Search Results for: Mercy Volunteer Corps

Co-Creating Oneness through Mercy

April 27, 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has affected all aspects of life, and the work of Mercy Volunteer Corps is no exception. In this extraordinary April, when we celebrate National Volunteer Month, Mercy Volunteers are more committed than ever to serving the most marginalized members of our communities. They continue to do so, some from community houses that have been deemed essential, to ensure that each person living on the margins continues to receive care and is not forgotten. During this special month of commemorating volunteers, follow along on our blog to read stories by alumni of Mercy Volunteer Corps whose lives have been forever changed through Mercy service.

By Sister Cathy Manderfield

I am a Sister of Mercy living and ministering in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I reside with two other Sisters of Mercy in a small convent nestled within a nonprofit organization called Mercy Neighborhood Ministries (MNM). The services offered at Mercy include programs for children, adult education support and a day program for seniors. I serve as the director of facilities and help manage things like landscaping, building repairs, renovations, ordering of supplies, food service and cleaning.

Renee Kettering, RSM '07 (Detroit); Catherine Lundstrom '18 (Detroit); Melissa Odoemene '18 (Detroit); Cathy Manderfield, RSM '96 '97 (Philadelphia and San Francisco); Jen Barrow, RSM '03 (Laredo); Jenny Wilson RSM '00 '02 '03 (Philadelphia and Guyana); Jackie Abbey '07 (Detroit).
Renee Kettering, RSM ’07 (Detroit); Catherine Lundstrom ’18 (Detroit); Melissa Odoemene ’18 (Detroit); Cathy Manderfield, RSM ’96 ’97 (Philadelphia and San Francisco); Jen Barrow, RSM ’03 (Laredo); Jenny Wilson RSM ’00 ’02 ’03 (Philadelphia and Guyana); Jackie Abbey ’07 (Detroit).

The two sisters I live with were instrumental in founding MNM more than 30 years ago. Although I only joined them just a few years ago, my introduction to and affinity for this community in North Philadelphia and for Mercy Neighborhood Ministries goes back over 20 years. MNM is located not far from where I served with the Mercy Volunteer Corps decades ago at Project HOME, an agency providing services and opportunities for individuals who have experienced homelessness. MNM was another service site for Mercy volunteers, and we often went to church on Sundays at the Catholic Church that housed the various programs that Mercy Neighborhood Ministries included then. Among many firsts in my time of service in Philadelphia was attending a predominantly African-American church. I was touched deeply by the participative style of worship and the depth of faith and feeling expressed in the prayer and especially music. We were invited to bring our whole selves to church in a way I had never experienced before.

My time as a volunteer coordinator with Project HOME would include more firsts. Not being from Philadelphia, I was afraid of getting lost and had never ridden a public bus before. Rarely did I have the opportunity to depend on the kindness of strangers, and I was not at all sure if I would be met with kindness. The bus route did not take me directly to where I needed to go and so I had to walk several city blocks to get to my ministry. Along the way, it felt as if my presence drew unusual attention. One person sitting on the stoop asked me if I was lost. As I walked on, a young person greeted me from a second story window with, “Hey Casper, it ain’t Halloween yet.” Before I even made it to my ministry site that first day, I sensed this experience would be the beginning of an altogether different kind of education. I began to wonder how I could have lived so far from the world I had just entered when it was only three hours from home.

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Cocreando Unidad a través de la Misericordia

April 27, 2020

Por la Hermana Cathy Manderfield

Soy una Hermana de la Misericordia que vive y sirve en Filadelfia, Pensilvania. Resido con otras dos Hermanas de la Misericordia en un pequeño convento ubicado dentro de una organización sin fines de lucro llamada Ministerios para Vecindarios de la Misericordia. Los servicios ofrecidos en la Misericordia incluyen programas para niños, apoyo educativo para adultos y un programa matutino para adultos mayores. Sirvo como directora de instalaciones y ayudo a administrar cosas como cuidado de jardines, reparaciones de edificios, renovaciones, pedidos de suministros, servicio de alimentos y limpieza.

Las dos hermanas con las que vivo fueron esenciales en fundar Ministerios para Vecindarios de la Misericordia hace más de 30 años. Aunque me uní a ellas hace solo unos años, mi presentación y afinidad por esta comunidad en el norte de Filadelfia y a Ministerios para Vecindarios de la Misericordia se remonta a más de 20 años; estos Ministerios no se encuentran lejos de donde serví con el Cuerpo de Voluntarios de la Misericordia, hace décadas en el Proyecto HOGAR, una agencia que brinda servicios y oportunidades para personas que han vivido la falta de un techo. Ministerios para Vecindarios de la Misericordia era otro lugar de servicio para voluntarios de la Misericordia, y a menudo los domingos íbamos a la Iglesia Católica que albergaba los diversos programas que entonces incluían los Ministerios para Vecindarios de la Misericordia. Entre los primeros en mi tiempo de servicio en Filadelfia estaba el asistir a una iglesia predominantemente afroamericana. Me conmovió profundamente el estilo participativo de adoración y la profundidad de la fe y los sentimientos expresados en la oración y especialmente en la música. Fuimos invitadas/os a asistir a la iglesia de una manera que nunca había vivido.

Mi tiempo como coordinadora voluntaria en el Proyecto HOGAR incluiría más novedades. Al no ser de Filadelfia, tuve miedo de perderme y nunca había viajado en un autobús público. Pocas veces tuve la oportunidad de depender de la amabilidad de los extraños, y no estaba del todo segura si me iban a recibir con amabilidad. La ruta del autobús no me llevó directamente a donde necesitaba ir, así que tuve que caminar por varias cuadras para llegar a mi destino. En el camino, sentí que mi presencia atraía una atención inusual. Una persona sentada en el porche me preguntó si estaba perdida. Mientras caminaba, una joven me saludó desde una ventana del segundo piso diciendo: «Eh Casper, todavía no es Halloween». Incluso, ese primer día antes de llegar a mi lugar de servicio, sentí que esta experiencia sería el comienzo de un tipo de educación completamente diferente. Comencé a preguntarme cómo pude vivir tan lejos del mundo en el que acababa de entrar, cuando solo estaba a tres horas de casa.

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Guided in the Spirit of Mercy

April 23, 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has affected all aspects of life, and the work of Mercy Volunteer Corps is no exception. In this extraordinary April, when we celebrate National Volunteer Month, Mercy Volunteers are more committed than ever to serving the most marginalized members of our communities. They continue to do so, some from community houses that have been deemed essential, to ensure that each person living on the margins continues to receive care and is not forgotten. During this special month of commemorating volunteers, follow along on our blog to read stories by alumni of Mercy Volunteer Corps whose lives have been forever changed through Mercy service.

By Kathleen Kelly

I am a Mercy Volunteer Corps alumna, a Mercy Associate and a support person for the Philadelphia Mercy Volunteers. I served as a Mercy volunteer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at Project HOME from 2014–2015.

I attended a Mercy College, Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As fate would have it, I submitted my application to Mercy Volunteer Corps on December 12, 2013—Mercy Foundation Day. Perhaps it would serve a sign for the way Mercy would forever change the trajectory of my life. I had planned to do a year of service and then return to Pittsburgh for a master’s degree in social work. When I read the description of a volunteer at Project HOME, my mind was made up. I had always held a desire to work with those experiencing homelessness; to learn that outreach workers engaged people at the very basic level on the streets solidified my decision. I came, through my education and my year of service, to realize how Catherine McAuley’s deep desire to serve the poor resonated with me. The connection I desired between prayer and service took root.

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Guiadas en el espíritu de la Misericordia

April 23, 2020

Por Kathleen Kelly

Soy ex voluntaria del Cuerpo de Voluntarios de la Misericordia, una Asociada de la Misericordia y apoyo a Voluntarios de la Misericordia de Filadelfia. Serví como voluntaria de la Misericordia en Filadelfia, Pensilvania, en el Proyecto HOGAR de 2014 a 2015.

Asistí a la Universidad de la Misericordia Carlow en Pittsburgh, Pensilvania. Como lo dispuso el destino, presenté mi solicitud al Cuerpo de Voluntarios de la Misericordia el 12 de diciembre de 2013, Día de Fundación de la Misericordia. Quizás sirva de señal sobre cómo la Misericordia cambiaría para siempre la trayectoria de mi vida. Había planeado hacer un año de servicio y luego regresar a Pittsburgh para obtener una maestría en trabajo social. Me decidí cuando leí la descripción de una voluntaria en el proyecto HOGAR. Siempre había deseado trabajar con los que estaban sin hogar; solidificó mi decisión el saber que los agentes que prestan ayuda entraban en contacto con las personas en el nivel más básico en las calles. Llegué, a través de mi educación y mi año de servicio, para darme cuenta de cómo resonaba en mí el profundo deseo de Catalina McAuley de servir a los pobres. Se arraigó en mí la conexión que deseaba entre la oración y el servicio.

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Home Is Where Mercy Is!

April 17, 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has affected all aspects of life, and the work of Mercy Volunteer Corps is no exception. In this extraordinary April, when we celebrate National Volunteer Month, Mercy Volunteers are more committed than ever to serving the most marginalized members of our communities. They continue to do so, some from community houses that have been deemed essential, to ensure that each person living on the margins continues to receive care and is not forgotten. During this special month of commemorating volunteers, follow along on our blog to read stories by alumni of Mercy Volunteer Corps whose lives have been forever changed through Mercy service.

By Amy Thomas

When I joined Mercy Volunteer Corps in 2011, I assumed that it would bring me closer to Mercy’s mission for the next year of my life. It is now 2020, and I am even more ingrained in the Mercy spirit than ever before! Mercy has truly become my home.

I accepted a placement in Detroit, Michigan, working at a nonprofit theater, teaching children to write plays about their community. After that one year, the theater brought me on to work full time, and I eventually became the director of education. After six years of working at the theatre, and learning the ins and outs of writing grants, recruitment strategies and leading trainings, I felt prepared for whatever would come next.

I am so thankful for the incredible Sisters of Mercy, Mercy volunteers and Mercy associates I met while in Detroit. They truly emphasized that everyone is capable of contributing to our world and that we need all voices to make positive changes in our communities. The people I met were involved in their neighborhood associations, went to protests against water shut-offs and actively reached out to bring newcomers into the fold. I was welcomed into Mercy Association while in Detroit, and my Mercy mentor is still someone I speak with every month.  The Mercy Detroit community taught me that it is important to branch out, and to meet people where they are.

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¡El hogar es donde está la Misericordia!

April 17, 2020

Por Amy Thomas

Cuando me uní al Cuerpo de Voluntarios de la Misericordia en 2011, Asumí que me acercaría más a la misión de la Misericordia para el próximo año de mi vida. ¡Ahora es 2020, y estoy más arraigada que nunca en el espíritu de la Misericordia! La misericordia se ha convertido realmente en mi hogar.

Una foto grupal con la autora de esta reflexión: ¡El hogar es donde está la Misericordia!

Acepté un puesto en Detroit, Michigan trabajando en un teatro sin fines de lucro enseñando a niños a escribir obras sobre su comunidad. Después de ese año, el teatro me llevó a trabajar a tiempo completo y finalmente me convertí en la directora de educación. Después de seis años trabajando en el teatro y aprendiendo los entresijos para escribir solicitudes de subvenciones, las estrategias de reclutamiento y capacitaciones principales, me sentí preparada para lo que vendría después.

Estoy muy agradecida por las increíbles Hermanas de la Misericordia, voluntarias/os y asociadas/os de la Misericordia que conocí en Detroit. Realmente enfatizaron que todos son capaces de contribuir a nuestro mundo y que necesitamos todas las voces para hacer cambios positivos en nuestras comunidades. Las personas que conocí estaban involucradas en sus asociaciones de vecinos, hicieron protestas contra los recortes de agua y se acercaron activamente a los recién llegados al redil. Fui recibida en la Asociación de la Misericordia mientras estaba en Detroit, y mi mentora de la Misericordia sigue siendo alguien con quien hablo todos los meses. La comunidad de la Misericordia de Detroit me enseñó que es importante diversificarse y encontrar a las personas donde están.

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How Mercy Volunteer Corps Opened My Life Up

April 4, 2020

By Sister Michele Schroeck

The Coronavirus pandemic has affected all aspects of life, and the work of Mercy Volunteer Corps is no exception. In this extraordinary April, when we celebrate National Volunteer Month, Mercy Volunteers are more committed than ever to serving the most marginalized members of our communities. They continue to do so, some from community houses that have been deemed essential, to ensure that each person living on the margins continues to receive care and is not forgotten. During this special month of commemorating volunteers, follow along on our blog to read stories by alumni of Mercy Volunteer Corps whose lives have been forever changed through Mercy service.

My Mercy Volunteer Corps year was an experience that changed my life.

It opened my eyes through serving in another culture. I was a second-grade teacher on the Acoma and Laguna Pueblo Reservation in San Fidel, New Mexico, from 1988 to 1989 and still have a vase and seed pot made for me by the parents.

It opened my mind to different ways of thinking in community and broadened my worldview. I was more sheltered than I realized. I was a “meat”atarian and lived with vegetarians. In the process, I learned to try and enjoy many new foods. I still tell the story of how our group painted the donated Bishop’s car with the yin yang sign on the hood, the Mercy Volunteer shield on the trunk and the four seasons on the doors. We were a crazy group!

It opened my heart to new ways of sharing spirituality. We took the legs off the kitchen table in the trailer and made a “Buddha room.” The sisters were a great support. I learned so much about native spirituality and its great respect for all of Earth.

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Cómo el Cuerpo de Voluntarios de la Misericordia abrió mi vida

April 4, 2020

Por la Hermana Michele Schroeck

Mi año en el Cuerpo de Voluntarios de la Misericordia fue una experiencia que cambió mi vida.

Abrió mis ojos al servir en otra cultura. Fui maestra de segundo grado en la Reserva Acoma y Laguna Pueblo en San Fidel, Nuevo México, de 1988 a 1989 y aún tengo un jarrón y una maceta que me hicieron los padres de familia.

Abrió mi mente a diferentes formas de pensar en comunidad y amplió mi visión del mundo. Estaba más encerrada de lo que pensaba. Vivía como una «carnívora» entre vegetarianos. En el proceso, aprendí a probar y disfrutar muchos alimentos nuevos. Todavía cuento la historia de cómo nuestro grupo pintó el signo yin yang en el capó del auto donado al obispo, el escudo de los Voluntarios de la Misericordia en la cajuela y las cuatro estaciones en las puertas. ¡Éramos un grupo atrevido!

Abrió mi corazón a nuevas formas de compartir la espiritualidad. En el tráiler quitamos las patas de la mesa de la cocina e hicimos un «cuarto de Buda». Las hermanas fueron un gran apoyo. Aprendí mucho sobre la espiritualidad nativa y su gran respeto por toda la Tierra.

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Mercy Volunteers Make Mercy Real by Promoting Kindness

November 13, 2019

This blog reflection is part of a year-long series that explores the ways people within our Mercy family and beyond find a way every day to #MakeMercyReal for themselves and for others.

For the past 43 years, Mercy Volunteers have walked with people on the margins of our society. Through their work in education, health care and social services, Mercy Volunteers commit to listening to the stories of the marginalized, amplifying their voices and advocating for them in a myriad of ways. Their example provides us with simple ways we, too, can make mercy real.

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Voluntarias y Voluntarios encarnan Misericordia promoviendo la bondad

November 13, 2019

En los últimos cuarentaitrés años, las/los voluntarias y voluntarios de la Misericordia han caminado con las personas marginadas de nuestra sociedad. A través de su labor en educación, cuidado de salud y servicios sociales, las/os voluntarias/os de la Misericordia se comprometen a oír las historias de las personas marginadas, ayudándoles a amplificar sus voces y abogando a su favor de innumerables formas. Sus ejemplos nos ofrecen modos sencillos donde también podemos encarnar la misericordia.

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