Mercy Week honors tradition, mission

Lauren Rogus, Staff writer

Welcome to Mercy Week, Lakers!

Mercy Week is a week of celebration that has been implemented at Mercyhurst for the last 10 years. This biannual celebration is a time to reflect on the gracious works of mercy that show that our campus community is living out our Mercy mission throughout each semester.

Greg Baker, director of Campus Ministry, highlighted the importance of taking time to celebrate the daily good work done on campus.

“It’s not like we just choose to do mercy-related events for one week and not the rest of the year,” said Baker. “It is more like shining a light on (it). We do a lot of good work all the time and we do not celebrate it often enough, so we decided to look back at this tradition we have and the things that we do.”

Mercy Week is a reminder to our community that the mission of the Sisters of Mercy is not just history and part of the past. The Mercy mission lives on throughout each individual present on campus, whether Catholic or not. This semester’s theme for Mercy week is “Mercy Beyond the Gates.”

“Our big message behind it is always this is not dead history, this is not something from years long past, this is not just attached to sisters wearing habits in old pictures,” said Baker. “The Mercy tradition is something we all take ownership of.”

Both the North East and Erie campuses have been involved in planning this celebratory week. The week has a different feeling every year depending on various factors.

“It takes on a different flavor every year. We’ve tried to not over-program it, and to have a couple nice things to go to and make sure it is visible enough so people can say — oh yeah, that Mercy tradition that is always quietly there, look how awesome this is.”

Mercy Week started March 18 with Mass at 10:30 a.m. and a brunch with the Sisters at the Mercy Motherhouse.

The highlight of this week was the Tuesday luncheon in the Student Union Great Room. The luncheon highlighted and celebrated the achievements of the first year of the Beyond the Gates initiative.

On Tuesday night, the Romero Award was presented to Mary Hoffman in the Mercy Heritage Room.

Hoffman is a retired Special Education teacher who has been involved with local outreach in Erie, focused on helping the poor.

On Wednesday, there will be a Mercy Emissary lunch gathering in the Faculty Dining Room at noon There will be a presentation on Mother Francis Warde.

Thursday will continue Mercy Week with a Lenten book discussion of “Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved By Beauty,” a memoir by Kate Hennessy. The discussion is at 4 p.m. in the Faculty Dining Room.

Friday’s event is a Spring Tea with the Sisters at the Motherhouse. This is a great chance to talk to the Sisters and hear their stories while sipping a cup of tea.

Saturday concludes Mercy Week with the March for Our Lives in downtown Erie, beginning at 10 a.m. Also beginning on Saturday is the Carpe Diem Reunion at the Miller Estate in North East.

A diverse selection of individuals participate in Mercy Week, as each event is open to all.

“You know people from various backgrounds who love and embrace this mercy tradition, and live it out,” Baker said. “Students who in their own ways do amazing things at this school in the name of that tradition. It is a fun week to celebrate who we are at our core. Its the best of what we are: this mercy tradition.”

The goal for Mercy Week is to get involved in one way or another, so all Lakers, regardless of religious tradition or beliefs, are encouraged to attend these events.