Author Archives: mercycomm

April 20, 2014

By Carol H., Mercy Associate

Hands with EggsIn the chill of an early spring morning, I went to visit children living in our transitional apartments. They had come to our shelter after a journey of survival. Through the eyes of a mother addicted to drugs, they had seen and had known violence. During the month with us, the mother had made real changes in her life, feeling for the first time a sense of support.

A few weeks earlier, I remember passing by the apartment from which they had been evicted and the children had shown me their wet clothes piled on the street. The smallest child had reached for my hand and said, “My teddy bear is under there somewhere.” These children had not experienced childhood, only the confusion of survival. I looked at their four beautiful faces and saw the collective wisdom of their feelings. They had replaced their feelings of despair with determination, their futility with faith, and the helplessness with hope. Read More »

April 17, 2014

By Sister Mary M.

cc license (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo shared by Ellen Macdonald

cc license (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo shared by Ellen Macdonald

“Burying the Dead” is the final Corporal Work of Mercy in our Lenten blog series. Read the rest of the Lenten blogs here.

I work with patients who are dying and people say “that must be so hard.” Often I think “sad” is a better description when I see that a patient understands she is dying but the family is looking for medical answers and solutions. It is an honor to accompany and comfort someone as they give themselves to death. They are sometimes scared, sometimes peaceful, but always glad to know we are there and that we care.   Read More »

April 17, 2014

Por la Hermana Mary M.

cc license (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo shared by Ellen Macdonald

cc license (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo shared by Ellen Macdonald

Trabajo con pacientes agonizantes y la gente me dice “que debe ser muy difícil”. A menudo pienso que “triste” es una mejor descripción cuando veo que un paciente sabe que está muriendo, pero su familia está buscando respuestas y soluciones médicas. Es un honor acompañar y reconfortar a los pacientes cuando se entregan a la muerte. A veces tienen temor, algunas veces están serenos, pero siempre están contentos de saber que estamos allí y que los atendemos.
Read More »

April 16, 2014

Sister Renee Y.

cc license photo (BY-ND) shared by flickr user Ivan Velazco

cc license photo (BY-ND) shared by flickr user Ivan Velazco

Chances are, if your bedroom window faces west, you woke up too early Tuesday morning. Slung half-way down the western sky, a brilliant moon blared a summons: “Get up! You have a journey! Your life is calling you!”

It is the same invitation once received by the ancient Jews on the night of Passover. It is the same invitation Jesus heard in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is the same invitation heard by the Holy Prophet Muhammed and answered yearly by Muslims in the sacred Hajj.   Read More »

April 15, 2014

By Gerry C., Mercy Associate

Gerry C., Mercy Associate

Gerry C., Mercy Associate

The invitation came suddenly and without warning. It was September, 2008, just another ordinary, very busy day when the phone rang. It was a very dear friend excitedly announcing she wanted me to come to Newington, Connecticut, with her to hear about becoming a Mercy Associate. My immediate response was, “A what?” I was overwhelmed at the time with other obligations and felt I could not handle one more thing. My friend, of course, would not take no for an answer and kept reminding me of all the good works I was already doing and, in her opinion, being a Mercy Associate would be a perfect fit. I continued to say no and felt certain this was not a journey I was worthy to take. In the end I agreed to go to one meeting.   Read More »

April 9, 2014

By Sister Elaine D.

cc license (BY) flickr photo shared by _venerdi

A photo of the willow tree
cc license (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo shared by _venerdi

“Visiting the imprisoned” is the sixth Corporal Work of Mercy in our Lenten blog series. Read the rest of the Lenten blogs here.

Five years ago I was asked to give group spiritual direction to women at York Correctional Institution in Niantic, CT. No problem, I’ve been a spiritual director for 30 years. There would be 24 in the group. No problem, I could hold two groups of 12. I would go right on the tier where they lived, in full view of the correctional officers. No problem, I’d feel safe. The women were in maximum security, serving long-term sentences for very serious crimes. Ah no problem…I think…

The chaplain named the group “Willow Community.” They would be like the willow tree, planted near water, able to bend and not be broken. These women had already served 5 to 19 years in prison and we were trying to provide a program that could offer them hope as they stared down many more years of confinement.  Read More »

April 9, 2014

Por la Hermana Elaine D.

cc license (BY) flickr photo shared by _venerdi

cc license (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo shared by _venerdi

Hace cinco años me pidieron que diera dirección espiritual de grupo a mujeres en la Institución Correccional York en Niantic, Connecticut. No hay problema, he sido directora espiritual por 30 años. Habría 24 en el grupo, No hay problema, puedo tener dos grupos de 12. Iría de frente al piso donde vivían, a vista plena de los oficiales correccionales. No hay problema, me sentiría segura. Las mujeres estaban en máxima seguridad, sirviendo condenas largas por crímenes muy serios. Ah, no hay problema…Pensé…

El capellán nombró al grupo «Comunidad Willow». Ellas serían como los árboles de sauces, plantadas cerca al agua, capaces de encorvarse y no quebrarse. Estas mujeres ya han servido de 5 a 19 años en prisión y tratábamos de proporcionarles un programa que les podría ofrecer esperanza mientras contemplaban muchos más años de reclusión.

Read More »

April 8, 2014

By Sisters Therese M. and Jeanne C.

(L To R) Sisters Noel F., Mary Ann D., Therese R., Jeanne C., Lisa S. and Rita C.

(L To R) Sisters Noel F., Mary Ann D., Therese R., Jeanne C., Lisa S. and Rita C.

“The five minute video opening of ‘Ignite’ grabbed me. I was hooked from the start.” (Sister Noel F.)

This comment from Noel reflects the response of many participants at the Ignite Conference. More than 100 professionals in criminal justice, counseling, event planning and non-profits were present at the March 2-4 Conference in St. Louis, MO, including participants from women religious communities. The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas co-sponsored this first-ever conference and six Sisters who work to end human trafficking attended this conference (see image).

Even for those of us well versed in the atrocity of human trafficking, the conference offered fresh reminders and new findings to help inform and inspire our ministries. Here are our top ten takeaways:  Read More »

April 4, 2014

By Sister Karen S., M.D.

“Caring for the sick” is the fifth Corporal Work of Mercy in our Lenten blog series. Read the rest of the Lenten blogs here.

Sister Karen caring for the sick abroad

Sister Karen caring for the sick abroad

I am a Sister of Mercy and a pediatrician. I’ve been able to take my ministry on the road (or better yet onto a plane) and travel to remote parts of the world to care for children who do not have access to a doctor. So four times a year I put a team together and off we go. For me this is the most exciting part of my ministry: to help those who have so little.   Read More »

April 4, 2014

Por la Hermana Karen S., M.D.

“Cuidar a los enfermos” es la cuarta Obra Corporal de Misericordia en la que nos enfocamos durante nuestra serie del “blog” de Cuaresma. Lee el resto del blog de Cuaresma aquí.

Hermana Karen

Hermana Karen

Soy una Hermana de la Misericordia y una pediatra. Se me ha hecho posible transportar mi ministerio por avión y viajar a lugares distantes del mundo para cuidar a niños que no tienen acceso a un médico. Así es que cuatro veces al año reúno un equipo y nos vamos de viaje. Ésta es la parte de mi ministerio que más satisfacción me causa: ayudar a quienes tienen muy poco.

Read More »