Learn How Mercy Associates Live Their Covenant With Mercy

Who are Mercy Associates? Mercy Associates are women and men, younger and older, married or single, who hear and respond to a call from God to share in the Mission of Mercy and follow the example of Catherine McAuley. Over the next few weeks we’ll share stories of just a few of the more than 3,400 Mercy Associates, learning how they live out their covenant.


Associate Eva Soto and Associate Ingrid Robinson — South Central


 In this photo, associates Ingrid Robinson (left) and Eva Soto (right) assist in a direct service initiative that helps migrants in need of clothing. This service occurred at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, Texas as part of a border witness event.

Working in teams of two, (one English speaking person and one Spanish speaking person), these associates helped families from the time they arrived to making phone calls to family. Volunteers guided families through the process of receiving a hot meal, offering showers, picking out clean clothing and assembling care packages for the next part of the journey.

"Being a Mercy Associate is important to me because being merciful is important to God. For me, I know one of my gifts from God is the gift of help. I love helping people!" —Associate Ingrid Robinson


To learn more about becoming a Mercy Associate, click here.


Associate Ingrid Robinson and Pre-Associate Tanya Pitts — South Central

In this photo, pre-Associate Tanya Pitts (left) and Associate Ingrid Robinson (right) are seen with Sister Marilyn Graf (center) as they plant vegetables as part of an ecumenical community effort to address food insecurity.

This took place during a South Central Association Assembly in Belmont, NC at the Mercy Administrative Offices last September. The associates partnered with Reeder Memorial Baptist Church, which is located in one of the poorest areas of Charlotte and is the only church within a 15 mile radius that has a food pantry.

The pantry wanted to offer fresh vegetables to its neighbors instead of all processed food. Associates built 8 3x10 raised beds and planted cabbage, collard greens, broccoli, lettuce, and kale. The first harvest yielded just in time for Thanksgiving assisting in feeding 25 families.

To learn more about becoming a Mercy Associate, click here.


Associate Pam Greene — Fairfax, VT

Pam Greene, an associate with Mercy Connections, Inc., takes inspiration from Catherine McAuley:

"I think what speaks to me most about Catherine McAuley is her spirit and her actions. If you look at her life, you could say that she had a difficult life. Maybe even tragic. But she turned that into a life of joy and concern for others. And she turned that into a legacy that we live on today of making a difference for others."


To learn more about becoming a Mercy Associate, click here.


Associate Kerry Weber — Hoboken, NJ

 Mercy Associate Kerry Weber (seen here with Sister Camille D'Arienzo, RSM) is an executive editor at America Magazine. Here she shares why she became an associate:

“I appreciate the variety of experiences and views that my fellow Mercy Associates bring to the table. The associates and sisters have supported me spiritually, personally and professionally in ways that have helped to strengthen my faith and made my life richer. I appreciate their loving examples of mercy and am energized by their encouragement and faith.”

To learn more about becoming a Mercy Associate, click here.


Associates Ann DuFour and Carol Conway — Sacramento, CA / Oak Lawn, IL



Ann Dufour was hired as one of the first Co-Directors of Mercy Association in the West Midwest Community and served in that role for over six years. Carol Conway, a retired teacher and parish pastoral minister has been co-local leader of the 120+ Mercy Associates in Chicagoland for seven years. Ann ended her time as Co-Director in 2016 and Carol will end her time as co-local leader for Chicago in the near future, passing the torch of leadership unto another Associate.

Associate leaders like Ann and Carol are vital to Mercy Association: they keep other Associates informed, involved, and in touch with the realities of their local groups, their West Midwest Community, and the Institute. Their leadership furthers the mission and vision of Association and helps other Mercy Associates integrate the Critical Concerns of Mercy into their service to others.



To learn more about becoming a Mercy Associate, click here.



Associate Gloria Campos de González — Chiriqui, Panamá



Mercy Associate Gloria Campos de González says being an associate is like having a second family.


To learn more about becoming a Mercy Associate, click here.




Associate Carol Villaggio — Cromwell, Connecticut

Carol Villaggio and Kathryn Quick



Carol Villaggio (seen here with fellow associate Kathryn Quick), a Mercy Associate for more than 10 years, offers retreats and spiritual direction in her ministry.

“I became an Associate because of an invitation in which Sister Marie Ventura noticed my dedication to service at Mercy Center and assumed I was an Associate. Our conversation led to my meeting with Sr. Grace Mannion and the life of Mercy I had been leading since I was a youngster - one of hospitality and service which continues to this day and now includes the Ministry of Retreats and Spiritual Direction and BioSpiritual Focusing. I am blessed indeed by the sense of community and the Graces of God in my life! 



To learn more about becoming a Mercy Associate, 

click here



Associates Kristin and Tim Simmons — Havertown, Pennsylvania

Kristin and Tim Simmons became associates after both serving in Mercy Volunteer Corps.

“We really feel grateful to the sisters for giving us that sense of connectedness and for giving us a place where we can really experience the Charism in our daily lives.”


To learn more about becoming a Mercy Associate, click here.




Associate Rose Marie Nickson — Detroit, Michigan

Rose Marie Nickson AssociateRose Marie Nickson is a Mercy Associate in West Midwest Community who serves at the Readiness Center in Detroit, Michigan. In this photo, she is receiving a shawl from Mercy Sister Mary Oladimeji at a Gathering of Sisters and Associates in June of 2016 during the welcoming ritual for all those who attended. The Community gathering included keynote speakers, prayer reflections, education on the Sisters of Mercy’s Critical Concerns and a service project.Participants created boxed meals for people in disaster areas across the United States.

Rose became a Mercy Associate in Detroit in 2014 after knowing many sisters and associates for most of her life. In serving at the Readiness Center, Rose lives out her covenant with Mercy, "I live the Mercy charism, values, and spiritual example of Catherine McAuley and her vision of the Gospel."

To learn more about becoming a Mercy Associate, click here.


Associate Nate Klein — Atkins, Iowa

Nate Klein is a Mercy Associate in West Midwest Community and is Vice President for Student Success at Mount Mercy University.

Take a moment, to watch this touching video of Nate and his wife Jenny as they journeyed on the path of adopting their two young girls.

Associates live out their covenant with Mercy in different ways, and Nate’s powerful story testifies to how Mercy defines the lives of associates.

To learn more about becoming a Mercy Associate, click here.



Associate Pam Farmer — Bristol, Rhode Island


Pam, an associate for six years, serves on the board of trustees and staff of McAuley Ministries in Providence, R.I. Pam and her twin daughters all attended St. Mary Academy – Bay View.

"I love being a Mercy Associate for many reasons, including the camraderie and the sense of peacefulness I find among the Sisters of Mercy and the Mercy Associates. I love the drive to do good, and how the sisters and associates work together to make the world a better place. I love how we consistently embrace the Mercy core values in everything we do. We're not afraid to fight for our convictions and to follow Catherine McAuley's goals of helping women, children, and all those in need."


To learn more about becoming a 
Mercy Associate, click here.




Associate Kathleen Szymanski — St. Joseph, Michigan

Kathleen Szymansky - Associate “Mercy kept finding me. As a child in the local Catholic school, I first met Sister Mary Jo Holmes. She introduced me (though I didn’t realize it at the time!) to the Mercy charism. I lost touch with her but then as a senior in college, I was applying to different Catholic service organizations and Sister Mary Jo was the regional Mercy Volunteer Corps (MVC) support person who called me to do my interview. (I knew immediately that I needed to join MVC!) Mercy found me again and off I went to Holy Angels in Belmont, N.C. for a year of service as a nurse. I then moved about the country as a travel nurse. Mercy continued to find me as I connected with Mercy ministries and MVC groups in different parts of the country. I moved back to Michigan after many years on the road and had the opportunity to connect again with Sister Mary Jo. After she passed away, I felt a little lost and was going through some challenges in my life at the time. A Mercy challenge was being held in Chicago. Mercy was calling me back and off I went.”

To learn more about becoming a 
Mercy Associate, click here.


Associate Ana Isabel Cid — Viña del Mar, Chile



"I committed myself as an associate with the purpose of spreading his word to the ill, to the ones who suffer and to those in need."



To learn more about becoming a 
Mercy Associate, click here.



Associates from West Midwest Community

This week we are highlighting Mercy Associates from Seattle, WA, Portland, OR and Roseburg, OR.

These associates, seen here with their Mercy candles, gathered together in Lincoln City, OR in 2017 for a workshop on Mercy's Critical Concerns of nonviolence, anti-racism, immigration, concern for the Earth, and women.

Mercy Associates, regardless of their walk of life, seek to integrate the Critical Concerns into their work as they live out their covenant with Mercy.

To learn more about becoming a 
Mercy Associate, click here.


Associate Geri O'Hare — Morton, Pennsylvania
Associate Geri O'Hare


Geri O’Hare, a pediatric nurse practitioner in Philadelphia, has been a Mercy Associate since 2008. Her desire for a deeper relationship with God led her to Mercy.

"Being an Associate and being formed in a Mercy charism gives me the framework to be gentle with others and myself when the chaos of this life is a bit too much, and provides me with a community of people who are actively struggling to move through this world focused on the critical concerns we share.”

To learn more about becoming a
Mercy Associate, click here.



Associate Mirlande Goudiaby — Cranston, Rhode Island


“It makes you feel like a family when we’re supported by the sisters. They’re always here, always with a smile, and always willing to help. That is really what the Mercy hospitality is all about, and that’s why we all became associates.”


To learn more about becoming a
Mercy Associate, click here.