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World Refugee Day, 20 June 2018

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

The theme for Refugee Week (17-23 June 2018) #WithRefugees emphasises the need for the safety and rights of all refugees to be protected.

The international campaign continues until a global compact on refugees is signed later this year. UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, is asking us all of us to help them send a clear message to governments that they must act with solidarity and shared responsibility by signing the #With Refugees Petition.

Join Sisters of Mercy and people across the globe on World Refugee Day in praying this prayer 'A Moment for Grace' composed by Catholic Relief Services USA.

God of our Wandering Ancestors,
Long have we known
That your heart is with the refugee:
That you were born into time
In a family of refugees
Fleeing violence in their homeland,
Who then gathered up their hungry child
And fled into alien country.

Their cry, your cry, resounds through the ages: “Will you let me in?”
Give us hearts that break open

When our brothers and sisters turn to us
          with that same cry.
Then surely all these things will follow:
     Ears will no longer turn deaf to their voices.
     Eyes will see a moment for grace instead of a threat.
    Tongues will not be silenced but will instead advocate.
And hands will reach out—
working for peace in their homeland,
working for justice in the lands where they seek safe haven.
Lord, protect all refugees in their travels.
May they find a friend in me
And so make me worthy
Of the refuge I have found in you.

           Amen

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    Act for Earth Day, 22 April

    'We will enjoy and celebrate Earth’s beauty and bounty and her many species. We will honour our duty to love and care for her and add to her well-being wherever possible.'
    (Chapter Statement)


    This Sunday, 22 April is Earth Day. Each year Earth Day has a theme. The focus of this year's celebration is to end plastic pollution, now considered amongst the greatest of environmental threats, because it is literally found everywhere.

    Plastic pollution is attacking Australia’s beaches, waterways and oceans, and the animals that live there which this video from Guardian Australia shows.



    How can we reduce plastic in our day-to-day life?

    One possibility is to enact the 4Rs:
    Refuse disposable plastic...
    Reduce your plastic footprint...
    Reuse durable, non-toxic containers...
    Recycle what you can’t refuse, reduce or reuse...

    The Earth day network is focussed on ending plastic pollution. More information, suggestions and resources can be found in this kit.

    For Those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters: April Prayer Intention of Pope Francis

    'We will open our hearts to the cries of the poor using our energies, gifts and resources...' (Chapter Statement)


    We are all invited to join with Pope Francis and his worldwide prayer network in praying this month's intention: For Those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters.

    Text of the April video:

    'The economy cannot attempt only to increase profits by reducing the work force and thereby adding to the ranks of the excluded. It must follow the path marked out by business leaders, politicians, thinkers, and leaders in society who place the human person in first place, and do everything possible to ensure that there are opportunities of dignified work.

    Let us say “no” to an economy of exclusion, an economy that kills. And let us fight to achieve a “yes” to an economy that lets live because it shares, includes the poor, and uses profits to create communion.

    Let us raise our voices together, asking that economists may have the courage to reject an economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.'




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

    Holy Week and Easter 2018

    'We will encourage understanding and practice of our faith, informed by new knowledge and the interaction of science, theology and spirituality.' (Chapter Statement)

    We have now entered the holiest of weeks in our Christian calendar. Today, Thursday, is Holy Thursday, a day of profound meaning. It will be followed by the solemnity, sorrow and extraordinary sacrifice of Good Friday, the anxious anticipation of Holy Saturday and the unbridled  joy of Easter Sunday.

    We, Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Congregation, invite you to join us in prayer, thought or reflection on the significance of these days for ourselves, for each other, for the wider community and for the needs of the world in which we live.

    You might like to watch this video, Come and witness first light with its contemporary portrayal of the significance of the journey with the cross to resurrection

     

    Come and witness first light from KAIROS Canada on Vimeo.

    'In our world it is so hard to believe and yet we hold to that promise... that new life, genuine transformation, come to these first: the oppressed, the grieving, those violated by indifference, those harmed by inaction, those showing risky solidarity. Let these be the first to glimpse first light, impossible hope made possible in tangible, incredible change.'

    Easter blessings

    World Water Day 2018

    'We will live simply, in a way that takes into account the fragility of Mother Earth by using her resources more sparingly and, where possible, living with less.'
    (Chapter Statement)

    This year’s theme for World Water Day– Nature for Water – explores how we can use nature to overcome the water challenges of the 21st century.

    Environmental damage, we are told, together with climate change, is driving the water-related crises we see around the world. Floods, drought and water pollution are all made worse by degraded vegetation, soil, rivers and lakes. (United Nations).

    Today, the President of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák is launching the International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2028.

    Clean, accessible water is critical for sustainable development and the eradication of poverty and hunger, and it is indispensable for human development, health and well-being, as this video reminds us



    • For reflection

    How do I understand water? How do I value water? How do I manage my water useage?

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