November 6, 2017
By Sister Colleen O’Toole
On July 22, the Sisters of Mercy came together in celebration and prayer as Sister Colleen O’Toole professed first vows as a Sister of Mercy in the chapel at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania. She currently ministers as a kindergarten aide in Cincinnati, Ohio. Sister Colleen reflects here on her journey to Mercy.
What first attracted you to the Sisters of Mercy?
When I was a Mercy Volunteer in Detroit, I worked at Mercy Education Project where I was a GED math teacher for women, and I helped in the after-school program. There were several sisters who also worked there. I didn’t live with any sisters, but they were very supportive of the volunteers and took us out and showed us around. I was very attracted to how authentic the sisters were in their relationships with each other and with the people they served.
In what ways have you grown?
As I have deepened my commitment to Mercy, I find myself becoming more authentic, more honest to my inner self. A friend once told me that “what is attractive to you about other people is what you desire for yourself,” and I think that’s certainly true for me!
Describe what you like most about being a Sister of Mercy?
I love the other sisters; getting to know such a diverse, joyful group of women has been a gift. I love the opportunities to gather with them. … I am constantly grateful to be in such a kind community.
What were your thoughts as you professed first vows?
As I walked down the aisle I saw so many sisters I knew, and I thought of all the times I’ve spent with them and remembered, when I first entered, how it was a chapel full of strangers. It was a very strong moment of community for me. Read More