Search Results for: #MakeMercyReal

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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When Will the Merciful Receive Mercy?

October 30, 2019

By Sister Cynthia Serjak

I have always understood the Beatitudes to be about how we are to be in the world now, recognizing that acting in certain ways will bring about certain “rewards” in the life to come. So if I am merciful now, then when I need mercy (at the end of my earthly and earthy life), it will be there for me, kind of stockpiled, just in case.

Stained glass in the chapel at the Sisters of Mercy Motherhouse in Rochester, New York
Stained glass in the chapel at the Sisters of Mercy Motherhouse in Rochester, New York

Recently, however, I began to wonder whether there might be another way to interpret the tense of these promises. What if my being merciful in the world brings me into mercy right now? What if my “reward” is not delayed for when I may or may not need it at my life’s end but comes to me as soon as I extend it to someone else? In this case the word will is not so much about future as about certainty – if you do this, then this will happen.

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Integrating the Vows

October 16, 2019

By Sister Marissa Butler

What started as an ordinary morning visit to the gym ended as a powerful Mercy moment. While putting away my belongings, another gym member was stuffing a backpack, soiled blanket and half bag of cheerios into the next cubby.

He looked familiar. I assumed our paths must have previously crossed at the gym. Throughout my workout, my eyes kept following him. I started to leave, but instead stood by the door interiorly conflicted. The young man was sitting on the floor against a wall, charging his phone. I felt the need to respond, but how? Being a daughter of Catherine McAuley, I imagined what she would do. I heard her voice tell me to offer something to eat, and also to pray for him so his soul was fed, as well.

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More than soap – it’s a lifeline

October 11, 2019

By Jennifer Milewski

Worldwide, an estimated 2 million trafficked children are forced into prostitution, including up to 300,000 of whom are spread throughout every state in the United States. Tragically, reputable hotels often serve as the setting for their exploitation.

Mercy Associate Lynn Anamasi learned of this harsh reality—and a way to take action—through a TED talk by trafficking survivor Theresa Flores. Theresa, in her own quest to “Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution” had started The SOAP Project. She remembered a night she spent as a teenager in a cheap motel forced into prostitution. The only time she was alone between clients was in the bathroom. With that memory, Flores determined to send today’s trafficked children a message to get help–on the wrapper of a bar of hotel soap.

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Más que jabón, es un salvavidas

October 11, 2019

Este blog es el Segundo segmento de una serie de un año que explora las maneras en que las personas de nuestra familia de la Misericordia y más allá encuentran a diario la manera de #EncarnarLaMisericordia para sí mismas y para los demás.

Por Jennifer Milewski

En todo el mundo, se estima que 2 millones de niños y niñas víctimas de la trata se ven obligados a ejercer la prostitución, de los cuales 300.000 están repartidos por todos los estados de Estados Unidos. Trágicamente, los hoteles de buena reputación a menudo sirven de escenario para su explotación.

Lynn Anamasi, Asociada de la Misericordia, se enteró de esta dura realidad —y de una manera de tomar acción— a través de una charla TED a cargo de la sobreviviente de la trata Theresa Flores. Theresa, en su propia búsqueda de «Salvar a Nuestros Adolescentes de la Prostitución» (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution) había iniciado el Proyecto SOAP (la palabra soap significa «jabón» en inglés). Recordó una noche como adolescente que pasó en un motel barato forzada a prostituirse. El único momento en que estaba sola entre clientes era en el baño. Con ese recuerdo, Flores decidió enviar, a los niños y niñas víctimas de la trata de hoy, un mensaje en el envoltorio de una pastilla de jabón de hotel, para que reciban ayuda.

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Finding Ways to Make Mercy Real

September 24, 2019

This blog reflection is the beginning 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.

Each year on September 24, as Catholics around the world celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mercy, the Sisters of Mercy also celebrate a very special day—the day Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, opened the first House of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland.

At a time when the poor were too often left to fend for themselves on the streets of Dublin and the wealthy felt little to no obligation to share their bounty, Catherine made mercy real for her community by offering compassion and hospitality to those who needed it the most.

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Why Are We Called? To Make Mercy Real

March 13, 2019

By Sister Victoria Battell

How, you might ask, did a woman from Sunderland, in the northeast of England, end up doing mission work at Maria College in Albany, New York?

Sister Linda Bechen (left), Marian Standeven (center) and Sister Victoria Battell (right)
Sister Linda Bechen (left), Marian Standeven (center) and Sister Victoria Battell (right)

I believe I was called originally for a different reason from why I’m still in the Sisters of Mercy. I was first drawn to the life of the sisters, the rhythm of prayer and community that I encountered when I entered, in 2005, at home in the U.K. As part of my formation, I was asked to go to Laredo, Texas where the Institute novitiate was located at that time.

I had just made first vows and spent a few months with the community there, living and praying. That was my real initiation into the life of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, and it was their expression of religious life and the chance to see their lives from the inside that drew me to them.

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#MakeMercyReal to Families in Need

September 22, 2017

By Debbi Della Porta

Three generations of the Pridgen family attended preschool and or summer camp at Mercy Neighborhood Ministries in Philadelphia.

Three generations of the Pridgen family attended preschool and or summer camp at Mercy Neighborhood Ministries in Philadelphia.

“You are never alone. You are somebody. Jesus is always with you!”

Those are the words that Sister Ann Provost, the director of Mercy Neighborhood Ministries in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, told 30-year-old Teyanna Pridgen when she was living in a homeless shelter with her two children.

“My children never felt like they lived in a shelter,” said Teyanna. “My children had a second home at Mercy Neighborhood Ministries where they attended preschool. They never showed any signs of living in a shelter or being hungry because Mercy provides hot breakfast and lunch for children, too!”

She added, “And the sisters and staff at Mercy Neighborhood Ministries helped me, too. I always knew the sisters were praying for my family and me. They helped me feel better about myself and taught me to embrace change. They also offered parenting advice and guidance.” Read More »

#MakeMercyReal through Second Chances

September 21, 2017

By Gary Loncki

Jennie Hagerty, center, director of the Mercy Center for Women, enjoys a moment with Jordan, left, and Danielle, two of the center's success stories.

Jennie Hagerty, center, director of the Mercy Center for Women, enjoys a moment with Jordan, left, and Danielle, two of the center’s success stories.

Certainly, Jennie Hagerty knew of the Mercy Center for Women in east Erie, Pennsylvania, when she applied for the job of executive director earlier this year. But her eyes opened anew once she took the post.

“I have to admit, I was naïve,” she said. The center welcomes women suffering from domestic abuse, homelessness, addiction and other issues. They receive a second chance through transitional housing, mentoring, programs and support. Some have children living with them.

“I never knew the realness of what these women here go through. Their needs are so great,” said Jennie. Read More »

My Students #MakeMercyReal to Me

September 20, 2017

By Meg, Mercy candidate

Meg is a Mercy candidate—one of the steps to become a Sister of Mercy—living in Guyana.

Meg (left) with Sister Sarita Vasquez during a retreat for new members in Belize.

Throughout my journey as a candidate in the past year, I have been touched and humbled by Mercy in many ways. The primary way has been through my students. I teach science at a public secondary school which takes in many of the lowest performing students in the area. A majority of these students come from broken homes, and most already feel defeated in their ability to succeed in life before they step into the school compound. Their lack of confidence and insecurity with academics contributes to some very interesting behaviors in the classroom.

I entered this ministry coming from an experience of teaching at a private, Catholic high school which served students from a middle-to-upper economical background. My experiences and expectations of teaching in a secondary school were deeply challenged by this new ministry, which called me to step into the shoes of my students. Sometimes, I didn’t even know where to begin this process of stepping into their shoes; it was so different from my realities! However, as I began to ask my students about their interests, their families, their homes and their dreams, I got a better glimpse of their lives. The common theme among most students was a lack of stability in their homes and a lack of people to serve as positive role models in their lives. Many had failed in school so many times that by this point in their education, they did not feel competent at anything, and, in a way, believed they never could be.   Read More »