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New Mercy Associates Honored at Covenant Ceremony

New Mercy Associates Honored at Covenant Ceremony

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

New Mercy Associates Honored at Covenant Ceremony
“As Mercy Associates, we tend to talk about Catharine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, so lovingly that people tend to ask us, ‘Where is she? Can I meet her?’ They think she’s still alive—and she is.” —Eugenia Kelly, Mercy Association Spirituality Committee

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.”

New Mercy Associates Honored at Covenant Ceremony
(Top left) GCU Security Capt. Maureen Rossi ’78 was joined by her Aunt Mary-Theresa McCarthy, RSM, Ph.D., ’57, who took her own vows exactly 70 years ago on April 23, 1946. (Clockwise, from top right) Other inductees included Jane Shaheen; Evelyn Quinn, M.S.W., M.Ed., ’74, GCU vice president for mission integration; Laura Liesman, GCU director of athletics and recreation; and  Linda James, Ph.D., GCU professor of psychology and director of the First-Year Experience.

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.”

Additional photos can be found on Facebook. Read more about Mission Integration at Georgian Court University and our founding order, the Sisters of Mercy.

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About Georgian Court University

Georgian Court University is a leading regional university that provides a transformative education, preparing students for ethical leadership and service in the Catholic Mercy tradition. Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. The university has a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women.

As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 1,900 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 15 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by Money.com and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings.

The main campus is in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students through its Center for Professional Studies, and at other locations, including GCU at Brookdale, GCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online degree and certificate programs.