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The Lenten Journey: Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday signals the start of Lent, the Season of the Year when we have the opportunity to change, to begin again, to renew ourselves.  We are all invited by Pope Francis in his message for Lent 2018 'to take up the Lenten journey with enthusiasm', sustained by the traditional practices of almsgiving, fasting and prayer.

During the Season of Lent (14 February-29 March 2018 ), the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Congregation invite you to join with us and with the Mercy community globally in praying these intercessions:

  • In a world of violence and denial of basic human dignity, may we be lights in the darkness:
  • Create in us new hearts, O God
  • In a world of abundance which allows children to go hungry, may we work to banish famine and malnutrition:
  • Create in us new hearts, O God
  • In a world which places ambition and the quest for wealth and power above the values of family and faith, may we stand as witnesses that you are the source of all true happiness:
  • Create in us new hearts, O God
  • In a world where disagreements and longstanding enmities are resolved by war and civil disruption, may we be reconcilers and unifiers:
  • Create in us new hearts, O God
  • In a world created through your love and charged with your presence, may we teach others to see your face in all people and all creation:
  • Create in us new hearts, O God
  • In a world which hungers for meaning and searches for you, may we accompany those journeying to Baptism and support them through our prayer and witness:
  • Create in us new hearts, O God

You might also like to post a prayer, thought or reflection in our prayer space
Resources to aid your Lenten preparation can be found here

Source: Morning and Evening Prayer of the Sisters of Mercy

104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees: 14th January 2018

                                                        'We will open our hearts to the cries of the poor...'
                                                                                  (Chapter Statement

In his message for the celebration of the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis once again makes clear his deep concern for the situation of migrants and refugees, stressing the need to create a welcoming environment for these most vulnerable persons.

According to figures released by the United Nations in 2016, over 65 million people have been globally displaced. Wars and persecution have driven more people from their homes than at any time since UNHCR records began. Twenty-four people are displaced every minute and one in every 113 people on the planet is now either an asylum-seeker, internally displaced or a refugee.

The Pope’s message to people and nations is a call for decisive action and he proposes and then describes 4 steps which give the message its title: “Welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants and refugees”.

We, the Sisters of Mercy of the Parramatta Congregation, are committed to addressing the concerns of migrants and refugees in a spirit of justice, hospitality and compassion.

Religious Minorities in Asia: January Prayer Intention of Pope Francis

We are all invited to join with Pope Francis and his worldwide prayer network in praying this month's intention: Religious Minorities in Asia

Text of the January video:

'In the vastly diversified cultural world of Asia, the Church faces many risks and her task is made more difficult by the fact of her being a minority.
These risks, these challenges are shared with other minority religious traditions, with whom we share a desire for wisdom, truth and holiness.
When we think of those who are persecuted for their religion, we go beyond differences of rite or confession : We place ourselves on the side of the men and women who fight to avoid renouncing their religious identity.
Let us pray for all of them, so that Christians, and other religious minorities in Asian countries, may be able to practice their faith in full freedom.'




 We invite you to post a prayer or reflection in our prayer space

51st World Day of Peace: 1st January 2018

 'We will open our hearts to the cries of the poor...'      (Chapter Statement)  
   
In his message for the 1st January celebration of World Peace Day, "Migrants and refugees: men and women in search of peace", Pope Francis addresses one of the key themes of his pontificate - the situation of migrants and refugees.

While wishing “peace to all people and all nations”, Pope Francis is particularly conscious of “those who most keenly suffer its absence”. There are over 250 million migrants worldwide, of whom 22.5 million are refugees, searching for “somewhere to live in peace” as a consequence of "war and hunger, or forced by discrimination, persecution, poverty and environmental degradation to leave their homelands".

Pope Francis asks us all in a spirit of compassion to turn a “contemplative gaze” on migrants and refugees, to recognise that we are one human family and that their presence amongst us enriches us all.

We, the Sisters of Mercy of the Parramatta Congregation, are committed to addressing the concerns of migrants and refugees in a spirit of justice, hospitality and compassion.

UN video: 32 girls from 17 countries went to New York City to share their stories of loss, struggle, and most importantly, survival to remind us all that immediate humanitarian aid can be the miracle that millions around the world need.

Christmas Greetings and Blessings

May you be led this Christmas
by the ancient, blazing light of the Star
who is Christ.
May you walk your journey
from the depths of your heart,
awakening to yourself and the world
the gifts of Love, Compassion, Creativity, Wonder
and Promises to be revealed.

Mary-Louise, Maria, Trish, Marg and Margaret
Leadership Team Sisters of Mercy Parramatta

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