Young Mercy Leaders 2021
Last week, 87 Young Mercy Leaders from across the world joined Mercy International Association virtually for a three-day programme. Students from Mercy high schools and colleges explored themes of Catherine and Leadership, Mercy and Justice, and Moving Forward in Mercy. The activities presented each day helped students identify their leadership qualities while also practicing tools to better develop their unique skills and characteristics.
On day one, Sue Clarke, member of MIA’s Board of Directors, spoke to the students about Ethical Leadership. Sue emphasized the need as leaders to find our ‘home key’ , our place and value system that we can return to in order to re-center ourselves. She was followed by a presentation on Catherine’s McAuley’s leadership where students were challenged to identify how Catherine’s leadership style is similar to their own.
On day two, the Mercy Global Action team presented the Mercy Justice Advocacy model, their work at the United Nations, and how students can be leaders for social justice in their communities. Students were challenged to consider the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and identify which one they felt most drawn to. The top answers included SDG 13 Climate Action; SDG 16 Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions; and SDG 1 No poverty.
Day three completed our time together with Dr. Karen Schneider rsm presenting on the theme of Moving Mercy Forward. Karen introduced students to her ministry providing medical care to children in areas with reduced access, especially highlighting her work in Haiti. She challenged students to think globally and to connect their passions to their leadership in Mercy.
Siobhan Golden, MIA’s new programme coordinator, connected the themes presented throughout the week by coordinating small groups of students to write mission statements about what Mercy leadership means to them. The small groups produced nine statements committing to leadership in Catherine’s footsteps that is ethical, compassionate, and focused on people on the margins.
Overall, our virtual Young Mercy Leaders programme highlighted the unique talents of Mercy students throughout the world and encouraged us in the Mercy community to continue to connect and support each other. Together, we are Mercy!
Head of Heritage and Spirituality