FEBRUARY 13, 2017 | CONTACT: mesa@sistersofmercy.org
The Last Seven Words of Jesus: A Lenten Meditation Series
Beginning tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, the Sisters of Mercy blog will feature a series of seven Lenten meditations based on the Seven Last Words of Jesus, uttered during the crucifixion. The reflections will focus on the Seven Last Words as the embodiment of mercy, connecting them to the history and ministries of the Sisters of Mercy and concluding with an invitation to perform acts of mercy inspired by the words of Jesus.

Each following Wednesday, a new reflection written by a Sister of Mercy will be posted on the blog in English and Spanish. A large-print PDF will be included at the top of the blog reflection for easy printing. You are invited to use these reflections for your personal and communal prayer. You may also share the reflections with family and friends and/or distribute within your ministries to colleagues, staff, students, donors, and others. If you have any questions about using or distributing the Lenten reflections, please email Lauren Albright.
It's Career and Technical
Education Month
Career and Technical Education Month, or CTE Month®, is a public awareness campaign that runs each February to celebrate the value of CTE and the achievements of CTE programs across the country. The MESA community proudly boasts the Mercy Career & Technical High School, located in Philadelphia, and other Mercy education ministries that operate robust CTE programs.

Today’s CTE classrooms are modern-day laboratories, in which students are gaining critical skills needed to fuel the future workforce and drive our economy. Guided by industry leaders and implemented by highly trained teachers, CTE programs in health and biosciences, manufacturing and engineering, culinary arts, construction, and information technology are among those that are in high demand.

CTE Month is sponsored by the Association for Career & Technical Education. Schools around the nation are showcasing their CTE programs and participating in various service projects. Schools are also invited to host open houses, talk with policymakers about the importance of CTE, and engage on social media. For a set of resources to participate, visit https://www.acteonline.org/ctemonth/#.WoLRMejwaUk.
Advocates Pray for
Dreamers on Capitol Hill
Last week, the Sisters of Mercy joined a network of Catholic organizations in a 45-minute prayer service on Capitol Hill as a show of support for Dreamers. The gathering aimed to spark a sense of urgency to pass bipartisan legislation to protect young immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors but are now facing an uncertain fate as their protected status could end on March 5.

Following an opening song and Scripture readings, the group prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary. During the third Sorrowful Mystery, the crowning with thorns, the crowd reflected on how Jesus’s captors did not find torturing Him to be enough, but also needed to humiliate Him with a crown of thorns. Similarly, stereotypes and other verbal abuses are the thorns that harm and humiliate Dreamers in the midst of this time of uncertainty.

In addition to the Sisters of Mercy, the prayer service was sponsored by the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent De Paul, the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, Network, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Pax Christi USA, the DREAM Project, the Society of the Sacred Heart, the Franciscan Action Network, and the Ignatian Solidarity Network.

Use this link to watch a short video of the service: https://www.facebook.com/wjlatv/videos/10156177772458734.
  School Profile:
Alpha Institute
This week, we continue with our series of brief school profiles with the Alpha Institute of Kingston, Jamaica. Our goal for these profiles is to support learning from one another. So 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.
The history of the Alpha Institute is intertwined with the story of the Religious Sisters of Mercy in Jamaica. But both spring from a commitment to serving young men on the island nation who are in need of life skills training and jobs. Most Alpha students reside in inner-city communities where social conditions are very challenging. The training program at Alpha is designed to generate holistic development and career advancement in a variety of relevant employment areas.

Learn more by visiting the school's website and following it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Young men ages 15-19 attend the Alpha Institute, which offers a 2-4 year vocational and general education curriculum. The school partners with the Oscar Romero Centre for Youth to provide social services and help students transition successfully to work life. Students spend half the day in trade training and the other half focuses on literacy and life skills course work. Trade courses include performance and music technology, engineering, barbering, woodworking, and landscaping. Second year students are afforded an opportunity to participate in a two-week off-campus work experience.
Alpha Institute students enjoy great community support and, it is regularly featured in local media. The school operates a 24-hour streaming radio station ( listen here), boasts a strong network of volunteers and is supported by a shop shipping goods made by students. Recent notable events included participating in an island-wide peer-training on drug abuse prevention, a student earning a contract to work with a popular radio station, and being gifted a valuable collection of equipment for its music department. A Reggae Auction to benefit the school runs through Feb. 28.
Good News & Great Opportunities

Want to highlight good news from your school? Send a note to mesa@sistersofmercy.org .
EdSurge is on a mission to find—and share—examples of how teachers are working tirelessly to meet the needs of their students. They want to know how you make learning personal. Learn more and use their graphics generator to participate.
Digital Learning Day is Feb. 22
Digital Learning Day is a national campaign that shines a spotlight on successful teaching practices and effective use of technology in education. This website has several tools, resources, lessons, events and graphics to help you participate. You can also register for this free webinar to hear a case study on how blending teaching and technology improved student outcomes.
Remembering an Education Pioneer
We celebrate the life of Sister Rosemary Sullivan, R.S.M., a Sister of Mercy for 73 years, teacher, community leader, and administrator. She was 90 years old when she passed away last month.

Sr. Rosemary entered the Sisters of Mercy in Burlingame, CA, where she professed vows in 1948. After receiving her doctorate in microbiology, Rosemary returned to Burlingame where she served as dean and faculty member for the Mercy-sponsored Russell College. She taught science for many years, including 13 at Mercy High School in San Francisco. She was elected to serve on the leadership team of the Burlingame Sisters of Mercy, rising to Superior General until 1981. She held various administrative positions until the principal/president at Mercy High School, San Francisco left. She agreed to take on the role in an acting capacity. In 1993, she returned as assistant to the principal at Mercy High School, where she served until 2015.
  Updated Job Listings

Our Ministry Openings webpage contains links to the employment pages of MESA schools. Visit regularly to stay up to date. Please forward this message to anyone in your network who might be interested.

Do you have an opportunity you'd like to highlight in an upcoming issue of MESA Flash? Email mesa@sistersofmercy.org.
MESA Leadership Forum
March 1, 2018
8 am - 3 pm
Atlanta, GA
  “Partners in Mercy”
Leadership Academy
July 23-24, 2018
Baltimore, MD
 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.