The Student Mercy Emissary Program at Mercyhurst began on Nov. 8. This an annual program in which students have the chance to learn more about the school’s history and the Sisters of Mercy.
The program has been running for six years, but it was only available to faculty and staff in the beginning. The student program was created last year, after students expressed a desire for their own program.
“We created the Mercy Emissary program because our campus community recognized that as fewer and fewer Sisters were working on campus it would take a concerted effort from other people at Mercyhurst to know and embrace the Mercy and Catholic identity of the institution,” Greg Baker, vice president of Mission Integration, said. Baker recalls how the program got started. “We worked with the Sisters to gain approval to adapt the Mercy Associate program—one that allows laypeople who are not Sisters to learn about and support the work of the Sisters—specifically for people connected to Mercyhurst University.”
This program is solely focused on the Mercy Charism and how it can be applied to everyday life. This program is not only for Catholics and it is not promoting the Catholic faith, rather it is simply acknowledging Mercyhurst’s Catholic heritage.
The program consists of six training meetings and each one is offered twice to help people be able to attend, even if they have a conflict with one of the time slots.
Training meetings will cover each of the following topics: Overview of the Program, Mother Borgia Egan and Foundations of Mercyhurst, Catholic Intellectual Tradition and Catholic Higher Education, Catholic Social Teaching, Current Works and Services of the Sisters of Mercy and a Mercy Spirituality Retreat.
This year, one of the meetings will always be over Zoom to accommodate those who cannot attend in person. Since Mercyhurst classes are going virtual temporarily, both the first meetings will be virtual.
The goals of this program include empowering students as guardians of Mercy and Catholic Social teaching, developing and embodying a whole new understanding of the Mercy mission, in order to strengthen your connection to Mercyhurst, our history and the Catholic intellectual tradition and to foster humble leadership in service of Mercy. Baker talks about the response in past years.
“Students who completed the program last year shared that it allowed them to learn many new things about the Mercy tradition and to find much deeper meaning in what it means to be a student at Mercyhurst, and to represent the values and priorities of the Mercy tradition to the world,” said Baker. “It is also a unique opportunity for students to get to know each other as part of the sessions and to interact with a variety of employees who are Mercy Emissaries.”
In the past five years, there have been over 150 employees and 25 students complete the program. This program is a great way to meet new people who have a passion for helping others and learning more about the history of the Sisters of Mercy.
If you are interested in completing the program, email Bethany Woods at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.