Connect With Mercy

Read about how sisters, associates, companions, volunteers, social justice advocates, staff and friends of Mercy live and experience the spirit of responding to the needs of those who are poor, sick and uneducated.
Wake up the World! 2015 is the Year of Consecrated Life.

August 31, 2015

By Sister Barbara Ann Ozelski

Sister Barbara Ann Ozelski was born in Brooklyn, New York. Last year, she celebrated her 60th anniversary as a Sister of Mercy. For 50 of these years, she has been serving in the Republic of Panama, including teaching, helping those sick with leprosy (1964-69), serving economically poor families and the indigenous people the mountainous areas of Volcan, and serving poor mothers, children and teens in Colón, a slum city in Panama.

Sister Barbara

Sister Barbara smiles, surrounded by children at the MUCEC Center.

Within a filthy building, one of hundreds of condemned living structures in the slum city of Colón, Panama, a woman is raped. Her attacker sometimes gives food to her and her four children; for this reason, she does not dwell on the violation, as it is only one of many daily humiliations that she and her family suffer. Many single moms, with little or no income, are unable to provide food, clothing or education for their children. This is not living, but only existing, under miserable and inhuman conditions. Some have humiliated themselves to the point of prostitution in order to send their children to school. The pain is endless, yet opens a door to new beginnings.   Read More »

Año de la Vida Consagrada

August 31, 2015

Por la Hermana Barbara Ann Ozelski

Hermana Barbara Ann Ozelski, nació en Brooklyn, Nueva York.  El año pasado celebró sus 60 años de aniversario como una Hermana de la Misericordia.  Cincuenta de estos años, ella ha servido en la República de Panamá, incluyen enseñar, ayudar a niños enfermos con lepra (1964-69), ayudar económicamente a las familias pobres y a las personas en el área montañosa de Volcán, y ayudando a madres, niños y jóvenes en el barrio bajo de Colón en Panamá.

Sister Barbara

Hermana Barbara sonríe, rodeada de niños en el Centro MUCEC.

Dentro de un edificio totalmente en ruinas, uno de cientos de estructuras condenadas en  el barrio bajo de Colón, Panamá, una mujer es abusada.  El violador, a veces, le da comida a ella y a sus 4 niños. Por esta razón, ella no piensa en la violación, pues es solamente una de muchas humillaciones que sufre diariamente junto con su familia. Muchas madres solteras, con poco o ningún ingreso, son incapaces de proveer alimentación, ropa o educación a sus niños/as. Esto no es vivir, sino solamente «existir» bajo condiciones miserables e inhumanas. Algunas se han humillado y callado tanto, al punto de prostituirse para poder enviar a sus niños a la escuela. El dolor es interminable, pero abre las puertas a nuevos comienzos.

Read More »

Wake up the World! 2015 is the Year of Consecrated Life.

August 29, 2015

By Sister Jenny Wilson

Sister Jenny (center) is congratulated by her students after her vow ceremony.

Sister Jenny (center) is congratulated by her students after her vow ceremony.

A classroom full of 12-year-old girls look at me intently. I look back at them trying to find the words to a question a student just asked: “Sister Jenny, tell me again why you think not having kids or getting married is what God wants you to do?”

I respond: “Remember we have talked about how God loves each of us in a special way. Well, God wants us to love in a special way too.” If a teacher told me this when I was young, I am certain my eyes would have rolled like theirs often do. How can it be possible to not want to be married or not want to have kids? As a young adult I always envisioned myself getting married and having children. Then, ever so slowly, the plan changed.   Read More »

August 28, 2015

By South Central Community Communications

Steps to nowhere—hundreds of them—remained after Katrina. This home was part of Sacred Heart Parish, whose buildings were 51 percent destroyed.

Steps to nowhere—hundreds of them—remained after Katrina. This home was part of Sacred Heart Parish, whose buildings were 51 percent destroyed.

Many Sisters of Mercy living on the United States’ Gulf Coast are hurricane veterans. But even those who had survived major storms were astounded by the destruction and chaos when Hurricane Katrina roared ashore on August 29, 2005. The storm itself walloped the region, but its aftermath, including the flooding of New Orleans, Louisiana, when levees failed, was catastrophic. The toll: more than $100 billion in damage and 1,800 deaths. Mercy ministries in parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were destroyed. All Mercy sisters escaped harm, but some lost everything, including their homes.   Read More »

August 26, 2015

By Northeast Community Communications

Meet Sister Carol Jussaume, a Sister of Mercy and teacher at St. Mary Academy – Bay View in Riverside, Rhode Island.

“Teaching is the thing I love the most,” she says. “My heart is really here at Bayview.”

For Sister Carol, teaching is an opportunity to help share with young women essential Mercy values: compassion, social justice, and a sense of care for our brothers and sisters in the world, especially those most in need. We pray for all Mercy students as they begin a new school year, that they may follow on the path of mercy, using their God-given gifts and talents to serve and love the world.

August 24, 2015

By Sister Ana Maria Siufi

Sister Ana Maria Siufi is a Sister of Mercy and justice advocate living in Patagonia. She shares this reflection on Pope Francis’ recent encyclical, “Laudato Si.’”

The words emerged from those who are marginalized and invisible.

The words emerged from those who are marginalized and invisible.

As I was reading the encyclical, my heart lit up like the hearts of the disciples of Emmaus. I felt happy because the Spirit is offering a bright light to a world walking in darkness.

I also felt that it wasn’t a comfortable document freshly dispatched from an office, but rather words emerging from among the marginalized and invisible, the creatures that have disappeared, those without rights; words that carry smells of soil, oil-covered sands, garbage dumps; words that would surely upset a few, yet would inspire others to develop a new consciousness and way of living as members of our common home.   Read More »

August 24, 2015

Por la Hermana Ana Maria Siufi

La Hermana Ana Maria Siufi es una Hermana de la Misericordia y una defensora de la justicia que vive en Patagonia. Ella comparte esta reciente reflexión del Papa Francisco sobre la “Encíclica, Laudato Si’”.  

The words emerged from those who are marginalized and invisible.

Las palabras surgieron de los marginados e invisibles.

Mientras  leía la Encíclica, sentía que mi corazón se inflamaba como el de los discípulos de Emaús,  feliz  porque el Espíritu está ofreciendo una gran luz a un mundo que  camina en tinieblas.

También sentí, que no era un documento cómodo, recién salido de un escritorio, sino que son palabras  nacidas  entre los marginados e invisibles, las criaturas desaparecidas, los/as sin derechos, palabras que huelen a barro, a arenas alquitranadas, a basurales y que seguramente disgustará a unos cuantos… en cambio a otros/as nos servirá para tener una nueva conciencia y comportamiento como parte de la casa común.

Read More »

August 21, 2015

by Sister Patricia McCann

Pope Francis greets pilgrims in Manila, Philippines, during his January 2015 visit. Credit: Alan Holdren/Catholic News Agency.

Pope Francis greets pilgrims in Manila, Philippines, during his January 2015 visit. Credit: Alan Holdren/Catholic News Agency.

Pope Francis’ announcement of a Jubilee Year—December 8, 2015, through November 20, 2016—challenges the entire faith community to reflect on the all-embracing virtue of mercy. In his April 11, 2015 decree Misericordiae Vultus, Francis notes, “No one can place limits on the love of God who is ever ready to forgive.” He identifies mercy as the wellspring of joy, serenity and peace—“the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.”   Read More »

August 21, 2015

Por la Hermana Patricia McCann

Pope Francis greets pilgrims in Manila, Philippines, during his January 2015 visit. Credit: Alan Holdren/Catholic News Agency.

El Papa Francisco saluda a peregrinos en Manila, Filipinas durante su visita en enero de 2015. Crédito: Alan Holdren/Catholic News Agency.

El anuncio del Papa Francisco de un Año Jubilar – del 8 de diciembre de 2015 al 20 de noviembre de 2016- desafía a toda la comunidad de fe a reflexionar sobre la virtud global de la misericordia.  En su decreto del 11 de abril de 2015, Misericordiae Vultus, Francisco señala, «Nadie podrá poner un límite al amor de Dios que perdona». Él identifica que la misericordia es la fuente de alegría, de serenidad y de paz – «la esperanza de ser amadas/os para siempre, no obstante el límite de nuestro pecado».
Read More »

August 12, 2015

By Northeast Community Communications

Meet Sister Sheila Harrington, a Sister of Mercy for 48 years.

She likes to say she “grew up with Mercy”—from kindergarten to her first two years of college, Sister Sheila never had a teacher who wasn’t a Sister of Mercy! “They were a vital part of my life,” she says.

Sister Sheila believes that mercy isn’t just for vowed sisters or those in religious life, but a gift to be shared by all. How can you share the gift of mercy today?