Every year on September 24th, students, faculty, staff, sisters, associates, companions, donors, and all in the global Mercy family celebrate the opening of the first House of Mercy, on Baggot Street in Dublin, Ireland, in 1827. This celebration is called Mercy Day. It is a global celebration of what makes us Mercy. Throughout Mercy Education’s international school system, Mercy Day is celebrated with liturgies, prayer, volunteer opportunities, parties and more. This year, Merion Mercy Academy recognized this beloved occasion with Mass, “A Common Thread” exercise, a review of the Critical Concerns, an introduction to the 2023-2024 Mercy Girl Effect project, and a special presentation of Walking with Mercy—this year’s Mercy Day theme—complete with a “visit” from Sister Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy.
MMA’s Mercy Day 2023 began with a classroom activity titled “A Common Thread” in which each student decorated a quilt square with symbols, colors, art, etc. that mean something special to them and speak to their culture. Intended to have each student reflect on the unique qualities that make them who they are, once complete, each square will be added to a clothesline, which will be displayed in the school.
A stirring Mass followed in the Convent Chapel, and afterwards, students learned more about the Sisters of Mercy’s Critical Concerns: Immigration, Earth, Racism, Nonviolence, and Women.
The Mercy Girl Effect project—whose theme for the year is introduced on Mercy Day—puts the Sisters’ concern for women into action. For 2023-2024, the theme is “Mercy Wheels Keep the World Turning” and the objective is to raise $6,175 to purchase 65 bikes to help girls get to school more quickly and safely. The targeted communities for these bikes include Kenya, Cambodia, Sudan, and the Cameroon border of Nigeria. Raising funds for the MGE project occurs throughout the school year with a variety of events and activities, beginning with the Mercy Day Mixer.
Going well beyond red and gold hair ribbons and cupcakes, the Mercy Day tradition is one filled with palpable energy and enthusiasm!