|Mount Aloysius College Celebrates Mercy Heritage During Mercy Week||09/18/2012|
Cresson, Pa. – Mount Aloysius College, one of 18 colleges and universities in the United States operating under the auspices of the Religious Sister of Mercy, will celebrate its Mercy heritage during Mercy Week 2012 scheduled for September 24th through September 28th.
Mount Aloysius College invites the community to celebrate the Mercy heritage that began in Dublin, Ireland on Sept. 24, 1827. On that day, the feast of Our Lady of Mercy, Catherine McAuley first opened the doors of her home to the public on Baggot Street in Dublin. Mother McAuley’s home was named the “House of Mercy.
Mount Aloysius College President Tom Foley underscored the significance of Mercy Week in the life of the College. “Mount Aloysius was hewed out of this mountain by these holy and determined women – the Religious Sisters of Mercy,” said President Foley. “Their determination, charism and core values form the beating heart of Mount Aloysius.
“We continue to be blessed by the spirit of Catherine McAuley embodied in each of these remarkable women – teachers, musicians, scientists, artists, able administrators and so much more. God willing,” he said, “they will remain a presence on this campus for many years to come.”
Helen Marie Burns, RSM, vice president of mission integration at Mount Aloysius noted that Mercy Week begins appropriately on Monday, September 24th, the feast of Our Lady of Mercy. “With our celebration of Mercy Week 2012, we celebrate 185 years of caring through our values of service, justice, hospitality and mercy,” she said. “Beginning with our dissemination of tea and scones throughout the College, we invite the campus community and the community at large to greet their favorite Sister on that day.”
The Mercy tradition of sharing tea and scones harkens to a famous directive made by Catherine McAuley just before her death on November 11, 1841. She asked the infirmarian to “be sure to have a comfortable cup of tea for the sisters when I am gone.” That tradition of comfort and hospitality continues throughout the world to this day wherever the Religious Sister of Mercy serve.
According to Sister Helen, various celebrations will mark Mercy Week throughout the Mount Aloysius Campus. On Tuesday, September 25th, a presentation entitled: “Election 2012: Vote for the Common Good,” will take place in McAuley Hall Multi-purpose room from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. and again from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The general public is invited to attend the Mount Aloysius chorale group , Vox Nova’s ”Mercy Concert” on Wednesday evening , September 26th at 7:00 p.m. in the Our Lady of Mercy Chapel on campus.
On Thursday, September 27th His Excellency, Bishop Mark Bartchak will preside over an All-College Liturgy in the school’s Health and Physical Fitness Center at Noon. Following a Luncheon for the Sisters and invited guests, Bishop Bartchak will offer an All-Campus Presentation in the Cosgrave Center meeting rooms at 3:30 p.m.
Throughout the week and into the Mount Aloysius College’s Homecoming Weekend, displays depicting the school’s Sisters of Mercy heritage will be available throughout campus. Displays will include photos and biographies of notable Sisters of Mercy.
Today, the spirit of Mother Catherine McAuley continues to draw women to minister to the poor, the sick, the uneducated and the underserved. Nearly 4,000 Sisters of Mercy of the Americas currently serve in 11 countries and one territory. When Catherine McAuley died in 1841, there were 100 Sisters of Mercy throughout Ireland and England. Today, there are 7,000 worldwide. Within that world of service the Sisters of Mercy sponsor 200 health care facilities (second only to the Veterans Administration), 18 colleges and universities, 58 schools, 60 social service units and 13 retreat centers.