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.

August 4, 2014

By Sister Joan C.

Sister Joan, a former junior high school and high school teacher, volunteers as a tutor at the Lantern Center for Hospitality and Education in San Francisco, California, which provides classes for Spanish-speaking adults to learn English.

Sister Joan C. (left) with Sister Marie S. (right), founder of the Lantern Center.

Sister Joan C. (left) with Sister Marie S. (right), founder of the Lantern Center.

Born in the Bronx, New York, to Spanish-speaking, Central American immigrant parents, I learned early the importance of being able to speak, read and write English in this country. I also had first-hand experience with the hardships adults face when learning a new language.

I loved to teach. I taught students from a wide variety of cultures and economic situations at schools in California including St. Peter’s and Holy Name’s schools in San Francisco; St. Pius X School in Santa Fe Springs in Los Angeles; St. Anthony’s School in Oakland; and Marian High School in San Diego.   Read More »

July 30, 2014

By Sister Dina A.

A desperate mother searches for her teenage daughter who was trafficked into a brothel. Photo Credit: Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department.

A desperate mother searches for her teenage daughter who was trafficked into a brothel. Photo Credit: Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department.

In considering the issue of human trafficking, it seems that in Panama this scourge has been very well hidden—or simply, it is so regular and normal, that it has become very common and no one is surprised.

In the golden years of the construction of the inter-oceanic railroad in 1855 and the Panama Canal in 1914, prostitution was exercised with the consent and total impunity of the authorities. Corruption flowed over to judges, police and the local mafia since they received money from this illicit act. The military presence of the United States Southern Command in Panama, which started in 1963 and continues today, ensured that all U.S. military levels have “entertainment” in the military bases, bars, brothels and prostitution houses. Furthermore, with Panama being such a strategic global connection point for immigration, arms trafficking, mafia, drugs and money laundering, it is no wonder it is likewise a strategic point for human trafficking.  Read More »

July 30, 2014

Por la Hermana Dina A.

A desperate mother searches for her teenage daughter who was trafficked into a brothel. Photo Credit: Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department.

Una madre desesperada busca a su hija adolescente traficada a un burdel. Foto: Cortesía de Kay Chernush del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de EE.UU.

Al considerar el tema de la trata de personas, pareciera que en Panamá se ha ocultado muy bien este flagelo, o simplemente, es tan regular y normal, que se ha hecho muy común y a nadie le sorprende.

En los años dorados de la construcción del Ferrocarril Interoceánico en 1855 y el Canal de Panamá en 1914 se ejercía la prostitución con el consentimiento e impunidad total de las autoridades. La corrupción salpicaba a jueces, policías y la mafia local debido a que ellos recibían dinero de este ilícito acto. La presencia militar del Comando Sur de los Estados Unidos en Panamá que comenzó en 1963 y continúa hoy, aseguraba que todos los estamentos militares estadounidenses contaran con el “entretenimiento” en las mismas bases militares, bares, burdeles y casas de citas. Es tan contradictorio que siendo Panamá un punto estratégico de conexión mundial para inmigración, el tráfico de armas, mafia, drogas y lavado de dinero no sea también
un punto estratégico para el tráfico de personas. Read More »

July 29, 2014

By Sister Jeanne C.

A self-portrait by a 15-year-old sex trafficking victim. She escaped and now lives in a Catholic shelter for rescued girls. She dreams of becoming a social worker. Photo Credit: Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department.

A self-portrait by a 15-year-old sex trafficking victim who now dreams of becoming a social worker. Photo Credit: Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department.

I first became aware of the horror of human trafficking while working with a not-for-profit women’s group in Kansas City, Missouri. The director of the group had been a victim of domestic human trafficking, and many of the women we served were victims as well. Listening to the horrors of their experience moved me to devote my ministry to helping the victims, advocating on their behalf and educating the public about this atrocity.   Read More »

July 29, 2014

Por la Hermana Jeanne C.

A self-portrait by a 15-year-old sex trafficking victim. She escaped and now lives in a Catholic shelter for rescued girls. She dreams of becoming a social worker. Photo Credit: Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department.

Este dibujo es un autorretrato de una víctima del tráfico del sexo, de quince años. Ella escapó finalmente y ahora vive en un refugio católico para muchachas rescatadas. Ella sueña con ser una trabajadora social. Foto, cortesía de Kay Chernush del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de EE.UU.

La primera vez que me di cuenta del horror del tráfico de personas fue al trabajar con un grupo de mujeres, sin fines de lucro en la Ciudad de Kansas, Missouri. La directora del grupo había sido víctima de tráfico interno de personas y muchas de ellas a quienes servíamos eran también víctimas. El oír los horrores de sus experiencias me impulsó a dedicar mi apostolado a ayudar a las víctimas, abogar por ellas y educar al público sobre esta atrocidad.
Read More »

July 22, 2014

By Peter F. Meggison, professor of business and computing at Massasoit Community College in Brockton, Massachusetts

This photo of Mother Alexis Donnelly is the only known photo of this sister/composer.

This photo of Mother Alexis Donnelly is the only known photo of this sister/composer. Photo courtesy of Mercy Heritage Center.

One of the major contributors to American Catholic music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was Sister Mary Alexis Donnelly. Born Julia Donnelly in England in 1857, she came to the United States as a girl and entered the Sisters of Mercy in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1877. Her early assignments included teaching music in Providence diocesan schools.

Sister Alexis was recognized by her superiors as a gifted musician. At the age of 34, she compiled 121 hymns—mostly her own compositions. These works were published as Holy Face Hymnal by J. Fischer & Bro. of New York, a leading publisher of church music. In 1899, Sister Alexis compiled a second hymnal of 58 compositions, most of them her own works, under the title Our Lady of Mercy HymnalRead More »

July 17, 2014

By Karel B. Lucander

Sister Clara Kelly, medical director of Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine, Viera, Fla.

Sister Clara Kelly, medical director of Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine, Viera, Fla. Photo by Sister Jane Davis.

If you’re sick, uninsured and financially struggling, where do you turn? If you’re living near Viera, Fla., you turn to the Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine (SCVIM) clinic, where Sister Clara Kelly is medical director.

Those who seek care here are not on welfare but have low-income jobs—as fast-food workers, nursing assistants, or hotel housekeepers. Those jobs may allow them to put a roof over their heads and food on the table but preclude them from affording medical insurance. And often, by the time they seek help, they are battling multiple issues simultaneously: diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, and dental ailments that have long gone untreated.  Read More »

July 16, 2014

By Catherine Walsh, Northeast Communications Specialist

These photos, collected with the help of Sister Hope W. and her family, celebrate many milestones and memories in the life of a Sister of Mercy.

1-Wedding
Our story of Sister Hope W., who is now 103 years old, begins with the wedding of her parents, William and Mary, on October 9, 1907, in Providence, Rhode Island. Hope was the second of their eight children.

2-Communion
Hope (right) with siblings Ruth and Leo watch a First Holy Communion in their parish in Edgewood, Rhode Island, in 1919. By the time she was in the sixth grade, Hope knew she wanted to be a Sister of Mercy.   Read More »

July 16, 2014

Por Catherine Walsh, Especialista de Comunicaciones del Nordeste

Estas fotos recogidas con la ayuda de la Hermana Hope W. y su familia celebran muchos hitos y recuerdos en la vida de una Hermana de la Misericordia.

1-Wedding
La historia de la Hermana Hope W., de 103 años, empieza con la boda de sus padres, William y Mary, el 9 de octubre de 1907, en Providence, Rhode Island. Hope fue la segunda de sus ocho hijos e hijas.

2-Communion
Hope (derecha) con su hermana Ruth y su hermano Leo, observan una ceremonia de Primera Comunión en su parroquia en Edgewood, Rhode Island en 1919. Cuando estaba en el sexto grado, Hope sabía que quería ser una Hermana de la Misericordia.   Read More »

July 15, 2014

By Abby Pivovar, NetCommunity and Special Project Coordinator, West Midwest Community

Sister Claudia Robinson

Long after the tornado struck in 1988, people still needed help—and Sister Claudia was there to assist through Inter-Faith Response.

Initially formed by various churches, Inter-Faith Response was originally intended to meet the needs of those who lost homes when a tornado tore through Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1988.  Although the organization was created in reaction to the natural disaster, Sister Claudia explains that people just kept coming after the tornado. Inter-Faith Response remains open to this day, providing a helping hand when other agencies cannot.

Read More »