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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 749  |  15 November 2017
Featured Story

Editor: Today marks the mid-point of our 9 Days of prayer and reflection in preparation for World Day of the Poor, as declared by Pope Francis. As we continue our prayerful preparation, let us keep in mind the needs of the victims, relatives and communities affected by the Iran-Iraq earthquake whose cries for help we now hear, and the work of those at the global climate talks in Bonn, the success of whose efforts will mean the cries of Earth are being heard in centres of power.

A Prayer for Those Who Are Poor based on Catherine's prayer, as shown in the graphic above

'My God, look with compassion and mercy on those who are poor, and grant us grace to do all that we can for their relief and comfort.

We ask your blessing this day — in the name and for the sake of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.'

Una Oración por quienes son pobres

'Mi Dios mira con compasión y misericordia a quienes son pobres, y concédenos la gracia de realizar todo lo que podamos para su alivio y consuelo.

Pedimos tu bendición este día – en el nombre y por el honor de nuestro Señor y Salvador Jesucristo. Amén.'

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel


Image: © 2017 Mercy International Association. This image is available to any Mercy group that would like to use it to promote the 9 Days of Prayer. Please contact the Editor

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Vision in Action

Over the past month, we have chosen a few occasions on which to mark the coming into existence of Mercy International Association. These include the 'screening' of the signing into existence of MIA in MercyeNews on 11 October, the celebration with pilgrims on 12 October, the anniversary date of MIA's extablishment, the visit of Sr. Doris Gottemoeller, first President of MIA, celebratory prayer at the MIA Board of Directors meeting on 3 November and the special remembrance at the Eucharist of all those, now deceased, who had made a particular contribution to the founding and success of MIA.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Image: Mary Reynolds rsm placing the scroll of names on Catherine's grave, part of the Remembrance Day celebrations. The invitation to include in the liturgy at Baggot Street the names of loved ones who had died during the preceding 12 months was widely appreciated and over 500 community members, friends and relatives were remembered in this way. The scroll of names will continue to be a feature of the annual Remembrance Day celebrations at Baggot Street

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It is easy for us to think of Catherine as the heiress who inherited so much through the generosity of Mr. Callaghan and who spent her vast inheritance with abandon for the sake of those who had little or nothing. Maintaining and sustaining what she had initiated was very challenging for her at times.

The House of Mercy opened on September 24th 1827. A few short months later Catherine found it necessary to send out an appeal for funds to those in the locality who could give financial assistance to her project. This petition, while written by Catherine herself, was signed by the Archbishop and was distributed door-to-door in the wealthy neighbourhood of Baggot Street.

The warmth of Catherine’s heart and personality comes through even in this business-like appeal. She speaks of the girls to whom she was offering safe shelter as being “invited to this house at night as their home.”...

Messages to: Áine Barrins rsm - Resource Person – Heritage and Spirituality

Image: The Irish five pund note, in circulation from 1994 -2002 depicts Catherine McAuley standing in front of the Mater Misericordiae Hospital.The reverse side of the £5 pound bill features three school children in a classroom.

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Resources Recommended by MIA-MGA at the UN

MIA-MGA at the UN recommends the following recent resources on the themes Displacement of People and Degradation of Earth

Global Estimates of Child Labor: Results and Trends 2012-2016 (64pps; PDF)

Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: Forced Labor and Forced Marriage (68pps; PDF)

NGO Committee on Migration's "Climate Induced Displacement" Pamphlet (2pps; PDF)

"Migrant Smuggling Data and Research: A global review of emerging evidence basis" (340pps; PDF)

Educational fact sheets to provide insight on safe and regular migration encourage public action against trafficking in persons:

Who are human traffickers? (1p; PDF)
Debt Bondage in Human trafficking (1p; PDF)
Human Trafficking for Forced Begging (1p; PDF)

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

From 18-21 July this year over 100 young people gathered at Mercy International Centre in Dublin for the Young Mercy Leaders Pilgrimage for secondary school students.  The program on the last day of the pilgrimage gave the pilgrims time to develop an action plan to be put into place on their return to school.

Now, three months later, pilgrims have been reporting back  to Mercy International Association on their action plans. Some of the highlights are linked to this item.

Mercy International Association looks forward to hearing about further actions that have arisen from the experience of the secondary schools' pilgrimage and to welcoming more Mercy secondary school students to the 5th biennial pilgrimage from Tuesday, 16 July to Friday, 19 July 2019. Please note change of date.

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

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MIA Members News

'Do we honour Catherine best by recalling the past, or by setting our gaze on what lies ahead? Is mission best served by our remembering her story, or by looking to the future? In a thought- provoking book, The New Zealand Project, young Kiwi academic Max Harris lists three ‘cornerstone progressive values’ for those intent on changing the world for the better. The first two of his three Cs are familiar to anyone involved in Mercy’s ministries – care, which he understands as ‘a concern for the wellbeing of others’ and exemplified by the Maori terms of manaakitanga and aroha; and community, which recognises ‘the connectedness and interdependence of people’, and is embodied in the Maori notion of whanaungatanga, kinship or building of family relationships. 

The third C may strike a new note in our reflection on core values. Harris names creativity as third in his list, a value ‘rarely referred to’ in discussions of progressive politics, he says. It’s the value that is involved “when discussing the need for innovative new solutions to social challenges.”...'

Messages to: Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregation Leader

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 Manus Island Refugees Spend Yet Another Day In Crisis

There are 600 refugees on Manus Island who disturbingly will today spend yet another day without access to food, water, electricity or medical care.

The Sisters of Mercy of Australia, Papua New Guinea and Nga Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa Sisters of Mercy New Zealand add our voice to the many concerned people in our countries who cannot remain silent while this humanitarian crisis continues...

Messages to:

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
Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregation Leader Aotearoa New Zealand

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'...Grace Crema, a senior at Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Syosset [New York], started Clean Water Wishes in an effort to help purchase bio-sand water filters for homes and villages in the Southeast Asian nation. Funds will be sent to the Sao Sary Foundation in Cambodia to directly fund the filters’ construction and installation.

Crema, 17, got the idea after spending 2 1⁄2 weeks on service trips in Cambodia and Vietnam during the summer with 16 other teens through California-based Adventures Cross-Country...'

Source: Newsday

Messages to: Grace Crema

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About 170 educators and administrators from 45 Sisters of Mercy (Americas) schools around the world met recently in Omaha, Nebraska, USA, to address the scourge of racism and how to respond. Participants came from across the United States, Argentina, Honduras, Guam, The Philippines, Belize and Jamaica.

The keynote speaker was Deirdre Mullan – Northern province of the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy. In her address, Sister Deirdre said that the conference subject poses a great  significant, ever old, ever new question:

“Who is my Neighbor?”

An outline of Sr Deirdre's presentation is linked to this item

Messages to: Deirdre Mullan rsm

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Editor: The current issue (Issue #5477, 12 November) of The Catholic Leader, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, features Mercy Partners on pages 15-20 under the headline 'Nourishing a communion of charisms'. Mercy Partners is the not-for-profit organisation created by the Queensland Sisters of Mercy: the former congregations of Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton and Brisbane Congregation.

Sandra Lupi rsm, a founding member of Mercy Partners, traces the history of Mercy Partners establishment and purpose and her confidence in its future in her article on page 18: 'Every ending is a new beginning'. The current issue is linked to this item.

Messages to: Sandra Lupi rsm

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On 3 June 2017 the Sisters of Mercy Newfoundland celebrated 175 years since Sisters Francis Creedon, Ursula Frayne and  Rose Lynch formed the first community of the Sisters of Mercy in the New World at St John's in 1842.

This year, the congregation is celebrating a number of anniversaries of Mercy convents that were founded throughout Newfoundland.  Listen to the story as written and narrated by Charlotte Fitzpatrick rsm on the video linked to this item (57:48).

Messages to: Charlotte Fitzpatrick rsm

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Mercy Matters

1865: Foundation to North Sydney from Liverpool - M Ignatius McQuoin

1872: Foundation to Brentwood, Essex from Chelsea, London - Sr Ignatius O'Keeffe.

Editor: North Sydney Congregation is the featured Mercy website

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

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'I wish us ALL the moral courage to speak up
I wish us ALL the passion to show up
I wish us ALL the empathy to keep up
and I wish us ALL the humility to look up...
for, "as leaders of justice, like the stars, you will shine forevermore" (Daniel.12:3)

-Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN, the executive director of Pax Christi, USA in her keynote at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, 4-5 November 2017

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The Parish of St Patrick's, Sydney, became part of the Mercy global story when Elizabeth McQuoin (Mother Mary Ignatius) arrived in Sydney in 1865 and accepted Archbishop Polding's invitation to make a Mercy foundation there.

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'As the end of the church year approaches, the liturgy presents us with texts that invite us all to consider the big questions of life and death, including the day of reckoning that will inevitably confront each one of us...'

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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Wireless headphones that go by the name of Pixel Buds. Equipped with an inbuilt language translator

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'The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, ... so far from separating them from the love of God, unite them more closely to Him and render them more valuable in His holy service.'

- Catherine McAuley, 'The Spirit of the Institute'

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

'How to Sleep in a Stormy Boat' by Amy Speace. Video reflection by Susan Francois, CSJP. Watch/listen here (03:55)

Worth Knowing:

World Day of the Poor

Looking for additional materials? Resources produced by the Vatican can be accessed here.  Resources produced by CAFOD can be found here. Resources produced by  Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) UK can be found here.

Catherine McAuley

Women, Religion and Leadership: Female Saints as Unexpected Leaders. This forthcoming publication from Routledge includes a chapter on Catherine: 'Catherine McAuley (1778 – 1841): Exhibiting Mercy Through Service and Authentic Leadership'. Details are here

Worth Checking out:

-Degradation of Earth

Climate Change

This new Climate Watch data visualization platform helps users discover how climate objectives can help achieve sustainable development goals, understand linkages between climate risks, poverty, vulnerabilities and readiness to adapt to climate impacts amongst other insights. Visit the site here

Worth Reading:

-Degradation of Earth

Climate Change

'Global cooperation needed in response to climate change, pope says'. Read the article here

Investment in renewables has the potential to deliver the triple benefit of energy access, lowering global carbon emissions and making a profit, according to a new report 'A Virtuous Circle:scaling up investment in low carbon energy' by Christian Aid. Download the report here (23pps;PDF)

'Rights of Nature and Mother Earth: Rights Based Law for Systemic Change', co-edited by the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network, Movement Rights and the Indigenous Environmental Network. Download the report here (40pps; PDF)

-Displacement of People


'A Symbol of Inhumanity: How Did Australia's Asylum Seeker Policy Come to This?' Article by Robert Manne. Read it here


New research illustrates how corporations are monopolizing the global food system—jeopardizing consumer choice, labor conditions and efforts to eradicate world hunger. 'Agrifood Atlas: Facts and Figures about the corporations that control what we eat 2017' can be read here (56pps; PDF)

The Bottom Line:

'Blessed, therefore, are the open hands that embrace the poor and help them: they are hands that bring hope.  Blessed are the hands that reach beyond every barrier of culture, religion and nationality, and pour the balm of consolation over the wounds of humanity.  Blessed are the open hands that ask nothing in exchange, with no “ifs” or “buts” or “maybes”: they are hands that call down God’s blessing upon their brothers and sisters.'

- Pope Francis, Message for World Day of the Poor (para #5) 2017

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

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								poverty demonstrated in the massive displacement of persons worldwide.
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Mercy International Association Limited
Registered in Ireland.
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)