Connect with Mercy

Sister Ministers on “Sacred Ground” in Savannah

July 19, 2018

Sister Donna Marie consults with social worker Tammie Lovett (left) and nurse Hannah Shambayati about plans for a patient.

Sister Donna Marie consults with social worker Tammie Lovett (left) and nurse Hannah Shambayati about plans for a patient.

By Karel Lucander

As a Sister of Mercy, Sister Donna Marie Coward is part of a close-knit faith community. But Sister Pat Coward, her younger biological sibling, makes this sisterhood even more special.

“I entered first in 1965, and I think my call may have influenced Pat,” Sister Donna Marie says. “But I believe being taught by Sisters of Mercy in Baltimore, Maryland, from elementary through high school, really inspired us both to move that way.” Read More »

It’s Not About Me

July 11, 2018

By Sister Marissa Butler

Sister Marissa speaks with one of the classes at Blessed Sacrament

Sister Marissa speaks with one of the classes at Blessed Sacrament

I have never been one to like having my picture posted places. Yet, being in formation with the Sisters of Mercy has led to my photo being in newsletters, on Facebook and on posters that are accessible to large groups of people.

My home parish—Blessed Sacrament, in Waterloo, Iowa—has been incredibly supportive of me. When I found out there was a poster of me in the church, I was surprisingly at peace with it. I remembered that my story, in whatever way it is shared, is not about me. It is about God. It is about God using my story to speak to others.

I prayed with this for a while and asked God if there were other ways He wanted to use me. God was quick to respond, because not long after talking to Him I got the idea to visit all the classes at Blessed Sacrament School. Though I was comfortable sharing my story with adults, I had no clue how to talk to a fifth-grader or speak the language of a five-year-old! But I let go of my worries and decided that if my time at the school left an impression on even one child, then it would be well worth it.

Read More »

Una belleza básica y compartida: Reflexión sobre la película Un hombre de palabra

June 30, 2018

De Hermana Joy Clough

El Papa Francisco besa a una niña en la audiencia general en la Plaza San Pedro el 20 de junio. Crédito: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

El Papa Francisco besa a una niña en la audiencia general en la Plaza San Pedro el 20 de junio. Crédito: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

El Papa Francisco es el centro de la película recientemente lanzada Un hombre de palabra. La película se desarrolla en torno a una conversación que tuvieron los cineastas con el Papa y en las imágenes que acumularon mientras lo acompañaban en muchos de sus viajes a lugares problemáticos de todo el mundo. Sin embargo, no fue el Papa Francisco quien me llamó la atención. Eran las otras personas, las anónimas.

Sus caras eran hermosas. Cada una de ellas era hermosa. A través de la diversidad de pueblos y circunstancias, hermosas.

Suaves de amor. Fruncidas de preocupación. Brillantes de alegría. Pensativas. Pacientes. Implorando. Santas.

Negras. De Medio Oriente. Asiáticas. Blancas.

Tensas. Arrugadas. Femeninas y masculinas.

Read More »

A Basic and Shared Beauty: Reflection on the Film A Man of His Word

June 28, 2018

By Sister Joy Clough

Pope Francis is the focus of the recently released film, A Man of His Word. The film is anchored in a conversation the filmmakers had with the pope and in the visuals they amassed as they accompanied him on many of his trips to troubled spots around the world. Yet it wasn’t Pope Francis who caught my attention. It was the other folks—the anonymous ones.

Pope Francis kisses a child at the general audience in St. Peter’s Square on June 20. Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

Pope Francis kisses a child at the general audience in St. Peter’s Square on June 20. Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

Their faces were beautiful. Each one beautiful. Across the diversity of peoples and circumstances, beautiful.

Soft with love. Furrowed with worry. Bright with joy. Pensive. Patient. Pleading. Holy.

Black. Middle Eastern. Asian. White.

Taut. Wrinkled. Female and male.

Read More »

La Frontera Clama por Misericordia

June 26, 2018

De Amy Westphal, empleada de ARISE

El muro fronterizo cerca de Anapra, un vecindario en la Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México.

El muro fronterizo cerca de Anapra, un vecindario en la Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México.

Recientemente, leí un ensayo de Jon Sobrino, Hna. de Loreto («La Iglesia Samaritana y el Principio de Misericordia», en The Way of Mercy). Ella narra que la Misericordia no es un sentimiento; es una acción. Aunque la misericordia es una re-acción al sufrimiento, también debe ser transformadora. Todos los sufrimientos del ser humano meritan respeto absoluto y exigen una respuesta.

Basada en el carisma de la Misericordia, ARISE, un programa que fomenta el desarrollo personal y el empoderamiento de la comunidad inmigrante, da testimonio de la realidad diaria de los niños que son separados de sus familias.

Read More »

A Border Cry For Mercy

June 21, 2018

By Amy Westphal, ARISE Staff

The border wall near Anapra, a neighborhood in Ciuduad Juárez, Chijuajua, Mexico.

The border wall near Anapra, a neighborhood in Ciuduad Juárez, Chijuajua, Mexico.

Recently I read an essay by Jon Sobrino, SJ (“The Samaritan Church and the Principle of Mercy,” in The Way of Mercy). He writes that mercy is not a sentiment; it is an action. Though mercy is a re-action to suffering, it must also be transformative. All human suffering merits absolute respect and calls for a response.

Founded on the charism of mercy, ARISE—which promotes the personal development and empowerment of the immigrant community—is a witness to the daily reality of children who are separated from their families.

Read More »

My First Act of Civil Disobedience

June 13, 2018

By Marianne Comfort, Institute Justice Team

Marianne and other protestors en route to the U.S. Capitol.

Marianne and other protestors en route to the U.S. Capitol.

I had never felt called to civil disobedience before.

It had felt fulfilling enough to participate in numerous rallies, engage our Mercy network in advocacy, and support Mercy sisters and coworkers in their actions protesting immigration policies, militarism and federal budget cuts to programs serving persons who are poor and vulnerable.

But joining in a short sit-in in Senator Mitch McConnell’s office last fall with survivors of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, demanding solutions to climate change, gave me a glimpse of the power of taking a risk with people most impacted by issues I care about.

So when the Poor People’s Campaign launched—putting out front those most impacted by racism and xenophobia, lack of healthcare and affordable housing, excessive military spending and other drivers of poverty—I started to think that I might be willing to take the next step.

Read More »

“What Will I Do Next?” — Mercy Student Reflects on D.C. Immersion Program

June 12, 2018

By Lily Antonowicz, Georgian Court University student

Students, faculty members and staff from six Mercy colleges and universities visited Washington, D.C., May 20-24 to participate in a D.C. Immersion Program. The program is sponsored by the Conference for Mercy Higher Education. Lily, one of the student participants, reflects on her experience here:

Georgian Court students Emma Pierre, Lily Antonowicz, Maddie Barrale and Daniel Ginchereau pose in front of the White house during some free time to explore the city.

Georgian Court students Emma Pierre, Lily Antonowicz, Maddie Barrale and Daniel Ginchereau pose in front of the White house during some free time to explore the city.

When a student has great opportunity presented to them, the greatest outcomes are possible. When my classmates and I left for this experience we were curious and ready to take on whatever came our way; little did we know how much we would get the chance to experience and advocate.

Read More »

«¿Qué Haré Luego?» – Una Estudiante de la Misericordia Reflexiona sobre el Programa de Inmersión en Washington, D.C.

June 12, 2018

De Lily Antonowicz, estudiante de la Universidad Georgian Court (UGC)

Estudiantes, miembros del profesorado y personal de seis universidades de la Misericordia visitaron Washington, D.C., del 20 al 24 de mayo, para participar en un Programa de Inmersión en Washington, D.C. El programa es patrocinado por la Conferencia de la Misericordia para Estudios Superiores. Lily, una de las Estudiantes que participaron, reflexiona sobre su experiencia aquí:

Georgian Court students Emma Pierre, Lily Antonowicz, Maddie Barrale and Daniel Ginchereau pose in front of the White house during some free time to explore the city.

Georgian Court students Emma Pierre, Lily Antonowicz, Maddie Barrale and Daniel Ginchereau pose in front of the White house during some free time to explore the city.

Cuando se presenta una gran oportunidad a una estudiante, se hacen posibles los mejores resultados. Cuando mis compañeras/os de clase y yo salimos para esta experiencia, teníamos curiosidad y estábamos listas/os para cualquier cosa; pero no teníamos idea de lo mucho que podríamos experimentar y abogar.

Read More »

Sharing With My Mother — Mother’s Day Reflections from Sister Kelly Williams

May 12, 2018

What does it mean for a mother when her daughter enters religious life? How does a mother influence or respond to her daughter’s decision to take vows of poverty, obedience, chastity and service? With Mother’s Day on the way, we spoke with Sister Kelly Williams who reflected on the many ways she and her have shared a life of Mercy.

Sister Kelly Williams and her mother Lori Williams

Sister Kelly Williams and her mother Lori Williams

Sister Kelly Williams grew up in the midst of Mercy, quite literally. Sisters of Mercy lived on her street as a child, and after being home-schooled by her mother, Lori, she attended a Mercy high school, St. Vincent’s Academy in Savannah, Georgia. Lori, coincidentally, joined the faculty at St. Vincent’s the same year.

Read More »