Mercy Associates

Lena Williams, Reporter

Misericordia lays claim to an honor: It has the largest Mercy Association of lay persons on a college campus, said Amy Lahart, Dean of Dtudents.

Mercy associates are lay women and men who live and engage in the mission of Mercy in partnership with the Sisters of Mercy. Their role is to serve as a liaison of the Sisters Mercy by communicating and practicing values set by Catherine McAuley to their communities.

The university held multiple events celebrating Mercy Week, which is held in honor of Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy. The Sept. events reflected the critical concerns of the Sisters of Mercy, which include the environment, racism, justice for women, justice for immigrants and nonviolence.

Mercy Associates and faculty, staff and students participated in multiple events, including an Ecumenical Prayer service, the 30th anniversary of the Ethics Institute in honor of Sister Siena Finely, a Constitution Day Faculty Panel, a Service Fair, a tea and roundtable presentation, and a Climate Change Simulation and Liturgy.

The Mercy Associates organized a hurricane relief fund, which collected over $1,000, said Lahart.

Forty-one Mercy Associates are on campus, and they belong to multiple departments.  Athletics Director Chuck Edkins said he has identified with the values of the university for 27 years.

“Initially, I did not realize how important the mission and values of Catherine McAuley and Sisters of Mercy was until I began to learn more and understand what they stand for. One day I just happened to ask Sr. Cindy March about a year-and-a-half ago about the Mercy Association. She then nominated me to be a part of the Mercy Association program, and I officially became an Associate last spring,” he said.

“The number of Sisters are dwindling based on age, and we [Mercy Associates] become the extension of their work,” Edkins said.

Chris Somers, Director of Campus Ministry, has been a Mercy Associate for nearly a decade.

“I believe in the Sister’s core values. I am attracted to their stances on major social justice issues such as, racism, the environment and immigration. More importantly, I love how many other Mercy Associates are at Misericordia. It gives a community of people that share my beliefs and values,” she said.

Somers said many Associates participate in other campus activities as well.

“The groups have been getting together for several events such as a prayer service for creation, Martin Luther King Week, march for science and immigration and Earth Day prayers,” Somers said..

Mercy Associates include: Laura Angeline, Dr. Allen Austin, Amy Bachman, President Tom Botzman, Mrs. Vanessa Botzman, Darcy Brodmerkel, Dr. Annette Calderone, Dr. Jim Calderone, Amy Caruso, Donna Cerza, Dr. Joseph Cipriani, Jean Dobinick, Jo Dougherty, Chuck Edkins, Johnna Evans, Kit Foley, Kathy Gelso, Lauren Gorney, Sharon Hudak, Amy Lahart, Carol Llewellyn, Loretta Martin, Dr. Barbara McCraith, Shannon Morgano, JoAnna Naylor, Colleen Newhart, Brenda Nowalis, Dr. Maureen Pascal, Katherine Pohlidal, Jessica Randall, Lindsey Ridell, Chris Somers, Phillip Swank, Tom Sweetz, Kate Totino, Jeanne VanDuzer, Gail Wyberski, Carolyn Yencharis-Corcoran, Georgia Young, Michele Zabriski, and Lorie Zelna.