For those not familiar with Sister JoAnne Courneen, she is the newly elected president of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, the New York, Pennsylvania, Pacific West Community (NyPPaW).
Courneen is a Union City native who majored in elementary education and graduated from Mercyhurst College in 1964.
According to a recent Mercyhurst news release, throughout Courneen’s career, she has built leadership skills by serving as principal of St. Luke School and Mercyhurst Preparatory School, as well as president of Mercyhurst Prep. She has also served on the Mercyhurst University Board of Trustees.
Prior to her latest appointment, she held such positions as director of Special Programs for Erie Catholic schools, the finance director of the Mercy International Center in Dublin, Ireland, and the director of the Mercy Institute at Mercyhurst University.
She will start her four-year term with the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas on July 1, in Buffalo, N.Y., where she will direct a leadership team whose job is to coordinate the implementation of the direction of the community.
As for the organization itself, The Sisters of Mercy, in addition to founding Mercyhurst University in 1926, sponsor two other schools of higher education including Carlow University and Trocaire College.
Like Mercyhurst, these schools also strive to offer “a solid curriculum of education and Catholic spiritual formation in the Mercy tradition.”
According to the Sisters of Mercy of the America’s mission statement, the “Sisters of Mercy are women who commit their lives to God, deepening their relationship with God and serving God’s people, especially those who are sick, poor and uneducated…our mission is to help people to overcome the obstacles that keep them from living full and dignified lives.”
For Courneen’s tenure as president, her goals are taking significant, intentional steps toward gospel-based contemplative prayer and faith sharing, movement from individualism to the common good to create an authentic, life-giving Mercy community, creative responses to unmet needs by collaborating with others as appropriate and a lived multi-cultural and multi-generational consciousness.
Courneen sees her elected position as a giant step in her mission to serve God.
Courneen told Mercyhurst about her confidence in the organization.
“We have a great team. I am confident in the community and broader Mercy world. We look forward to the future with confidence and hope,” she said.