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.

June 30, 2015

By Marissa, Mercy Candidate

On June 20, the Sisters of Mercy came together in celebration and prayer to welcome Marissa as a candidate with the Sisters of Mercy. Marissa will now begin two years living in community as she prepares for life as a sister. Marissa reflects here about her call to Mercy:

Marissa is welcomed into the Sisters of Mercy. From left: Sister Anne Murphy, Marissa and Sister Laura Reicks.

Marissa is welcomed into the Sisters of Mercy. From left: Sister Anne Murphy, Marissa and Sister Laura Reicks.

I came to know Mercy as an undergraduate student at Mount Mercy University [in Cedar Rapids, Iowa]. At first, I ran away from it. When I chose Mount Mercy I had no idea there was a religious community associated with the university, let alone the convent being right there on the campus. When I learned that, I thought the only way to be part of Mercy was to be a nun. I did not come to college to become a nun, so I escaped by telling myself my only purpose there was to attain a degree.     Read More »

June 29, 2015

By Pat Zerega, senior director of shareholder advocacy, Mercy Investment Services

A student at Hamro Ghar School, for children rescued from the carpet industry, creates inspiring artwork. Photo via GoodWeave on Facebook.

A student at Hamro Ghar School, for children rescued from the carpet industry, creates inspiring artwork. Photo via GoodWeave on Facebook.

Nearly a decade ago, a friend introduced me to the book The Carpet Boy’s Gift by Pegi Deitz Shea and Leane Morin.  It is a simple children’s book with a story of a boy being indentured to work in the carpet looms. Though I had heard stories about children working in the carpet industry, I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Children ages four to 14 are kidnapped or sold and forced to work as many as 18 hours a day to weave rugs destined for export markets such as the United States and Europe. They are subject to malnutrition, impaired vision, deformities from sitting long hours in cramped loom sheds, respiratory diseases from inhaling wool fiber and wounds from using sharp tools. Those working as bonded laborers have no chance to earn their freedom and frequently earn little or no money. Carpet manufacturers say they like children in their factories because their fingers are considered ideal for the intricate motions required for weaving.   Read More »

June 25, 2015

By Marianne Comfort, Institute Justice Team member

Marianne and other GCCM members during a trip to Rome, where they shared the Catholic Climate Petition with Pope Francis.

Marianne and other GCCM members during a trip to Rome, where they shared the Catholic Climate Petition with Pope Francis.

Expressions of pure joy from around the world greeted me when I opened my email inbox around 6 am on June 18.

“This is SO EXCITING,” one leader of the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) enthused from Europe as he watched online the press conference at the Vatican announcing the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical, “Laudato Si.’”

“God bless our common home,” another wrote from Argentina in reference to the document’s subtitle about our planet Earth.   Read More »

June 25, 2015

Por Marianne Comfort, miembro del Equipo de Justicia del Instituto

Marianne and other GCCM members during a trip to Rome, where they shared the Catholic Climate Petition with Pope Francis.

Marianne y otros integrantes del GCCM durante un viaje a Roma, donde compartieron la Petición Católica sobre el Clima con el Papa Francisco.

Expresiones de pura alegría de todo el mundo me esperaban cuando abrí mi buzón de correo-e a las 6 de la mañana del 18 de junio.

«Esto es muy emocionante», un líder de Europa del Movimiento Mundial Católico sobre el Clima comentó entusiasmado al ver en línea la conferencia de prensa del Vaticano que anunciaba la publicación de la encíclica del Papa Francisco, «Alabado seas» (Laudato Si’).

«Dios bendiga nuestro hogar común», escribió otra persona de Argentina con respecto al subtítulo del documento sobre el planeta Tierra.

Read More »

June 24, 2015

By Northeast Community Communications

Meet Sister Michele Aronica, a Sister of Mercy for 35 years.

She treasures her life as a Sister of Mercy: “I’ve been blessed with opportunities.” The mission of the sisters and the vision of their founder, Catherine McAuley, motivate her to be a conveyor of mercy not just to her work as a professor, but to all situations and people she encounters.

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June 23, 2015

By Sister Larretta Rivera Williams

The Sisters of Mercy join with people across the country in extending our deepest sympathy and prayers for the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, after the June 17 killing of nine church members during a prayer meeting.

This tragedy–and so many others like it–powerfully reminds us to face the racism so blatantly alive in our own society. It calls us not only to pray for those affected by this resulting violence, but to acknowledge the ways in which we are complicit in perpetuating hate speech, hate crime and other more subtle but equally damaging forms of racism.

Sister Larretta Rivera Williams shared this reflection on the shootings in verse:   Read More »

June 19, 2015

By Sister Renee Yann

sky-sunny-clouds-cloudyIt is waning June. Up and down the long valleys of time, the earth moves toward Solstice, a word taken from the Latin “sistere” – to stop. In southern lands, winter begins its slow climb through the cold. In the North, summer rolls lazily through the heat toward the respite of autumn.

It is this beautiful magical earth that, just yesterday, Pope Francis tenderly placed once again in our hands with his encyclical letter “Laudato Si”.  Attentive to his challenge, I hold the earth this morning like a rosary, drawing its broken surface between the fingers of my prayer. Every bead is a country, a culture, a people, a species, an environment – a life – riddled with a corresponding violence. My fingertips ache with the pain of war, greed, violence and hate weeping from every bead.   Read More »

June 18, 2015

By Karel Lucander

“Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain!”

Sister Diane Koorie (center) with Randy Hearn and Sue Patchin, both students in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City’s pastoral ministry formation program. Here, they are enrolling in the summer course “Vatican II and the Church Today.”

Sister Diane Koorie (center) with Randy Hearn and Sue Patchin, both students in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City’s pastoral ministry formation program. Here, they are enrolling in the summer course “Vatican II and the Church Today.”

The territory in which Sister Diane Koorie serves is as vast and grand as the backdrop of the groundbreaking musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein. As director of pastoral ministry for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City since 2001, Sister Diane ministers to more than 100,000 Catholics living in the western two-thirds of Oklahoma. This area encompasses 46 counties and more than 42,000 square miles, but Catholics comprise only about 4 percent of the population. As Sister Diane says, the growth of Catholicism here is “small but mighty,” and the opportunities for positive change present themselves in many ways.

A core facet of her current ministry includes facilitating a pastoral ministry formation program associated with two universities, offering both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Individuals also can participate in these programs for personal enrichment or for continuing education. In addition to leading the pastoral ministry program, her responsibilities include student advising, administrative planning, and working with other offices to promote the archdiocese’s programs.   Read More »

June 15, 2015

By Sister Mary Pendergast

“We know that from the beginning until now, the entire creation has been groaning in one great act of giving birth.” -Romans 8:22

This boreal plains region of Alberta is characterized by an abundance of black spruce. Photo by Cleve Wershler / The Canadian Encyclopedia

This boreal plains region of Alberta is characterized by an abundance of black spruce. Photo by Cleve Wershler / The Canadian Encyclopedia

Pilgrimage is a meaningful journey to a sacred place, a place of transformation. To go on a pilgrimage is to be open to inner change and inspiration, perhaps to focus on the journey of life and what really matters. It may result in a greater sense of one’s purpose, or appreciation for the gift of life or even healing. I have been preparing, in a sense, to surrender.

Cultural philosophers, eco-theologians and the great geologian, Thomas Berry, have warned that the magnitude of the current crisis has not yet been grasped by human consciousness. Berry writes:

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June 15, 2015

Por la Hermana Mary Pendergast

«Porque sabemos que toda la creación hasta ahora gime a una, y sufre como
si tuviera dolores de parto».  ̶ Romanos 8:22

This boreal plains region of Alberta is characterized by an abundance of black spruce. Photo by Cleve Wershler / The Canadian Encyclopedia

Esta región de los llanos boreales de Alberta se caracteriza por la abundancia de los abetos negros. Foto por Cleve Wershler / The Canadian Encyclopedia

La peregrinación es un camino revelador a un lugar sagrado, un lugar de transformación. Ir a una peregrinación es estar abierta a un cambio interno y la inspiración, y probablemente concentrarse en el viaje de la vida y lo que realmente es importante. Puede dar lugar a un mayor sentido del propósito de la persona, o el reconocimiento por el don de la vida o incluso la sanación. Me he estado preparando, en algún sentido, a rendirme.

Los filósofos culturales, los ecólogos-teólogos y el gran geólogo, Thomas Berry, han advertido que la magnitud de la actual crisis aún no ha sido comprendida por la consciencia del ser humano. Berry escribe:

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