A Mercy Education of Academics and Empathy

June 4, 2021

By Megan Roell, a graduating senior at Mercy McAuley High School in Cincinnati, Ohio

High school at Mercy McAuley has been an exciting four years. There have been countless opportunities for me to grow and learn in ways I never expected, and with my best friends by my side all the while. I have met so many wonderful women and encountered a multitude of beautiful perspectives, each expanding my mind in various ways.

Nevertheless, my high school career was not always a smooth, straightforward path. I faced challenges while trying to find my identity in a chaotic society that constantly had me questioning myself and everything around me. However, I was not defenseless in this world that seemed to be against me. I had a Mercy community that strengthened me with its tremendous support and a Mercy education that armed me with an extraordinary set of skills and values. With these irreplaceable tools, I was able to tackle each obstacle with a unique sense of compassion and determination. Now, equipped with what my years in a Mercy school have given me, I will bring that compassion and determination with me as I look for answers in a world full of questions.

In the past year, the world has grown even more curious, as we’ve witnessed unprecedented events and radical change, while also gaining more awareness of the wrongs that have lingered in the United States for centuries. The COVID-19 pandemic, race riots and 2020 presidential election are only a few items on a long list of recent headlines that have caused an international uproar. While countries learn from these crises that change must happen with a whole team effort, Mercy schools have worked to prepare their students with excellence and leadership to put these changes into effect. They have worked to nurture young women to seek answers and to be the solution to problems we face today and tomorrow.

At my Mercy school, I have been given opportunities and experiences that have shaped me into the bold, compassionate and enthusiastic learner I am today. From touring a courtroom to delving into Shakespeare’s deep understanding of human nature, I have been pushed by my teachers and peers to consider each bit of new information as an oppurtunity for growth. Even ordinary classroom experiences have taught me things such as empathy, patience and acceptance, which alone could bring an end to many of the problems in the world. A Mercy education is not just about academics; those who receive a Mercy education are taught to be confident individuals with good character, ready for anything.

Empowering young women to learn and create a world they want to live in is an outstanding aspect of a Mercy education; however, in my experience, that is not the premier facet of it. Teaching young women to build their lives on a rock of faith is the foremost objective. Whether it be a deep reflection in my theology lesson or a Hail Mary prayed by the whole class before a math test, faith is incorporated into each day. By making prayer so relevant and familiar, my teachers have bolstered the idea that faith can help you achieve anything. They inspire me to live each day moving forward and closer to God by making Christ’s love known to anyone and everyone. This is what I will carry with me throughout my life: my love for Christ. My teachers have taught us, not only in their teaching but by their example, to radiate this love. Each day, I see my teachers living the core Mercy values. They strive to help their students reach excellence, lead their classrooms with mastery in the subjects and serve their students with compassionate hearts, helping us reach our full potential.

I will forever be grateful for my Mercy education and the work of the sisters who have devoted their lives to Mercy schools. Because of these things, I feel confident that I will be able to achieve anything I work at. I have found my identity, comfortable with deviating from the norm and passionate about making a difference. My Mercy education has readied me to find answers and create solutions in our growing society.

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  1. Sister Maureen Mulcrone, RSM

    Dear Megan,
    As I read your thoughtful reflection, I found myself wanting to say an emphatic “yes!” because you expressed so many of my own experiences at Our Lady of Mercy High School in Detroit (now Mercy High School in Farmington Hills, MI).

    One of the most important experiences for me was that my teachers too taught, not only with words, but by example; in fact, that’s why I’m a Sister of Mercy today. I wanted to be like those strong, smart, caring women who made a difference in so many lives. I’m still working on that.

    Every blessing as you begin the next phase of your own journey in Mercy.


  2. Doris Gottemoeller, RSM

    Thanks for sharing your reflections, Megan. You make us proud!


  3. Mark Fitzpatrick

    Congratulations Megan as you graduate from Mercy McAuley High School! I must share with you that your writing piece was one of the strongest testimonies for praising both your tremendous experiences and the Sisters who facilitated your learning that I have ever read by a graduating senior. Truly Megan I applaud your hard work and determination all through your high school years. I’m very sure that God would love it if every high school was like Mercy McAuley and every student was like you! God Bless, Mark


  4. Natalie Rossi

    Megan,
    Your words were inspirational. May you continue to grow in you compassionate love of all. Many prayers for a life of joy.


  5. Sarah Marie Sherman

    Yea! Way to go, Megan.
    Your words are not only affirming, they challenge us to continue to grow and practice those core values you mentioned.


  6. Sr. Claudia Ward, RSM

    Megan, thanks so much for sharing your reflection … very humbling to learn about your experiences, insights and learning!

    I know God has held your hand in and through your experiences and am so glad you heard and recognized the guidance – values – mission of Mercy’s Education in helping you become who you are today! 🤗

    My prayers are with you … blessings in your educational endeavors. 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 Please keep owning YOU and the passionate and powerful voice you have been blessed with to keep asking WHY in your pursuit of truth and response.


  7. Carole Temming, RSM

    Thanks a million Megan for your reflections and experience at Mercy McAuley High School. I am proud of you and your great writing skills. May God bless you as you move into the future.


  8. Kathy Wade, Mercy Associate

    Thank you, Megan, for sharing your journey at Mercy McAuley. This line says it all: “I have found my identity, comfortable with deviating from the norm and passionate about making a difference.” May the years ahead be fulfilling, as you live the core Mercy values.


  9. Mary Ann Clarahan RSM

    Your reflections upon graduating from a Mercy high school are inspiring, Megan! May your faith in God continue to guide each day of your life and your love of Christ impel you to live Mercy in all your relationships.
    Blessings on your future!

    S. Mary Ann Clarahan