Pray for Victims of the Orlando Massacre
from the Mid-Atlantic Community Leadership Team
Only love can begin to alleviate the pain and anguish experienced by the victims in the Orlando massacre, their families, their loved ones and all throughout the world who stand in solidarity with them. We join with persons of good will throughout the world in praying that God's love within each of us will overwhelm hatred and violence. We resonate with Orlando Bishop Robert Lynch when on Monday he wrote in his blog: "Sadly it is religion, including our own, which targets, mostly verbally, and also often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people. Attacks today on LGBT men and women often plant the seed of contempt, then hatred, which can ultimately lead to violence. Those women and men who were [brutally murdered] early yesterday morning were all made in the image and likeness of God. We teach that. We should believe that. We must stand for that." Let us pray for deepening insight of how we must stand, individually and collectively, with our gay, lesbian and transgender brothers and sisters. Read also this prayer from the Institute.
Four Mid-Atlantic Sisters Profess First Vows
Sisters Marjorie Tapia, RSM, Danielle Gagnon, RSM, Marybeth Beretta, RSM, and Jennifer Barrow, RSM (left to right)
Over 375 sisters, associates, friends and family members from 16 different states gathered this past Sunday, June 12, 2016, at the Chapel at Mount Saint Mary in Watchung, NJ, to celebrate the first vows of four Mid-Atlantic sisters. During a liturgy presided by Reverend Kevin DiPrinzio, OSA, Sisters Jennifer Barrow, RSM, Marybeth Beretta, RSM, Danielle Gagnon, RSM, and Marjorie Tapia, RSM, professed their temporary vows. Witnesses during the signing of the vows included Sisters Regina Williams, RSM, Rayleen Giannotti, RSM, Kathleen McAlpin, RSM, Elaine Marchand, RSM, Ginger Andrews, RSM, Betty Scanlon, RSM, Mary Cleary, RSM, and Irene Gormley, RSM. Mid-Atlantic Sister Marie Michele Donnelly, RSM, provided instruction on their vows. Here are photos from the event (password: mercy1831). A video with highlights of the ceremony will be available next week. We rejoice with these women as they take this next step in their response to God's call.
Read Communal Action Update from the Critical Concerns Committee
The Critical Concerns Committee is excited to share with you that the work of preparing for the implementation of the communal action approved at our assembly has begun. Please read the update!
Support Human Rights Act
by Diane Guerin, RSM
Our sisters and associates in Honduras face dangers every day, including human rights violations and the continued militarization of their country. They continue to challenge the Honduran government on issues and policies that ignore or deny the repression and murders of activists. For instance, on March 3, 2016, Berta Caceres, a friend of Mercy and an indigenous woman, was murdered for her opposition to the corporate takeover of indigenous lands for mining. Earlier this week, H.R. 5474, the Berta Caceres Human Rights Act, was introduced in the House of Representatives. This legislation would suspend U.S. security assistance to Honduras until such time as human rights violations by Honduran security forces cease and their perpetrators are brought to justice. Please contact your members of Congress and urge them to support this legislation. Additional information about the situation in Honduras can be found in the December Mercy Delegation Report and the recent Global Sisters Report, in which members of the Mercy delegation were interviewed.
Mid-Atlantic Sisters in the Media
Sisters Lisa Gambacorto,
RSM (front), and Mary
Kerwin, RSM (back)
(photo courtesy of
Mount Saint Mary)
Sisters Lisa Gambacorto, RSM, and Mary Kerwin, RSM, the current and former directresses of Mount Saint Mary Academy in Watchung, NJ, were featured in My Central Jersey. On June 13, 2016, they were recipients of the highest papal honor, the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, the Cross of Honour, for distinguished service to the church and the Diocese of Metuchen. Sister Patricia McCann, RSM, was featured in the Dallas, PA, Dallas Post for receiving the Catherine McAuley Medal during Misericordia University commencement ceremonies on May 21, 2016. Sister Margaret Dempsey, RSM, shares her thoughts with Sister Camille D'Arienzo, RSM, of National Catholic Reporter on the importance of prayer and companions of the journey. Sister Camille was awarded third place for Best Blog by Religious/Clergy by the 2016 Catholic Press Awards for her National Catholic Reporter column, "Conversations with Sr. Camille."
Reflect on the Refugee Crisis
by Diane Guerin, RSM
World Refugee Day, on June 20, brings attention to 58 million people displaced from their homes in Syria, Afghanistan, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan and Ukraine. Says Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, "Refugees are people like anyone else, like you and me. They led ordinary lives before becoming displaced, and their biggest dream is to be able to live normally again." Read their stories, and reflect and pray for refugees and their families. Work to educate others about this crisis and welcome refugees whenever an opportunity presents itself.
A Corporal Work of Mercy: Give Drink to the Thirsty
This illustration, drawn by Sister Clare Agnew, RSM, is one in a series depicting the works of mercy. Sister Clare was a foundation member of the Bermondsey community in south London in 1839. The illustrations, created while visiting several Mercy convents in Ireland in 1840, provide an eye-witness account of the how the early sisters carried out their ministries in the time of Catherine herself.