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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 762  |  14 March 2018
Featured Story
Mercy Making a Difference Over and Over and Over Again

Editor: In 2008 we published a wonderful story of a small boy in Nigeria who found a missionary magazine at the back of a church in which he read an advertisement that concluded: 'If you would like to be a Sister of Mercy, write to the Convent of Mercy, Barnsley', a large town in South Yorkshire, England. The boy wrote to that address and his letter brought a reply from Sr Mary Aloysius (Cathleen Manning). So began their correspondence and sometimes Sister Mary Aloysius enclosed a ten shilling note. This money made a huge difference to the boy and his family, and helped ensure he had an education.

The boy - Boniface Ezaegu - became the Barrister General of the Ebonyi State in Nigeria and, in gratitude for his own education, he built a school in memory of Sister Mary Aloysius. Each year on 19 January, the anniversary of her death, Mass is celebrated in her memory and the school enjoys a holiday from formal classes.

Boniface has now retired as Attorney General of the Ebonyi State but his involvement with the school continues. Last month he wrote to Sr Philomena Bowers:

'Your students over here are sending their greetings to you. In fact, I wished you were around here yesterday to enjoy the social/cultural performances in commemoration of the death of Sister Mary Aloysius. Usually, we do the celebration on 19 January each year but we couldn't do it on that date this year because of an outbreak of a disease called Lasser Fever which claimed the lives of many patients, doctors and nurses...

May the soul of Sister Mary Aloysius and the souls of all the faithful Christians who have departed rest in perfect peace. Amen.

We will continue to be grateful to you for your efforts to keep us in existence.'

Messages to: Philomena Bowers rsm - Congregation Leader Great Britain Union

Vision in Action
MIA Prayer Intention: An End to the War in Syria

 'It is high time to stop this hell on Earth', António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, 26 February 2018

Tomorrow marks the 7th anniversary of the beginning of the War in Syria (March 15, 2011). Over the past few weeks we have each read, seen and heard horrific stories of events there, particularly in Eastern Ghouta, the last rebel-held enclave close to the Syrian capital Damascus. Continued shelling despite calls for a ceasefire, escalating fighting, mounting deaths and wounded, medical and humanitarian supplies refused entry... the list of horrors faced by the besieged people living there is almost impossible to comprehend.

MIA once again calls for our prayers for an end to this situation described in a recent BBC report as 'beyond critical'.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - CEO MIA

On 14 February 2018,  MGA at the UN attended the launch of UN Women’s new report entitled, ‘Turning Promises into Action: Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development'. Considered to be the first of its kind, this report considers the intersectionality of gender across all of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The report provides a huge spectrum of information through a gendered lens.

Mercy Global Action at the UN recommends this report to all readers who wish to gain insight into the issue of gender and the Sustainable Development Goals.

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

Come on Tour to Baggot Street

Editor: 53 Pilgrims from the United States, parishioners of St. John's Catholic Church on the Creighton University campus and Church of the Gesu, Ohio, together with their current/former pastor Fr. Lorn J. Snow S.J., visited Mercy International Centre on Sunday, 11 March. Many of the pilgrims had received a Mercy education, either at parish, secondary or college level and were delighted to be in 'Mother McAuley's home'.

Following a celebration of the Eucharist, a good cup of tea, a tour of the House and a visit to the Gift Shop, the pilgrims left for a wander through Grafton Street.

The Staff at MIC welcome pilgrims to Catherine's House. Tours, approximately two hours in length, are conducted by appointment at 10.00am Mondays to Fridays. Special arrangements can be made for other groups. We look forward to welcoming you!

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

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: Erica Torres, Baby David McQuaid, Sr. Chris, Sr. Carmel Therese Favazzo, Helen Kavanagh, Carole Squires, Hayley, Megan Swistak 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

MIA Members News
The Seven Last Words of Jesus— Week 5: 'I’m Thirsty'. (Americas)

'The Sisters of Mercy have a commitment to work zealously toward the sustainability of all life by caring for Earth’s ecosystems, including advocating for the fundamental right to clean water.'

Download the reflection (2pps, PDF)

Follow the series online

Messages to:
Eileen O'Connor rsm - Reflection week 5
Genemarie Beegan rsm - Artist week 5

Mercy has Presence on Silent Peace Walk on University Campus (Americas)

Mercyhurst University Campus Ministry in Erie, Pennsylvania, USA, cosponsored an evening Silent Peace Walk on February 22 around the campus. Several Sisters of Mercy were among the 100 walkers who braved chilly temperatures and a brisk wind to participate. Monthly Silent Peace Walks in Erie were started last year by the Benedictines for Peace in response to the escalating tensions and divisiveness present in our country and the world...

Read the complete article here (PDF)

Messages to: Gary Loncki - Communications Director Sisters of Mercy NyPPaW

Image: L-r: Natalie Rossi rsm, a campus minister at Mercyhurst University, leads a prayer with Benedictine Sister Anne McCarthy to begin the Silent Peace Walk.

The saying that ‘extreme cases make bad law’ is perhaps never so true as in the arguments being advanced in New Zealand to justify assisted dying. Mercy’s response in this complex and often emotive debate is to stand with those who are facing life-threatening illness and to offer the best possible palliative care, easing pain and enabling people to live their lives to the fullest. The care of the sick and dying has been a hallmark of Mercy from its beginnings...

Messages to: Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregation Leader

Image: Clare Agnew 1840. © 1994 MIA. Colourised

Climate Change an Immediate Threat, Not a Future One (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Three members of Mercy Global Action Aotearoa were among participants at the three-day Pacific Climate Change Conference in Wellington February 21-23. Held at Te Papa Tongarewa, the national museum, the event drew a large number of academics, representatives of government and business agencies, NGOs and faith-based agencies throughout New Zealand and the Pacific.

Attending on behalf of Mercy Global Action Aotearoa were Sisters of Mercy Bridget Crisp and Monika Mo’ale and Dennis Horton, a member of Te Waka Tiaki Mercy Ministries mission team....

Download the report here (2pps, PDF)

Messages to: Mercy Global Action Aotearoa

Image: iStock. Used under licence

New Way of Being with Earth (ISMAPNG)

Elaine Wainwright rsm says that listening to the prophet Jeremiah 31:31-34 during Lent can bring us to a new relationship with Earth. 'The Lenten period is a time for examining our attitudes, our priorities, our way of seeing and being in our world', writes Sr Elaine.

Download the article (2pps, PDF)

Messages to: Elaine Wainwright rsm

National Catholic Sisters Week (Americas)

National Catholic Sisters week (8-14 March) celebrates the lives and ministries of women religious in the United States. The Sisters of Mercy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, were among 17 religious communities of women who collaborated on a project using billboards and a website to promote the work of Catholic Sisters in southwestern Pennsylvania during National Catholic Sisters’ Week.

Read the complete article here (PDF)

Messages to: Gary Loncki - Communications Director Sisters of Mercy NyPPaW

Mercy Matters
Fifth Sunday in Lent Year B (John 12:20-33)

'Today’s gospel tells us that among those who go up to Jerusalem to worship at the feast of Passover are some “Greeks”. The reference is probably to a group known in the early church as “God-fearers”, although that designation is found only in Luke’s second volume, the Acts of the Apostles...'

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

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

A Video Reflection & A Song for St Patrick's Day: 17 March

Worth Watching:
The Irish Blessing 'Beannacht' by the late John O'Donohue can be watched here (02:30). The text of the blessing can be read here

Worth Playing:UCD (University College Dublin) Choral Scholars singing 'Ireland's Call' (by Phil Coulter, Arranged by Desmond Earley). Watch/listen here (02:31)

Today as in the past, liberating the poor, the oppressed and the persecuted is an integral part of the mission entrusted by God to the Church...

The Lord sent Moses into the midst of his oppressed people, to dry their tears and restore their hope (cf. Ex 3:16-17). ..The multiple projects initiated on five continents represent exemplary instances of the four verbs – welcome, defend, promote and integrate – by which I wished to characterize the Church’s pastoral response in the face of contemporary migration...

-Pope’s Address to International Catholic Migration Commission

1992: Final profession of Angelina Mitre, first in Panama

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

Commencing on International Women's Day, this new series from Pathways to God, produced by the Jesuits in Britain, focusses on the voices of various women whose stories are entwined with Jesus.

Listen online, download to your device, share with others

Inspired by the Sisters of Mercy and the Catholic school traditions of faith, challenging academics, and service to others, we partner with families to prepare well-rounded students for lifelong success.

Further Resources

Worth Considering:

Mary Magdalene

The movie opens in UK 16 March. Official trailer here (02:33). Consult the fim's website here for screening details in your location. An essay by Dorothy Lee, Frank Woods Professor of New Testament, Trinity College, University of Divinity, Melbourne can be read here

Worth Visiting:

An Gorta Mór (The Great Hunger )

If in Ireland between 8 March 2018 - 16 March 2019, see 'Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger', the world's largest collection of Famine-related art, on loan from Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. Details on the Coming Home website include introductions to the artists and teaching resources.
Ireland's Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Leo Veradkar will thank the Choctaw nation for famine assistance when he visits the United States this week. See the article and video of the humanitarian action by Native American Choctaw Indians here

Worth Reading:

International Women's Day (IWD)

Among the articles published on IWD were these: 'Overlooked.' The NYTimes published obituaries for women who left indelible marks but were nonetheless overlooked. Read the first 15 here Nominate a candidate for inclusion here.
The address given by Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland at the Voices of Faith International Women's Day Conference, on the theme 'Why women matter' can be read here

Pope Francis

To mark the fifth anniversary of Francis' papacy, a number of articles are being published by both the Secular and Catholic Media. Among these are: 'Five years of Pope Francis and the principle of reform' by Robert Mickens here; 'Five years of Pope Francis: Lots of style, little substance' by Patsy McGarry here;  'Five years of Pope Francis' by Catholic New Service here (03:50) and 'Pope Francis 5th Anniversary: Innovation in Continuity' from Salt & Light here (10:00)

-Displacement of People:

Climate Change

'Climate change "impacts women more than men".' Read the article here

'Hotter, Drier, Hungrier: How Global Warming Punishes the World's Poorest'. Read article here

'Climate shocks and conflict are increasing hunger, says new UN report'. Article here

The Bottom Line:

Guímís Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig ar Shiúracha na Trócaire ar fud an domhain ar Lá Fhéile Naomh Pádraig. Guímís sonas agus sláinte orthu siúd atá as baile as Éirinn agus orthu siúd ar fad a mhaíonn fréamhacha ceilteacha trénár mbunaitheoir, Catherine McAuley.

On this St. Patrick’s Day, we send greetings to Irish Sisters of Mercy, Associates, partners-in-Ministry and Friends of Mercy all over the world and to all Sisters of Mercy and the extended Mercy Family, who can claim Celtic roots through our foundress, Catherine McAuley.

En este Día de San Patricio, les enviamos saludos a las Hermanas de la Misericordia, Asociadas/os, socias/os en el Ministerio, amistades irlandesas de la Misericordia por todo el mundo, y a todas las Hermanas de la Misericordia; también a la extensa familia de la Misericordia que hace suyas las raíces celtas mediante nuestra fundadora Catalina McAuley.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - CEO MIA

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

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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)