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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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    Fifth Sunday in Lent

    We are heading to the end of the Lenten Season and nearer to Holy Week and the Passion of Our Lord. The scripture readings today lead us up to this event.

    • For reflection
    What progress have I made on my Lenten journey?

    You might like to post a thought, reflection or prayer in our prayer space

    Fourth Sunday in Lent

    Laetare Sunday is the name given to the fourth Sunday in the season of Lent. It means ‘Rejoice’. We are to be encouraged by our Lenten efforts and in our efforts. The Gospel reading from John gives us reason to rejoice. It tells us of God’s saving love for the world - for our common home and all creatures. This is the first time in John’s Gospel that we have heard of God’s saving activity expressed in terms of love before .

    • For reflection
    We are at the midpoint of this Season. How well am I journeying?

    You might like to post a thought, reflection or prayer in our prayer space

    Celebrating International Women's Day 2018

    International Women's Day this year celebrates the activists working to claim women’s rights everywhere and to empower women in all settings, rural and urban. With this theme the work undertaken by Sisters of Mercy and our co-workers, increasingly in collaboration with like-minded organisations, is recognised.

    From our inception in 1831, Sisters of Mercy have had a particular focus on caring for women and children, with Catherine McAuley, our foundress recognising the significant role women play in shaping society and future generations. 'No work of charity can be more productive of good to society, or more conducive to the happiness of the poor than the careful instruction of women', wrote Catherine and ever since through education, healthcare, housing and the provision of other services, Sisters of Mercy have worked to protect, support and empower women.

    We, Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Congregation, have re-committed ourselves to use our energies, gifts and resources to address violence and discrimination especially for women and children, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, displaced persons, minority groups, the homeless, those suffering hardship because of poverty and those affected by injustice within the Church.

    We invite you to learn more about the rich variety of works (ministries) we are engaged in and to consider how you might collaborate with us through prayer, advocacy, participation in events or other involvement.

    'Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world.'

    -UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, Message for International Women's Day 2018

    Third Sunday in Lent

    Today’s gospel reading (John 2:13-25) considers different understandings of Temple - the dwelling place of God. The Disciples' understanding of Temple is of the physical building and that it will be destroyed. Jesus introduces them to another idea: it is his body that will be destroyed and raised up in 3 days, something they eventually come to understand.

    For your Reflection this week

    • Where am I in my Lenten journey? How do I understand God's dwelling place?

    You might like to post a thought, reflection or prayer in our prayer space

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