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.

August 19, 2014

By Sister Marilyn F.

Bracelets served as a tangible reminder to students and faculty about Mercymount’s commitment to nonviolence.

Bracelets served as a tangible reminder to students and faculty about Mercymount’s commitment to nonviolence.

Mercymount Country Day School, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, serves students from preschool through eighth grade in Cumberland, Rhode Island. Last year we made a conscious effort to focus the school year on a major critical concern of our time: nonviolence.   Read More »

August 18, 2014

By Sister Diane G.

Following a recent gathering of the Sisters of Mercy in Pennsylvania, Sister Diane G. submitted a letter to the editor of The Times Leader expressing the sisters’ collective concerns about fracking’s negative impact on the environment. The letter was published on August 3, 2014, and is reprinted here with permission from The Times Leader.

Letter to the Editor: Nuns concerned about natural gas drilling call for congressional action

Sister Diane explains the detrimental effects of fracking on the environment.

Sister Diane explains the detrimental effects of fracking on the environment.

A few weeks ago, more than 475 Sisters of Mercy from Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey gathered at Misericordia University in Dallas Township for five days of enrichment and education. One of the topics was hydraulic fracking and its effects on the environment and the local economy.

This topic was very timely. Many of the sisters, as well as their families, live on the Marcellus Shale. The formation extends deep underground from Ohio to West Virginia and continues northeast into large parts of Pennsylvania and southern New York. This shale formation is a source of great quantities of natural gas that can be released through the fracking process.   Read More »

August 14, 2014

By Sister Mary Ellen Howard

Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters. Let the one who has no money, come… (Isaiah 55:1)

Sister Mary Ellen is the former chief executive officer of two hospitals.

Sister Mary Ellen is the former chief executive officer of two hospitals.

My home, the city of Detroit, Michigan, declared bankruptcy in 2013 and is being governed by an emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, appointed by Governor Rick Snyder. Creditors are pressuring the city to liquidate assets in order to pay its debts. Two of Detroit’s most valuable assets are the collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) and the Water Department.

It appears the DIA treasures and underfunded pensions for city workers will be protected by local foundations and donors. For the water department, this is not the case. As Orr considers “privatization” of Detroit’s water, he is putting the department’s finances in order. As a result, the water department recently announced that 150,000 households with unpaid bills over $150 or two months old will have their water shut off. Although several commercial and industrial accounts have huge unpaid balances, these are not targeted for shut off—only poor families.   Read More »

August 12, 2014

By Sisters Deirdre M. and Maureen C.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world and we must break down the walls that prevent girls from receiving an education. —Nelson Mandela

This shirt was sold as part of a fundraiser at Mercy High School in Omaha, Nebraska.

This shirt was sold as part of a fundraiser at Mercy High School in Omaha, Nebraska.

Every year, 14 million girls are married before they turn 16, and this statistic is not limited to any one country.

Each June, Mercy-sponsored high schools from across the United States send between four and six student leaders to participate in the Mercy Leadership Conference, a four-day workshop held at Gwynedd Mercy University in Pennsylvania. The young women have come from Nebraska, Michigan, New Jersey, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Guam, accompanied by passionate and focused moderators. In addition to honing students’ skills in leadership and collaboration, the Mercy Leadership Conference includes a service learning component focusing on education as a tool to eradicate global poverty. Each year, in the spirit of Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy, the students learn about the plight of girls around the world and make a commitment to do something tangible to repair our fragile world.  Read More »

August 12, 2014

Por las Hermanas Deirdre M. y Maureen C.

La educación es el arma más poderosa que tú puedes usar para cambiar el mundo y debemos derribar las barreras que impiden que las niñas se eduquen. —Nelson Mandela

This shirt was sold as part of a fundraiser at Mercy High School in Omaha, Nebraska.

de la Conferencia de Liderazgo de la Misericordia. Camiseta de Sudán: Esta camiseta se vendió como parte del esfuerzo de recaudar fondos en Mercy High School en Omaha, Nebraska.

Cada año, 14 millones de niñas se casan antes de cumplir los 16 años y esta estadística no se limita a un solo país.

Cada junio, escuelas secundarias auspiciadas por la Misericordia de todas partes de los Estados Unidos mandan a 4-6 estudiantes-líderes a participar en la Conferencia de Liderazgo de la Misericordia, un taller de cuatro días en Gwynedd Mercy University en Pennsylvania. Las jóvenes vienen de Nebraska, Michigan, New Jersey, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Oklahoma y Guam, acompañadas por moderadoras apasionadas y enfocadas. Además de mejorar las habilidades de liderazgo y de colaboración de las estudiantes, la Conferencia de Liderazgo de la Misericordia incluye servicio a la comunidad que se concentra en la educación como herramienta para erradicar la pobreza mundial. Cada año, en el espíritu de Catalina McAuley, fundadora de las Hermanas de la Misericordia, las estudiantes aprenden de la situación de niñas en todo el mundo y hacen un compromiso para hacer algo concreto y mejorar nuestro mundo frágil.  Read More »

August 8, 2014

By Sister Maria Rosario G.

Sister Maria Rosario during her vocation speech at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Toto, Guam.

Sister Maria Rosario during her vocation speech at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Toto, Guam.

This speech was given by Sister Maria Rosario, a vocation director for the Sisters of Mercy, to parishes in Guam in commemoration of World Day of Prayer for Vocations in May, 2014.

In our modern society, we speak a great deal about careers and professions that get young women and men ahead and help them to strive for success. In contrast, a call to religious life is a call to follow Jesus in total self-gift to him and his mission through vowed life of poverty, chastity and obedience.

Being a modern woman and a Sister of Mercy at the same time, I live in a community with other sisters who share a life of prayer and are committed to the mission of Jesus, by using our gifts and talents to serve others in the ministry of education, pastoral work, hospital ministry, prison ministry, direct service to those who are poor and other good works.  Read More »

August 8, 2014

Por la Hermana Maria Rosario G.

Sister Maria Rosario during her vocation speech at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Toto, Guam.

Hermana Maria Rosario durante su discurso de vocación en la Parroquia Inmaculado Corazón de Maria en Toto, Guam.

Este discurso fue dado por la Hermana Maria Rosario, una acompañante de vocaciones para las Hermanas de la Misericordia a parroquias en Guam en conmemoración de la Jornada Mundial de Oración por las Vocaciones en mayo de 2014.

En nuestra sociedad moderna, hablamos mucho sobre carreras y profesiones para que la gente joven, mujeres y varones avancen, y se esfuercen por sí mismas/os para el éxito.En contraste con esto, una llamada a la vida religiosa es una llamada a seguir a Jesús en total entrega personal a Él y a su misión mediante la vida de votos de pobreza, castidad y obediencia.

Al ser una mujer moderna y una Hermana de la Misericordia al mismo tiempo, yo vivo en una comunidad con otras hermanas que comparten una vida de oración y están comprometidas a la misión de Jesús, usando nuestros dones y talentos para servir a otros en el ministerio de la educación, la pastoral, el ministerio en hospitales, el de las cárceles, el servicio directo a empobrecidos y otras buenas obras.
Read More »

August 7, 2014

By Beth Thompson, South Central Communications Department

Sister Cabrini Taitano

Sister Cabrini Taitano

Sister Cabrini Taitano is playing a new role on a familiar stage–initiating the Mission Effectiveness Office at the Academy of Our Lady of Guam, her alma mater.

“I was invited to start this up, to ensure that the mission of the school and the Sisters of Mercy are being integrated into the whole life of the school community–students, parents, teachers, board members,” she says.

For example, she works with faculty to incorporate the five Critical Concerns into the curriculum. Those concerns are reverence for Earth, walking in solidarity with immigrants, nonviolence, dismantling racism, and equality for women. Sister Cabrini also substitute-teaches at the 416-student girls’ high school.   Read More »

August 4, 2014

By Sister Joan C.

Sister Joan, a former junior high school and high school teacher, volunteers as a tutor at the Lantern Center for Hospitality and Education in San Francisco, California, which provides classes for Spanish-speaking adults to learn English.

Sister Joan C. (left) with Sister Marie S. (right), founder of the Lantern Center.

Sister Joan C. (left) with Sister Marie S. (right), founder of the Lantern Center.

Born in the Bronx, New York, to Spanish-speaking, Central American immigrant parents, I learned early the importance of being able to speak, read and write English in this country. I also had first-hand experience with the hardships adults face when learning a new language.

I loved to teach. I taught students from a wide variety of cultures and economic situations at schools in California including St. Peter’s and Holy Name’s schools in San Francisco; St. Pius X School in Santa Fe Springs in Los Angeles; St. Anthony’s School in Oakland; and Marian High School in San Diego.   Read More »

July 30, 2014

By Sister Dina A.

A desperate mother searches for her teenage daughter who was trafficked into a brothel. Photo Credit: Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department.

A desperate mother searches for her teenage daughter who was trafficked into a brothel. Photo Credit: Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department.

In considering the issue of human trafficking, it seems that in Panama this scourge has been very well hidden—or simply, it is so regular and normal, that it has become very common and no one is surprised.

In the golden years of the construction of the inter-oceanic railroad in 1855 and the Panama Canal in 1914, prostitution was exercised with the consent and total impunity of the authorities. Corruption flowed over to judges, police and the local mafia since they received money from this illicit act. The military presence of the United States Southern Command in Panama, which started in 1963 and continues today, ensured that all U.S. military levels have “entertainment” in the military bases, bars, brothels and prostitution houses. Furthermore, with Panama being such a strategic global connection point for immigration, arms trafficking, mafia, drugs and money laundering, it is no wonder it is likewise a strategic point for human trafficking.  Read More »