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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 707  |  08 February 2017
Featured Story
Third World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action Against Trafficking in Persons

Editor: Today, 8 February, Feast of St Bakhita (1869-1947), is the World Day of Prayer, Reflection, and Action Against Trafficking in Persons. The theme of this year's feast day, 'They are children! Not slaves!', has been set by Talitha Kum, the international network of Consecrated Life against trafficking in persons. The International Labour Organisation' estimation that 1.2 million children are trafficked each year is the accepted reference. Children and adolescents are trafficked for sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced marriage, illegal adoptions, forced labour, removal ('harvesting') of organs, begging, child soldiers, drug smuggling and witchcraft.

Opposing human trafficking is a focus issue of MIA with Sisters of Mercy, Associates and our partners-in-Ministry actively involved in organisations opposing trafficking in persons. See the complete list here.

In keeping with the aim of the day, this issue of Mercy eNews provides opportunities for prayer and reflection and invitations to action.

Messages to: MIA Working Group on Human Trafficking c/- Denise Boyle fmdm, Mercy Global Action

Image: St Bakhita

Vision in Action
MIA Prayer Intention: Responding to Victims of Human Trafficking

'God, rich in mercy, Catherine McAuley reminded us that “If we love You, we will undoubtedly love our neighbor also; they are as cause and effect.”

We pray that our love for You will give us the fortitude to work for an end to slavery for all our sisters and brothers. Give us the courage to touch the suffering flesh of Christ, revealed in the faces of those enslaved in our world today, so that like St Josephine Bakhita (video), all may be called fortunate. This we ask in your name. Amen'

Source: The MGA Working Group Opposing Human Trafficking Awareness Raising Prayer Service 2015

Download the 2017 Vigil of Prayer prepared by Talitha Kum (UISG): English (7pps; PDF); Spanish (7pps; PDF)

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Image: iStock. Used under licence

Prayer for World Day of the Sick: 11th February

Let us join our prayers today with all who are ill and suffering-

our Sisters who, in the midst of their suffering, bring a ministering presence;

those whose names are on our prayer list;
those who today will find themselves in need of prayers for healing;

those wounded and otherwise affected as a result of war, conflict, tragedy or disaster;
those who care for the ill, the suffering, the afflicted, the infirm;

those who have no one to pray with them in this hour of need;
those who today are at the end of life.

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Additional resources for the 25th World Day of the Sick:

Message of Pope Francis
CHA USA World Day of the Sick prayer based on the message of Pope Francis (PDF)
CHA USA Video reflection based on the message of Pope Francis (Youtube; 02:08)

Image: iStock. Used under licence

MIA Reflection Process
CAFOD Invites us to Have a (Green) Heart

Editor: CAFOD, the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, is conducting a campaign this month to inspire action for our common home. On Valentine's Day (14 February) we are encouraged to show our love for our common home by starting a conversation about climate change, how it affects our global neighbours, and how renewable energy can help them out of poverty.

Resources, prayers and lesson materials for primary and post-primary students can be accessed here

Image: CAFOD

Stage 4 MIRP Report from Grace Cottage Group St. Ives, Parish, NSW (Parramatta)

In Stage 4 of MIRP, the Grace Cottage Group decided on a two- pronged approach. Firstly, at the systemic level of social justice, they supported the work of the East Timor Justice Campaign advocating for Timor to have adequate maritime borders and self-determination of its extensive oil and gas deposits. The group conducted a letter writing campaign to politicians in the Australian government regarding this drawing on the wisdom and guidance of Leo Ward one of the campaign founders and Chair of the Friends of Alas, a struggling community in East Timor...

Read the complete report (PDF)

Messages to: Valda Dickinson rsm - MIRP Coordinator Parramatta and North Sydney Congregations

St Vincent's Convent Galway Stage 4 MIRP Report (The Congregation)

The St Vincent's Convent Galway MIRP Group after prayer, watching the VOICES video of Veronica Lawson rsm and following discussion, decided on the following actions at our November Cluster Meeting:

-Commit ourselves to a deeper awareness of the different forms of need we encounter, whether in the Hospital, the Nursing Home, the Hostel for the Homeless, or on the streets.

-Commit ourselves to responding from the heart to the needs of displaced people in our own locality.

-It was felt that, as Sisters of Mercy, we continue to respond with an even greater awareness.

Messages to: Sheila Curran rsm - MIRP Coordinator The Congregation

Image: As part of our closing ritual, Sr Dolores Bowen placed a scroll with our action plan printed on it on the altar. Sr. Breda Murphy brought our symbol of the open door of Mercy and Sr. Joan Curtin presented the Mercy Candle given to us by the Province Leadership Team during their visitation

Report of Stage 4 of the MIRP Oldham/Liverpool Group (GB Institute)

After some discussion, it was decided that the group would assist the project already working well in Oldham, Oldham Unity, which provides food, clothes and legal and medical help for destitute asylum seekers...Other members of the group would contribute in an individual capacity according to their talents...

A suggestion was made that we host an at home morning and invite local people to come in for a cup of tea and if it takes off to do this on a regular basis.As this needs the support of all the community including those who did not join the group this has been held over until it can be discussed at the next Community Meeting.

The Associates in Liverpool have been following the same process taking as their focus the issue of the right to clean water...

Download the complete report (PDF)
Messages to: Josephine Davies rsm - GB Institute MIRP Coordinator

MIA Members News
#Youarewelcomehere : Message from Mercy Colleges and Universities (Americas)

The Mercy colleges and universities in the US are working assiduously to affirm immigrants, refugees, and international students in light of President Trump's executive order banning travellers from select, predominantly Muslim countries. Mercy College and University presidents in attendance at the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities 2017 AGM (28-30 January) are among the signatories expressing strong opposition to the executive order.

This video, from Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA, is one example of the stellar efforts being made to assure #Youarewelcomehere in light of the Mercy ethos.

Messages to:
Dr. Moya K. Dittmeier - Executive Director Conference for Mercy Higher Education
Lisa Mary McCartney rsm - Vice President Mission Integration Mercyhurst

Image: Mercyhurst open front gates

Slavery isn’t behind us. Human trafficking, which preys on women, men and children, is a growing problem in the Midwest – and Mercy nurses are watching for it.

“People think it will never come here, or it will never impact us,” said Dawn Day, sexual assault nurse examiner at Mercy Hospital Springfield. “But the reality is there is a major interstate that cuts through the Midwest, and many human trafficking victims are transported along I-44.”

Read the report and listen to the video interview with Dawn Day linked to this item.

Messages to: Brad Haller - Mercy Media Contact

Mercy Pilgrimage to Auschwitz (The Congregation)

Editor: Late last year 12 Mercy Sisters and a Mercy Associate went on pilgrimage to Auschwitz where they went on retreat. Mary O’Sullivan rsm who has worked in the Centre for Dialogue and Prayer  since 2009, supporting English language groups visiting the museum, facilitated the visit.

Bonaventure Higgins rsm has written powerful accounts of the moving experience:

Mercy pilgrimage to Auschwitz

Auschwitz Retreat Experience

Messages to: Bonaventure Higgins rsm

Back row L-R : Sr. Catherine Ryan, Ms. Lonán Ní Dhubhain, Srs. Kathleen O' Keeffe, Esther Murphy, Bernie O' Rourke,  Dolores Fitzgerald, Mary Ryan, Mary O'Sullivan, Margaret Corkery
Front row L-R: Srs Síor Cosgrove, Bonaventure Higgins, Dominica Downing, Ms. Helena Dunicz Niwinska (survivor of Birkenau), Srs. Angela Bugler, Teresa Nagle
Seated in forefront Maria Szewczyk (Interpreter)

Alyah Achabi, a sophomore at St. Mary Academy - Bay View has led a schoolwide initiative collecting household supplies for Syrian refugees living in Rhode Island.

'As a Syrian American, Achabi is passionate about helping refugees and bringing awareness to a crisis that continues to affect her family and millions of others. She recently took the initiative to lend a helping hand by starting a collection for household supplies which Syrian refugees living in Rhode Island would need. Through Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island in Providence and with help from her school community, the teenager collected more than two carloads of items that will supply families with what they need to get started in their new homes.'

Source: Rhode Island Catholic

'Helping Syrian refugees and bringing awareness to the war is so important to me because I am a Syrian American myself, and I haven't been able to visit my home and cousins in six years because of this devastating war.'

Messages to: Alyah c/- Elizabeth Hathaway rsm- Teacher, Upper School Campus Minister

Mercy Matters
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A (Matthew 5:17-37)

'We sometimes forget that Jesus was a faithful Jew who observed the Law handed down within Israel from generation to generation. Today’s gospel brings us the continuation of Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount in
which Jesus, the faithful Jewish teacher, addresses his Jewish disciples and the Jewish crowds gathered to hear his words...'

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

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

 

 

Consult the current (2016) Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report to find out how well your country is doing in its efforts to address the issue

Measure your slavery footprint and determine your participation in modern-day slavery (as quantified by your consumption of items created by forced labour and child labour.)

Shop for more eco-friendly, ethical products that support the growth of social responsibility and ethical businesses, as well as a more sustainable, just society.

Reflection

'On this world day of prayer, reflection and action we enter into the pathos of God who in the Book of Exodus is depicted as seeing the suffering, of hearing the cries and knowing the pain of the Israelites enslaved in Egypt. We enter into the pathos of Jesus who journeying to Calvary admonishes the grief stricken women who accompany him to weep not for him, but for themselves and for their children. Our prayer on this day becomes one of lamentation for the millions of women, children and men trafficked across the globe into human slavery...'

Anne Tormey rsm, Called to Action 'to eradicate the terrible scourge of Modern Slavery in all its forms' (Pope Francis)

Image: iStock. Used under licence

The Gear You Need to Make Your iPad Your Only Computer

On This Day

1832: M Aloysius (Anne) O'Grady died, Baggot St
1837: M Veronica Corrigan died of typhus, Baggot St
1902: Foundation to Shepparton from Bendigo - M Berchmans Flannery
1979: Mission to King Island from Melbourne - M Camillus O'Kane

Image: Srs Aloysius and Veronica were buried in the crypt of St Teresa's Clarendon Street, the first Mercy burial place, where 13 Sisters were laid to rest

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

Mercyhurst University seeks to be a leading higher educational institution that integrates excellence in the liberal arts, professional and career-path programs, and service to regional and world communities.

Further Resources

Worth Playing:

'Stronghold' by Edwin Fawcett based on words from Psalm 94. Watch/listen here (06:09). Purchase from his website or from *iTunes

Worth Reading:
Human Trafficking

The February issue of 'Stop Trafficking' is now online. This issue explores the growing victimization of people, especially women and children, into slavery in various parts of the world. Read it here (8pps; PDF)

New study finds child marriage rising among most vulnerable Syrian refugees. Read the article here

Cosmology & Eco-justice

'Tips to sustain ourselves in our stumbling toward sustainability'. Read the article here

'Honduras: the deadliest country in the world for environmental activism.'  A Global Witness report in English and Spanish

According to a new study in the journal Biological Conservation, Natural World Heritage Sites are deteriorating because of encroaching human activities ranging from tourism and road building to mining and logging. Read the article here

Religious Life

Text of Pope Francis' Homily on World Day for Consecrated Life. Read it here

The Bottom Line:

'When everybody is building walls, the church can build bridges'

-Father Emanuel Youkhana, the archimandrite (priest) of the Assyrian Church of the East, after visiting Mosul, northern Iraq, on 27 January

Send suggestions and contributions for the 'Worth...' section 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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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)