September 25, 2012

Celebrating Mercy Day 2012

Sharing plans for, and stories from, Mercy Day Celebrations 2012. We welcome your report!

In September, students, faculty and administrators of Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School Pennsylvania celebrated Mercy Day, a tradition that honors and commemorates the school's founder Catherine McAuley.

This year, GMA students recognized the occasion by reaching out to the needy, keeping in mind the mission statement, “redirect their efforts from me to you.” A full day of service was conducted Sept. 24, collectively serving more than 500 individuals within the Mercy Network. Projects were chosen and completed by the school's students.

For more details of the celebrations, click here


Misericordia University celebrated Mercy Week and the heritage of the Sisters of Mercy, which founded the institution in 1924, by hosting a Service Fair in the Banks Student Life Center. The annual fair gives students an opportunity to meet with representatives from social service agencies that work in the local community and have a need for volunteers and support.

For more details of the celebrations, click here


Mercy Montessori students, faculty and parents enjoyed an all-school celebration honoring the opening of the first House of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland on September 24, 1827 by Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy. The program involved a reenactment of the life of Catherine McAuley, written and performed by junior high students, as well as a sing-a-long. Colorful peace mobiles, designed by each classroom during art classes and created for the assembly, are currently on display throughout the school. A food drive was also held to support the Mercy Neighborhood Ministries Food Pantry.

For more details of the celebrations, click here


Academy of Mary Immaculate, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia. Once again Mercy Day ( celebrated on Friday, September 14)  was a wonderful day of celebration for the College community. The day began, as usual, with Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral celebrated by our Chaplain, Fr Peter Varengo SVD, who, in his homily, spoke of Mercy as being about identity and mission. The students were fully involved in the Mass and the College Band, Choir and Cantors performed beautifully.

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At the beginning of the Mass the students were reminded of our theme for the year – Believe, Act, Celebrate – “155 years ago Ursula Frayne believed, she believed in her God and believed in the education of girls; Ursula acted on that belief and founded the Academy of Mary Immaculate and we celebrate the fruits of her belief today, the 12,000 girls who have been educated at the Academy over the past 155 years beginning with our first student, Catherine Mary Flynn. Believe, Act, Celebrate – what challenges does this theme offer for us today?”

After the Mass we all celebrated with food and dance!

 The Mercy Spirit that was celebrated on Mercy Day must, of its essence, find its expression in practical ways.
Thus an important part of Mercy Day is fundraising for a worthy cause. This year our students set a new
record in term of Mercy Day fundraising with $8,000 raised which will be allocated to support two works of
Mercy – the Mukuru Promotions Centre in Nairobi, Kenya where  Mary Geason rsm (ISMAPNG) has been Director for a number of years and also the educational work of  Marilyn Lacey rsm (Americas) and Mercy Beyond Borders in South Sudan. Both works have the education of girls as one of their primary aims.


LOWER GWYNEDD — Faculty, staff and students gathered Monday afternoon for a Cup of Tea at Gwynedd Mercy. The event, held at the school’s Assumption Hall, began Mercy Week on the campus.

The Cup of Tea event celebrates the life of Sisters of Mercy founder Catherine McAuley, according to Marissa Turchi, cochair of the mission of values committee. Before her death, McAuley told the sisters to have a good cup of tea together after she had gone. The Cup of Tea represents community, “one of our core values,” said Turchi.

At Gwynedd-Mercy  students are encouraged to perform community service. This year’s theme is personal integrity and social responsibility, said Sister Kati McMahon, special assistant to the president for mission planning. Those values will be included in the curriculum and co-curricular activities, said McMahon.
“We are a learning community devoted to gospel values,” she said. Service is among the vows taken by the Sisters of Mercy, she said.

For more details of the celebrations, click here


Mount Mercy Iowa will pay special tribute to its Mercy, Catholic heritage with Mercy and Mission Week beginning Friday, September 21, through Friday, September 28. Activities will include an International Peace Day and Dedication of Peace Pole, Celebration Mass with the Archdiocese of Dubuque, and a lecture with Mercy Day guest speaker Dr. Christine Pharr sharing her conversion to a Catholic, Mercy college.

 For more details of the week long events, click here


Guam - As several Catholic schools celebrated Mercy Day today, at Saint Anthony's Catholic School in Tamuning they had something else to celebrate. They are the first Catholic school on Guam to have dual accreditation. For more details, click here

Mercy Day is being celebrated with 9am Mass on Friday, 21 September and a holiday on Mercy Day (24 September), as publicised in the latest school newsletter where a message of congratulations is recorded for the Mercy Sisters in the school and the Institute of the Americas.


Arkansas -  On Friday, September 21, 2012 over 550 Mount St. Mary Academy students, faculty and staff celebrated Mercy Day beginning with a Mass of thanksgiving for the school community. Twenty-seven students were awarded scholarships totaling $44,000. The scholarships were “named” scholarships (honorarium and memorial) and donors were on hand to personally present and congratulate scholarship recipients.

Photo 1: A group of Mount St. Mary seniors weeds the Our House vegetable garden, which provides vegetables for the residents of the homeless shelter.

Students then reported for work at 13 service sites in the Little Rock community, including the Arkansas Foodbank, Our House, the Little Rock Zoo and Susan G. Komen, as well as several hospitals and schools in the area. They sorted and served food for the hungry, folded t-shirts and stuffed race bags for Komen, and tackled major yard cleanup projects at several facilities. Every student participated. The younger grades participated in the clean-up of a community park and several projects on the school campus as well.

Mercy Day marks the date in 1827 when Sisters of Mercy foundress, Catherine McAuley, welcomed the first residents to the House of Mercy, a school for poor girls and a residence for homeless girls and women on Baggot Street in Dublin, Ireland. The Sisters of Mercy came to Little Rock in 1851, at the request of Arkansas’ first Catholic Bishop, to open what is now Mount St. Mary Academy.

Photo 2: After Mount St. Mary students sorted and packaged food in the warehouse, the Arkansas Foodbank takes a group photo to post on their facebook page as part of Hunger Action Month, which raises hunger awareness and challenges the public to take action.

The spirit of service is an integral part of the Mount St. Mary community. “Mercy Day is one of the best days of the year,” says Principal Diane Wolfe. “To see our girls cleaning up public parks, brightening the days of children in our community, and helping organizations to feed the hungry here in Arkansas, and to see the passion the students have for service and the desire to help where they’re needed shows the true heart of Mercy and the future of our community.”


Camden Catholic High School, Cherry Hill, New Jersey,  announces a year-long celebration commemorating its 125th year as a Catholic educational institution and 50th year in the current Cherry Hill location.

The celebration officially kicks-off Friday, Sept. 21, as the current student body hosts a 125th birthday party and Mercy Day celebration followed by a football game and alumni football team gathering that evening.

The school was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in Camden in 1887, and Camden Catholic has continued to honor Mercy Day annually. This year the school will honor Sister Philomena Gini, a Sister of Mercy for more than 55 years and school administrator for more than 30 years, who continues to volunteer as a guidance counselor at Camden Catholic.

For more details of the year long events, click here


Misericordia University Pennsylvania will offer a series of events for the campus community and the general public to celebrate its heritage and founding by the Religious Sisters of Mercy. Mercy Week 2012 will be observed Sept. 23-29 and will include a special Mass, a “Stuff the Bus” collection of supplies, and a service fair for students. Mercy Week 2012 will commence with a Liturgy on Sunday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Misericordia University Chapel in Mercy Hall. Celebrant will be Father Dan Issing, CSC.

For more details of the week's events, click here


Catherine McAuley Westmead, New South Wales. Our school celebrated Mercy Day on Friday 31 August.
The day began with a beautiful Mass celebrated by our new school chaplain, Father John McSweeney, and followed with much colour and movement as students celebrated our theme 'M for Mercy'. Students dressed in a wide array of colourful costumes and enjoyed lots of activities including a disco at the end of the day.

To see images from the event, click here


Monte Sant' Angelo Mercy College, North Sydney Mercy Day is celebrated around the world on 24 September; our celebration was held today ( 14 September) to include members of the congregation of the Sisters of Mercy of North Sydney and all students and staff. Each year, Catherine McAuley Awards are presented for Mercy Day, to acknowledge a staff member and students from each year level who embody Mercy values of service, respect, compassion and justice.


Mercy College Coburg, Victoria, Australia. Last week we celebrated Mercy Day. Our theme for this year is “To walk in the footsteps of a Refugee”. The day of celebration started in Pastoral Care groups with a Mercy Day Quiz followed by an activity based on the theme of the day. After recess the whole school community joined Father Shane Hoctor in McAuley Hall for the celebration of Eucharist. Due to the inclement weather, we were unable to conduct our walkathon around Coburg Lake but we had a dance-a-thon and various other activities to enjoy.
Years 7 and 8 students raised money for Sister Marilyn Lacey and her organisation “Mercy Beyond Borders”.
Years 9 and 10 students donated money to the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre. Years 11 and 12 students
heard from Sr Mary Lewis about “Mercy Connect” a small organisation of volunteers in Melbourne who assist
newly arrived Refugees assimilate into Australian society.


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