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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 727  |  21 June 2017
Featured Story
'The world is too small now for an Us and a Them': Reflecting on World Refugee Day

“In our world today, 65 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes, and 34,000 additional people are displaced every single day. The need to welcome refugees has never been greater. Now is the time to take a stand.”   From www.standwithrefugees.us

Religious communities enjoy a certain amount of status due to access to education and historical credibility. From that place of relative privilege we take stands on many issues. We speak out. We are generous with time and other resources. We have a great deal to add to public discourse...

Download the complete article: A4 Paper Size (2pps, PDF); US Letter Size (2pps; PDF)

Messages to: Kathleen Erickson rsm

 

Editor: Kathleen Erickson rsm (Americas) spent 18 years serving on the United States’ southern border with Mexico, helping to start a women’s center for immigrant women. She continues to work on social justice issues with the Sisters of Mercy and has a particular focus on immigration. Sr Kathleen has done spiritual counseling in a Federal Detention Center, a family detention center built for 2,400 women and their children, and now in a county jail.
 

Image: 'A refugee sleeps with her children on a ferry traveling from the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos to the Athens port of Piraeus, Sept. 9, 2015.' by Freedom House is licensed under CC BY 1.0

Vision in Action
Papal Visit to Dublin 2018

There will be limited accommodation at Baggot St for the week of Pope Francis’ visit to Dublin 21-26 August 2018 for the World Meeting of Families 2018.

Should you wish to book accommodation for this event please do so as soon as possible.
We will allocate rooms on a strictly ‘first come, first served’ basis with a short waiting list.

Messages to: Madeleine O'Hanlon - Receptionist

 

Initial information— dates, costs— about each of the programmes to be held at MIC in 2018 has been added to our website.

Over the next few weeks flyers for each of the programmes will be available in MercyeNews and on our Mercyworld.org site. Meanwhile, you might like to persuse the list of offerings and consider which programme you might join!

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

Meeting of MIA Working Group: Cosmology and Ecojustice

Editor: Members of the MIA Working Group Cosmology and Ecojustice met by conference call on Thursday, 15 June, for their first meeting for 2017. Members addressed key elements of their reports. The focus topic of the meeting was the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) presented by Marianne Comfort who is on the Steering Committee of GCCM.

Reports from members can be read online:
Margaret Twomey rsm: Report from The Congregation
Angela Reed rsm - Update from Mercy Global Action at the UN
Mary Tee rsm - Report from Newfoundland
Patricia Powell rsm - Report from Australia & PNG
Denis Horton - MGA Aotearoa New Zealand Report
Marianne Comfort & Mary Pendergast rsm- Institute of the Americas Report

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

 

MIA Special Prayer Intention: Grenfell Tower Tragedy

MIA joins our Sisters in the UK in praying for the victims, the wounded, their relatives and neighbours of the Grenfell Tower inferno.

The scenes of the horrific blaze will be impressed upon all our memories for a long time.

The bravery of the first responders, the concern of the neighbours and the generosity of those donating clothing and foodstuffs and in providing company and comfort to the residents, are signs of hope.
May they also be a source of consolation.

The people of London and the UK have experienced enormous suffering and grief in recent weeks.
May this experience further strengthen the bonds between them.

Let us remember also the deceased, injured and their families, all victims of the raging forest fires in Portugal and pray that the fire be brought under control.

 Post your prayer or reflection in our online chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director

Editor: Denise Boyle fmdm, Team Leader Mercy Global Action, attended a day of reflection on 3 June at  An Tairseach (The Threshold) Dominican Farm and Ecology Centre, Wicklow, Ireland, given by Sharon Zayac OP.  Sr Sharon (Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois, USA.) is the Director of Jubilee Farm, her congregation’s 111-acre centre for ecology and spirituality. She writes, lectures and gives retreats, her passion being sharing the Universe story and its implications for life and faith. 

In this item Sr Denise shares her thoughts about her learnings at the reflection day.

'Human- Becomings: The central theme of this enlightening workshop with Sharon Zayac OP is that we are in the midst of a cosmic shift, in terms of understanding who we are as persons, as people of faith and as a human species. This emerging consciousness is teaching us more about how we are related to the whole and significantly how we speak about God, in the context of the Cosmic Story...'

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

MIA Prayer Intention: Refugees and Asylum Seekers

We pray for all those who, because of persecution, conflict or violence, have been forced to flee the country of their birth for a new life in a new land. We remember in particular the 34,000 people who today will be displaced and for whom the journey to belong somewhere is just beginning.

We are grateful for the safety and security of being settled, known and accepted in the neighbourhoods where we live. Let our comfort and safety not blind us to the desperate plight of millions of our sisters and brothers.

With compassionate hearts and generous spirits, may we be responsive to the needs of displaced persons and be their strong advocates, calling for justice and mercy in the corridors of power.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

MIA Members News
Programmes on Offer at Marymount Mercy Centre 2017/2018 (Parramatta Congregation)

Marymount Mercy Centre is a Spirituality Centre offering attractive and comfortable facilities in a heritage-protected bushland setting, approximately 35 kilometres north-west of Sydney city centre.

Programmes are on offer in 2017/2018 for those preparing for perpetual profession, Formators and for clergy, religious and lay people interested in renewal.

A list of all programmes on offer in 2017 and 2018 can be downloaded here (PDF) Brochures for each of the individual programmes can be downloaded here

We welcome your inquiry.

Messages to: Margaret Jones rsm - Director Marymount Mercy Centre

Image: Margaret Jones rsm (far right) with staff and participants in a programme at Marymount

 

Recently I attended a meeting of the leaders of Mercy retreat houses in the United States where the conversation focused on what people need today and how Mercy retreat houses can fill those needs. Everyone spoke deeply about the good people who show up at our doors looking for something— perhaps silence, a reconnection with themselves or God, or a trained and listening ear. I was inspired by the conversation and realized I was not alone in this unique ministry. We agreed to collaborate and cooperate with one another for the common good, to share our ideas and knowledge and to continue to work together...

Messages to: Eileen Dooling rsm - Executive Director Mercy by the Sea Retreat & Conference Center

With praise and thanksgiving the Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation celebrated the life and religious commitment of eleven Jubilarians.

'Through answering the call to be women of mercy with and for others,each of our Jubilarians, has, in her unique way, responded according to personality and gifts in bringing comfort, encouragement and hope to those they have encountered, especially to those in distress. How many bridges of understanding, how much unleashing of creativity, what strengthening for the struggle ahead, what mutual enrichment have these encounters brought about!  This is the stuff of life. The heart of it all....'

Messages to the Jubilarians c/- Mary Lawson rsm - Congregation Leadership Team

Image: L-r: Front Row: Srs Elizabeth Pointing, Germaine Greathead and Joan Lynch
Middle Row: Srs Maria Sullivan, Roseanne Quinn, Elizabeth O'Connell, Mary O'Donoghue and Carmen Coffey.
Back row: Srs Pauline Smoothy and Brigid Frawley
Absent: Sr Anna Donovan

On 10 June 2017 at UN Headquarters in New York, UNICEF launched Girls’ Empowerment Initiative. This is a platform that mobilizes the extensive partnerships, communications, and advocacy efforts that UNICEF to highlight the risks and deprivations adolescent girls face into pathways towards a better life.

As of 2015, only 17 percent of girls are enrolled in secondary school in sub-Saharan Africa.

Deirdre Mullan (The Congregation) who works with UNICEF on the section to identify Partnerships with Religious Congregations, also works closely with Mercy schools to highlight the plight of Girls worldwide. Next week students from our Mercy schools will learn more about the UNICEF initiative when they gather in Philadelphia for the annual Mercy Girls’ rising Project.

According to UNICEF, there are over 600 million adolescent girls in the world, most of them living in the developing world.

Messages to: Deirdre Mullan rsm

Image: A Girls’ class at a Temeke vocational school in Tanzania. UNICEF/Tanzania 2009

Mercy Matters

A video reflection on words of Pope Francis taken from his message for the 2017 World Day of Migrants and Refugees (02:45).

The kindle edition of 'A Shining Lamp' is now available for purchase from Amazon.

Details of all formats and how to purchase based on your geographical location, can be found in our Resources section

1853: Foundation to Downpatrick from Belfast - M Aloysius Brady
1940: Evacuation of school children from Cordier Hill, Guernsey, Channel Islands during WWII

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

On Immigrants

'Behind every emigrant there is a human being with a history of his own, with a culture and ideals. Aseptic analysis produces sterile measurements; on the other hand, a relationship with a person in the flesh helps us to perceive the deep scars that he carries with him, caused by the reason, or the unreason, of his migration.'

- Pope Francis, Message to the President of the Latin American and Caribbean Parliament (Parlatino) on the occasion of its 33rd General Assembly, 12 June 2017
 

Ordinary Time 12 Year A (Matthew 10:26-33)

'Many of those who once looked through the barbed-wire fences of Australia’s detention centres carry personal stories of fear of persecution. One such story, the story of Najaf Mazari, is beautifully narrated by Najaf and Robert Hillman in their joint work, The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif...'

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

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

 

Mercy Bridges, a ministry of the Sisters of Mercy, provides basic literacy services and English as a second language for adults. Sisters, Associates, and friends of Mercy teach those who may not qualify for, have access to, or success with other literacy programs. Mercy Bridges collaborates with other Mercy ministries and community literacy agencies.

Further Resources

Worth Playing:

Nella Fantasia (Gabriel's Oboe) The Song from 'The Mission' sung by Nathan Pacheco. Musicians Nicole Pinnell and Rebecca Pacheco. Watch/listen here (04:07) Purchase on *iTunes

Worth Reading:
-Displacement of Persons

Migrants

News agencies from 10 countries have joined in a special news investigation into migrant smuggling in the wake of the refugee crisis sweeping Europe and the continuing troubles throughout the Asia Pacific and the US. Visit the dedicated site

Refugees

To coincide with World Refugee Day, UNHCR has released its annual Global Trends Forced Displacement report showing that  more people are forcibly displaced than ever before. Access the report website here

'Remembering and dismembering on World Refugee Day' by Andrew Hamilton sj. Read the article here

Worth Reflecting on:

Refugees

'What They Took With Them'. Well-known actors perform Jenifer Toksvig's poem which was inspired by the stories and testimonies of people fleeing their homes and the items they took with them. In support of UNHCR's stand #WithRefugees petition. Watch it here (05:24)

Watch the movements of every refugee on earth since the year 2000! A visualisation of refugee flow from 2000-2015. View it here

Worth Taking Action:

Refugees

Sign the #WithRefugees petition

The Bottom Line:

'I’ve met so many who have lost so much. But they never lose their dreams for their children or their desire to better our world. They ask for little in return – only our support in their time of greatest need.'

UN Secretary-General, António Guterres on World Refugee Day

Send suggestions and contributions for the 'Worth...' section 2016 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 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)