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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 752  |  06 December 2017
Featured Story

Continuing our journey through Advent, reflecting during this season on the MIRP themes of Degradation of Earth and Displacement of People.

Let us pray together-

 for those not at home-
the displaced and exiled,
the destitute and disconnected,
victims of war and domestic violence,
casualties of greed and pollution,
the innocent, the stricken.


Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

An interactive version of this prayer is linked to this item.


Image: An aerial view shows the Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, Thursday, July 18, 2013.

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Vision in Action

Mercy International Associaton, Mercy Global Action at the UN  is a member of the NGO Committee on Migration. Much of our work this year has focused on participating in UN migrations meetings and contributing to the Global Compact on Migration which is to be adopted in 2018. 

The NGO Committee on Migration has made major contributions to a Civil Society advocacy document 'Now and How: Ten ACTS for the Global Compact' / Diez Pasos para el Pacto mundial which lays out a civil society vision for human mobility, migration and development.

 In the light of our Mercy commitment commitment to Migration, I encourage each of you to read the 'Now and How' Document as I believe you will identify and agree with all of the actions. I invite you to sign on to this document and to share this vision with other non-government organisations that you know are interested. Further information is linked to this item.

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

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MIA was recently shortlisted for the The Good Governance Awards

This successful initiative, established by the Carmichael Centre, is now in its second year. The Carmichael Centre is the leading provider in Ireland of quality services and supports to organisations with a social purpose to help maximise their impact. Building on the work of the Charities Regulator who recently highlighted the need for an appropriate governance framework for charities to be put in place, the Good Governance Awards seeks to showcase how good governance and driving social change are effectively interlinked.  They also aim to promote awareness of effective governance principles and to recognise and provide practical examples to other organisations as to what an excellent or very good directors’ report & financial statements looks like.

The awards are made on the basis of the organisation’s Annual Report. Organisations are encouraged to use their annual reports to manage and communicate their adherence to good governance more effectively...

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Image. L-r: Mary Moorhead (MIA Board, Good Governance Committee), Mary Reynolds rsm (Executive Director MIA), Kevin Hoy (MIA Board, Good Governance Committee),  Margaret Scroope rsm (MIA Administration and Finance)

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As we bring this year to its conclusion, we invite you to share a Christmas greeting with the global Mercy community.

Send in your greetings - text or text and image - by Tuesday, 19 December. The last issue of Mercy eNews for 2017 (Issue #754) will be published on Wednesday, 20 December.

Messages to: the Editor

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The final four leaflets (Days 13-16) on issues of gender violence are now online and linked to this item. A PDF of the complete series is also available.

'The consequences of each aspect of violence can be lifelong and cumulative for the girls and women affected.  The consequences of changing that are similarly transformative.' Statement by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director UN Women can be read here

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

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MIA Members News

Foundation Day 2017 will be an extra special day for the Institute as it gives gratitude to its first leadership team and honours the five selfless women who accepted the call to lead the Institute for the next six years. 

At 12noon AEDT, a ritual of handover will be celebrated in Sydney, marking the conclusion of the Institute’s first Leadership Team (Berneice Loch rsm, Annette Schneider rsm, Barbara Bolster rsm, Sally Bradley rsm and Theresia Tina rsm) and the passing on of the gift and responsibility of leadership to the new team (Eveline Crotty rsm, Caroline Ryan rsm, Marie Duffy rsm, Gaye Lennon rsm and Elizabeth Moloney rsm)...

The ritual will be livestreamed and archived on the Institute website, on the page linked to this item, for later viewing.

Messages to Incoming and Outgoing Leadership Teams c/- John Rochester - Communications Manager

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From November 6-10, the Sisters of Mercy sponsored the second annual Border Immersion Experience, an event at the U.S. – Mexico border where participants witnessed some of the conditions experienced by immigrants on the southern border, reflected upon the Christian mandate to welcome the stranger and developed ways to raise greater awareness of immigration issues.

Organized by Sister Kathleen Erickson, Jean Stokan of the Institute Justice Team and Columban Father Bob Mosher, the Border Immersion Experience brought participants to El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico...

Messages to: Institute Justice Team

Image: A view of the border wall from Ciudad Juarex, MX. The grafitti reads:
"Ni delincuentes ni ilegales, somos trabajadores"
"Neither criminals nor illegals, we are workers"

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Scripture with Kathleen Rushton rsm (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Kathleen Rushton rsm explains the difference between John the Baptist in John’s Gospel from the other Gospels and the message he calls us to understand.Sr Kathleen writes: 'No character is more associated with Advent, the coming of Jesus or the advent-ure a disciple undertakes by following the way of life set out by Jesus than John, known as the Baptist or the Baptiser.'

Download the article (2pps, PDF)

Download the 2017 series of Sr Kathleen's articles in Tui Motu (22pps, PDF)

Subscribe to Tui Motu magazine

Messages to: Kathleen Rushton rsm

Image: John the Baptist Sees Jesus from Afar by James Tissot

This year's theme is welcoming the stranger/displacement of peoples—a theme important not only to our Institute, but also to the global Mercy community as revealed through the recent Mercy International Reflection Process. Each Thursday on the Sisters of Mercy blog we will share reflections and art from members of the Mercy community. A large-print PDF will be included at the top of the blog reflection for easy printing. The first reflection is available here—please save this link as it will be updated each Thursday with the new reflection and PDF.

Messages to: Lauren Albright - Institute Communications Office

Image: Kelly Latimore. Used by the Institute with permission

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'Queensland was gripped by fear in the 1980s following the outbreak of HIV, so much so that then-premier Joh Bjelke-Peterson refused to curb the spread of the virus among Indigenous Australians because he believed it was "a punishment from God".However, one Brisbane nun defied the wishes of Sir Joh and helped AIDS sufferers in any way she could, including setting up secret funding to the Queensland AIDS Council by moving the money through the Mater Hospital.

Sister Angela Mary Doyle spoke about "impact through empathy" at TedxBrisbane on Saturday morning, describing the challenges she faced in the fight for recognition and support for HIV sufferers.“It seems to me that if we are to stand up and be counted, we need a great deal of love in our hearts. There’s a whole world out there desperately in need to impact through empathy," she said...'

Source: Brisbane Times

Messages to: Angela Mary Doyle rsm

Editor: We will advise in MercyeNews when the video of Sr Angela Mary's presentation, given on 2 December at TEdx Brisbane, is online on their website, presently expected to be February 2018. Meanwhile, it can be watched on the Facebook page at -2:23.01. Image of Sr Angela Mary from livestream on Facebook

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Catherine’s Healings And Favours (MIA)

When I sat down to write this I had a phone call from Sr. Sheila Carney who is the Vice Postulator for the Cause of Catherine McAuley in the United States. Sheila called to give an update on the diocesan inquiry into an alleged miracle that happened through the intercession of Catherine. The diocesan inquiry is taking place in the mid-west of the USA. The witnesses are still giving statements and the materials from the tribunal are still being collected and processed so it will be the New Year before they will be finally collated and sent to Rome. It will be February or March before we know if the case will proceed to the next stage.

This is not the first time that we have had word of favours received through Catherine’s intercession...

Every day men and women in hospitals, clinics and healing centres all over the world face major obstacles and in spite of severe illness or horrific injuries they never give up. The underlying power that fires a passion so strong that major obstacles are overcome is love and a zest for life.

The ability to love and the zest for life belongs not only to the few, the courageous, the heroes. Love and the zest for life are deeply rooted in the heart of every human being and all of us in our own way try to keep in touch with these deep down desires.“There lives the dearest, freshness, deep down things” (G.M. Hopkins)...

Download the complete article here (5pps, PDF)

Messages to: Brenda Dolphin rsm - Vice Postulator

Mercy Matters

'The first verse of Mark’s gospel evokes the opening words of Genesis and thus situates the saving presence of Jesus in relation to the creation of earth and of all earth beings. The whole of Mark’s story of Jesus is presented as a beginning..'

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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This list of 77 photography techniques to try covers some of the most popular types of photography, so whether you want to improve your portrait photography or learn how to take better landscapes, discover the secret to sharp close-up photos or start out in street photography, you'll find some essential tips and tricks here.

Source: Techradar

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Catholic Health Association (CHA) USA, of which Mercy Health systems are members, has produced a video for each of the four weeks of Advent

Week Two (03:05) is linked to this item.

Our list of free, online, new for 2017 Advent Resources can be accessed here

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1901: Foundation to Healesville, Victoria from Lilydale - M Columba Neville

1984: Death of M Emily George, former Provincial Administrator, Detroit

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

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 '"We all are images of God, including the Rohingya." "They too are images of God, the creator," he said. "Today, the presence of God is also called Rohingya."...
"In the name of all those who have persecuted you, who have harmed you, in the face of the world's indifference, I ask for your forgiveness," the pope says.'

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Catherine's House serves women and children facing homelessness due to a variety of circumstances such as: domestic violence, un/underemployment, the shortage of affordable housing, unexpected tragedies, and the lack of a support network.

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Further Resources

Worth Playing:

'O Come, Emmanuel' - Lindsey Stirling & Kuha'o Case. Watch/listen here (04:36)

- Degradation of Earth

Environmental Defenders

‘We lost a great leader’: Berta Cáceres still inspires as murder case takes fresh twist'. Read the article here

'Honduras, the Deadliest Country in the World for Environmental Defenders, Is About to Get Deadlier'. Read the article here


On 5 December we celebrated World Soil Day and its importance as a critical component of the natural system. In 'Climate Connection: Unraveling the Surprising Ecology of Dust' we read how with droughts intensifying and development expanding, the amount of dust blowing around the earth is increasing, affecting everything from mountain snowmelt to the spread of disease. Read article here


'In Peru’s Deserts, Melting Glaciers Are a Godsend (Until They’re Gone)'.  Read the article here

-Displacement of People

Climate Change

The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), a leading advocate for climate justice and legal protection for climate refugees to be incorporated into national and international debate and action, has released a new Report and short Film (04:12)  'Beyond Borders: Climate Change, Migration and Conflict' which highlight the devastating impacts of climate change on human rights and security. Watch, read, share these from here

Human Trafficking

The December 2017 (Vol. 15 No. 12) issue of Stop Trafficking! is now online.This issue highlights the vulnerability of children, including in travel and tourism industries. Read the issue here (8pps, PDF)

Videos of the keynotes and panels from the Thomson Reuters Foundation sixth Trust Conference discussing modern-day slavery and human rights are now online. Watch these here

'Almost half of identified child trafficking cases has begun with a family member’s involvement, new data from the United Nations migration agency has revealed'. Read the article here

The Bottom Line:

'And that is the wonder of all wonders, that God loves the lowly…. God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in. He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.'

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

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

P.S We're publishing a day early this week. We'll be back to our regular schedule next week.

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								poverty demonstrated in the massive displacement of persons worldwide.
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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)