It has been 25 years since the founding of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas as a single congregation. During this time the Institute has undergone several changes to meet the emerging needs and challenges of their members as well as the people of God.
Traditionally, Sisters of Mercy sought to alleviate the needs of persons who are poor by establishing institutions such as hospitals and schools. Today, they also work to alleviate these through many and varied ministries, programs and institutions. These include housing, job skills training, substance abuse prevention and recovery, legal assistance, literacy programs and social justice advocacy. Their activities are diverse, ranging from prayer vigils, grassroots letter writing campaigns, socially responsible investing, and witnessing for justice. More than 200 service organizations are sponsored and operated by the Sisters of Mercy. Thousands of Mercy Associates, Companions in Mercy, Mercy Volunteer Corps members, colleagues and friends of Mercy serve daily in these service organizations.
These monumental endeavors are better initiated and supported by the unified structure and existence of the Institute. The Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas has developed a stronger corporate voice, which assists its members in advocacy work for social justice and how they represent themselves to the public. The Sisters can now more easily share resources and support one another. For the sisters’ ministries, coming together has allowed projects, advocacy groups and networks to form, continue and grow.
But the movement to deepen the bonds of union and charity between all the Sisters of Mercy is not over. As the needs of God’s people evolve, the necessity to strengthen collaboration and cultivate greater effectiveness within the Institute is needed now more than ever. At the 2011 Institute Chapter the sisters stated, “we are growing in consciousness of the interdependence among us.” In 2014 the Institute Leadership Conference—all elected leaders of the Institute—endorsed the Journey of Oneness, a multi-year process that engages all sisters as well as individuals and organizations affiliated with the Institute. Structurally, the Journey of Oneness will lead to one elected leadership team for the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas by 2023. More importantly, it is hoped that the Journey of Oneness will kindle anew the desire of the sisters and others to embody more boldly the mercy of God for our suffering world in more meaningful and impactful ways.
The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas celebrate this 25th Anniversary with a deep sense of gratitude to God. The past two-and-a-half decades have demonstrated over and over again their commitment to adapt when needed so that together, as ONE congregation, they may continue to seek justice, be compassionate and reflect mercy to the world.