Mercy Day Reflection – September 24, 2022

The great feast that unites the Mercy world is Mercy Day, 24 September.La gran fiesta que une al mundo de la Misericordia es el Día de la Misericordia, el 24 de septiembre.

Catherine McAuley, Foundress

Many blessings as we remember and celebrate Mercy Day!
¡Muchas bendiciones al recordar y celebrar el Día de la Misericordia!

A Reflection has been prepared for this day which you may wish to use to celebrate with us.
Se ha preparado una Reflexión para este día que puede utilizar para celebrar con nosotros.

 

 

Day of Migrants and Refugees

The Church has been celebrating the World Day of Migrants and Refugees (WDMR) since 1914

“Angels Unawares” sculpture by Timothy Schmalz

September 25 is a day set aside by the Church to reflect on the plight of migrants and refugees. The theme for this year is Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees, a theme which takes on particular meaning in today’s world. Pope Francis’ message for this occasion can be found here 

This year’s theme also has particular relevance in the current Canadian context. More than 500,00 people are living and working in Canada without status or in precarious situations.

The Canadian government is looking to implement a program to grant permanent resident status to those people, who were the backbone of our workforce during the Covid 19 crisis. If this program is adopted by Parliament in its Fall session, the lives of all these people would be changed considerably.
Let us pray that this may be so …

More information and resources to mark this day can be found here

La Iglesia celebra la Jornada Mundial del Emigrante y del Refugiado (JMR) desde 1914

El 25 de septiembre es un día reservado por la Iglesia para reflexionar sobre la difícil situación de los migrantes y los refugiados. El tema de este año es Construir el futuro con los migrantes y los refugiados, un tema que adquiere un significado especial en el mundo actual. El mensaje del Papa Francisco para esta ocasión se puede encontrar aquí

El tema de este año también tiene especial relevancia en el contexto actual de Canadá. Más de 500.000 personas viven y trabajan en Canadá sin estatus o en situaciones precarias.

El gobierno canadiense está estudiando la posibilidad de poner en marcha un programa para conceder el estatus de residente permanente a estas personas, que fueron la columna vertebral de nuestra mano de obra durante la crisis del Covid 19. Si este programa es aprobado por el Parlamento en su sesión de otoño, la vida de todas estas personas cambiaría considerablemente.
Recemos para que así sea…

Puede encontrar más información y recursos para celebrar este día aquí

Season of Creation 2022 is underway!

We are called to personal and communal reflection and action

Week Three: 15-22 September: The Burning Bush – God’s Presence

The fire that attracted Moses’ attention on Mount Horeb while he was tending his flock did not consume or destroy the bush.  God’s fire is not ultimately destructive. It is rather a sign of God’s Presence and life-giving and life-sustaining energy.This marvellous phenomenon that Moses experienced declared God’s presence in the midst of ordinary life.  Elizabeth Barrett Browning captures this reality inher little poem:

                                    Earth’s crammed with heaven
                                    and every common bush afire with God;
                                    but only those who see take off their shoes …
                                    the rest sit around and pluck blackberries.

 As we ponder this evocative image, let us in this third week of the Season of Creation,  reflect on all those situations/events/experiences that call us to stop, take notice of and engage with the experience.  We have all experienced “burning bush” moments. These moments occur when we sense that God is seeking our attention, speaking to us, calling us to participate in what God is doing in our midst. The Burning Bush experience changed Moses’ life.  These moments can change our lives and the lives of those to whom God sends us.  They draw us into a deep engagement with the living God, Who is always present and active in our lives and in the lives of those around us, especially those who suffer oppression, alienation and injustice of any kind.

As we become more conscious that all of life is holy ground, we become more attuned to what Pope Francis calls the “sweet songs of praise” and the “anguished pleas” coming from all parts of creation, both human and non-human. Week Three offers us another opportunity to tune in to those voices of creation, and to bring them the loving heart of God.

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Week Two: 8 – 14 September: The Burning Bush – Physical Fires

Today the prevalence of deadly wildfires is a sign of the devastating effects of climate change on the most vulnerable of our planet.  Disintegration of ecosystems have led to habitat destruction and loss of livelihood for many of Earth’s species. Forests are being wiped out, animals are being driven out of their natural habitat, and forced migration of peoples all over the world are all happening at an alarming rate.

In this second week, we are again urged to listen to and really heed the different voices of creation.  Moreover, we are being called to recognize our negligence and destructive patterns and to lament and ask pardon for our refusal to heed the anguished cries of Earth and her creatures. Laudato Si speaks very poignantly of our current situation:

The pace of consumption, waste and environmental change has stretched the planet’s capacity that our contemporary lifestyle, unsustainable as it is, can only precipitate catastrophes.

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Week One: 1-7 September: Beginning the 2022 Season of Creation.

The theme for this year “Listen to the Voices of Creation” provides opportunities for deep reflection and sharing on the gift of creation, with its many different voices, both those that are loud and clear and those that are barely heard or not heard at all. Let this be an opportunity for us to take note of the many different voices that call us to listen, to really hear and heed what Earth and Earth’s people are asking of us in these times.

The symbol of the Burning Bush, the revelation of God’s Presence, is a reminder to us to “take off our sandals, contemplate our connection to holy ground, listen for the voice of creation and be filled with hope to quench the fires of injustice with the light of God’s healing love that sustains our common home.”

Developments for The Gathering Place

For the past couple of weeks work has begun in the interior of Mercy Convent to prepare for the construction of the shelter and transition accommodations for the homeless that will be administered by The Gathering Place.

We currently have a 30-bed shelter operating daily out of the auditorium of the former Mercy School. The interior of the convent will be totally re-constructed to a design suited to the program of care of those who have no home that will eventually see them settled in a permanent housing arrangement.
The majority of the funding for this project comes from the Federal and Provincial housing strategies.
We have been fortunate to have a generous donor who has already given two million dollars along with other corporate and individual donors.
The chapel of Mercy will not be renovated and will serve as part of the Gathering Place project and other possible use yet to be defined.

World Humanitarian Day, 19 August

This day honors humanitarian aid workers all over the world. 

Established in 2009, World Humanitarian Daycommemorates the bombing of the UN headquarters in Iraq with great loss of life. Humanitarian aid workers provide life-saving assistance to suffering people in conflict zones and areas devastated by natural disasters. Thousands gave their lives and suffered injuries in providing support and protection to people in need. At one point in 2021, 235 million people in 26 countries required humanitarian assistance.
We honour them.

Celebrating 421 Years of Life and Ministry!

Six Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland have celebrated 70 years of life and ministry.

On August 15, 2022 the Eucharistic Liturgy was celebrated in the chapel at The Residence at Littledale in St. John’s. In the afternoon a gathering of all the Sisters who could attend was filled with music and song and good food. A special anniversary cake was cut and shared and gifts were presented.

This was the first time that the Congregation celebrated 70 years (platinum jubilee)! Sister Loretta Dower had reached her 70th Jubilee in 2021 and was included with the group of this year.

Sr Annette Hawco

Over the next 10 years we will have about 45 sisters who will reach the platinum jubilee!

In 2023 year Sister Annette Hawco will reach her 80th anniversary of reception and her 100th birthday!

Opening of Our Holy Doors (Newfoundland)

On Sunday, December 13, 2015 Pope Francis opened the Holy Door of the Cathedral of Rome. In Dublin on that same Day, during Foundation Day celebrations, the red Doors of Mercy International Centre were opened.

The Leadership Team Newfoundland invited every local community or Sister living alone and every place of ministry, on or near December 12, to name their Holy Door of Mercy, to celebrate its opening and to place on it a symbol. The Team made a composite of all our Holy Doors in Newfoundland and Peru as a reminder of the privilege we have in being doorkeepers and guardians of the in-between places of Mercy in our world.

Attached are the components (four panels) of our Collage for the Opening of our Holy Doors of Mercy. Sisters, Associates and Partners in Mercy have received the actual Collage which is in a larger size and which opens to be able to stand up on prayer tables or other special places.

FRONT of Collage

 

INSIDE of Collage

Will we as doorkeepers hold wide the door to invite those who are hungry, thirsty, imprisoned, sick, strange, or naked to come in to find Mercy?
¿Mantendrán ustedes como guardianas, la puerta abierta para invitar a quienes tienen hambre o sed, a las personas prisioneras, a quienes están enfermas, forasteras o desnudas, a entrar y encontrar Misericordia?

 

¿Vigilarán ustedes como guardianas de la puerta nuestras «salidas y regresos» (Salmo 121, 8) al arriesgarnos a esta nueva forma de ver Misericordia y ser Misericordia en tiempos que pueden ser tan aterradores y desalentadores?
Will we as doorkeepers guard our “going out and our coming in” (Ps 121:8) as we dare this new way of seeing Mercy and being Mercy in times that can be so fearful and discouraging?

SIDE PANELS

Since the making of this composite many other Associates and Partners in Mercy either as groups or as individuals continue to create symbolic doors for not only opening the Holy Doors but even more for living the Mercy that comes into and goes out through these doors.

Messages to: Elizabeth Marrie rsm – Leadership Team

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, 9 August

In 1994 the United Nations decided that the International Day of Indigenous Peoples be celebrated each year on August 9. 
On this day people around the world are encouraged to spread the UN’s message on the protection and preservation of the rights of indigenous peoples. This year’s theme is The Role of Indigenous Women in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge.

Indigenous women are the backbone of their communities and play a crucial role in preserving and passing on traditional ancestral knowledge. However, they face many major issues in their everyday life, some of which are high levels of poverty, low levels of education, limitations in access to health, basic sanitation and employment, and the prevalence of domestic and sexual violence.

To learn more about this special observance, go to the following link:
https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/international-day-of-the-worlds-indigenous-peoples.html

Season of Creation 2022

The launch of the Season of Creation 2022 took place on February 23 of this year.

The theme for this year is Listening to the Voice of Creation and the symbol is the burning bush.

The Season of Creation is an ecumenical time, inviting Christian communities around the world to unite in prayer and action for creation. Patriarch Dimitrios 1 proclaimed September 1 as a special day of prayer for creation for his Orthodox community in 1989. The World Council of Churches was instrumental in expanding this day of prayer to a full season, and in 2015 Pope Francis made the season official for the Catholic Church.

The symbol of the burning bush was chosen:

  • in reference to the physical fires with the consequent loss of life and property and being experienced by so many people in our world, as well as the terrible devastation of the environment
  • in reference to the Book of Exodus where fire symbolizes God’s presence close to each of us. God heard the voice of all who suffered and promised to be with them in their suffering
  • in reference to “taking off our shoes” because we are indeed on sacred ground. Our current lifestyle which disconnects us from nature is unsustainable

The Season of Creation opens on September 1 and closes on October 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. This is simply a preview of this upcoming special season.
As in previous years, it is our hope that our congregation will again be involved in celebrating the Season of Creation in union with all our sisters and brothers around the world as we reflect together on our relationship with our Creator and with all of creation.

For further information, please use the following link:

https://seasonofcreation.org/resources/