Connect with Mercy

My First Act of Civil Disobedience

June 13, 2018

By Marianne Comfort, Institute Justice Team

Marianne and other protestors en route to the U.S. Capitol.

Marianne and other protestors en route to the U.S. Capitol.

I had never felt called to civil disobedience before.

It had felt fulfilling enough to participate in numerous rallies, engage our Mercy network in advocacy, and support Mercy sisters and coworkers in their actions protesting immigration policies, militarism and federal budget cuts to programs serving persons who are poor and vulnerable.

But joining in a short sit-in in Senator Mitch McConnell’s office last fall with survivors of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, demanding solutions to climate change, gave me a glimpse of the power of taking a risk with people most impacted by issues I care about.

So when the Poor People’s Campaign launched—putting out front those most impacted by racism and xenophobia, lack of healthcare and affordable housing, excessive military spending and other drivers of poverty—I started to think that I might be willing to take the next step.

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“What Will I Do Next?” — Mercy Student Reflects on D.C. Immersion Program

June 12, 2018

By Lily Antonowicz, Georgian Court University student

Students, faculty members and staff from six Mercy colleges and universities visited Washington, D.C., May 20-24 to participate in a D.C. Immersion Program. The program is sponsored by the Conference for Mercy Higher Education. Lily, one of the student participants, reflects on her experience here:

Georgian Court students Emma Pierre, Lily Antonowicz, Maddie Barrale and Daniel Ginchereau pose in front of the White house during some free time to explore the city.

Georgian Court students Emma Pierre, Lily Antonowicz, Maddie Barrale and Daniel Ginchereau pose in front of the White house during some free time to explore the city.

When a student has great opportunity presented to them, the greatest outcomes are possible. When my classmates and I left for this experience we were curious and ready to take on whatever came our way; little did we know how much we would get the chance to experience and advocate.

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«¿Qué Haré Luego?» – Una Estudiante de la Misericordia Reflexiona sobre el Programa de Inmersión en Washington, D.C.

June 12, 2018

De Lily Antonowicz, estudiante de la Universidad Georgian Court (UGC)

Estudiantes, miembros del profesorado y personal de seis universidades de la Misericordia visitaron Washington, D.C., del 20 al 24 de mayo, para participar en un Programa de Inmersión en Washington, D.C. El programa es patrocinado por la Conferencia de la Misericordia para Estudios Superiores. Lily, una de las Estudiantes que participaron, reflexiona sobre su experiencia aquí:

Georgian Court students Emma Pierre, Lily Antonowicz, Maddie Barrale and Daniel Ginchereau pose in front of the White house during some free time to explore the city.

Georgian Court students Emma Pierre, Lily Antonowicz, Maddie Barrale and Daniel Ginchereau pose in front of the White house during some free time to explore the city.

Cuando se presenta una gran oportunidad a una estudiante, se hacen posibles los mejores resultados. Cuando mis compañeras/os de clase y yo salimos para esta experiencia, teníamos curiosidad y estábamos listas/os para cualquier cosa; pero no teníamos idea de lo mucho que podríamos experimentar y abogar.

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Sharing With My Mother — Mother’s Day Reflections from Sister Kelly Williams

May 12, 2018

What does it mean for a mother when her daughter enters religious life? How does a mother influence or respond to her daughter’s decision to take vows of poverty, obedience, chastity and service? With Mother’s Day on the way, we spoke with Sister Kelly Williams who reflected on the many ways she and her have shared a life of Mercy.

Sister Kelly Williams and her mother Lori Williams

Sister Kelly Williams and her mother Lori Williams

Sister Kelly Williams grew up in the midst of Mercy, quite literally. Sisters of Mercy lived on her street as a child, and after being home-schooled by her mother, Lori, she attended a Mercy high school, St. Vincent’s Academy in Savannah, Georgia. Lori, coincidentally, joined the faculty at St. Vincent’s the same year.

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Compartiendo con mi madre — Reflexiones de la Hermana Kelly Williams por el Día de la Madre

May 12, 2018

¿Qué significa para una madre cuando su hija ingresa a la vida religiosa? ¿Cómo influye o responde una madre a la decisión de su hija de profesar votos de pobreza, obediencia, castidad y servicio? Con el Día de la Madre en camino, hablamos con la Hermana Kelly Williams, quien reflexionó sobre las formas en que su madre la inspiró a servir a Dios y al mundo como Hermana de la Misericordia.

Hermana Kelly Williams, RSM y su madre Lori Williams

Hermana Kelly Williams, RSM y su madre Lori Williams

Hermana Kelly Williams creció en medio de la Misericordia, literalmente. Las Hermanas de la Misericordia vivían en la misma calle que ella cuando ella era niña, y después de ser educada en el hogar por su madre, Lori, ella asistió a una escuela secundaria de la Misericordia, St. Vincent Academy en Savannah, Georgia. Lori ingresó casualmente al cuerpo docente de St. Vincent el mismo año.

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Bienvenidas, bienvenidos a la Familia de la Misericordia — Reflexiones de la Hermana Mary Kay Dobrovolny por el Día de la Madre

May 12, 2018

¿Qué significa para una madre cuando su hija ingresa a la vida religiosa? ¿Cómo influye o responde una madre a la decisión de su hija de profesar votos de pobreza, obediencia, castidad y servicio? Con el Día de la Madre en camino, hablamos con la Hermana Mary Kay Dobrovolny, quien reflexionó sobre las formas en que su madre la inspiró a servir a Dios y al mundo como Hermana de la Misericordia.

De izquierda a derecha: el padre de la hermana Mary Kay (John Dobrovolny), la madre de la hermana Mary Kay (Mary Ann Dobrovolny), la tía de la hermana Mary Kay (hermana Pat McDermott, RSM) y la hermana Mary Kay Dobrovolny, RSM

De izquierda a derecha: el padre de la hermana Mary Kay (John Dobrovolny), la madre de la hermana Mary Kay (Mary Ann Dobrovolny), la tía de la hermana Mary Kay (hermana Pat McDermott, RSM) y la hermana Mary Kay Dobrovolny, RSM

Las vocaciones religiosas no son una novedad en la familia extensa de la Hermana Mary Kay Dobrovolny. Su tía es la Hermana Patricia McDermott, RSM, presidenta de las Hermanas de la Misericordia de las Américas. Esta familiaridad, sin embargo, no impidió que los padres de Mary Kay, Mary Ann y John, fueran tomados por sorpresa cuando ella anunció inicialmente sus intenciones de ingresar a la vida consagrada.

Su madre Mary Ann fue educada en escuelas de la Misericordia y estaba familiarizada con la vida religiosa, con su propia hermana en la misma orden; sin embargo, el temor de una madre de «perder» a su hija para la Iglesia se apoderó de ella.

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Aprendiendo de su ejemplo – Reflexiones de la Hermana Taryn Stark por el Día de la Madre

May 12, 2018

¿Qué significa para una madre cuando su hija ingresa a la vida religiosa? ¿Cómo influye o responde una madre a la decisión de su hija de profesar votos de pobreza, obediencia, castidad y servicio? Con el Día de la Madre en camino, hablamos con la Hermana Taryn Stark, quien reflexionó sobre las formas en que su madre la inspiró a servir a Dios y al mundo como Hermana de la Misericordia.

Hermana Taryn Stark con su madrina, la Hermana Rose Davis, RSM y su madre Ruth

Hermana Taryn Stark con su madrina, la Hermana Rose Davis, RSM y su madre Ruth

El caminar de la Hermana Taryn hacia la vida religiosa comenzó con la conversión de su madre al catolicismo mientras Taryn era niña. Su madre, Ruth, enfermera, era amiga de varias Hermanas de la Misericordia. Mientras Taryn crecía, ella acompañaba a su madre en varios viajes patrocinados por la Misericordia a Perú para proporcionar atención médica. Ruth finalmente fue recibida en la Iglesia en la capilla de la Misericordia en Burlingame, California, y Taryn fue bautizada allí el mismo día.

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Welcomed into the Mercy Family — Mother’s Day reflections from Sister Mary Kay Dobrovolny

May 10, 2018

 

What does it mean for a mother when her daughter becomes a Sister of Mercy? How does a mother influence or respond to her daughter’s decision to take vows of poverty, obedience, chastity and service? With Mother’s Day on its way, we spoke with Sister Mary Kay Dobrovolny who reflected on her mother’s influence and continued connections to Mercy.

From left to right – Sister Mary Kay's father (John Dobrovolny), Sister Mary Kay's mom (Mary Ann [McDermott] Dobrovolny), Sister Mary Kay's aunt (Pat McDermott RSM), and Sister Mary Kay Dobrovolny RSM) celebrating Pat’s 50th Jubilee and Mary Kay’s 25th Jubilee as Sisters of Mercy. October 2016.

From left to right – Sister Mary Kay’s father (John Dobrovolny), Sister Mary Kay’s mom (Mary Ann Dobrovolny), Sister Mary Kay’s aunt (Sister Pat McDermott, RSM), and Sister Mary Kay Dobrovolny, RSM celebrating Sister Pat’s 50th Jubilee and Sister Mary Kay’s 25th Jubilee as Sisters of Mercy. October 2016.

Religious vocations are not a novelty in Sister Mary Kay Dobrovolny’s extended family. Her aunt is Sister Patricia McDermott, RSM, president of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. This familiarity, however, didn’t stop Mary Kay’s parents, Mary Ann and John, from being caught off guard when she initially announced her intentions to enter consecrated life.

Her mother Mary Ann was educated in Mercy schools and was well-acquainted with religious life, with her own sister in the same order, but nonetheless a mother’s fear of “losing” her daughter to the Church crept in.

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Learning From Her Example — Mother’s Day Reflections from Sister Taryn Stark

May 8, 2018

What does it mean for a mother when her daughter enters religious life? How does a mother influence or respond to her daughter’s decision to take vows of poverty, obedience, chastity and service? With Mother’s Day on the way, we spoke with Sister Taryn Stark who reflected on the ways her mother inspired her to serve God and the world as a Sister of Mercy.

Sister Taryn Stark with her Godmother Sister Rose Davis, RSM and her Mother Ruth

Sister Taryn Stark with her Godmother Sister Rose Davis, RSM and her Mother Ruth

Sister Taryn’s journey to religious life began with her mother’s conversion to Catholicism while Taryn was a child. Her mother, Ruth, a nurse practitioner, had befriended several Sisters of Mercy. While Taryn was growing up, she accompanied her mother on several Mercy-sponsored trips to Peru to provide medical care. Ruth was eventually received into the Church in the Mercy chapel in Burlingame, California and Taryn was baptized there the same day.

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Helping co-workers turn Mercy charism into action

May 3, 2018

By Amanda LePoire

After years in education, Sister Marilynn Wittenauer is helping Mercy co-workers put the Mercy charism into action outside their workplaces.

Sister Marilynn Wittenauer and Sharon Neumeister, director of Community Health and Access for Mercy Neighborhood Ministry, prepare packages of toiletries and essentials. Staff at Mercy Neighborhood Ministry distribute the packages during their outreach efforts in the St. Louis community.

Sister Marilynn Wittenauer and Sharon Neumeister, director of Community Health and Access for Mercy Neighborhood Ministry, prepare packages of toiletries and essentials. Staff at Mercy Neighborhood Ministry distribute the packages during their outreach efforts in the St. Louis community.

For the past nine years, Sister Marilynn has served as the co-worker volunteer coordinator for Mercy Neighborhood Ministry (MNM) in St. Louis, Missouri. The ministry connects economically poor people with health and social service resources. In 2008, the director of MNM wanted to connect Mercy co-workers interested in volunteering with agencies needing assistance. Sister Marilynn stepped into the role, and today, more than 750 co-workers have volunteered.

“It’s a real credit to co-workers,” Sister Marilynn says. “After putting in a full day’s work—for most, not sitting behind a desk—they have to be really committed to wanting to serve.”

Sister Marilynn meets with area agencies to determine their needs and how Mercy co-workers can help. She publicizes the opportunities to co-workers and then schedules the volunteers, now with the help of an online system developed by the Information Technology Department of the hospital that MNM is connected to. She also follows up with thank-yous and a reflection tool for volunteers.

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