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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 761  |  07 March 2018
Featured Story
International Women's Day and the Global Mercy Family/Día Internacional de la Mujer y la Familia Global de la Misericordia

'International Women’s Day is celebrated this year on March 8. So what has that to do with the global Mercy family?  Plenty!

Promoters of this International Day focused on the progress of women say that it was first celebrated in 1911, but in a sense they are off by about 90 years.  In the 1820s, as soon as Catherine McAuley began to live in solidarity with the abandoned and demented Mrs. Harper, with exploited female domestic servants, and with poor girls who had no access to even primary education, a women’s “day” began, and has been taken to heart across the Mercy world ever since....'

Download this article:
English: A4 Paper size (3pps, PDF), US Letter size (3pps, PDF)
Spanish: A4 Paper size (3pps, PDF), US Letter Size (3pps, PDF)

Messages to: Mary C Sullivan rsm

Image: iStock. Used under licence

Vision in Action
2018 Young Mercy Leaders Pilgrimage: Early Bird Registrations Closing Soon

A final reminder that earlybird registrations and payments of €250 per participant for the 2018 YML Pilgrimage (31 July - 3 August) for school leavers, college and university students ages 18-25 in 2018, are due by St Patrick's Day, 17 March 2018.

After 17 March the registration cost will be €280 per participant.

Documents for registering attendance, an information letter and a poster for advertising the pilgrimage are all still online and can be accessed here

We welcome your participation and look forward to being with you at MIC!

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

Editor: The whole of Ireland was put under a rare red alert weather warning last week, the highest level, meaning 'take action to protect self and property', as the most severe snow storm in 36 years spread across the island.

On Thursday night polar air brought by the so-called 'Beast From The East' weather system - air coming from Siberia in Russia - mixed with 100km gales from Storm Emma and caused blizzard conditions.

Images of the snowfalls on Catherine's statue, her grave, the sacred garden and other parts of Mercy International Centre are linked to this article.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - CEO MIA

Images: Barbara Broad rsm (ISMAPNG)

Mercy in Joint Statement to Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62)

Editor: The Priority theme of the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62) – the annual gathering of States to address critical issues related to gender equality and women’s rights — is 'Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls'

CSW61 will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 12 - 23 March 2018.

Casa Generalizia della Societa’del Sacro Cuore, Loretto Community (Sisters of Loretto), Salesian Missions, Inc. and Sisters of Mercy have submitted a joint statement on the priority theme. Access it here: English (4pps, PDF), Spanish (4pps, PDF)

Sisters of Mercy will be co-sponsoring three side events: on rural women and trafficking (PDF), rural women and water (PDF) and rural women and displacement due to climate change (PDF). Lynda Dearlove rsm (GB Institute) and Angela Reed rsm will be panellists at the rural women and trafficking event.

Messages to: Angela Reed rsm - MIA-MGA Coordinator at the UN

MIA Prayer intention: Impact of Earthquake in Papua New Guinea

MIA joins with the Sisters of Mercy in Australia and Papua New Guinea in prayers with the people and region of Hela Province, in the remote southern highlands of Papua New Guinea, who experienced a 7.5-magnitude earthquake on Monday, 25 February 2018 causing widespread devastation, resulting in loss, grief and suffering.

The area has been rocked by strong aftershocks and landslides are making the delivery of aid difficult.

The Red Cross reports that the death toll from the earthquake has risen to 67 with 500 reported wounded. Please keep in your thoughts and prayers the families and communities of the deceased and all impacted by what has been described as the biggest earthquake in PNG in 100 years.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - CEO MIA

Image: USGS map. Public domain

MIA Members News

Not since February 1990 when the late Mr Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years, have we seen such euphoria in South Africa. After years of chaos, corruption and ‘state capture’, we have a new President– Mr Cyril Ramaphosa. He has promised to root out corruption, improve the morale of the people, encourage and work towards getting foreign investment and lead to an increase in employment, especially among the youth.
He has a huge task on his hands and we can’t expect it to happen immediately.

In an attempt to help the unemployed youth and young adults, we at Mercy Centre in Winterveldt (40km northwest
of Pretoria) are engaged in a fairly extensive skills training programme...

Messages to: Majella Quinn rsm

Mercy Investment Services commends Dick’s Sporting Goods for putting the health and safety of families, children and communities first by announcing it will no longer sell assault-style rifles, high-capacity magazines, and will end gun sales to anyone under the age of 21.  
In December, Mercy Investment Services filed a resolution requesting the board of Dick’s Sporting Goods report on actions taken on elements of the Sandy Hook Principles - a call to action for corporations to heed the basic core values of American citizens in promoting the health, safety and well-being of our communities...

Messages to: Amanda LePoire - Director of Communications Mercy Investment Services

The Seven Last Words of Jesus — Week 4: 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' (Americas)

'Many in our world, country, neighborhood, church, community and perhaps in our own home or within our very self at times cry out,“My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” Needs and challenges are all around us...'

Download the reflection (2pps, PDF)

Follow the series online

Messages to:
Maureen Crissy rsm - Reflection week 4
Genemarie Beegan rsm - Artist week 4

Editor: In MercyeNews No. 752 (06 December 2017) we reported on Sr Angela Mary Doyle's presentation at TEdx Brisbane, given on 2 December.

In her presentation, Sister Angela Mary spoke about "impact through empathy" 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...'

The video of that presentation is now available online and linked to this item.

Messages to: Angela Mary Doyle rsm

An art retreat was held at Callan House in Mt Hagen in December, 2017, which was facilitated by Margaret Broadbent RSM. Sr Broadbent was invited by the Initial Formation Team to offer her artistic talent to direct this creative retreat for the six newer members and five other finally professed Sisters who chose to attend.

The retreat included quiet time for prayer and reflection, as well as time for sharing and reflection about participants’ paintings. This helped the Sisters deepen their own spirituality, as well as contributing to building a stronger sense of understanding and community in the group...

Messages to: Srs Joan Doyle, Maryanne Kolkia and Margaret Broadbent

On February 27, eight Sisters of Mercy and a member of the Institute Justice Team, along with 30 other Catholic leaders, engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience as a part of a Catholic Day of Action with Dreamers held in Washington, DC. Hundreds of other Catholic leaders joined in the day of action to demand a new policy for the approximate 800,000 DREAMers in the U.S. who “are being used as pawns on a chess board” said Sister JoAnn Persch during the press conference. “Every person is a child of God and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect," she continued...

Messages to: Institute Justice Team

Mercy Matters

1961: The foundation stone for the new St Mary's Convent in Wellington was blessed. Sisters took up residence in 1963

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

Fourth Sunday in Lent Year B (John 3:14-21)

'The gospel for today... features a number of typically Johannine themes: life, eternal life, believing, seeing, God’s love, salvation, judgment, light, darkness, the world, truth...'

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

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

Tips and techniques that will help you to hone your smartphone photography, from compositional rules and lighting to focus and exposure.

Video Reflections for International Women's Day

Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives (01:54)

'From grassroots campaigns to global movements, women’s activism over the decades has paved the way for women’s rights and a more equal future.'

Created by UN Women. 2 March 2018

UNCDF and Women's Economic Empowerment (05:14)

'When women have the power to make their own money and have control over how they use it, this does not only empower them economically, but this is probably one of the best ways to also help reduce poverty in general.'

Created by UNCDF, the UN Capital Development Fund. 18 February 2018


Words of Mercy

'... No work of charity can be more productive of good to society, or more conducive to the happiness of the poor than the careful instruction of women, since whatever be the station they are destined to fill, their example and advice will always possess influence...'

Rule and Constitutions of the Religious Sisters of Mercy, Chapter 2 'Of the Schools'

Catherine House provides supported accommodation services to women experiencing homelessness in South Australia, who are 18 years and older, and unaccompanied by children.

Catherine House Inc was founded in 1988, as a partnership between the Sisters of Mercy, SA Housing Trust and the Adelaide City Council, to address an unmet service need for  women experiencing homelessness.

In the subsequent thirty years the organisation has both grown and refined its model, and is now recognised as Adelaide’s only recovery based service for women experiencing homelessness...

Further Resources

Worth Playing:

'Going Home'  theme from Antonín Dvorák's Symphony no.9 movement. 2, sung by Sissel Watch/listen here (05:27). Purchase on *iTunes

Worth Watching:

-Displacement of People


'Human Flow' the film. Captured over the course of an eventful year in 23 countries, the film follows a chain of urgent human stories that stretches across the globe.Trailer here. (02:41). Website here. Ways to watch at home here

Photo of the Year

'The best visual journalism is not of something; it is about something,'said Lars Boering, the managing director of the World Press Photo Foundation.
The six photos nominated for the ultimate prize use the camera lens to tell powerful stories about the phenomena that shape our world, including refugee crises, violent unrest, and the strength of humanity in the face of unthinkable challenges. View the 6 finalists here

Devastating natural disasters

In 2017 millions of people across the Asia Pacific region were once again affected by devastating natural disasters including floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)'s Year in Review looks back on these disasters and the work of OCHA's Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in responding to these disasters. Access the report here

Worth Knowing:


'Creation and the Cross: The Mercy of God for a Planet in Peril' is the title of the new book by Elizabeth Johnson CSJ, published 20 February by Orbis. Order from Amazon here. Sr Elizabeth was one of the 14 interviewees for MIRP VOICES. Watch her MIRP  interview here

Fr Denis Edwards, another of the interviewees for MIRP VOICES, has also written a new book: The Natural World And God: Theological Explorations, published by ATF Press. His MIRP interview can be watched here. The book can be purchased online here

Religious Life

'Religious convene over challenge of blending indigenous, Afro cultures with the church'. Article here

New Marian Feast

'Mary, Mother of the Church, Gets a Date on the Roman Calendar. Memorial will be on Monday Following Pentecost Sunday.' Read the Decree here

Worth Reading:

-Displacement of People

Modern Slavery

The March issue of Stop Trafficking!  (vol 16 no 3) is now available. This issue highlights the hidden slavery among fishers at sea and the efforts of human rights groups to expose and correct the abuse. Read it here


Vatican secretary of State Cardinal Parolin’s Address to Plenary Assembly of the International Catholic Commission for Migration. Read it here

The Bottom Line:

'Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world.'

-UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, Message for International Women's Day 2018

Send suggestions and contributions for the 'Worth...' section 2018 to: the Editor

Mercy World E-News is the Online Newsletter of the Mercy International Association. We hope you value this email. However, should you no longer wish to receive this eNewsletter, please unsubscribe.

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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)