News & Events

Mercy Works: Sharing Screens & Stories

Monday mornings can be the most mundane part of the new week but sometimes there is a feeling of excitement about something new. On Monday the 14th of September, this particular feeling was swirling around the Mercy Works’ offices as we prepared for a first: delivering a presentation to primary school students via Zoom.

The month of September is an important month in the world of Mercy. This month is where we celebrate the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, Catherine McAuley, and the reason why Mercy is still at the forefront of schools and organisations around the world.

Mercy Day is celebrated on the 24th of September and the Mercy community comes together to celebrate the beginnings of what we know Mercy to be today. This year, it will look vastly different. With Mercy Day around the corner and restrictions on gatherings still in place, schools have had to become even more creative as they celebrate this important day.

The clock ticked over 9:30am and sure enough, right on time, a room full of cheery year 6 students from St. Anthony’s Girraween, appeared on the screen inside the Board Room. One click of a button and the sharing started. Our pre-recorded video began to play and told the story of Mercy Works.

After a short video, the students jumped right in question mode. What started out as a planned fifteen minute zoom meeting turned into half an hour of many great questions. Our hardest decision wasn't choosing the next question but choosing which would be our last one.

Each year, the year 6 students at St. Anthony’s host a ‘Mercy Market’ day where the students come up with different ideas for stalls to raise money for Mercy Works. Ranging from sideshow games all the way to bake sales, the students come up with the most creative and engaging ways to raise awareness about Mercy Works whilst also have a tonne of fun.

Technology has bridged many gaps in its existence but for the better part of this year it has been keeping all of us connected when we couldn’t physically see each other.

This meeting would not have been possible without the incredible support of the teaching staff at St. Anthony’s and for that, we thank them very much. The community at St. Anthony’s has been supporting Mercy Works for many years and we are incredibly grateful for all the fundraising they do.

Their efforts have helped Mercy Works support and fund projects focused on education and health both here in Australia and overseas in Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea.

Check out our Facebook page for more photos!

Church Denounces Malicious Emails Claiming to be from Catholic Sources

Media Release from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, June 8, 2020

The Catholic Church has denounced a number of malicious emails being sent to random recipients claiming to be from Catholic parishes, dioceses and other organisations.

In recent weeks, emails have been sent that mention one or more of the following: Cardinal George Pell, the complainant in his criminal trial, COVID-19 and – most recently – the upcoming Eden-Monaro byelection.

 “The content in the small number of emails that have been forwarded to us is offensive, unChristian and, in some cases, defamatory,” said Fr Stephen Hackett MSC, general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

 “The views expressed in the emails we have seen do not in any way reflect the views of the Catholic Church, nor the organisations that are purported to have sent them.”

Information technology experts say the technique being used is call “spoofing”, which sees the attackers create fake email addresses using legitimate or seemingly legitimate domain names.

“This has been described as the equivalent of someone sending a letter in the post that is ‘signed’ in someone else’s name and contains a fake return address,” Fr Hackett said.

 “Just as a letter of that kind would be hard to spot as fraudulent, some of the email addresses used appear to be legitimate and many people have contacted various Catholic organisations after receiving the messages.”

 Organisations that are known to have been attacked have taken steps that can limit the sending and receipt of these emails, but those measures have limited effectiveness and rely partly on the spam and junk email settings of the recipients.

“There is no evidence to suggest that databases nor servers have been compromised, which is supported by the fact that some of the people who have contacted us have no connection with the Catholic Church,” Fr Hackett said.

 “It is deeply regrettable that a number of people are being maligned in these emails, which seem designed to attack Cardinal Pell, Witness J, the Catholic Church and now even politicians.” Fr Hackett says a number of media reports have described an increase in the amount of devious online behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have been told that because these emails aren’t seeking money or seeking to access people’s personal details, they don’t meet the threshold for criminal investigation.

 “We, nevertheless, see this behaviour as harmful and criminal,” he said.

Media contact: Gavin Abraham • 0408 825 788 • media@catholic.org.au

Download the media release here (PDF)

Compassion for the World: June 2020 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: Compassion for the World

We pray that all those who suffer may find their way in life, allowing themselves to be touched by the Heart of Jesus.

  
Text of the video:

Many people suffer due to the great difficulties they endure.
We can help them by accompanying them along an itinerary full of compassion which transforms people's lives.
It brings them closer to the Heart of Christ, which welcomes all of us into the revolution of tenderness.
We pray that all those who suffer may find their way in life, allowing themselves to be touched by the Heart of Jesus.

⁠—Pope Francis, June 2020





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

Join in a Discussion about Mercy Global Presence Theme 'Mercy & the Degradation of Earth'

Valda Dickinson rsm is hosting online zoom meetings on Friday, May 22 and Saturday, June 13 at 10 am.  This is an opportunity to discuss the resources made available to us on the current theme of Mercy Global Presence
Mercy and the Degradation of Earth.

To register, email 
valda.rsm@gmail.com or call 0411 786 549. All are welcome. 

To view the resources on this theme.
Go to Mercy Global Presence here: https://www.mercyworld.org/about/our-initiatives/mercy-global-presence/

Click on the yellow button labelled 'Click here for Current Resources'
Click on the words 'View Resources' on the theme  'Mercy and the Degradation of Earth'
Choose what you would like to view from the resources listed 

Let's Talk: COVID 19-Mercy Global Presence

Charles Dickens in a Tale of Two Cities opens the story with these powerful words,

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.
It was the epoch of belief, it was epoch of incredulity.

For us, living with the effects of COVID-19, we have the possibility of it being the best or worst of times, a time of wisdom or foolishness, a time of belief or incredulity.

Each person’s response may well depend on his/her situation, temperament and age. I suspect it will be different for someone struck by the virus, a homeless person, a business owner, a parent out of work and supervising children learning at home, a nurse or doctor, an aged resident in a home, an asylum seeker, a street cleaner, people living in underdeveloped countries with limited medical facilities, an extravert, an introvert etc. etc…

The images that come to mind are kaleidoscopic somewhat like a stain glass window in which the big picture contains many parts with different colours and images. Each section is an essential part of a bigger whole or like an evolving narrative.

As well as being a time of challenge to us all to survive this pandemic, this is a time brimming with creative energy. Anyone writing a novel entitled A Tale of Earth during Covid 19 will surely be able to view the situation from many different perspectives.

We will know in time to come, whether this event was as paradigm changing for individuals, society, culture and the natural world as the French Revolution.
We will know in time to come how profound an impression is being made on our lives and on modern history. 

You might like to ponder the following questions:

  • What changes or green shoots are emerging in my life, society and the natural world because of this pandemic?
  • How does the Easter message of death and new life, darkness and light, reflect what I am experiencing right now?

You might like to read some reflections from Elizabeth Davis rsm on Mercy Global Presence.
Click here to read these.

A ZOOM ROOM will be available on WEDNESDAY APRIL 22 to share your reflections on Elizabeth’s article, the above questions and any other concerns you would like considered.

If you are interested, contact Valda at Email: valda.rsm@gmail.com or at Mobile 0411786549 for time, directions and code to join the conversation.