The Mid-Atlantic Mercy Association presented new members during an April 23 covenant ceremony at Georgian Court University. The event nearly packed GCU’s Marron Chapel where dozens of family members and friends, Mercy Associates from across the region, and several Sisters of Mercy who welcomed the new associates into their ministry.
Linda James, Ph.D.; Laura Liesman; Maureen McCarthy Rossi; Evelyn Saul Quinn; and Jane Shaheen are the newest Mercy Associates to join more than 970 other members in the Mid-Atlantic region. Another new associate from Saturday’s group, Susan Braun, was tending to hospitalized family member and could not attend—an act of mercy in and of itself, said Nanci Bachman, coordinator for Mercy Association Leadership.
Mercy, Love, and More
In addition to prayers, scriptural readings and reflections, the event included a renewal ceremony for current associates, and a pinning ceremony with new associates and their mentors. The new associates also signed a covenant as they made several promises, including a commitment to “witness to Christ’s mercy in the world.”
“Mercy is an attitude, a charism, a virtue,” GCU theology alumna and Mercy Associate Eugenia Kelly said as addressed the new associates. “Mercy is what the world needs so desperately…to counter sadness, darkness and despair.”
She also noted that mercy—mentioned 262 times in the Bible—isn’t simply about having compassion for someone. Mercy, akin to love, is also about being moved to act.
“The world needs love,” Ms. Kelly added. “People need something to believe in—that light at the end of the tunnel.”
Mercy Associates include women and men who are affiliated with the Sisters of Mercy, but live out the teachings of foundress Catharine McAuley and the teachings of mercy in everyday life. According to the Sisters of Mercy of the Mid-Atlantic, Mercy Associates “desire to strengthen their commitment to the Gospel, seek to deepen their prayer lives, and want to share in the mission of mercy.”
The path to becoming a Mercy Associate is unique for every member, but collectively they achieve a common goal.
“They form a ministry and they come together to do acts of mercy,” Ms. Kelly said. “We are called to live the charism of mercy where we are, where God has steered us—to be mercy, in our offices and in our schools, where we work, in our hospitals and in our parishes,” she said. “We are walking in the mission of mercy and in the footsteps of Jesus.”