April 10, 2018 | CONTACT: mesa@sistersofmercy.org
   Immersion Experiences Await
You in Haiti
Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School students arrived in
Gros Morne, Haiti on March 31, 2018.
Mercy Focus on Haiti (MFOH), a ministerial endeavor of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, is pleased to offer the Immersion Experience in Spring 2019 for students in Mercy secondary schools and colleges/universities. It takes place in Gros Morne, Haiti, approximately five hours north of the island nation's capital Port au Prince.

To accomplish MFOH's goal of mutual learning, service and friendship, the program works to identify the immersion and service interests of students, and then match them with the current needs and wishes of the Gros Morne community. While participants are in Gros Morne, they learn the virtues, skills and culture of the Haitian people and serve in ways the community desires. The Haitians will learn from the Immersion participants some knowledge of their culture, and some skills we may take for granted. MFOH works with your school to create a two-fold learning opportunity that could foster skills and friendships to last a lifetime.

To learn more, download this letter describing the Immersion Experience, along with the Volunteer Acknowledgment Program/Travel Waiver and Indemnity Agreement and its attachment, all of which students will need to complete to participate.

This Gwynedd Academy High School student's reflection about her experience offers a glimpse into what it's like for Mercy students.
Mercy at the A.C.T. to End Racism Rally
Via America magazine : About 2,000 people gathered on the National Mall April 4 to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and to commit themselves to fighting racism and discrimination.

The gathering -- called the "A.C.T. to End Racism" Rally -- was organized by the National Council of Churches and featured clergy from numerous faith traditions, including Catholics, Orthodox Christians, various Protestant denominations, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Zoroastrians and others.

Mercy Sister Sharon Durham offered some powerful words for this story. The Sisters of Mercy also offered valuable resources to continue the work.
     School Profile:
Waldron Mercy Academy
We continue with our series of brief school profiles with Waldron Mercy Academy in Merion Station, PA. As always, our goal for these profiles is to support learning from one another. If you see something you want to know more about, get in touch with that school community! All MESA education ministries are listed here: http://mercyedu.org/educational-ministries.
Waldron says of itself, "We are a school where the joy of discovery inspires serious study, social responsibility, and strong faith." With its dedication to the arts and integrated STEM curriculum, the preschool through grade eight school works to rigorously prepare students for the real world. Waldron officially came to be as a co-ed institution in 1987 when Waldron Academy for Boys and Merion Mercy Academy for Girls officially merged, but the school traces its history back to 1884 when Mother Patricia Joseph Waldron acquired property in the area and opened the door to pupils. Today, Waldron is a 2001 and 2009 Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, and operates under the direction of Principal Ann Marie Braca. The school, which is set on a 35-acre suburban campus just outside Philadelphia, is accredited by the Middle States Association.

Learn more about the school by visiting its website and following it on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Learning at Waldron Mercy can begin as early as age 2 1⁄2 with early instruction in early child care, followed by Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten, or the Montessori track, and extends through third grade. Students leave the lower school and enter middle school for grades four through eight. At the middle school level, students are being prepared for greater independence. Emphasis is placed on the mastery of content and the development of critical-thinking skills through discussion, debate, research and questioning. Waldron is known for its unwavering commitment to fulfilling its charge of service, mercy and faith. This commitment extends beyond service projects and is integrated into all aspects of the school. Moreover, the school offers the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion, guiding students through the rites of passage in their study of Catholicism. However, the student body comes from diverse religious backgrounds, further enriching the faith-based education at the school.
Waldron Mercy Academy recently received recognition from the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS) for its Program of Distinction Service Learning. With programs like its MLK Day of Service and well-building projects in other countries, it's easy to understand why Waldron received this distinction.

To support its comprehensive approach to educating students, Waldron employs a multifaceted advancement program. In addition to events like annual golf and tennis tournaments, Waldron has annual funds and giving campaigns designed to keep tuition affordable. In addition, the school supports giving through Pennsylvania's tax credit programs, as well as through traditional methods of giving through stocks and IRAs, matching gifts and planned gifts. Furthermore, the school gives special recognition to giving circles that provide annual support at certain levels.
Mercy High Middletown's "Walk Down"
On March 14th, the entire student body walked to the gymnasium in silence in a “Walk Down March” in support of the students in Parkland, Florida. A prayer service was held for the victims. Pictures of the victims were projected on a screen as a Peer Minister read the names and a prayer bell was sounded after each name. The song “Shine,” composed by the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was played as everyone reflected.

Discussions were held in the Theology classes concerning gun violence, the root causes of violence and our personal call to action. The students in the Sophomore class wrote cards to the student body of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that expressed their sympathy and solidarity. Along with the cards, we sent the school the book Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss. The entire school community continues to be bearers of the truth, bringers of justice, and workers for peace. 

- Submitted by Ann C. Derbacher
Campus Minister/Theology Department Chair
Good News & Great Opportunities
  • After several years of work to develop resources to help educators understand and address student bereavement, a coalition has unveiled https://grievingstudents.org.
  • Five Mercy McAuley Awardees place service above self.
  • Middle school educators are invited to submit speaking proposals for the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) Annual Conference.
  • Use this calendar compiled by the Sisters of Mercy to plan your reflection time around peace and justice observances in April.
  • Alpha is looking forward to May 1 when we celebrate 138 years of service to youth at 26 South Camp Road. What started as Alpha Cottage in 1880 includes Alpha Institute, Jessie Ripoll Primary School, Convent of Mercy Academy (Alpha), Alpha Infant School and Alpha Primary School
  • The Future We Need (FWN) Group, of which Mercy International Association is a member, is producing a four-part series called The Journey from Plastic in preparation for World Earth Day 2018. The theme of World Earth Day this year is End Plastic Pollution.
  • Thirteen Catholic colleges and universities have announced summer programs for high school students. 
  • Singer and actress Vanessa Williams recently visited St. Anthony Catholic School in Guam.
  • April is National Financial Capability Month.
  • Students at Mercy High School (Omaha, NE) raised more than $19,000 to build a school/community center in Cameroon, and to provide feminine hygiene products in Sudan.
  • The new Adelante Conference has been announced to encourage Latino enrollment in Catholic Schools. It will take place in July 2018.
  • Mercy High School Baltimore seeks video messages for Sr. Mary Anne Smith.
  • The Congregation for Catholic Education is preparing a document on “gender theory” to be translated and sent to episcopates of the whole world.

Want to highlight good news from your school? Send a note to mesa@sistersofmercy.org .
            Updated Job Listings

Do you have an opportunity you'd like to highlight in an upcoming issue of MESA Flash? Email mesa@sistersofmercy.org.

We will run employment notices in MESA Flash for two weeks only. After that, you'll find older listings on our Ministry Openings webpage. That page contains links to the employment pages of MESA schools.
“Partners in Mercy”

Leadership Academy
July 23-24, 2018
Baltimore, MD
Mercy 2018 Education Conference

Hosted by Merion Mercy Academy
October 12-13, 2018
Merion Station, PA
 You are encouraged to send in information that you'd like to share through the MESA Flash. We'd love to share your good news, photos from your schools, along with tips and practical suggestions from which others in the community can learn. Email us at mesa@sistersofmercy.org.