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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 747  |  01 November 2017
Featured Story

Editor: Today, 1 November, marks 56 years (1961) since the Sisters of Mercy arrived in Monsefu, Peru to provide education for local children. We invited the Sisters to share with us from those beginnings and their present story...

In 1959, Pope John XX111 asked the Superior Generals of Religious Congregations and Bishops of the world to send missionaries to Latin America.  The church of Newfoundland, Canada was one of the first to respond to the call.

Bishop Patrick Skinner missioned Father Charles O’Neill Conroy from the Archdiocese of St John´s, Newfoundland, to the parish of Monsefu in the Diocese of Chiclayo, some 500 kilometers on the North coast of Peru.   He arrived in Monsefu for the first time on February 19, 1961.  The pueblo awaited with shouts of “Long live the Canadian Fathers” and “Long live Catholic Monsefu”.

It did not take Father Conroy long to see that there was a great need for a school which would provide education for the children of the poor families.  He immediately contacted The Sisters of Mercy in Newfoundland and in May 1961, Sisters Imelda Smith, Superior General, and Sister Dorothy Carroll arrived in Monsefu for a firsthand experience.  After much discernment it was decided that the Sisters would dedicate their full time to the desperate need for education in Monsefu.  On November 1, 1961 Sisters Mary Dorothy Carroll, Immacula O´Leary, Maura Mason, Marion Collins, Concepta Best and Gabriella Walsh arrived in Lima.  They made the first visit to Monsefu on November 7 and were royally welcomed with music, bands, and fireworks.  An article written on occasion of the Golden Jubilee in 2011 began with “On that day Light arrived to Monsefu¨...

Messages to: Verna Aucoin rsm, Mildred Brennan rsm


Image: Peru Mercy Community at Chapter 2017. Back row. L-r: Srs Verna Aucoin, Mildred Brennan, Alice Mackey, Rosa Silva Cumpa, Lily Butters Ferrero, Alita Sanchez Sanchez.  Front Row: L-r: Srs  Marion Collins, Rosali Vargas Mendoza. Photo: Diane Smyth rsm

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Vision in Action
MIA Prayer Intention: All Souls (2 November)

'God of the living and the dead, through the power of Christ's resurrection you have conquered sin and death forever. Catherine McAuley told us that each day is a step we take towards eternity. May we continue thus from day to day until we take the last step, which will bring us into your presence. Then we shall be reunited with those we love and every tear shall be wiped away.

We ask this through Jesus, our Redeemer and brother.


Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Source: Office for the Dead, Morning and Evening Prayer of the Sisters of Mercy, p863

This year, GCCM (Global Catholic Climate Movement) have invited us to remember the countless number of martyrs who have been killed in their defense of the natural world. Members of the GCCM ecospirituality committee including Rose Macharia rsm have produced a resource for this. Access it here

The NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons (CSTIP) Produces Educational Advocacy Sheets

The NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons (CSTIP) of which MIA is a member organisation has three working groups advocating for justice in human trafficking. Members of the three working groups, including Forced labor, Corporate and Social Responsibility and Sexual Exploitation, produced information sheets containing case studies, survivor stories, and recommendations. These advocacy points are shared with UN officials, Member States, Individuals, Communities, and businesses.

Access the information sheets:

Forced labor (2pps; PDF)
Corporate and Social Responsibility (2 pps; PDF)
Sexual Exploitation (2pps; PDF)

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

Special Prayer Intention: COP 23 (6-17 November)

The 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will take place at the headquarters of the UNFCCC Secretariat in Bonn, Germany from 6-17 November, presided over by the Government of Fiji.

It is two years this week since having commenced our preparation period for MIRP, we were invited to pray for a successful outcome of COP 21, to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate. Each day of COP 21 a different Mercy congregation or institute took responsibility for the prayer using the prayer for our earthOración por nuestra Tierra

Cop 23 is focussed on advancing the aims and ambitions of the Paris Agreement and achieving progress on its implementation guidelines. During the conference days (6-17 November) we invite you to include in your personal prayer the prayer for our earth/ Oración por nuestra Tierra.

Information on how to participate in COP 23 online (Virtual Participation) can be found here

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Overview of Field Visits to Western and South Central Provinces, 5-14 October

Denise Boyle fmdm, MIA-Global Action office in Dublin, was joined by Angela Reed rsm from our office in NY for the two field visits, which had a threefold aim: To meet the Sisters; to hear about and see firsthand their work for justice; and to share the Global Action programme. This includes highlighting the justice issues being addressed at the UN, on behalf of the Mercy Family. 

'As I think of our ‘field visits’ to the Western and South Central Provinces of Ireland, my mind is a kaleidoscope of friendly faces, different place names, inspiring work for justice,  warm welcomes, humbling learning opportunities and many cups of tea!' writes Sr Denise.

The attached report is a very brief overview of what proved to be a valuable opportunity for mutual learning, as a means of offering support and working together to address systemic injustice.

Download the report here (3 pps; PDF)

Messages to: Denise Boyle fmdm - Team Leader MIA-MGA

Image: iStock. Used under licence

Editor: A copy of the Remembrance Day Mass leaflet is provided here for those communities and ministries which might like to use some or all of the ritual prayers, songs and readings in your celebrations and in this way, be joined with the celebrations at Baggot Street.

Download the ritual here: A4 Paper size (8 pps; PDF),  US Letter size (8 pps; PDF)

A reminder that 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.

Further details about the Baggot Street celebrations are linked to this item.

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

Image: © 2016 Mercy International Association. The image is available to Mercy communities who might like to use it. Contact the Editor

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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: Vincent Kilburg, Jose Sanchez, Joe, Becky, Sean 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

Last week's Mercy eNews feature highlighted a special gathering in Sydney of the leadership and teams from the Asia Pacific Region which included conversation about Mercy Global Presence.

We encourage, welcome and look forward to receiving many other responses to the 8 Invitations on pages 2-3 in the MIRP 6 Month Update. Download the 6 Month Update here

It is the hope that these careful steps will be taken in the spirit of contemplative engagement and will help bring about a vision for Mercy Global Presence which energizes Sisters and partners in Mercy.

Messages to:
Elizabeth Davis rsm
Mary Reynolds rsm
Anne Walsh

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Preparing for the first World Day of the Poor (19 November)

On19 November we shall be commemorating the first World Day of the Poor, announced by Pope Francis at the end of his 2015-16 Jubilee Year of Mercy in the document Misericordia et Misera.(MM 21) This is our next 'pivotal moment for global reflection and action' (MIRP Review p 3).

MIA resources for 19 November are:

  • An invitation to join in 9 Days of Prayer (from Remembrance Day to World Day of the Poor)
  • A reflection by Mary C Sullivan rsm (Americas)

Pope Francis’ message for the first World Day of the Poor has been given the title 'Let us love, not with words but with deeds'. Sr Mary's reflection presents us with the challenge: 'What are my tangible, daily encounters with the poor?'

These resources in English and Spanish will be available in Mercy eNews next week, 8 November, Issue #748 and on our Mercyworld.org website

Messages to: Anne Walsh - Communications Director MIRP

Image: © 2016 Mercy International Association

MIA Members News
Mercy Responds to Environmental Threats (Americas)

The Institute Justice Team joined other faith partners in responding to the Trump Administration's October 10 repeal of the Clean Power Plan.

Sister Pat McDermott, Institute President, said the repeal of this regulation that sought to reduce U.S. carbon emissions 32 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels "ignores the cry of the Earth, our common home, and the cry of the most impacted peoples." 

Read the full response from Sr Pat and those from other faith leaders on this site.

Messages to: Institute Justice Team

In 1841, the last year of her life, Catherine McAuley encouraged her Sisters in their commitment to their vow of Poverty – a commitment with parallels to today’s “Voluntary Simplicity” movement – when she said: “Let us never desire more than enough”. At this time of excessive consumption and waste, when the recycling mantra continues to grow, Catherine’s message of simple living could not be more relevant.

There has been a history of recycling, not out of concern for the environment, but because resources and money were scarce. World events like war and depressions meant people had to live cheaply and simply...

Messages to: Leah Moulden, Rahamim Ecology Centre

Image: L-r Srs Carolyn Nolan, Patricia Powell and Ann-Maree O’Beirne rsm show us how it’s done!

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Mercy Matters

On the Feast of All Saints (2013), Pope Francis stressed that the saints are not super humans, born perfect, but rather are ordinary people who followed God with all their heart. The Pope emphasised that everyone can be a saint. Hiis top ten observations of the Saints form the content of this reflection.

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1869: St Peter's Hospital, Albany opened - M Paula Harris

1883: Mater Hospital, Belfast opened - M Magdalen Malone

1961: Anniversary of arrival of Mercies in Monsefu, Perú

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 has particular relevance for all in positions of authority, whether as teachers or leaders of organisations or communities.Appointment or election to such positions is not for the sake of status or self-aggrandizement...'

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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'Some of the best features of Google’s mapping app are among the hardest to find—until you know where to look.'

Source: Fast Company

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'The first and perhaps the greatest contribution that Christians can make to today’s Europe is to remind her that she is not a mass of statistics or institutions, but is made up of people.  Sadly, we see how frequently issues get reduced to discussions about numbers...The reason for this is clear: people have faces; they force us to assume a responsibility that is real, personal and effective...'

from Address of  Pope Francis to the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community, 28 October 2017

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Mercy Law Resource Centre (MLRC) provides free legal advice and representation, in an accessible way, to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in the areas of Social Housing and Social Welfare Law.

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

'The Clouds Veil' by Liam Lawton. Watch/listen here (03:18). Purchase on *iTunes; *Google Play

Worth Hearing:

The Sistine Chapel Choir's new CD, 'Veni Domine: Advent and Christmas at the Sistine Chapel', will be available globally from 3 November. All funds collected from sales of the CD will go directly to the papal charities. Watch the video about the album here (04:31). View Advent & Christmas at the Sistine Chapel - About the Choir (Trailer) here (06:37).  Discover 'Veni Domini' here (music trailer)

Worth Reading:

Pope Francis

Hundreds of European leaders met in the Vatican October 27-29, 2017 to reflect on the fundamental challenges facing the European project. The full text of Pope Francis' address to the participants can be read here. His previous addresses on Europe can be found here

-Displacement of people


The Irish Refugee and Migrant Coalition (IRMC), of which MIA and AMRI (the Association of Missionaries and Religious of Ireland) are members, has released a new report entitled 'Pathways to Protection and Inclusion, Ireland’s role in global refugee protection and migration movements', which sets out some of the major changes from an International, European and Irish perspective and outlines a range of recommendations for the Irish government. Download the report here (20pps; PDF)

- Degradation of Earth


New World Bank report 'Uncharted Waters: The New Economics of Water Scarcity and Variability' reveals devastating impact of droughts on farms, firms and families. In English:  highlights,  the Summary (2pps; PDF) the full report (101pps; PDF).  In Spanish: the Overview (9pps). Video clip on impact of drought here (0:59)

Worth Knoeing;

- Displacement of People

Human Trafficking

UISG has released its resources for The International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking 2018 which will be celebrated on 8 February. The theme is 'Migration without trafficking'. Access the resources in multiple languages here

The Bottom Line:

'Elizabeth Johnson, leaning on Karl Rahner, adds this thought: “Hoping against hope, we affirm that they [our loved ones who have died] have fallen not into nothingness but into the embrace of the living God. And that is where we can find them again; when we open our hearts to the silent calmness of God’s own life in which we dwell, not by selfishly calling them back to where we are, but by descending into the depth of our own hearts where God also abides.”'

- Quoted by Ron Rolheiser OMI in 'The Communion of Saints', 2 November 2015

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

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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.
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Certificate Number 194263. Public Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered Office: Mercy International Association, 11 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2. Registered Charity no CHY 10078
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)