This Mercy Day “I Stand with the Sisters”…
By Richard Z., Mercy Associate and Executive Director – Circles of Mercy, Rensselaer, NY
It is hard to avoid the media reports of the Vatican’s inquiry into the internal workings of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). The LCWR organization is recognized by the Vatican as one of the representatives for communities of women religious. The Sisters of Mercy Northeast Community who sponsor Circles of Mercy are members of the group. As a lay director of this ministry and also a Mercy Associate, it is difficult to read and hear about this inquiry. Why? Partly because I was educated by women religious throughout my entire Catholic education; in grammar school, high school and as a college student. I was fortunate to have had some of the brightest, most spiritual women I have ever known, share their gifts of knowledge, understanding, aptitude and time with me during those formative years.
The other reason is that for the past six years I have had the honor and privilege of working for a magnificent group of religious women, the Sisters of Mercy, leading their sponsored work Circles of Mercy. Recently Circles hosted its annual meeting with representatives from the Mercy Northeast Community Leadership Team. It is a time for me as administrator along with members from the Board of Trustees, to review the accomplishments of our ministry over the past year, reaffirming our commitment to Mercy. Needless to say, the meeting, information and conversation shared were impressive, positive and well received.
We are so very proud of our relationship with the Sisters of Mercy. We offer our humble thanks not only to the sisters for their religious vocation, but for their ongoing leadership and guidance. We are also very thankful to the many wonderful individuals, volunteers and benefactors, who share their time, talent and treasure in support of the works of mercy!
This Mercy Day (in fact every day), I Stand in Solidarity with the Sisters, and will support them during this time of review, praying for mutually respectful dialogue and discernment with the Vatican. My hope is that you will “Stand with the Sisters” too. As was reported here locally in Rensselaer to Catherine’s Circle of Friends during our recent annual fundraising gala “A Taste of Mercy”, the Spirit of Mercy is alive, doing well and growing at Circles. Our “Circles” of Mercy continues to grow, ever widens, is never ending and is always in need of friends.