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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 734  |  09 August 2017
Featured Story

Editor: Mercy Focus on Haiti, (MFOH), a collaborative of Sisters of Mercy, Associate and Friends of Mercy, supported by the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, was highlighted last week in the Global Sisters Report as a practical example of the work being carried out by religious congregations to help alleviate poverty. It was cited by the author of the article 'In development goals, sisters set a people-first example' as a form of ministry addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Why?

In February this year the Institute entered into an agreement with Haiti's largest microfinance institution Fonkoze in an 18-month program, Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLM or Pathway to a Better Life) in the Gros Morne region of Haiti. The purpose of the program is described in the first quarterly report to Fonkoze as 'to enable ultra-poor women to emerge from poverty by acquiring income-generating assets and the skills, health, and confidence to grow such assets.'

The program is liberating, advancing the freedom and dignity of persons who are poor, building skills and sense of self, expanding economic opportunities. In this it is in alignment with the goals of the SDGs which are 'to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all'.

400 women and their families, including over 1200 children, living on $1.25 per day or less, will have their lives improved through participating in the MFOH-Fonkoze CLM partnership program which was launched on 13 July with the first cohort of 200.

The article in Global Sisters Report is linked to this item. More about the ministry intiative Mercy Focus on Haiti and its involvement in the CLM program can be found on its website. Previous articles from Mercy Focus on Haiti published on Mercyworld.org can be found here

Messages to: Kathy Thornton rsm - Mercy Focus on Haiti Coordinator

Image: L-r: Kathy Thornton rsm, Jill Weber rsm, Sophie Hertz, Sarah Healy, Beth Dempsey rsm, Kathy Thill rsm, Serge Beliard, Gary Gedeon, Andrea Healy. Photo: MFOH

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Vision in Action
Come Home to Catherine

Editor: Sisters, Associates, Friends and Co-workers in Mercy took part in the second and last of the Come Home to Catherine programs for 2017 which concluded on Saturday, 5 August.

Two Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, two Mercy Associates of the Americas, a teacher and former Board Member from Assumption High School, Louisville Kentucky, two American friends of Mercy, together with two Sisters of Mercy from Newfoundland comprised the group participating in this much loved program led by Aine Barrins rsm (The Congregation) and Anne Reid (Mercy Associate).

The Come Home to Catherine program is being offered once only in 2018, from 15-19 October. Register online or email Anna Nicholls rsm.

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

Back row: L-r: Irene Bozio, Kathy Buchino, Pat Kenny rsm, Carmelita Hagan rsm, Roberta Laska
Front row: L-r: Irene Neville rsm, Paula Martin, Judy Stanner, Lydia Kelly rsm, Betty Skonieczny

MIA Prayer Intention: Ending the Threat of Nuclear War

Today is the 72nd anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki which followed the bombing of Hiroshima three days earlier (6 August 1945). Together these bombings resulted in an estimated 199,000 casualties.

We are encouraged by the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons—after a decade-long effort by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)—which will open for signature by states at the United Nations in New York on 20 September 2017. However, with nuclear testing in North Korea and President Trump believing that the United States 'must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability', let us pray for an end to the threat of nuclear war by the reduction of the number of weapons held by all nation states to zero.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Image: Nuclear weapons testing

MIA Members News

The Sisters in Westport have pursued the Mercy International Reflection Process (MIRP ) and realise the most effective way of doing this is to link with other groups in the town, on such environmental issues...

On 16th of June I heard that there was a meeting in Tuam on the endangered bird the Swift. I knew it was a must. My parents instilled into me a great love and respect for all God’s creatures; little did I know that in later years that awareness would play such a big part in my prayer  life, contemplation, music and song ...

Messages to: Agnes Curley rsm

Image: iStock. Used under licence

The second Institute Chapter will take place from 13-26 August. The theme for the Chapter is ‘Who are we becoming by the grace of God? Yumi kamap wanem kain lain long grasia bilong God?’

Everyone is invited to participate in the Chapter through watching the two livestream broadcasts that will be occurring and through praying the Chapter Prayer. The livestream broadcasts will be able to be viewed on the front page of the Institute website.

Messages to: The Communications Team

Of the United Nations 17 Social Development Goals, it’s the fifth – gender equality – which is arguably the most closely aligned to the mission of the Sisters of Mercy worldwide. Their founder, Catherine McAuley, wrote in the Congregation’s original rule that no work of mercy “can be more productive of good to society, or more conducive to the happiness of the poor, than the careful instruction of women.” No matter what place in society they occupy, “their example and advice will always possess influence,” she wrote, and it is through their efforts that “peace and good order are generally to be found.”...

Messages to: Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregation Leader

Each year on 9 August, since 1994, the international community has come together to celebrate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, paying tribute to indigenous communities.

Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Congregation recognises the importance of this day in celebrating the unique cultural contributions made by Indigenous Peoples and what we can learn from them about ways of relating to each other and appreciating and caring for the environment...

Messages to: Maria Lawton rsm - Congregation Leadership Team

Image: Banksia, Australian wildflower

An Ecological Reading of Matthew's Gospel: Part 7 (ISMAPNG)

'As readers we come to the gospel text and read it, paying attention to the human and the holy and their interrelationship. But as ecological readers, we bring a new lens. As well as attending to the holy and the human we also take note of the habitat', writes Elaine Wainwright rsm in her article on Matthew 16:13-20 in this month's Tui Motu.

Download the article here (2pps; PDF)

Messages to: Elaine Wainwright rsm

Image: Jordan River. Used under under CC 3.0 Unported license

This letter was sent to all the main secular and religious News Papers and some Periodicals. Perhaps some will print it. The war against Islamic State has moved from front page Media coverage at present, so perhaps not. However, it is still very relevant and applies equally to the terrible conflict and the suffering of the people in Yemen and other areas.

'...As we look in wonder and awe at the extravagant beauty, the amazing variety, and the incredible number of different species in our natural world, may we learn to love, respect, appreciate and value the differences and variety in peoples, in their faith, their language, their colour, appearance and customs. May we learn to live and let live.'

Messages to: Camilla Hunt rsm

Mercy Matters

Mercy Focus on Haiti:
is a ministry initiative of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas;
is a group of committed people who share a desire to respond in an effective way to ongoing human needs in Haiti;
collaborates with the Religious of Jesus and Mary in ministry with the people of the Gros Morne area in Haiti.

1822: Catherine's cousin, Anne Conway Byrn died leaving four children in Catherine's care

1890: Sisters return to Buenos Aires from South Australia - M Baptist MacDonnell

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

'The church knows what it means to be “battered by the waves”. Over its two millennia history, there have been periods of discrimination and persecution against its members...'

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

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

Running out of storage, overwhelmed by spam or worried about your privacy? These tips will help you clean up your online act.

“We believe that the Holy Spirit works without rest for the sake of humanity and the world, and even the greatest pains of history will be overcome: this is the hope that resounds  every morning!”

“We believe that every affection, every friendship, every good wish, every love, even the most minute and neglected ones, will one day find their fulfillment in God: this is the force that drives us to embrace our everyday life with enthusiasm!”

- Pope Francis, General Audience, Rome, 2 August 2017

'The sun never, I believe, went down on our anger.'

-Catherine McAuley

Further Resources

Worth Playing:

Today is International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The Preatures, an Australian band from Sydney, New South Wales, have just released the song Yanada (Moon), which follows two girls, best friends in real life (one Indigenous), exploring their connection to each other and the land. Watch/listen here (04:48)

Worth Reading:

Human trafficking

Stop Trafficking! Anti Human Trafficking Newsletter August 2017 Vol. 15 No. 08 is now online. This issue highlights the trafficking of homeless youth. Download it here (8pps; PDF)

Modern-day slavery in focus 'I slept on the floor in a flat near Harrods': stories of modern slavery. Read them here

Worth Looking out for:

'Sacred' the documentary. Filmmakers from around the world explore religious experiences and rituals. Watch the trailer here

The Bottom Line:

'Indigenous communities are a part of the population to be appreciated and consulted, and whose full participation should be promoted at the local and national level.'

- Pope Francis, Meeting with representatives from Indigenous Peoples’ Forum, February 2017

Send suggestions and contributions for the 'Worth...' section 2017 to: the Editor

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