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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 705  |  25 January 2017
Featured Story
Mercy: A Vision that Continues to Evolve

...Two short statements of Catherine capture the essence of her vision. She said that all she wanted was 'to make some lasting efforts for the relief of the suffering and the instruction of the ignorant’ and when asked what was the prerequisite for a Sister of Mercy, she took as given ‘an ardent desire to be united to God and serve the poor’.

Heidegger tells us that our future comes to meet us out of our past. The vision of Catherine McAuley in its transparent simplicity is as apt to inspire and challenge today, 190 years later, as it was in her lifetime. She is a very real example of what it means to be a conduit of God’s loving and compassionate Mercy in the world. She understood and lived the conviction that Christ has no body now but ours and exemplified that each one of us brings our own unique gift to living that vision in the place and time in which we find ourselves...

Download the article: A4 Paper Size (5pps; PDF), US Letter Size (5pps; PDF)

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

 

Image: © 2017 MIA. This image is available to any Mercy group who would like to use it. Please contact the Editor

Vision in Action
Mercy International Association Appointment

Mercy International Association is happy to announce that Angela Reed rsm has been appointed to the recently advertised position of MIA Global Action Coordinator at the UN.

Angela is a Sister of Mercy of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea, (ISMAPNG). She is a graduate of RMIT University’s School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, Melbourne, Australia where she completed her PhD on Human Trafficking. Over the years she has integrated her professional background in education, social work and theology to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to research, service provision and public advocacy. Her primary research interest is on gendered violence and in particular human trafficking.  Prior to her research, Angela was coordinating a women’s safe house in Melbourne Australia where she encountered many women and children who were experiencing violence and abuse. In 2015 Angela took up a role as Resident at the UN MIA Global Action office in New York and for the last 5 months, has served as the MIA  Interim Coordinator Global Action there.

Angels will take up her full-time position in March and we look forward to collaborating with her in the development of the MIA Global Action agenda at the UN.

Messages to:
Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
Angela Reed rsm - MIA Global Action Coordinator at the UN

Image: © 2016 MIA

Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network: The 2017 Intentions

Editor: The Pope Video is a global initiative developed by the Pope World Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer) asking for prayers and action on various challenges confronting humanity and the mission of the Church.

Once again this year we will post the monthly video on our mercyworld.org website as soon as it is released by the Vatican and link to it in Mercy eNews, using our specially designed highlight button (see below).

The January intention is on our site here. A list of the Pope's intentions for 2017 can be read online here: English; Spanish and downloaded here: English; Spanish (2pps; PDF)

A Papal Prayer Network Calendar 2017 has been prepared by the Jesuits in Britain featuring 12 lovely images of pilgrimage sites in Ireland and Britain. The calendar includes liturgical feast days as well as the pope's prayer intention for each month. Print copies of the calendar can be purchased from Fr David Stewart SJ The calendar can also be downloaded free in PDF (14 pps; colour).

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

MIA Prayer Intention: Becoming 'Artisans of Peace'.

Let us resolve this year 'to dedicate ourselves prayerfully and actively to banishing violence from our hearts, words and deeds, and to becoming nonviolent people and to building nonviolent communities that care for our common home'.(Pope Francis)

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Registration is now open for the fourth biennial Pilgrimage of Young Mercy Leaders, which will be held on Tuesday, 18 July to Friday, 21 July 2017.

Materials for registration can be downloaded from our website page here and are linked to this item.

A reminder to pilgrimage organisers that registrations must be received by Mercy International Association (either electronically or by postal mail) by Saint Patrick’s Day, Friday, 17 March 2017.

Messages to: Mary Kay Dobrovolny rsm - Assistant Director Heritage & Spirituality
 

Image: 2015 YML Secondary school students tour the MIA heritage room

MIA Reflection Process
Drumshambo/Mohill/ Newtownforbes Cluster Meeting: Stage 4 MIRP (The Congregation)

Focus: Displacement of People

Having engaged the first 3 elements of the process we as a cluster met to discern the call to us at this time and our response to that call at local, national and international level.

We contextualised our response within the Vision Statement we had formulated in light of the process we had engaged

Read the report here (4pps; PDF)

Messages to: Sheila Curran rsm - MIRP Coordinator The Congregation

Editor: We will continue publishing Stage 4 Reports over the next few months. As advised in Mercy eNews Issue #703 (14 December), the outcomes of the meeting of the Guiding Team and Coordinators in late March 2017 will be shared in Mercy eNews. We hope that the outcomes of local, national, regional and global actions will be shared through Mercy eNews by those who undertake them.

Joan of Arc School Staff, Leulumoega, Apia, Samoa, Report on MIRP (ANZ)

Editor: In Issue #678 (6 July 2016) we were introduced to the Joan of Arc School Staff, Leulumoega, Apia, Samoa (ANZ) whose focus issue became Sustainable Living.

A report on each of the four stages is attached.

Download the report here (3pps; PDF)

Messages to: Natalie Murphy rsm - MIRP Co-coordinator Aotearoa New Zealand

 

Extreme Temperatures Make Paris Agreement More Necessary than Ever

Editor: For the third year in a row, Earth has experienced record-breaking temperatures. 'The resulting extreme weather means the impacts of climate change on people are coming sooner and with more ferocity than expected, according to scientists.' (The Guardian)

The Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) of which MIA is a member organisation, together with Catholic Climate Covenant (CCC), is asking the Catholic community to sign a petition to President Trump, calling on him to honour the Paris Agreement, contribute to the Green Climate Fund, and implement the Clean Power Plan.

The petition can be signed here

Messages to: GCCM

Anne Curtis rsm, a member of the Americas ILT, was one of a number of religious interviewed by Global Sisters Report on making Climate Change a priority. Read the article published last week, here

Image: iStock. Used under licence
 

More Resources Using Laudato Si'

Editor: The theme for Catholic Schools Week (CSW2017) in Ireland this year (29 January - 4 February) is ‘Catholic schools: Learning with Pope Francis to care for our common home’.

Resources have been prepared to support students and teachers at primary and at post-primary level and Boards of Management in Irish schools. These resources, which have been informed by Laudato Si', may be useful for other Mercy schools to draw on in educating about sustainability and the environment.

-Access the primary school resources here

-Access the post-primary school and Boards of Management resources here

The Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (EATWOT) has recently published a bilingual series: Laudato Si’ and Ecology/ La Laudato Si y la Ecologia

The collection of papers can be downloaded here (204pps; PDF)

Messages to: Anne Walsh - Communications Director MIRP

 

MIA Members News

On December 12, 2016 I was privileged to attend the event held at United Nations Headquarters to celebrate UNICEF’s 70th Anniversary. The anniversary celebration, which was led by the next generation of young celebrities and other young people, powerfully demonstrated the impact of UNICEF’s work over seven decades to protect the rights of the world’s most vulnerable children.

“This celebration of UNICEF’s 70th anniversary belongs to those for whom UNICEF was created in the first place: children. And it also belongs to the thousands of UNICEF staff and our partners whose work in some of the world’s most dangerous and difficult places has touched the lives of millions of children. What can be more important?” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake...

To be present at such an event on December 12- the Foundation Day of the Sisters of Mercy was a double Blessing!

Messages to: Deirdre Mullan rsm - Partnering Religious Congregations with UNICEF

In mid-November 2016, Lesley O’Connor, Fionnuala Quinn o.p., Suzanne Ryder rsm and Freda Kenny rsm,  joined ninety other retreatants at the Garrison Institute, New York, for a six-day, silent retreat during which ‘God is Love: The Heart of All Creation’ was launched.

This is Thomas Keating’s most recent series and it deals with the following themes: cosmology; human evolution; Christ, evolution and all creation; unity consciousness; playing with God; silence and centering prayer; surrendering to Love. Details of the resource can be found here . A preview of the series can be viewed here (05:27)

A report on the retreat is linked to this item.

Messages to: Freda Kenny rsm and Suzanne Ryder rsm

RIP: Mary Aquin O'Neill rsm (Americas), Janette Gray rsm (ISMAPNG)

Editor: Mercy Theologians Srs Mary Aquin O'Neill and Janette (Jan) Gray, each of whom was known—through their writings, lectures or talks—to many readers of Mercy eNews, died during December 2016.

An obituary for Sr Mary Aquin who died on 14 December, published by the Baltimore Sun newspaper, can be read here

Messages to Lauren Albright - Institute (Americas) Communications Office

An obituary for Sr Jan who died on Christmas Eve, written by Gerald O'Collins SJ, AC,  a friend and colleague, was published in the Sydney Morning Herald. It can be read online here

Messages to: Margaret Moore rsm - Acting Community Leader, South C, ISMAPNG

Image: L-r: Srs Jan Gray, Mary Aquin O'Neill

Three Professions in Kenya and a Profession in Australia (The Congregation and ISMAPNG)

The Kenyan Province will treasure dearly Wednesday, 14th December with fond memories. On that day, three of our young and vibrant Sisters said a complete and self-giving YES to Christ, the spouse of their hearts. The three brides namely Catherine, Willimena and Virginia originate from diverse parts of the country and that diversity has not only enriched their journey together but also the Province as a whole...

Read the report here (4pps; PDF)

Messages to: Srs.Virginia, Willimena and Catherine c/- Agnes Musemba Mativo rsm

On 10 December 2016 Sister Elizabeth Young made her Final Profession in St Mark's Cathedral, Port Pirie, South Australia... Sisters travelled from several states in Australia and fifty Sisters travelled by bus from Adelaide on the day -  a return journey of 450 Kilometres! ...

Read the report online here

Messages to: Elizabeth Young rsm

 

Carlow University launched its Social Justice Institutes (SJI) on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, with an event attended by community partners from government, non-profit, and the foundation communities in Pittsburgh.  SJI has selected gun violence as its inaugural “Educating for Justice” issue, which will remain its focus through 2020.

“Gun violence is a social justice issue as it disproportionately affects young people, lower-income people, people of color, and women,” said Jessica Ruffin, director of the Social Justices Institute at Carlow.  “The Social Justice Institutes’ multi-year, interdisciplinary approach will allow for curricular and co-curricular programming as well as community outreach and education.”...

In conjunction with the launch of its Social Justice Institutes, Carlow University will provide a scholarship for students who are victims of gun violence or the family members of those who have been victimized.

Messages to: Drew Wilson - Director, Media Relations Carlow University

Image: Carlow University SJI

'Mercy is the only coeducational Catholic vocational high school in the country, offering training in six areas, including computer technology and culinary arts. But it has been flying largely under the radar since the Sisters of Mercy founded it in 1950...

But Mercy has been putting up impressive stats for years: a 97 percent average daily attendance rate; a 99 percent graduation rate. And nearly all who earn diplomas leave with professional certifications or licenses...'

Source: Philly.com

Messages to: Rosemary Herron rsm  - President, Mercy Career & Technical High School

Image: Rosemary Herron rsm, President, with Mercy Career & Technical High School North Philadelphia students during the celebration of the school's sixty-fifth anniversary in October 2015

Mercy Matters

'We have become so familiar with the beatitudes that there is a danger of our listening only to the mellifluous flow of language and of failing to attend to the extraordinary present and future reversal that they offer to all that suffer injustice, including the earth itself, and to those who choose non-violent ways of addressing the pain of the Earth community...'

-Veronica Lawson rsm

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

Mercy Health in St. Louis, Missouri, has produced a video linking Catherine McAuley’s story to the Sisters of Mercy’s continuing commitment to health care.

Image (colourised): To Visit the Sick from Sr Clare Agnew’s 1840 publication Illustrations of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. © 1992 MIA

'It is necessary above all for each of us, personally, to overcome our indifference to the needs of the poor.  We need to learn “com-passion” for those suffering from persecution, loneliness, forced displacement or separation from their families.  We need to learn to “suffer with” those who lack access to health care, or who endure hunger, cold or heat.'

-Pope Francis, Address to The Global Foundation, at their Rome Roundtable,
14 January 2017

1846: First Mercy profession in Australia

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

Considered to be some of the best personal finance courses available. All free.

'May we do all for God’s greater glory.'

-M Cecilia Maher

Further Resources

Worth Playing:

'Pray for Peace' by Reba McEntire. Watch/listen here. (04:07) Purchase on *iTunes  Lyrics here

Worth Watching:

'Beannacht: A Blessing for the New Year.' Words by John O'Donohue. Watch it here (02:30)

Worth Reading:

'What will be the big environment events in 2017?' Read the list compiled by The Guardian here

The World Economic Forum (WEF) annual Global Risks Report (GRR) says disruptions caused by climate change is the biggest risk facing the world with water crises third and mass refugee migrations fourth. Read the report here (103 pps; PDF). Coverage in Deutsche Welle (DW) here

'The Bible Through Her Eyes' by Barbara Reid o.p., general editor of the Wisdom Commentary, says women have something powerful to offer when interpreting the Bible. Read the article here

'Stop Trafficking' newsletter. January issue explores the growing victimization of people, especially women and children, to the sex trade throughout North America. Read it here (11pps; PDF)

'Aid in reverse: how poor countries develop rich countries.' Read the article here

Worth Knowing:

Poverty

Eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, according to a new report published by Oxfam on 16 January to mark the annual meeting of political and business leaders in Davos. Read the report: English full report (PDF), summary report (PDF) methodology (8pps; PDF); Spanish resumo executivo (60pps; PDF), informe resumido (13pps; PDF), nota metodológica (8pps; PDF).
A petition asking the world’s billionaires to help build an economy that works for everyone can be signed on the Oxfam site here

Human trafficking

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference on the Rule of Law and Human Rights is underway in London (24-26 January). This will be the first time tackling modern slavery has been discussed in a formal Commonwealth setting. The Commonwealth is a union of 52 countries around the world with a third of the world's population (2.2 billion people). According to the Global Slavery Index,  55% of those currently enslaved reside in Commonwealth countries.
A petition encouraging the Commonwealth to take up the cause of ending modern slavery can be signed here.
 

The Bottom Line:

' '“All of us want peace. Many people build it day by day through small gestures and acts; many of them are suffering, yet patiently persevere in their efforts to be peacemakers”. In 2017, may we dedicate ourselves prayerfully and actively to banishing violence from our hearts, words and deeds, and to becoming nonviolent people and to building nonviolent communities that care for our common home. “Nothing is impossible if we turn to God in prayer. Everyone can be an artisan of peace”.'


Pope Francis' Message for the Celebration of the Fiftieth World Day of Peace, 1 January 2017
 

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Directors: Sister Denise Fox (ANZ), Sister Patricia McDermott (US), Ron Ashworth (US), Peter Burnett (GB), Sister Colette Cronin (GB), Mary Moorhead (IRL), Kevin Hoy (IRL), Sister Margaret Casey (IRL), Sister Scholasticah Nganda (IRL)