Mercy Association in Scripture and Theology (MAST) was founded in 1986 by Eloise Rosenblatt, RSM, and Mary Ann Getty, then a Sister of Mercy. Twenty Mercy theologians and scripture scholars from 14 regional communities met at Gwynedd-Mercy College (now University) in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, and formally established the organization to provide a forum for theological exchange among Sisters of Mercy. This particular purpose was not being served by other professional organizations.
MAST’s purpose has grown to include lay colleagues in its mission to promote studies and research in scripture, theology, spirituality, church and congregational history and themes. In addition, the organization focuses on the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy Direction Statement, including the issues that have been named Critical Concerns and topics related to ministries supported or sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy and the broader community of Mercy, as well as ongoing spiritual development and enrichment.
MAST exists to support its members in their scholarship, ministries, study, writing, teaching and administration.
Since 1987, the organization has held an annual meeting in June. The three-day meeting includes prayer, presentations of individual papers, panels, discussion, a public lecture and community-building activities. The board of MAST the organization, as distinct from the journal of that name, consists of the executive director; treasurer; the temporals person who coordinates the annual meeting; and, ex officio, the editor of the journal.