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 2, 2015

By Northeast Community Communications

Meet Sister Elaine Deasy, a Sister of Mercy for 46 years. She calls her vocation “an inside job…I was taught by the Sisters of Mercy from kindergarten through college,” she said. After an immersion service trip in rural Kansas, she said she was changed and felt God’s call to become a Sister of Mercy. Her response?

“I’ll give it a year.”

Sister Elaine shares her vocation story with great candor and talks about her ministry to women recovering from alcohol addiction and women serving long-term prison sentences in Niantic, Connecticut.

Have sisters been a major influence in your life? Next week we celebrate National Catholic Sisters Week, March 8-14 – share your favorite sister stories with us in the comment box below.

Sister Elaine is a Sister of Mercy in the Northeast Community. Learn more about how you can support sisters in the Northeast Community.

Watch other videos in our “Mercy Is” series.

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

February 27, 2015

By Katie Fiermonti

This article was originally published as “Sister Amy Hoey, R.S.M.” in Parable, January/February 2015 issue

Sister Amy

Sister Amy Hoey (photo by Charlene Graham)

On the night before Sister Amy Hoey, R.S.M., became a postulant back in 1952, she ate a big lobster dinner, worrying that once she entered the Sisters of Mercy she wouldn’t eat lobster again. Now, more than 60 years later, she says she shouldn’t have worried. “It was a big shift in my life, but I felt I was at home. Thanks be to God, that’s where I continue to be,” she says. “And I’ve had lobster since then.”

Sister Amy, at 84, lives her faith with a lot of compassion and laughter. And chocolate, she’ll tell you. She is a joyful, driven member of the Sisters of Mercy order, a religious community founded in Ireland in 1827 by Catherine McAuley to serve the poor, sick, and uneducated. Mercy nuns are dedicated to social and political justice, especially focusing on the needs of women and children, healthcare, and the environment.

Religious sisters made a lasting impression on Sister Amy when she was growing up in East Boston. “It was a Catholic world,” she remembers. “I loved the sisters I had as teachers. They were first rate. I love that they prayed together and that they laughed together.”   Read More »

Año de la Vida Consagrada

February 27, 2015

Por Katie Fiermonti

Este artículo se publicó inicialmente como “Hermana Amy Hoey, R.S.M.” en la edición Parable, de enero/febrero 2015.

Sister Amy

Sister Amy Hoey (photo por Charlene Graham)

La noche anterior al día que la Hermana Amy Hoey, R.S.M., se hiciera postulante en 1952, ella comió una langosta grande en la cena, preocupada que una vez que hubiera ingresado a las Hermanas de la Misericordia ya no comería más una langosta. Ahora que han pasado más de 60 años, nos dice que no debió haberse preocupado. «Fue un gran cambio en mi vida, pero me sentí en casa. Las gracias sean para Dios, que es donde continuo estando», nos dice. «Y he comido langostas desde entonces».

La Hermana Amy, de 84 años, vive su fe con mucha compasión y risas. Y con chocolate, les dirá. Ella es una participante alegre y entregada a la orden de las Hermanas de la misericordia, una comunidad religiosa fundada en Irlanda en 1827 por Catalina McAuley para servir a empobrecidos, enfermos y personas carentes de educación. Las monjas de la Misericordia están dedicadas a la justicia social y política, especialmente enfocándose en las necesidades de las mujeres y los niños, los cuidados de salud y el medioambiente.

Las hermanas religiosas dejaron una impresión indeleble en la hermana Amy al ir creciendo en el Este de Boston. «Era un mundo católico», recuerda. «Me gustaban las hermanas que tenía como profesoras. Ellas eran de primera clase. Me gustaba que oraran juntas y que se rieran juntas». Read More »

Counsel the doubtful

February 24, 2015

By Nikisha Johnson, president/CEO, Mercy Community Services in Rochester, New York

“Counsel the doubtful” is the second Spiritual Work of Mercy in our Lenten blog series.


cc license photo (BY 2.0) from Vinoth Chandar

Each year Mercy Community Services serves over 100 young pregnant and parenting women aged 16-22 and their 90 children. Each one of the young women is homeless and without consistent family support. At our small re-purposed convent we envelope the young families in our warmth and support hoping to guide them through the uncertain times that lay ahead of them.

Many of our young mothers come to us shrouded in the bravado of youth, but underneath the layers we find that they are uncertain about the future, lacking the faith that they can be good mothers due to their own upbringing, and doubting that they will be able to amount to anything in the world. Each day we find ourselves walking with these young women and truly counseling the doubtful.   Read More »

Dar Consejo

February 24, 2015

Por Nikisha Johnson, presidenta/directora general, Mercy Community Services (Servicios de la Comunidad de la Misericordia) en Rochester, Nueva York

«Dar buen consejo a quien lo necesite» es el segundo Obra Espiritual de la Misericordia en nuestra serie Cuaresmal de blogs.


cc license photo (BY 2.0) from Vinoth Chandar

Cada año los Servicios de la Comunidad de la Misericordia sirven a más de 100 mujeres jóvenes embarazadas y madres de 16 a 22 años de edad y a sus 90 niños. Cada una de las jóvenes no tiene hogar y carece de un apoyo familiar constante. En nuestro pequeño reasignado convento, nosotras envolvemos a las familias jóvenes con nuestra ternura y apoyo, esperando poder guiarlas en los tiempos de incertidumbre que habrán de afrontar.

Muchas de nuestras madres jóvenes llegan a nosotras protegidas en la fanfarronería juvenil, pero debajo de las capas descubrimos que ellas se sienten inciertas del futuro, carecen de fe que pueden ser buenas madres debido a su propia crianza, y dudan de poder llegar a ser alguien en el mundo. Cada día nos encontramos caminando con estas jóvenes madres y realmente dando un buen consejo a las que lo necesitan. Read More »

February 24, 2015

By Pat Zerega, senior director of shareholder advocacy, Mercy Investment Services

As football fans gathered for Super Bowl XLIX, faith-based investors and other advocates concerned with human trafficking watched the festivities with a different mindset. Large-scale sporting events such as the Super Bowl, World Cup and Olympics have become a platform for those raising awareness of the growing human trafficking industry.


Ads like this one from the Polaris Project help trafficking victims know where help is available.

In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, law enforcement agencies in several states arrested 23 people on suspicion of sex trafficking and rescued 68 victims of trafficking, including 14 juveniles. For several years, members of the faith community have contacted hotels in the local area to encourage them to train their staff on how to spot trafficking victims and what to do if they believe someone is being trafficked. This expands beyond the Super Bowl and is a year-round effort. Investors continue to ask companies in the travel and tourism industry to provide education and training for staff, and investors have offered resources such as a hotel letter that consumers can use in their travels.   Read More »

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

February 20, 2015

By Sister Mandy

Editor’s Note: The novitiate phase of becoming a Sister of Mercy is divided into two parts. The first year (canonical year) is an intense period of discernment while you engage in prayer, study the vows, minister with other novices and continue to live in community. The second (apostolic year) includes more ministerial involvement and a deepening awareness of God’s call in you. Sister Mandy reflects here on her transition between these two years of her novitiate. 

Mandy’s space at the novitiate reflects her love of cycling and drawing.

Mandy’s space at the novitiate reflects her love of cycling and drawing.

Prophetic witness seems like such a huge part of life as a Sister of Mercy to me, and it scares me a bit. I so resist the idea that as a sister I need to be presentable at all times, that I need to be patient, and that people will not always accept anger as a reasonable emotion from me. I do not like the idea that as a sister I will be expected to be wise, learned and a theologian. I do not feel prepared for this burden; I do not feel equipped for this call. I do, however, feel called to be something different, to step out of life as we know it, out of the rat race, and by so doing to say to the world, “Hey, there is another way!” Or in the immortal words of Olaf, the magical snowman is Disney’s Frozen, when his friends were faced with an impossible mountain climb: “Not sure if this is going to solve your problem but I found a staircase that leads exactly where you wanted to go.”

Like Olaf I may not have the gifts the world is looking for, but I might have the gifts that are needed, enough to cause ripples if I dare to rock the boat. I do not always see in me the gifts I see in other Sisters of Mercy, and I do not know for certain that courage—a trait I see in many others—is one of my gifts. I am, however, beginning to see some of my own gifts emerge, and they enable me to be something different than what the world has already chosen.   Read More »

February 19, 2015

By Karel B. Lucander

Sister Susanne Ashton, volunteer physician, at Stella Maris with a resident of Mercy Ridge in Timonium, Maryland. (Photo by Kevin Parks)

Sister Susanne Ashton, volunteer physician, at Stella Maris with a resident of Mercy Ridge in Timonium, Maryland. (Photo by Kevin Parks)

Sister Susanne Ashton’s mother was a physician, who graduated from medical school in 1931, and her father owned thoroughbred horses, racing them up and down the East Coast. As the oldest of five children (along with her twin brother), she was always observing, helping, working and learning nonstop. Now at 76, Sister Susie is still doing all of those things—at full force. She hasn’t slowed down. Yet the education and events that led to her current ministry reflect an extensive curriculum vitae along with decades of asking, praying and yearning for the opportunity to become a medical doctor and “help others the way Jesus helped the sick and dying.”

“My mother never knew I became a physician, but as a young person, I would ride with her into the poor sections of the city and wait while she delivered a baby. At 40, I was one of the oldest graduates in my medical school class and my mother was one of the youngest at 22. The years that followed receiving that piece of paper that said ‘Medical Doctor’ were blessed ones. Finding God in the thousands of babies I delivered (including three nieces), the patients that needed surgery, sitting and praying at the bedside of those who were about to return to their creator, being present to others just to say ‘all is well’ far exceeded all my expectations as a Mercy sister in medicine. There were some hard times, but the road, though a little crooked and stone-filled at times, led to a happiness that can only be found when we see the love of God in ourselves and in the persons we love and serve,” says Sister Susie.   Read More »


February 18, 2015

By Marianne Comfort, Institute Justice Team

“Instruct the ignorant” is the first Spiritual Work of Mercy in our Lenten blog series. Read more about the series.

The call to instruct the ignorant is taking on new meaning as I slowly make my way through a book called Resisting Structural Evil.


We all love a bargain on clothing—do we ever stop to wonder how it can be sold so cheaply?

One of the author’s premises is that people can’t confront unjust structures and systems that they don’t know about. So we boast about great bargains on clothes on the discount rack, blissfully unaware that our cheap purchase was made at the expense of laborers in Latin American sweatshops. And we toss a few coins into the cup of the panhandler on the corner without pausing to ask why he is asking for hand-outs.

The author, Lutheran ethicist Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, then elaborates on how we can help people ask these questions and make connections between their actions and injustices around the world, without leading them into despair and hopelessness. She invites us to claim our moral vision to see what’s going on, and then claim our spiritual power to do something about it.

Some Sisters of Mercy in Latin America and the Philippines have opened my eyes to their realities and the role of the United States in the extreme poverty and environmental degradation in their countries. Very brief video clips of Sister Anita of Argentina and Sister Masbely of Honduras offer a glimpse of some of their teaching points.   Read More »

Enseñar al que no sabe

February 18, 2015

Por Marianne Comfort, Equipo de Justicia del Instituto

Ésta es la primera reflexión en nuestra serie Cuaresmal de blogs que presenta interpretaciones modernas de las Obras Espirituales de la Misericordia.

La llamada a instruir al que no sabe está cobrando nuevo significado al entrar yo lentamente al libro llamado Resistir el Mal Estructural.

A todos nos gustan las ofertas de ropa, nos detenemos alguna vez para preguntarnos ¿cómo es que se puede vender tan barata?

A todos nos gustan las ofertas de ropa, nos detenemos alguna vez para preguntarnos ¿cómo es que se puede vender tan barata?


Una de las premisas de la autora es que la gente no puede enfrentar las estructuras y sistemas injustos de los que no conoce. Así pues, elogiamos las grandes ofertas de las ropas en los anaqueles de descuentos, felices y completamente inconscientes de que nuestras compras baratas fueron hechas a costa de trabajadores en las fábricas donde se les explota en Latinoamérica. Y al tirar unas cuantas monedas al mendigo en la esquina sin pausar para preguntarle por qué él/ella está pidiendo limosna.

La autora, eticista luterana, Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, elabora luego sobre cómo podemos ayudar a la gente a hacer estas preguntas y las conexiones entre sus acciones e injusticias por todo el mundo, sin llevarles a la desolación y la desesperanza. Ella nos invita a poseer nuestra visión moral para ver lo que está sucediendo y entonces, apoderarnos de nuestro poder moral para hacer algo sobre la situación.

Algunas Hermanas de la Misericordia en Latinoamérica y las Filipinas han abierto mis ojos a sus realidades y el rol de los Estados Unidos en la extrema pobreza y depredación medioambiental en sus países. Los breves cortometrajes de video de la Hermana Anita de Argentina y de la Hermana Masbely de Honduras nos ofrecen un destello de algunos de sus puntos de enseñanza.   Read More »