United in Faith, Community and Mercy

Catholic Schools Week is an annual celebration in the United States with a theme that resonates in every Mercy school around the globe: “United in Faith and Community.” From the smallest preschoolers to the high school seniors, our students unite to take Mercy into the world, to put their values into action and to model Jesus Christ’s example of social justice, love and service. In this edition of Mercy Impact, we celebrate the changemakers – Mercy students and student organizations who are making a positive difference in their school and local communities.

Sisters Academy of Baltimore

Baltimore, Maryland

The Sisters Advisory Board at Sisters Academy of Baltimore is a newly established student organization, bringing together representatives from each grade level to address and resolve issues within the student body. Led by students, the group aims to foster a sense of community, respect, and leadership within the school. Being a member of this board is considered a great honor, reflecting the commitment to creating a positive and inclusive environment at Sisters Academy.

Mount St. Mary Academy

Little Rock, Arkansas

Krafty Belles, a new student organization at Mount St. Mary Academy in Little Rock, has partnered with a Support Foundation to create free knit prostheses for breast cancer survivors. Using approved yarn and following specific patterns, MSM students have already crocheted more than 20 pairs of prosthetics. The students recently offered their first donation to CARTI Cancer Center in Little Rock and have plans to continue making the special breast prostheses, which provide a soft and more comfortable alternative to the traditional silicone ones throughout the remainder of the school year.

Saint Catherine Academy

Belize City, Belize

Disability Week in Belize, observed from December 3rd to December 8th, is a time dedicated to recognizing and honoring individuals with diverse disabilities. As part of the observance, SCA Peer Helpers participated in various activities. They attended a special mass to pay tribute to persons with disabilities and volunteered at a social event where they served food. Additionally, on Friday, the peer helpers visited Stella Maris School, where they assisted children with disabilities during their sports day, exemplifying their commitment to inclusivity and support for the differently-abled community.

Our Lady of Mercy Academy

Syosset, New York

Our Lady of Mercy Academy honored the Sisters of Mercy on Foundation Day with a Service Drive. The students collected hygiene items for the homeless, created Birthday Boxes for children, and sent Christmas Cards to Vets. The Sisters of Mercy (Brooklyn) were invited to OLMA for a comfortable cup of tea and scones, followed by a performance of the Suscipe and the Circle of Mercy from the Select Chorus.

Academy of Our Lady of Mercy, Lauralton Hall

Milford, Connecticut

The Lauralton Hall Chapter of the National Honor Society has been dedicated to highlighting and promoting breast cancer awareness and education, raising over $50,000 since 2003 for the Get in Touch Foundation and the Norma Pfriem Foundation. Our motto “COURAGE & FAITH to HOPE & STRENGTH” emphasizes the theme of the event - showing the support of family, friends and community in the battle of breast cancer.

Mount Saint Mary Academy

Watchung, New Jersey

During the fall months, members of our HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere) Club collected warm socks for those adults and children in need who are assisted by Elijah's Promise in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School

Chicago, Illinois

Mother McAuley's National Honor Society organizes an annual Fall Fest every year for students, and it is one of our school's favorite traditions for over 40 years. It begins with a performance from the Misericordia Heartbreakers, which gets all the students on their feet, singing along to Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, and more. Following the performance, Mother McAuley students and The Heartbreakers gather in the dining hall for a social. All proceeds from the NHS Fall Fest are donated back to Misericordia, a fellow Mercy foundation that offers a community of care for persons with mild to profound intellectual and developmental disabilities.

St. John Bosco Vocational Training Center

Hatfield, Manchester, Jamaica

The jingle and storyboard competitions were held to educate students about the Mercy Core Values. They competed through their clubs and societies. The competition appears to be an effective and engaging method for instilling and reinforcing the Mercy Core Values, fostering a positive and empowered student body committed to living out these values in their daily lives.

Bishop Feehan High School

Attleboro, Massachusetts

For more than 20 years, one of our most honored traditions has been our annual Santa Shop, which supplies Christmas gifts for local families in need. Our generous Feehan community donated 3,498 gifts and $9,200 in gift cards to help make the Christmas season brighter for more than 140 local families.

Infant of Prague Catholic Nursery and Kindergarten

Mangilao, Guam

As always, we prepare our children to become mindful of the needs around them. We prepare them to be men and women for others. Even though they are still young and do not fully understand what is going on around them, we lead and provide service opportunities for our children to participate in throughout the year. This year we had a Thanksgiving prayer service with a Food Drive and collected clothing items, blankets and toiletries for the Mercy Travel Pantry that helps the needy of our island community.

Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School

Lower Gwynedd, Pennsylvania

Gwynedd Girls volunteered their time at the annual Mercy Neighborhood Ministries Christmas party. They brought gifts donated by our school community and spent time with the young children.

Merion Mercy Academy

Merion Station, Pennsylvania

In September, during Mercy Day, Merion Mercy Academy students were encouraged to integrate the Sisters of Mercy's Critical Concerns more intentionally into their daily lives. To accomplish this mission, a Critical Concerns team was formed and ideas were developed for providing deeper awareness of Women, Immigration, Nonviolence, Anti-Racism, and Earth.

The Campus Laboratory School of Carlow University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

For the third year in a row, the young and spirited students of The Campus Laboratory School of Carlow University raised a phenomenal $6,748 for Mercy Beyond Borders. This donation will help to boost the education, leadership development, and advocacy training of women and girls in South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, and Haiti.

St. Vincent's Academy

Savannah, Georgia

St. Vincent's Academy students delivered over 3,000 cans to the Social Apostolate during the holiday season for those in need. The food drive was led by the SVA Student Council. Students were also out and about during the holiday season ringing the bell and supporting this year’s Salvation Army Christmas fundraiser!

Mercy Career & Technical High School

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Mercy students doing what they do with St John's Hospice and the Good Shepherd Program for Boot Up Philly. Students helped serve over 500 people in need by giving out donated winter boots, socks and coats.

Walsingham Academy

Williamsburg, Virginia

The Upper School adopted a family of five for the angel tree this year and provided many gifts and stocking stuffers for the family. The SGA officers wrapped gifts and purchased extra goodies for the stockings. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to support a family in need this holiday season and feel blessed to have such an outpouring of support from the Walsingham community.

Mercyhurst Preparatory School

Erie, Pennsylvania

The Fr. Mike Allison Community Thanksgiving Day dinner is an annual event that takes place at Calamari's Squid Row in Erie, PA on Thanksgiving Day. The event provides the opportunity for Mercyhurst Prep students, faculty, staff and alumni to serve food and spend time with members of the community who may not otherwise have a meal to enjoy.

Notre Dame High School

Elmira, New York

In preparation for Christmas gift giving, Crusaders sewed and decorated stockings to fill with treats for the children of our Christmas families.

Mount Mercy Academy

Buffalo, New York

This year, the Mount Mercy Academy Student Government planned and facilitated events to spread the joy of the Christmas season. Our entire school participated in walking through our community and giving back. The Mercy girls caroled and handed out treats to the Sisters of Mercy at Mercy Center; visited and gave gifts to patients at Mercy Hospital; sang carols, spread joy and handed out treats at businesses and community centers. Mercy girls also visited a local day care center and elementary school where they read Christmas stories to little ones and passed out treats.

In the true spirit of the season, Mercy students took many huge bags of donations from our winter clothing drive to the Alfiero Family Center and the Buffalo City Mission. This school-wide service project was so successful due to the dedication and generosity of our students, their families, our faculty, and alumnae.

Waldron Mercy Academy

Merion Station, Pennsylvania

Our Star Service groups (7th and 8th graders who meet during free periods on a weekly basis to provide service to our school and the outside community) are coordinating a "Soup-er Bowl" soup collection drive to provide non-perishable food to local families in need!

Mercy Academy

Louisville, Kentucky

Mercy Academy's House System participated in a Food Drive to benefit a Recipe to End Hunger. Students collected 3 truckloads of food! Before donating they compete in friendly competition to build a 3D structure out of the cans they have collected. We were so happy to fill the pantry just before Thanksgiving.

Mercy High School

Farmington Hills, Michigan

The National Honor Society held a Warm Detroit Winter Drive collecting hats, gloves, boots and coats to benefit some of the 5,500 homeless children of Detroit.

Holy Cross High School of Kolambugan, Inc.

Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte, Mindanao, Philippines

The Peace Building and Leadership Seminar was held January 10-11 for Peace Club officers, Core Group and Club Presidents. The seminar was headed by Sr. Elva DeCastro, RSM, and Peace Club Coordinators: Mrs. Sweetzel D. Jadman and Miss Emma M. Gunting. The students were grateful for the learnings from the day’s activities and speaker Jonel M. Baba.

Mercy Schools of Jamaica

In a continuous effort to promote the Critical Concerns and fulfill the works of mercy, our Mercy students have recently given back to their schools and communities through various activities. These included Alpha Infant’s visits and food distributions to children’s homes and local shelters along with their furniture donation to a local early childhood centre; Alpha Primary’s beach cleanup on International Coastal Cleanup Day; the donation of clothes and food items to a children’s home by Mount St. Joseph Prep’s 4H Club; and St. John Bosco Vocational Training Centre’s promotion of the Mercy Core Values via its first annual Core Values Competition.

Cristo Rey High School

Sacramento, California

This year, our student ministry team for the first time organized an incredible Posadas at Christmas time that brought together the whole community for prayer, song, food, and a piñata!

St. Catharine Academy

Bronx, New York

For four years, St. Catharine Academy's Torian P. '24 has delivered Christmas cards to patients and staff at Beth Abraham Nursing Home on Christmas Eve. The members of the Class of 2024 made cards the week before Christmas during Theology class.

Mercy Junior College, Inc.

Tubod, Lanao del Norte, Philippines

The Student Core Leaders from Grades 4 through Senior High School participated in the outreach program to the inmates at the District Jail, Baroy, Lanao del Norte, Philippines. They provided thoughtfully selected gifts, like toiletries and snacks, purchased with money collected from students during the Basic Ecclesial Community prayer. One student shared: "The Outreach Program taught us to challenge stereotypes and revealed the potential for positive change even among those who are incarcerated.”

Mercy Montessori Center

Cincinnati, Ohio

Mercy Montessori students and families collected over 300 backpacks filled with toys, school supplies, and clothing to support a school in the Ukraine. The backpacks, along with handmade cards from the Mercy children, were delivered as gifts on St. Nicholas Day, December 6.

St. Mary Academy – Bay View

Riverside, Rhode Island

The Mercy Project gives students in Grade 11 an opportunity to express their growing understanding of what it means to be a young woman of mercy. Students identify an issue on a local, national or global level; plan and complete a project addressing the issue and benefitting people in need; and then educate their classmates about the issue and their project. Recent projects have included sponsoring a young woman’s education in Haiti; eliminating the stigma around athletes and mental health; and helping families fleeing domestic violence.

Mercy High School

Omaha, Nebraska

Abriendo Puertas celebrates students’ Hispanic heritage with an emphasis on promoting cultural awareness and providing opportunities for community service and leadership by connecting Mercy students to the broader Hispanic community. This year Abriendo Puertas has celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month, sent students to the Nebraska Hispanic Latino Youth Summit, created an ofrenda to celebrate Día de los Muertos, and organized a toy drive to benefit the children served by Omaha's Refugee Empowerment Center.

The content of this publication is submitted by our Mercy schools. Thank you to all who contributed!