“Justice through Mercy” prayer service celebrated with help of guest pastor


Ashley Barletta, Staff writer

Every year, Mercyhurst students and staff members gather to celebrate the spring Mercy prayer service, which is meant to act as a followup to the Mass of the Holy Spirit that takes place every fall. It is a time to come together and celebrate faith. This year, the prayer service was held on April 14, at 3 p.m. in Christ the King Chapel. The service focused on the virtue of justice in particular, as it is always something that we should be thinking about when we interact with one another, especially this year.
Fr. Jim Piszker said “the Spring Mercy prayer service was established a few years ago to be a bookend event to the Mass of the Holy Spirit in the fall term. It has taken the form of a Mass or prayer service, depending upon the year, and this year, we are celebrating “Justice through Mercy” as the university explores issues of equality and racial justice. Our speaker is Pastor Charles Mock of the Community Missionary Baptist Church.”
Pastor Charles Mock has been highly involved in the Church and its justice teachings for many years. He earned his Master of Divinity degree in 1978 and was given his Doctor of Ministry degree in 2016. One of the many things he has done to help others was developing a Disaster Relief Management System for survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Once this system was implemented, many other churches nationwide updated their disaster relief systems as well. He was also head of the development of CLAIM, INC., a nonprofit organization centered around faith.
He has performed many other services throughout his lifetime as he enjoys serving others very much. You can read more about Pastor Charles Mock, DMin at this link: https://communi-ty-mbc.org/bio/.
Greg Baker, vice president for Mission, D. Min, was inspired by the service.
“In a year that has seen the MU community ramp up its efforts for a more equitable and antiracist campus, it is fitting that we will gather to prayerfully consider what it means to bring about ‘Justice through Mercy.’ Our guest preacher, Pastor Charles Mock, D. Min, is a longtime community organizer and activist, and a gifted public speaker. He serves as pastor of Community Missionary Baptist Church in Erie. We hope that many students and employees joined and enjoyed either in person in Christ the King Chapel or via livestream.”
Justice is defined as “the respect for the human person and the rights which flow from human dignity and guarantee it,” according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, but you do not have to be religious to be concerned with justice. Justice is more than equality; it is the provision of the needs of each person so that everyone is able to live with dignity.
Each person has dignity, so each person should be treated with respect and given an education on their rights as human beings. All people are called to live and to act justly.
Despite all of the events that happen in Christ the King Chapel, there is time set aside every day for quiet reflection time. If there is ever a day when you want to talk to God, feel stressed, or just need peace and quiet, you can go to the chapel from 3-4 p.m.
If you did not have the opportunity to attend the prayer service but would have liked to, you can find the livestream at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BP23jDPPCrM.