News Items

Adelaide Sisters Deirdre Jordan and Judith Redden visited Argentina late last year to represent their congregation at the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Sisters of Mercy in Argentina. While there, Deirdre, in her capacity as Emeritus Chancellor of Flinders University, presented Australia's Ambassador to Argentina, Mr Peter Hussin with a Distinguished Alumni Award. In addition to his position as Ambassador, Mr Hussin has supported projects in Argentina organised by Australians, one of which is a project sponsored by Adelaide's St Aloysius College.

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As Melbourne Sisters of Mercy this year celebrate 150 years since the arrival of the first Sister of Mercy, Perth sisters celebrate the sending forth of the three sisters who made the trek to the east coast and founded the Melbourne congregation. This week, fourteen Perth sisters are following in the footsteps of those three sisters - Ursula Frayne, Anne Xavier Dillon and Joseph Sherlock. But their journey will be much more comfortable. The sisters know where they are going and where they will land. Their flight across the Nullabor will take about four hours; the original group were on a ship

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Sister Veronica Lawson RSM (East Ballarat) offers a reflection on the Gospel for the seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C, Luke 6:27-38). Veronica is a biblical scholar and holds a doctorate in theology from Trinity College, Dublin. Before becoming congregation leader three years ago, Veronica taught on the Ballarat and Melbourne campuses of the Australian Catholic University for 20 years.

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The Institute Justice Core Group (Sisters Karon Donnellon, Pat Lynch, Jennie Ryan, Celestine Pooley, Carmel Heagerty - Institute Justice Co-ordinator) met on February 9 to reflect on the feedback from sisters regarding the Institute Justice Network model and the justice articles published in "Mercy M@tters". A report of the review will be presented to the Institute Plenary Council in April. The Institute Justice Core Group is grateful for all feedback received - affirmation, practical suggestions, questions, challenges and the ever-important dreams.

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In November last year, the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart released a joint statement declaring their resolve to stand with Aboriginal people in their struggle for basic human rights. In response, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mr Tom Calma, has sent a letter to the Institute expressing his gratitude for this statement and for the advocacy efforts of Mercy and Josephite Sisters.

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The founding principal of Mercedes College in Adelaide, Sister Mavis McBride RSM (Sister Philip), died on January 22, aged 83. At her funeral on February 1, celebrated in St John the Baptist Church Plympton, Sister Mavis was remembered with great affection by her Mercy sisters, relatives, friends, old scholars and fellow teachers. What follows is the eulogy given by Sister Barbara Broad at Sister Mavis' funeral.

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Sister Marie Butcher (Parramatta) and Sisters Rose Glennen and Liz Rothe (Institute's Indigenous Concerns Committee) have alerted us to the National Council of Churches campaign 40 DAYS OF ACTION FOR 40 YEARS OF INACTION. Forty years ago, 90.77 per cent of the Australian population voted in a referendum which finally made Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people citizens of their own country. There have been many changes and achievements for Indigenous people, but sadly, the condition that many Aboriginals still live in is not something to celebrate. Forty years ago the nation united and s

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For three days this week (February 12-14), recently elected Mercy congregation leaders - Sisters Faith Jones (Singleton), Berneice Loch (Rockhampton) and Marie Melville (Townsville) - met at the Institute's offices in Sydney with Sisters Nerida Tinkler, Caroline Ryan and Karon Donnellon to pray about and explore aspects of the ministry of leadership.

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This year marks 150 years since the arrival in Melbourne of the first Sister of Mercy, Ursula Frayne. As part of the celebrations Dr Deidre Mullan RSM, Director of Mercy Global Concern, the body representing Mercy International Association at the United Nations, will deliver a public lecture on March 6 at the Australian Catholic University's Knox Theatre.

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On International Human Rights Day last year (December 10), a group of young women and men gathered at the Academy of Mary Immaculate in Fitzroy (Melbourne) for the launch of Young Adult Mercy Links (YAML), a new initiative of the Melbourne Congregation co-ordinated by Sisters Margaret Moore, Sally Bradley and Victoria Cobb.

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Almost six months after sending a letter on behalf of the Institute to Attorney-General Philip Ruddock about the continued detention of Australian citizen David Hicks, Sister Caroline Ryan has received a response which we publish in this edition of "Mercy M@tters". In his letter, Mr Ruddock refers concerned Australians to a Q & A document he has prepared which contains "accurate, up-to-date information in relation to Mr Hicks."

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