Connect with Mercy

Advent 2016 blog series from the Sisters of Mercy of the America

December 2, 2016

By Samantha Douberly, fine arts teacher at Saint Vincent’s Academy

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Samantha Douberly (front, left) with colleague Carol Miles (front, right) and Principal Mary Ann Hogan (back, left) with students from Saint Vincent’s Academy.

This is me. I’m a 48-year-old, married mother of three teenagers. I teach art to freshmen high school students at Saint Vincent’s Academy in Savannah, Georgia, where my oldest daughter is in her junior year. Right now, Advent is being spent trying to hold the interest of 50 teenage girls as we head toward their first high school exams and the Christmas break. I drive my children hither and yon. From time to time I feed them before forcing them to bed and then force them into consciousness again in the morning. Occasionally, my husband and I bump into each other in the hallway or hold hands as we drift off watching “Antiques Road Show.” The fleeting thoughts of Christmas cause fleeting fits of panic, and I would much rather compartmentalize the entire season into the recesses of my mind.  Just like with a high school term paper, I will think about that tomorrow.   Read More »

Advent 2016 blog series from the Sisters of Mercy of the America

November 28, 2016

By Sister Margretta Dwyer

“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world” (John 1:9). This year, as we await the coming of the light of Christ, we invite you to reflect on the meaning of Advent through diverse perspectives in our Mercy family.

homeless_guy_on_yonge_streetI am privileged to work at a drop-in center for people who are homeless. Sometimes we talk, and sometimes we sit in silence. Stories come forward without pressure. I asked several women and men if they knew about Advent. Two stories are related here—stories to help people wrap their heads around homelessness.

I proposed two questions to each person: What is Advent? And what does it mean to you?   Read More »

Adviento 2016

November 28, 2016

Por la Hermana Margretta Dwyer

«Porque la luz llegaba al mundo, la luz verdadera que alumbra a todos» (Juan 1:9). Este año, mientras esperamos la venida de la luz de Cristo, les invitamos a que reflexionen sobre el significado del Adviento a través de las diversas perspectivas de nuestra familia de la Misericordia.

homeless_guy_on_yonge_street

Tengo el privilegio de trabajar en un centro social para personas sin hogar. A veces hablamos y a veces nos sentamos en silencio. Las historias llegan, sin presión. He preguntado a varias mujeres y hombres si sabían sobre el Adviento. Dos historias se relacionan aquí — historias para ayudar a las personas a comprender sobre la falta de vivienda.

Planteé dos preguntas a cada persona: ¿Qué es el Adviento? Y ¿Qué significa para ti?

Read More »

November 23, 2016

By Sister Renee Yann 

Pope Francis closes the Holy Door of Mercy.

Pope Francis closes the Holy Door of Mercy.

It seems a shame to close a door once it has been opened, doesn’t it? Why does the Church do that? Well, that’s kind of like asking, “Why isn’t it always Christmas – or always Easter – or always Lent? The Church recognizes that human hearts are “cyclic”. They beat in intermingled joys and sorrows – all of which need to be touched and blessed in their own time.   Read More »

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November 18, 2016

How gifted we are to be named Mercy during this extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy—and how challenged, too!

“God’s Mercy is Forever,” art by Sister Larretta Rivera-Williams.

“God’s Mercy is Forever,” art by Sister Larretta Rivera-Williams.

Pope Francis defines mercy as “the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us.” For many members in our Mercy family, God has come to meet them through a call to deepen their commitment to Mercy within this Jubilee Year. How have we experienced the call to mercy in this Jubilee Year? How can we harness its momentum for the future? We asked several individuals who celebrated recent commitments to the Sisters of Mercy to share their reflections on these questions.

This is Part 2 of our Jubilee Year of Mercy reflections. Read Part 1 here.

Sister Jacqueline Nedd: I have always felt called to be an instrument of God’s love and mercy in our world. So I strive to express the loving and compassionate presence of God to those around me by my words and actions.  Now I am especially conscious of how, where and when I can be more merciful during this Jubilee Year of Mercy and pray for the grace to be merciful.

I believe that we could spread the spirit of mercy in our ministries by witnessing to mercy and justice through our corporal and spiritual works of mercy. We could also host book clubs, faith-sharing or group discussions with persons in our ministries using books and reflections written on Mercy.   Read More »

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November 17, 2016

How gifted we are to be named Mercy during this extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy—and how challenged, too!

“Dynamic of Mercy,” art by Sister Celeste Nuttman.

“Dynamic of Mercy,” art by Sister Celeste Nuttman.

Pope Francis defines mercy as “the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us.” For many members in our Mercy family, God has come to meet them through a call to deepen their commitment to Mercy within this Jubilee Year. We asked several individuals who celebrated recent commitments to the Sisters of Mercy to share brief reflections on the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Read more reflections in Part 2, which will be posted tomorrow!   Read More »

November 16, 2016

By Beth Thompson

SrJill_Amputee_web

Visiting in 2011, Sister Jill Weber examines Linnette, who lost her leg when an oven exploded during the earthquake in Haiti a year earlier.

Maybe it’s her twinkling hazel eyes or quick, friendly smile. Her steady, calm presence or reassuring nod when you’re having a tough day. Somehow just seeing Sister Jill Weber can lift your spirits.

Sister Jill shares her warmth and compassion with some of the neediest people on the planet. She ministers as a physical therapist with developmentally disabled children and adults at Holy Angels in Belmont, North Carolina. And she regularly volunteers in Haiti with Sisters of Mercy from across the Americas.   Read More »

November 10, 2016

By Marianne Comfort, Institute Justice Team

pexels-photo-70152A short while before Election Day, I was sitting in a packed church at a Confirmation Mass when the bishop launched into a tirade against “one political party” and left no doubt that a good Catholic could never vote for one particular presidential candidate. The next day, I was observing an elementary school class and overheard two first-graders trying to outdo one another in making fun of the other major candidate.

Now that Donald Trump has won the presidency, our task is to try to bring together both that bishop and the parents of those young boys, or at least some members of the groups they represent. How do we call upon the better natures of Americans to stop demonizing one side of this divisive election or the other, and to talk instead about ways to assist workers displaced by globalization, to right racial injustices and the wealth gap, to ensure a healthy environment for future generations and to fix our broken immigration system, among many other challenges?   Read More »

November 4, 2016

By John Baldridge, teacher at Mount St. Mary High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

This reflection is part of our Mercy on the Border series. Read other Mercy on the Border reflections here

The immersion experience group with John centered in blue.

The immersion experience group with John centered in blue.

The Sisters of Mercy have been caring for the marginalized in our society for generations, and there is so much to admire in their work to minister to the oppressed. As a teacher at Mount St. Mary High School, a Mercy-sponsored school in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, learning about Mercy values has inspired me to carry on the legacy of the sisters in my work and service to the community.

This year, my seventh year at Mount St. Mary, an opportunity opened to learn firsthand about Mercy’s immigration work—I jumped at the chance to get involved! The border immersion program, organized by the Institute Justice Team and facilitated by Sister Kathleen Erickson and Columban Father Bob Mosher, was an eye-opening and meaningful experience.   Read More »

November 3, 2016

By Karel B. Lucander

Sister Jane Gerety talking with students classes at Jazzman’s Café on the campus of Salve Regina University.

Sister Jane Gerety talks with students between classes at Jazzman’s Café.

Set alongside the sea in Newport, Rhode Island, educational and spiritual roots run deep at Salve Regina University. Described in U.S. News & World Report as “one of the most beautiful campuses in the country” and “a small university with big opportunity,” Salve Regina is a Catholic, coeducational university founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1947. Today, nearly 2,200 students immerse themselves in a fine liberal arts education here.

At the helm is Sister Jane Gerety. Appointed seventh president of Salve Regina in July 2009, her responsibilities are great—and her self-appointed goals even greater.

“I want everything we do to be as beautiful as our campus. I want to make certain that every one of our academic programs is excellent, and that our community is a happy, inclusive Mercy-filled home,” she says. “I have been very focused on the academic stature. We are also building more student space, more dormitories, so this becomes a true home for our students.”   Read More »