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.

March 30, 2015

By Ann Margaret Anselmo

This is the fourth blog in our series on the Civil Rights Movement.

Ann Margaret

A recent picture Ann Margaret with her dog, Molly.

The story of my historic march to Montgomery, Alabama, began on the Feast of St. Joseph (March 19) in 1965. Early in the afternoon that day, I walked over to the Department of English office where, with great relief and little ceremony, I turned in three copies of my dissertation which the official readers were to examine. When I returned to the convent, I found a note on our “Emergency” bulletin board reporting that a School Sister of Notre Dame (SSND), Sister Peter, had called from Memphis, Tennessee, to urge all the sisters who possibly could to go to Selma for the march.

For several days a persistent tune had been playing in my mind: “I wish I could go to Selma!” And now here was the invitation, in black and white, pinned to the small square board where most of our crises were announced. … In a few minutes I was talking to Reverend Mother in Connecticut [to ask permission]. She acted to my proposal like a truly updated Mother General, hesitating only long enough to remind me that I might find myself either in danger or in jail—or both. When I assured her that I was aware of these possibilities, she gave her consent and cautioned—“Try not to catch cold.”   Read More »

March 27, 2015

By Barb Giehl, Mercy Associate

Group photo of the Mercy medical missionaries in Haiti

When I was attending Mercy High School in Rochester, New York, I began writing to a former teacher, Sister Margaret Mungovan (formerly Sister Helen Marie), who was missioned in Chile. I shared my plan of going to college, becoming a registered nurse, entering the Sisters of Mercy and joining her as a missionary in Chile. As often happens, God had a different plan. I married, became the mother of four children, and worked at a very busy full-time job.   Read More »

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

March 26, 2015

By Sister Doris Gottemoeller


Just a few of the many who support women on the path to becoming Sisters of Mercy! Front row, from left: Sisters Dale J., Cynthia S. and Natalie R. Back row, from left: Sister Kathy S., Mercy Associate Angie G. and Sisters Rayleen G. and Patty M.

Recently we hosted five novices from our Mercy novitiate in St. Louis, Missouri, here in Cincinnati, Ohio; they were in town for a workshop.  What a joy it was to share meals and conversation with this spirited group of young women!

Additionally, earlier this year I was in Jamaica and had dinner one evening with six sisters in various stages of incorporation or transfer.  Again, what a joy it was to look around the table and see Mercy alive in this youthful group. And in our chapel I see each day the poster with the pictures of the 24 women currently in some stage of incorporation into our Mercy community.  These are all signs of life and of the enduring call to Mercy.  In fact, Pope Francis has just called for a Jubilee Year of Mercy.  Maybe we should ask him to join our vocation team!   Read More »

Año de la Vida Consagrada

March 26, 2015

Por la Hermana Doris Gottemoeller


Sólo unas cuantas de las muchas personas que apoyan a las mujeres en ¡el camino para convertirse en Hermanas de la Misericordia! Primera fila, desde la izquierda: Hermanas Dale J., Cynthia S. y Natalie R. Última fila, desde la izquierda: Hermana Kathy S., Asociada de la Misericordia Angie G. y Hermanas Rayleen G. y Patty M.

Recientemente, acogimos a cinco novicias de nuestro noviciado de la Misericordia en St. Louis, Missouri, aquí en Cincinnati, Ohio; estuvieron en la ciudad para un taller. ¡Qué alegría fue compartir las comidas y la conversación con este grupo espiritual de mujeres jóvenes!

Además, a comienzos del año estuve en Jamaica y compartí la cena con seis hermanas en diversas etapas de incorporación o transferencia. Otra vez, que alegría fue mirar alrededor de la mesa y ver la Misericordia viva en este grupo juvenil. Y en nuestra capilla, veo todos los días el póster con fotografías de las 24 mujeres que actualmente están en alguna etapa de incorporación en nuestra comunidad de la Misericordia. Estas son las señales de vida y el llamado duradero a la Misericordia. De hecho, el Papa Francisco acaba de hacer un llamado por un Año de Jubileo de la Misericordia. Tal vez nosotras debemos pedirle a él ¡que se una a nuestro equipo de vocación!

Read More »


March 25, 2015

By Lauren Tyrrell

“Comfort the afflicted” is the sixth Spiritual Work of Mercy in our Lenten blog series.

Visitng one of our kids

Sister Jane often brought candy to the children she visited in the hospital.

Since the late 1960s, Sister Jane Kenrick had been ministering in poor parishes in Santiago, Chile. She witnessed the outbreak of AIDS in the 1980s and 1990s; at this time there were not yet drug cocktails for long-term treatment, and Sister Jane felt a call to serve those dying of the disease. She moved to the Diocese of Valparaíso, where the rate of infection was higher, and began volunteering at an AIDS program run by Catholic Charities. Then in 1994 she started a support group called Bethesda—meaning a space for healing and compassion. “Everyone would look around the room at each other and never know who would be next to die,” she remembers.   Read More »


March 25, 2015

Por Lauren Tyrrell

«Consolar al triste» es la sexta Obra Espiritual de la Misericordia en nuestra serie Cuaresmal de blogs.

Visitng one of our kids

La Hermana Jane con frecuencia trajo caramelos para los niños que visitaba en el hospital.

Desde finales de 1960, la Hermana Jane ha servido en las parroquias pobres en Santiago, Chile. Fue testigo de la epidemia del SIDA en las décadas de 1980 y 1990; en ese tiempo no había todavía combinación de medicamentos para el tratamiento a largo plazo, y la Hermana Jane sintió un llamado para servir a las personas que morían de la enfermedad. Se trasladó a la Diócesis de Valparaíso, donde la tasa de infección era más alta, y comenzó a prestar servicios voluntarios en un programa sobre el SIDA administrado por Caridades Católicas. Después en 1994, comenzó un grupo de apoyo llamado Bethesda—que significa un espacio para la sanación y la compasión. «Todos se miraban entre sí alrededor de la habitación sin saber quién sería la siguiente persona en morir», recordó ella.   Read More »

March 23, 2015

This is the third blog in our series on the Civil Rights Movement.

Sister Mary Charlene Curl was a Sister of Mercy for 71 years when she passed in 2011. Her life was marked by devotion to those who were sick and economically poor, serving in Mercy hospitals the state of Michigan.

Highlighting Sister Mary Charlene’s life was her participation in the 1965 March for Freedom in Selma, Montgomery. She, along with Sister Mary Aloysius Warnock, joined members of other religious communities, priests, rabbis and ministers from across the United States in nonviolent action for civil rights with the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others. In later years, Sister Mary Charlene had the opportunity to again see and speak with Dr. King when he visited Battle Creek, Michigan.   Read More »

March 20, 2015

By Catherine Walsh, Northeast Communications Specialist

This is the third in a series of profiles of Sisters living with serious illness. Part 1 and Part 2 can be found here. 

Sister Elaine (left) with her friend Sue LaVoie.

Sister Elaine (left) with her friend Sue LaVoie.

Here’s what Sister Elaine Deasy has: a fatal disease. Here’s what she doesn’t have: a bucket list.

For this woman of Mercy, who is 69 and provides spiritual direction to sisters and laypeople – including women in recovery and incarcerated women – answering the question of how she would live with terminal illness didn’t take long. She would just keep doing what she was doing, but on a reduced scale so she could tend to her medical needs.

“Although I am living each day with the knowledge that I have stage four metastatic breast cancer for which there is no cure, the operative phrase is ‘I am living each day,’” she says. “I don’t have or want a bucket list. I don’t desire to go on a big trip. I’ve done nothing dramatic in terms of changing my life.”   Read More »

March 19, 2015

By Karel B. Lucander


Sister Peggy with baby Joshua while his mother is attending English class.

In 1984, Sister Peggy Verstege made her way to the mountains of North Carolina, leaving behind a life of organization and discipline as a school principal. She was headed into a community in the Appalachian Mountains to teach, and she quickly learned that her makeshift classroom might be outside, under a shade tree. The advice she received: “Stay flexible, stay open.”

For the past three decades, that mantra has continued to resonate with her. Since 2007, she has been serving the Hispanic community at St. Andrew’s parish and beyond—an area that stretches across many winding country miles and counties surrounding Marshall, North Carolina.   Read More »


March 18, 2015

By Sister Mary Healy

“Forgive offenses willingly” is the fifth Spiritual Work of Mercy in our Lenten blog series.

Jim&MaryHealy (2) (876x683)

Joe and Mary Healy, circa 1990.

On March 1, 2000, my beloved brother, Joe Healy, sat in his favorite Burger King to await a school bus filled with young students who were eager to listen to his wonderful stories, often dressed-up Gospel parables. Suddenly, he was attacked—shot in the back of his head. He became the fifth victim of a senseless, random shooting rampage by a man previously diagnosed with long-term mental illness.

On hearing the shocking news, my world stopped.  Every conceivable emotion overwhelmed me.  Joey was my big brother.  He was a gentle giant, a holy man, my mentor. He didn’t deserve this to happen.  But who does?

Joe’s violent death was the deepest blow I have ever experienced. How could I handle the grief that struck me and my family so intimately?  “Blessed are those who mourn,” I thought, “for they shall be comforted.” From that moment on, Jesus walked with me and gave me strength.   Read More »