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.

April 20, 2015

By Sister Jody Kearney, program director for Mercy Spirituality Center in Rochester, New York

ambulanceAfter what I would describe as an ordinary week filled with spiritual direction appointments and programming here at Mercy Spirituality Center, I went home on Friday evening, ready for a bit of relaxation.

That evening, I noticed flashing lights in front of our house. It was an ambulance tending to someone next door. I went outside to see if my neighbor wanted me to follow her to the hospital. Her adult children were there and things were under control, or so I thought.   Read More »

Año de la Vida Consagrada

April 20, 2015

Por la Hermana Jody Kearney, directora del programa del Centro de Espiritualidad de la Misericordia en Rochester, Nueva York

ambulanceDespués de lo que describiría como una semana común, llena de citas de acompañamiento espiritual y programación aquí en el Centro de Espiritualidad de la Misericordia, me fui a casa el viernes por la noche, lista para un poco de tranquilidad.

Esa noche, noté luces intermitentes frente a nuestra casa. Era una ambulancia que ayudaba a alguien en la casa siguiente. Salí a ver si mi vecina deseaba que la siguiera al hospital. Sus hijas/os adultas/os se encontraban allí y las cosas estaban bajo control, o al menos así pensé.

Read More »

April 17, 2015

By Sister Barbara Craig


Rockview State Prison, where Sister Barbara’s friend reported for execution in November 2012.

Relief and gratitude. This was my first reaction to Governor Tom Wolf’s announcement of a moratorium on the death penalty in Pennsylvania.

About two and a half years ago, in November 2012, I was present at Rockview State Prison in central Pennsylvania with the person on death row whom I have been accompanying for the last 10+ years. He had been delivered for his execution that night. We were aware that his lawyers were hard at work to obtain a stay of execution, and in fact it did happen. The execution time, 7 pm, came and went. At about 8:20 pm the superintendent came to inform us both that the stay was in place, and that my friend would be sent back to the Greensburg State Prison from which he had come. At that moment, yes, we both felt tremendous relief and gratitude.   Read More »

April 16, 2015

By Karel Lucander


Sister Karen McNally meets with Patricia Gray, unit secretary at Stella Maris.

In the summer of 1969, Sister Karen McNally traveled to Guyana to work in a leprosy hospital. She was a newly trained nurse who met up with other sisters to help those living in a leprosy colony. She vividly recalls sitting in the field just outside of Georgetown, looking up at the stars and listening to the shortwave radio broadcast as Neil Armstrong touched down on the moon. Ironically, the suffering people to whom she was tending there were as removed from this world as the astronaut making history. Her time with the lepers of Mahaica village was short but life-changing—and continues to haunt her to this day.

“The simplicity of it was so moving for me,” says Sister Karen. “Some of them had been in the colony all of their lives. In those days, children were born there. The hospital was open air, and we had one tiny room where they performed surgery. It was a beautiful experience; the people lived so simply and yet were so thankful. We can all get overwhelmed by things in life until we realize how other people live.”   Read More »

April 15, 2015

By Northeast Community Communications

Meet Sister Pat Mooney, a Sister of Mercy for 50 years and chaplain at Mercy Hospital in Portland, Maine. She describes one woman to whom she ministered at the hospital. “The woman was spiritually, physically, mentally, spiritually, just in agony,” Sister Pat remembers—but there was something special about the woman, too. After days of unconsciousness, she came back to life, and never forgot Sister Pat’s kindness to her.

In this Easter season, the woman’s recovery calls to mind the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. May these miraculous moments help us to bear in mind that all things are possible with God.   Read More »

April 10, 2015

By Catherine Walsh, Northeast Communications Specialist

Our concluding article to this series of profiles of sisters living with serious illness is an interview with Sister Jean Roche, a nationally recognized pioneer in the hospice and death-and-dying education movement, and author of What Color is the Other Side of Darkness? Lessons of Living Taught by the Dying.

Read “Facing Terminal Illness with Mercy” Part I, Part II and Part III.

Sister Jean Roche. Photo by Michael P. Farrell/Times Union

Sisters who have shared their stories of facing terminal illness with Mercy in this series are like Jesus on the road to Emmaus, says Sister Jean Roche.

“Just as Jesus did for his disciples that day, these Sisters of Mercy are giving the rest of us a wonderful blueprint for our own very human journeys of suffering, dying and rising again,” she says.   Read More »

April 7, 2015

Sr. Pat

Sister Pat Farley. Photo by Catherine Walsh/Northeast Communications.

Several months ago as part of our series on sisters living with terminal illness, Sister Pat Farley opened up about living life with metastatic ovarian cancer and preparing for her final journey.

Sister Pat filled her final months with adventures, friends and family, reflection and prayer, and on March 26 she returned to God. Her longtime friend, Sister Chris Kavanagh, shared the following reflection on Sister Pat as part of her eulogy:   Read More »

April 2, 2015

By Sister Renee Yann

Holy ThursdayWe expect things, don’t we? Things as simple as rain. Things as complex as babies. We expect to wake up tomorrow, to have a safe drive home from work, to complete the to-do lists stuffed in our pockets. We expect life. We even expect death. We expect much of the in-between.

But it is the things we don’t expect that profoundly change our lives. These things shatter our routine and make a passageway for extraordinary grace. You have had such moments. During them, you were like the ancient Jews standing at the fracture of the Red Sea. Your soul was in a battle between fear and awe.   Read More »

April 2, 2015

By Karel Lucander

Sister Joanne helps student Carter Pavian with a math problem.

As a math teacher at an all-boys Catholic high school, Sister Joanne Boellner embraces the precision of numbers, high expectations for her 130 students and the fun of attending sports events.

“I spend a lot of my free time attending football and basketball games and swim meets. I really enjoy watching my students participate! Also, having taught at an all-girls school and now an all-guys school, I’ve learned that generally when guys have their feelings hurt, they get over it more quickly than girls,” she says.   Read More »


April 1, 2015

By Sister Kathleen Quinn

“Pray for the living and the dead” is the seventh Spiritual Work of Mercy in our Lenten blog series.

prayerbookWhen I retired from active ministry, I wondered what the future had in store for me. I took a year to reflect and decide in what ministry God might be inviting me to continue my Mercy commitment of service. I volunteered at a local food pantry and at the Catholic Worker. While this was very rewarding, the cold weather and the travel limited my participation in the programs.   Read More »