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"Sisters of Mercy: Guiding Our Today, Inspiring Our Tomorrow."

On Friday, March 15th the faculty and staff at Waldron Mercy Academy and Waldron Mercy Child Care came together at the Sisters of Mercy Motherhouse in Merion Station PA to share stories, joys, challenges and dreams during their spring retreat. 

Bernadette Rudolph of Cranaleith Spiritual Center, using the synodal listening process, guided prayer, large group sharing and small group conversations between the lay people and nearly 20 Sisters of Mercy, helping the attendees focus on the future of Mercy Education and how best to sustain the Mercy charism.

The day began with the group grounding themselves in God and his word, taking deep breaths, and reflecting on ways that they appreciate their community. Following an introduction to each Sister of Mercy who was attending the retreat, the group discussed the qualities of synodality, dissected Psalm 139: 1-18 and Isaiah 54:2, and asked themselves “what are our God given gifts and how are we using them?” This led into a wonderful discussion in smaller groups based on the question” 50 years in the future, what will a vibrant Waldron Mercy Academy, guided by the Spirit, look like?”

A few snippets of overheard conversation produced the following quotes:

“Meeting someone in relationship means knowing that my pace is not always the ‘right’ pace.”

“ Sometimes truth isn’t spoken in a loving way, but you cannot have mercy without justice.”

“The transition of guidance from Sisters of Mercy to lay people should be based on setting examples and forming authentic relationships.” 

Groups were also asked: “What has to happen today in order to make the future a reality?”

“We need more of a positive behavior system where we meet students' needs with mercy and compassion, and embrace the spirit of Catherine McAuley.”

“We need to create a place where the community feels like a family. The world will change, but the human need for belonging will not.”

“Groups [in WMA] would be able to send representatives for more ‘synodal’ discussion instead of a top down leadership style. We need more of a team effort than an isolated feeling.”

“Every child has a different style of learning. We, as adults, need to be less rigid in the ways that we teach and determine right from wrong.”

After these discussions, the group recited a beautiful closing prayer. Just as Jesus said that the kingdom of God is “like a mustard seed,” in that it is the smallest of seeds but becomes the greatest of all shrubs — Waldron Mercy Academy takes the smallest of children and helps to nurture them into the capable and compassionate people that they are meant to be. 

The faculty and staff of WMA and WMCC came together one last time in song to end their retreat, singing “Anthem” by Tom Conry and reflecting on the ways that they themselves have been chosen by Christ. 


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