University Celebrates Mercy Heritage Week


Erin O'Brien

Catherine McCauley’s 241 birthday cake held in Banks Student Life Center on Monday, September 30, 2019.

Zoe Laporte, Web Editor

Mercy Heritage Week, previously known as Mercy Week, has undergone changes in hopes of getting members of the Misericordia University community more involved with the idea of “mercy.”

Mercy Heritage Week is dedicated to increasing understanding of the critical concerns of the Sisters of Mercy while also inspiring work towards those concerns, relating to the charisms of the university: Mercy, Justice, Hospitality and Service.

Sr. Jean Messaros, RSM, Vice President for Mission Integration, said that, as time goes on, she hopes the idea of mercy stays the same.

To help continue the charism of mercy, the group of Mercy Associates has been created and includes faculty, staff, and students who work in conjunction with the Sisters of Mercy towards critical concerns.

“So, as we [Sisters of Mercy] diminish, we hope that mercy continues at Misericordia,” said Sr. Jean. “The concern for me, personally, as a Sister of Mercy – when I go, will it remain the same? I wonder if Catherine McAuley thought that in 1831.”

Catherine McAuley founded the Sisters of Mercy in Ireland in 1831. She focused on sheltering and educating women, and helping the economically poor. One event during Mercy Heritage Week included a celebration for McAuley’s birthday when free birthday cake was given out in the lobby of Banks Student Center.

The goal of Mercy Heritage Week is to educate students.

“We try to educate our students who go to a mercy college about the poor, about climate, about justice,” said Sr. Jean.

Other events of Mercy Heritage Week included a “Walk with Mercy,” a historical walking tour focusing on Misericordia; a lecture on economic inequality, a live-stream focusing on human dignity, health care and the holocaust; “Stuff The Bus,” a food and toiletry drive for the on-campus food pantry McAuley Market and a Service Fair for students to learn about local volunteer opportunities.

“There are so many people in the community that we can pull in to talk about these things, but I hope the students catch up to it,” said Sr. Jean.