations Day, an opportunity to learn more about the work of the UN and to give thanks for the efforts of all at the UN to promote international co-operation, work for peace and promote human rights. We give thanks, too, for the ministry of the MIA - MGA office at the UN, bringing the voice of Mercy from the grassroots to this international forum since the office was established in 1999.

'The world’s problems transcend borders. We have to transcend our differences to transform our future,' said UN Secretary General António Guterres in his message (video: 0:45) for this day. He continued, 'When we achieve human rights and human dignity for all people – they will build a peaceful, sustainable and just world. On United Nations Day, let us, ‘We the Peoples’, make this vision a reality.'

May his words help form our prayer.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Image: iStock. Used under licence

Remembrance Day at Baggot Street: Final Arrangements Now in Place

On 11 November 2017, Mass will be held at Mercy International Centre as we recall the anniversary of the death of Catherine McAuley and remember all those who have walked the path of Mercy. Flyer here (PDF)

All are invited to send in the names of those who have died in the past year so that they can be remembered in a special way at this Mass. Click on this link and fill in this form with names. At the end of Mass the names will be placed at Catherine's grave. A live webcam will be available between 9am and 5pm (Dublin time) for anyone to make a virtual visit to the grave to pray for those who have died. You can check the times for your local area here.
Click here to make a virtual visit. You can also post your prayer or reflection in our online prayer space here

Members of our Mercy family who are in Dublin on 11 November are warmly invited to join the staff at Mercy International Centre, at 10am for Mass. If you are able to come please let Madeleine know by phone (01) 661 8061 or email.

Messages to: Madeleine O'Hanlon - Receptionist

Image: © 2017 Mercy International Association. The image is available to Mercy communities who might like to use it. Contact the Editor


MIA Global Action at the UN is a member of two sub-committees within the NGO Mining Working Group focusing on issues surrounding corporate accountability and the human right to water.

Key outcomes from sub-committee meetings this month involve following the UN treaty process on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights...

Messages to: Angela Reed rsm -- MIA Coordinator at the UN - Mercy Global Action

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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: Joe England, Christiana, Peter  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 Members News
Marilyn Lacey rsm Awarded the 2017 Opus Prize (Americas)

Editor: The Opus Prize, instituted in 2004, is an annual award recognising individuals or organisations who champion faith-filled change. Each year, a select group of finalists is nominated to receive the Opus Prize.

This year's laureate (winner) is Marilyn Lacey rsm, founder in 2008 of Mercy Beyond Borders which operates in South Sudan and Haiti. Sr Marilyn receives $1million dollars for her humanitarian work.

Read more about Sr Marilyn's work here

Watch her Opus Prize finalist video here (03:48)

Visit Mercy Beyond Borders website here

Messages to: Marilyn Lacey rsm

Sister of Mercy Receives National Honor in Guyana (Americas)

President David Granger and the Government of Guyana conferred Sister Julie Matthews with the Golden Arrow of Achievement, a national honor for "outstanding service and sterling contributions toward national development." The award was presented on October 6 at the National Investiture Ceremony. The Golden Arrow of Achievement honors Guyanese citizens who have "performed an outstanding and specific act of service or achievement of an exceptional nature, or is given for long and dedicated service of a consistently high standard in responsible offices, local government services, social and voluntary services, industry or trade unions, or in any other area of public service."

Messages to: Julie Matthews rsm c/- Lauren Albright - Institute Communications Office

Walking the Way in Mercy (North Sydney)

Mercy Catholic College Chatswood concluded Term 3 with our annual Staff Spirituality Day. The theme of the day was Pilgrimage and Walking the Way in Mercy. It was a beautiful opportunity to reflect on our Mercy Charism as we set off on our walk from Mercy Catholic College to Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College at North Sydney where the first Mercy school was established by Elizabeth McQuoin. Along the way we stopped at Gore Hill Cemetery to pay our respects to those pioneering Sisters who had gone before us and reflect on the fact that we were walking in their footsteps...

Download the report here (2pps; PDF)

Messages to: Caitlin Pfafflin - Mercy 5 Coordinator

Image: Marta Baker, Suzanne Kavanagh (Principal of Mercy Catholic College), Sr Anna Koeneman, Sr Loreto Conroy, Sr Jennifer Bailey, Nicole Christensen (Principal of Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College)

May 2018 does not seem too distant. Reflecting on the life and words of our Foundress Catherine McAuley is a good way to keep us focussed on our Mercy values as we move towards that date.

We have made a good start in choosing half of our delegates. We call on the Holy Spirit to guide us with his wisdom and insight as we complete this task and work together in Communities and in the Gatherings during November to begin the work on the future direction for our Institute. Our logo suggests to me, 'Love, Unity and Purposefulness'.

Messages to: Barbara Jeffery - Institute Leadership Team

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An Ecological Reading of Matthew's Gospel: Part 9 (ISMAPNG)

Elaine Wainwright rsm suggests a way of thinking about the 'end time' accounts as our challenge to develop ethical integrity now. Sr Elaine writes: 'As we near the end of the Gospel of Matthew and as we turn our sights to the end of another liturgical year, it is not surprising to find end-time emphases in our biblical texts and our liturgical traditions. The question that faces the ecological reader is whether these texts and traditions can serve an ecological ethic.'

Download the article (2pps; PDF)

Messages to: Elaine Wainwright rsm

Music for the Suscipe (Americas)

Sister Mary Aloyse Gerhardstein, rsm has transposed her Suscipe down to the key of C making it easier for singers to reach the high notes.

For a scanned copy of the new accompaniment, please contact by email Victoria Vondenberger rsm.

Merssages to: Victoria Vondenberger rsm

Mercy Matters

1837: M Anastasia McGawley, Cork - first to take 4th vow

1896: Foundation to Uckfield, Sussex from Midhurst

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

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'Today’s gospel passage has Jesus affirming the most central of Jewish traditions, namely the command of Deuteronomy 6 known as the Shema (so called from the first word in the statement meaning “hear”)...'

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

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

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Stella Maris is a nonprofit, long-term care facility, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy as an affiliate of Mercy Health Services. For more than 60 years, Stella Maris has offered a comprehensive range of health and residential services for the care of the elderly from retirement through the end of life. 

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The internet archive —known as the Wayback Machine— is now a collection of over 300 billion pages dating back twenty years. A feature called 'Timestamps' has recently been added. Timestamps have been implemented to provide users with more context about, and in turn hopefully greater confidence in, what they are seeing.

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'Shall we all meet in Heaven? Oh What joy even to think of it.'

-Catherine McAuley

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Catherine's Legacy presents a wide-variety of original designs and photos for Greeting Cards.  We will also customize and personalize when requested.

Contact: Judy Ward rsm

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

Hayley Westernra sings The Water Is Wide (Lyrics)(Subtitulo). Scottish traditional. Watch/listen here (03:26). Purchase on *iTunes

Worth Reading:

-Degradation of Earth


'[Pope] Francis, “We shall preserve the precious gift of water for the future of humanity”.' Read the Pope's message on 23 October to a major international summit . News article here

Extractive Industries

Position Paper on Extractives in Latin America by Pax Christi. Read it: English here (5pps; PDF) Spanish here (5pps; PDF)

- Displacement of Peoples


On 24 October OCHA (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) launched a new microsite on the Rohingya Refugee Crisis, which brings together all of the latest updates, figures and information on the situation on the ground as well as the ongoing humanitarian response. Visit the site here


Event entitled “The other is a good for me: The role of interreligious and intercultural dialogue in addressing violence, conflict and building lasting peace in the world today”.  Read the speech by Archbishop Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN. Watch the event here (01:54:44). The title of the event is based on a subtitle taken from the book Disarming Beauty by Fr. Julián Carrón, President of Communion and Liberation, which co-sponsored the event. Visit Fr Julián Carrón's website here

Worth Watching:

-Degradation of Earth

On October 10, Bill McKibben, author, environmentalist and founder of 350.org delivered the Chubb Lecture at Yale University on the topic 'Simply Too Hot: The Desperate Science and Politics of Climate'. Watch it here. [Introduction starts at 11.43. Lecture starts at 19:30]

Worth Reflecting on:


A wildlife photographer captures images of a rare budgie murmuration as more than 8,000 birds swarm in the red centre against the backdrop of a waterhole. Article here. Murmuration here (08:14)

The Bottom Line:

'Believing in a Creator from whom all draw their origin, must be consequential in the way people treat each other. It should lead to an authentic fraternity, solidarity and culture of encounter on the basis of which authentic pluralism, harmony, and peace can be built.'

- Archbishop Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, 13 October 2017

Send suggestions and contributions for the 'Worth...' section 2017 to: the Editor

Remembrance Day
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Directors: Sister Denise Fox (ANZ), Sister Sheila Carney (US), Ron Ashworth (US), Susan Clarke (GB), Sister Colette Cronin (GB), Mary Moorhead (IRL), Kevin Hoy (IRL), Sister Margaret Casey (IRL), Sister Scholasticah Nganda (IRL)