Videos - Sisters Share Their Vocation Stories

National Catholic Sisters Week 2018

Sister Claudia Cano

Feeling connected to the values of the Sisters of Mercy and after witnessing this first-hand through the actions and passion of another Sister of Mercy who repeatedly invited her to consider religious life, Sister Claudia entered the Sisters of Mercy in 2008. She is a registered nurse and presently she ministers as a Bilingual Health Educator with Healthy Moms & Babes, a program that serves at-risk low-income women of child-bearing age, their children and families in Cincinnati, OH.

Sr. Claudia Cano is a native of Raymondville, TX. Prior to moving to Cincinnati, Sister Claudia ministered in Missouri, Louisiana, Texas, and Ohio at various health care ministries.

Sister Natalie Rossi

Sister of Mercy Natalie Rossi of Erie, Pennsylvania, has enjoyed a variety of ministries in her 55 years as a Sister of Mercy.

Currently, she is a part-time campus minister at Mercyhurst University, Erie. She also volunteers at the Veterans' Administration Hospital, Erie, and at the State Correctional Institute at Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania, where she was facility chaplaincy program director from 1995-2009.

She participates in Take Back the Site Prayer Vigils, which is a collaborative ministry of the Sisters of Mercy, Sisters of St. Benedict and Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania.

Sister Libby Fernandez

After 28 years serving the homeless, 17 of those years as the executive director of Loaves & Fishes in Sacramento, CA, Sister Libby Fernandez felt a powerful call from God to help the homeless in a new, more direct way. In 2017, she founded Mercy Pedalers, a non-profit organization in which she and other volunteers ride a special-equipped tricycle and bring God to the homeless on the streets of the city.

As a Mercy Pedaler, she believes she can further develops relationships with the homeless and can connect them on a one-on-one basis where they live. She hopes that those relationships and that presence allow her and her volunteers to connect them to services and, when and if they are ready, help them make a change in their lives.

Sister Alicia Zapata

Sister Alicia Zapata spent the last 32 years working with migrant workers for Farmworker Ministry Inc. in Auburndale, FL. The majority of her 43 years as a Sister of Mercy has been spent working with people who are impoverished. She has served as an interpreter for sisters from Caribbean, Central America and South America. She also has been a member of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network since 1995, the Board of Immigration Appeal Accreditation since 2012 and ALAS, professional Hispanics responding to the needs of the Hispanic community, since 2015. She also works on the Critical Concerns and justice issues of the Sisters of Mercy.

Sister Priscilla Moreno

Having grown up in a rural community of Texas, Sister Priscilla never dreamed of becoming a sister. In the few encounters she had with sisters, none of them looked like her. The sisters back then wore habits, with only their faces being visible. It was also a time of civil unrest in the United States, and she experienced racism just as other minorities did.

Sister Priscilla now has been a Sister of Mercy for 34 years. She holds a master’s degree in education and has served in a number of ministries including community leadership, vocation ministry and education. She assists the Sisters of Mercy in their work to address racism and promote cultural awareness.

Sister Áine O'Connor

A Sister of Mercy for more than 20 years, Áine O’Connor is originally from Dublin, Ireland and holds dual citizenship. From 2011-2016, she served as the Mercy Global Action Coordinator at the United Nations for Mercy International Association. In the name of Mercy, a particular focus of her work at the UN was to advance the realization of the human right to water and sanitation and to address the root causes of global poverty and the negative impacts of oil, gas and extractive projects. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Dublin, Trinity College, and holds an M.A. in applied healing arts from the Tai Sophia Institute and a bachelor’s in speech and language therapy from the University of Dublin, Trinity College.

Sister Patti Donlin on Facebook Live

On March 9, 2018, Sister Patti Donlin was on Facebook Live as part of National Catholic Sisters Week 2018. She serves as a theology teacher at Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School, teaching courses on our Critical Concerns and Catherine McAuley. Watch her talk about her life as a Sister of Mercy.


Sister Mandy Carrier on Facebook Live

On March 16, 2017, Sister Mandy Carrier was on Facebook Live as part of National Catholic Sisters Week 2017. A chef at The Thomas Merton Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Sister Mandy talked about what drew her to Mercy, her ministry as a chef, including some of her favorite foods to cook, community life and her spirituality.

Sister Jenny Wilson on Facebook Live

On March 10, 2017, Sister Jenny Wilson was on Facebook Live as part of National Catholic Sisters Week 2017. A teacher at NativityMiguel School in Buffalo, New York, Sister Jenny talked about what drew her to Mercy, her ministry as a teacher, the vows she professes, community life and her spirituality.

Watch another Sister Jenny video on this page, where she shares more about her call to religious life.

Sister Maria Rosario Gaite

A native of the Philippines, Sister Maria Rosario moved to Guam with three friends in 1991. She wanted to be a teacher and the Sisters of Mercy had an opening at Santa Barbara School in Dededo, Guam. She found herself attracted to the Mercy passion for education, strong leadership and commitment to serving young people.

Since 1997, Sister Maria Rosario has served as vice principal of Santa Barbara, a coeducational school of about 450 students in prekindergarten through eighth grade. She professed perpetual vows in 2000.

Here she shares about her call to religious life.


Sister Ivette Diaz

Meet Sister Ivette-

Raised in the Bronx in New York by her parents who were from Puerto Rico, Sister Ivette first felt the desire to deepen her prayer life while in high school. She connected with a couple of Sisters of Mercy but had no desire to become a nun. After graduating from high school, she went away to college, and became a typical college student. But her desire to deepen her prayer life and to be of service with other women, continued to tug at her. So one year after graduating from college, Sister Ivette entered the Sisters of Mercy.

Here she describes how her vocation has blossomed by seeing the face of God in a death row inmate who is like a son to her.


Sister Roslyn Bacchus

Sister Roslyn lives and teaches at an orphanage in Guyana, South America. In 2015 she professed her first vows as a Sister of Mercy.

When she was just 8 or 9 years old, she knew that she wanted to be a Sister of Mercy. Here she shares how she desires to be just as compassionate and merciful as the Sisters of Mercy around her, reaching out to the people of God.


Sister Patty Moriarty

After graduating from college, Sister Patty entered the business world. Despite being very active in her parish and in her spiritual life, she wasn’t feeling fulfilled. So she left her job, started volunteering and began discerning her call to religious life.

Sister Patty visited several different religious orders before deciding to enter the Sisters of Mercy. Here she shares about her call and how she knew Mercy was the best "home" for her.

Sister Jenny Wilson

Sister Jenny professed her perpetual vows as a Sister of Mercy in 2015. She teaches at NativityMiguel Middle School in Buffalo, New York.

Growing up in Akron, Ohio, Sister Jenny Wilson had never met a sister even though she grew up Catholic. She always thought that she was going to have kids. Then, after she served two years in Guyana with the Sisters of Mercy there, her relationship with God deepened. She was attracted to the sisters and their deep passion for service. Here, she shares more about her call to religious life.

Watch Sister Jenny's Facebook Live video on this page to learn more about her community, ministry and spirituality.

Sister Linda Bechen

Sister Linda Bechen entered the Sisters of Mercy in 1981. Over the years, she has been a teacher, in pastoral ministry and a vocation minister.

For the past four years, she was a parish life coordinator for four rural parishes near Anamosa, Iowa. With two aunts who were Sisters of Mercy and a Catholic education, Sister Linda Bechen, RSM, spent most of her life around the Sisters of Mercy community. While she considered religious life as a young woman, it wasn’t until much later that she knew she had to answer God’s call. Here she shares how her journey to religious life unfolded.