Mercy Realizes It’s “Up to Us”

April 28, 2014

By Sister Mary P.

Sisters pledge to care for Earth. From left to right: Sisters Ann W., Carmela G., Nancy A., Judy O., Sue L., and Mary P.

Sisters pledge to care for Earth. From left to right: Sisters Ann W., Carmela G., Nancy A., Judy O., Sue L., and Mary P.

For the past 10 weeks, two Mercy Sisters, a Mercy Associate and one of the Institute Justice Team members have been involved in a new program called Up to Us Game Changer Intensive, put out by the Pachamama Alliance. It is Pachamama that gave us Awakening the Dreamer, an educational and inspirational workshop that challenges participants to create a more environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on Earth. Up To Us was developed as a response to the demand from facilitators for a way to translate Awakening the Dreamer into sustained behavioral and political action. People across the world have been asking, “What can I do?”  

Up To Us is an online course giving us access to videos, talks and files in eight learning modules that are stimulating, thought provoking, empowering and mobilizing for action. We had a module available online each week, a small group telephone meeting each week and three online meetings of the large group of over 200 participants.

Up To Us is part of the pathway of a journey of citizen engagement. Many of us have long been aware that the game is rigged in the United States in terms of money and power. Oppression and social injustice have become institutionalized through systems and structures that benefit the privileged and create a growing disparity of income. Up To Us provides a way to “strike at the root” through collective action. The Intensive chose the areas of representative democracy and climate change as the major issues of the day and cites two organizations that will help us to make a change in the world: and

Sisters Mary P. and Nancy A. at the Forward Climate Rally, held in Washington, D.C.

Sisters Mary P. and Nancy A. at the Forward Climate Rally, held in Washington, D.C.

As Sisters of Mercy we are called “to act in ways which contribute to a sustainable future” and particularly “to unmask and address the underlying causes” of the critical needs of our time. The Up to Us Intensive’s approach of addressing the current socio-economic-political systems is right in line with our own thinking. As long as we have a corrupt, bought-and-paid-for government, the critical needs of our time are equally corrupted. Up To Us is an inspiring way for all of us to collectively aim our energies at the root causes of injustice in our world. Find out more here.

For more resources and information, the Sisters of Mercy created our own initiative, Mercy Taking Action, which provides resources such as educational videos, small-group processes and retreat formats to inspire behavioral, policy and guideline changes at the personal and institutional levels. View our resources here.

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  1. Rosemary Sabino, RSM

    Love your energy, focus and easy dedication to the earth. Thanks for bringing the rest of us along.

  2. Michelle Salois, RSM

    I agree it is up to us! I am working to get certified in Permaculture design. besides advocating with the government; I hope we will decide and act so that every piece of land where we live or work can become a way to pull carbon out of the atmosphere and add food to the world with no pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizer!

  3. Rosemarie Ganpatsingh Choo-Shee-Nam, Commonwealth lawyer, 2007

    The injustices in society would continue to abound if there is no affirmative action to change viewpoints and mindsets. Hoping that Gender Equality will become a topic of Global Discussion that there would be a change in Workplace Manuals for Employment Practices, assuring women of inclusion at all levels of the organizational structures both in Public and Private Sectors, in Industry, in the Corporate World where significant trends requires change to a more gender balanced approach not only in terms of equality in salaries and benefits but equity in contribution to decision making processes, shaping policy and determining worth based on level of training and quality of Education. Social inclusion of skilled women that are not only pigeonholed to being Educators but leading and shaping Global Change for the a more sustainable planet and future.

  4. kathleren Smith

    Thanks Mary and all the other Sisters of Mercy who participated. Pass it on!

  5. Nancy Audette

    Great article, Mary! I just began the Game Changer Intensive this week and am looking forward to the
    next 8 weeks of readings, videos, small group work and full community meetings…all online…not traveling!