Sister Marissa Butler received as a novice
June 26, 2018
On Saturday, June 23, Marissa Butler of Waterloo, Iowa, was received as a novice in the Sisters of Mercy. A reception ritual was held in Mercy Chapel at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Associates, Companions in Mercy, family, and friends gathered to witness and celebrate Marissa’s desire to further her discernment of religious life. On Saturday, she was named Sister Marissa while receiving the Mercy Cross that identifies her as a novice of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. Her novitiate program will begin August 12 at the Institute novitiate in St. Louis, Missouri.
Sister Laura Reicks, RSM, president of the Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community, said, “It is with immense joy that I, on behalf of the Sisters of Mercy, introduce Sister Marissa Butler as our newest Sister of Mercy. We welcome Marissa into the novitiate.” Sister Laura added, “This day affirms that God continues to call women to religious life.”
Sister Marissa has spent the past three years as a candidate learning and experiencing Mercy lifestyle and ministry while deepening her relationship with God. She first served in Chicago, Illinois, as a developmental training instructor at Misericordia Heart of Mercy; then Burlingame, California, where she worked at Mercy High Burlingame as library supervisor; and, most recently, she was in Joplin, Missouri, serving as associate chaplain at Mercy Hospital.
Sister Marissa will now enter the novitiate of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. According to the Sisters of Mercy Constitutions (#36), “The novitiate program provides the opportunity for a novice to intensify her commitment to prayer, community living and service; deepen her understanding of the charism of mercy within the church; and discern the authenticity of her call to the profession of vows.”
Of her reception into the Sisters of Mercy, Sister Marissa said, “I am so very grateful for the love and encouragement of the Community as I take this important step.”
Sister Marissa is the daughter of Michael and Michele Butler of New Hartford, Iowa. She holds a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Mount Mercy University; a graduate certificate in pastoral studies from Saint Xavier University in Chicago; and a master’s degree in pastoral studies from Loyola University, also in Chicago.
Sister Marissa explained that she came to know Mercy while she was an undergraduate at Mount Mercy University. Believing in the charism of the Sisters of Mercy, she became a Mercy Associate in 2011 and served as such until she entered the Community. She entered in 2015 and has been a candidate up to this point.
“My experience as an Associate was a blessing,” she said. “It integrated me into the Mercy community helping me understand the many ways Mercy is brought to life in the world. However, I felt like something was missing. Then God revealed to me through my prayer life and my encounters with other people that my gifts and talents would be used best as a vowed member. I feel strongly called to living the mission of Mercy as a vowed member of the Community. It is exciting to think about the possibilities this adventure will offer.”