News Items

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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Sister Veronica Lawson RSM (East Ballarat) offers a reflection on the Gospel for the fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C, Luke 5:1-11). 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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In Adelaide tomorrow (Friday February 2, 2007), Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Alexander Downer will launch a book of reflections on the Australian campaign to ban landmines. Entitled "A path is made by walking it: reflections on the Australian network to ban landmines 1991-2006", the book has been edited by Adelaide Sister of Mercy Patricia Pak Poy and Margaret Bolton (co-editor).

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Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH) and the Brigidine Congregational Leadership Team invite you to hear Sister Catherine Ferguson SNJM speak in Sydney and Melbourne on the topic Global Justice Issues at the United Nations, Human Trafficking: Slavery in our World. Find out more.

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The Institute Justice Core Group is keen to receive your feedback about the justice material presented via "Mercy M@tters" in 2006. Download the attached material and email your response to Sister Karon Donnellon by next Monday February 5, 2007. Find out more.

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February 01, 2007

Toward the end of 2006, Sister Pauline Masters RSM (Perth) spent time in Africa working with Sisters of Mercy. Pauline has been involved in many aspects of education, including two mission experiences in Papua New Guinea. She has a deep concern for social justice issues and contributes, voluntarily, to several organisations in Perth, particularly those concerned with refugees. Pauline reflects on her Africa experience.

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February 01, 2007

Sister Gulnaz Alfred RSM (Pakistan) reports on how the seed of Mercy that Catherine McAuley sowed 175 years ago in Dublin has miraculously found roots in Pakistan and is flourishing. Currently, seven Sisters of Mercy are permanently residing in two areas of Pakistan - Rawalpindi in the north, near Islamabad, and Karachi in the south, on the coast of the Arabian Sea. Gulnaz describes how some of the sisters and the communities they serve celebrated Christmas. She also admits that her article is "an attempt to encourage sisters in Australia to see the ways in which they could come and serve here

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Bathurst Sisters of Mercy are searching for ways to address the serious issue of climate change and the degradation of the earth and its resources within the context of Mercy spirituality and Catherine's concern for the poor. A series of programs have been proposed under the heading Towards "Growing" an Ecological Learning Community and are outlined in the attached brochure.

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The 2007 release of the CD and music book "Songs Along the Way" completes a set of three works created by Bathurst Sister of Mercy, Mary Trainor. These contemporary hymns touch into incarnational spirituality and are an aid to prayer and meditation, taking inspiration from Luke 24:32 "Were not our hearts burning within us as we walked with Him along the way?"

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PNG celebrates 175th anniversary of Mercy Sisters The 175th anniversary of the foundation of the Sisters of Mercy was celebrated in Coolock House, Goroka, Papua New Guinea with the reception into canonical year of Kunnie Kalango and Hilda Yangele. Eight sisters from the Highlands gathered for Eucharist in Coolock, the Formation House for the Sisters of Mercy of Papua New Guinea. The day also marked the beginning of the "Come and See" program for four women who wish to join the Sisters of Mercy next year.

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