FEBRUARY 27, 2018 | CONTACT: mesa@sistersofmercy.org
  MESA & Justice Team Offer Support as Students Decide to Participate in Actions Related to the 
Florida School Shooting
Last week, MESA and the Institute Justice Team partnered to release a statement in the wake of the shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

As students become active in the social justice initiatives being planned, such as the March for Our Lives, we wanted to offer resources, coordinating support and training to assist our schools in guiding our young people.

"As Mercy teachers, you are working each day to keep your students safe, answer their questions, and provide comfort and support," the statement reads. "Our Mercy heritage calls us to prayer, continued reflection on root causes and action—
which is no doubt being lived out in your classrooms and hallways around gun violence and nonviolence this week."

The full statement is available for download and sharing here: http://mercyedu.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Parkland-MESA-FLASH-FINAL.pdf
  Take Action to Protect DACA Youth
The Sisters of Mercy, our schools, and advocates in the field have engaged on local and national levels to protect the young people who are protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program, and the futures of the young people who live under it, is now threatened, as a March 5 termination date for the DACA program approaches. Now is the time to elevate our collective Catholic voice for immediate legislative action.

Today, Feb. 27 beginning at 10:30 a.m. Eastern, eight Mercy sisters and a co-worker will participate with dozens of other Catholics in prayerful, nonviolent disobedience at the U.S. Capitol. The event will be live-streamed from the PICO National Network's Facebook page. Tune in and show your support.
  Answer the Pope's Call to Take the World Youth Day Challenge
  Via National Catholic Reporter: It's time to break free from fear, fake online personas and looking at the world through a digital screen display, Pope Francis told young people in his annual message for local celebrations of World Youth Day.

"Do not allow the spark of youth to be extinguished in the darkness of a closed room in which the only window to the outside world is a computer and smartphone. Open wide the doors of your life! May your time and space be filled with meaningful relationships, real people with whom to share your authentic and concrete experiences of daily life."

In preparation for the next international celebration of World Youth Day — which will be held in Panama Jan. 22-27, 2019 — many dioceses will have their own celebrations Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018.

The Panama gathering will focus on Mary's response to the angel Gabriel's announcement that God had chosen her to bear the child Jesus: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." The 2018 theme chosen by Pope Francis is the angel's reassurance, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God."
    School Profile:
Muffles College Highschool
This week, we continue with our series of brief school profiles with Muffles College of Orange Walk Town, Belize. As always, 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.
Located on the beautiful left bank of the New River, Orange Walk Town, Belize, is home to one of two Belize education ministries - Muffles College. The 65-year-old school enjoys a 15-acre locale in the middle of one of the most culturally diverse communities in the region, a true melting pot of cultures and its student population is a direct reflection of this diversity. Under the guidance of the Sisters of Mercy, Muffles promotes the integration of all cultures in accordance with the boundless love taught by Jesus Christ and exemplified by Catherine McAuley. The educational philosophy of the school encompasses both the intellectual and spiritual growth of students. 

Learn more about the school by visiting its website and following it on Facebook. Get the latest news from the school's newsletter.
Named for Fr. Joseph Mueffels, a Jesuit resident in the town at the turn of the 20th century, Muffles College began as a two-year school for young men and later became a co-ed institution. In 1960, it became a four-year high school. Seven years later, the Sisters of Mercy assumed sponsorship of the school and became known for making Muffles a respected and admired institution. The Sisters immediately began a comprehensive development campaign to accommodate the school's growth and burgeoning academic needs. In 1992, the school expanded once again to incorporate a junior college.

The high school now operates under the principal leadership of Maria Johnston, M.Ed. She will celebrate her 10th year as principal this year!
Muffles commits itself to quality education that is relevant to the needs of Belizean society. It strives to develop the total person - spiritually, morally, psychologically, intellectually, emotionally, physically, and socially- in keeping with the teachings of Jesus and in the Mercy tradition. It also seeks to create, through active participation of all concerned, an environment of harmony, tolerance, and respect for individual differences. The school population of more than 550 students enjoys access to playing fields that include football, volleyball and basketball, as well as some of the most modern and spacious educational facilities. Muffles students do well in both academics, placing in the top Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate exam results for the whole country every year.
    Good News & Great Opportunities
  • Last call for entries to the #MakeMercyReal Video Contest. Deadline is March 1.
  • Forty students from Mount St. Mary Academy (Watchung, NJ) attended the 55th annual North American Invitational Model United Nations, a forum where students come from around the world to seek, through discussion, negotiation and debate, solutions to the various problems of the world. Pictures here.
  • The Greeley Center for Catholic Education at Loyola has shared its professional development offerings for the 2018-2019 school year. Registration begins on March 12, 2018.
  • An Alpha Institute student was recognized by the Jamaica Gleaner for his mathematics achievement.
  • More than $800,000 was donated during National Catholic Schools Week. Make sure you sign up for next year.
  • Mercy High School (CT) students' questions appeared in Newsday's God Squad column.
  • Here's a great environmental resource for science class. Our friends at Catholic Climate Covenant presented Climate Change: Morphing into an Existential Threat - A Lecture by Pope Francis’s Climate Scientist: V. Ramanathan, Ph.D.
  • Mercy High School (NE) held its second annual Winter Games. Check out this video feature from Fox42.
  • Let's all send our congratulations to Lauren Vargo, of Mercyhurst Preparatory School. She was selected to serve on the Erie Diocesan Youth Board.
  • On March 11, 2018, a St. Mary Academy - Bay View senior and two eighth grade students will be honored by The Most Reverend Thomas J. Tobin, D.D., Bishop of Providence, at The Catholic Youth Ministry and Scout Awards Celebration.
Three Teachers from St. Vincent's Academy Recognized as "Top Teachers"

Congratulations are in order for three deserving SVA teachers who were nominated and recognized by WTOC TV as Top Teachers in the region. Click to watch videos to learn why Tess Tvrdy, Justin Johnson, and Donna Antonucci received this prestigious honor. 
SmartBrief 5th Annual STEM Pathways Summit Accepting Speaker Proposals

The one-day event explores real-world ways to narrow the STEM skills gap and prepare students for STEM careers. Organizers seek presenters to speak on compelling K-20 STEM education topics to an audience of STEM specialists and experts from education, government and industry. Deadline: April 15, 2018.
New ‘Education Exchange’ Will Pay Teachers for Reviews of Ed-Tech Products

The Jefferson Education Exchange, a new project launched with support from the University of Virginia, will create an online hub for educators to write and get paid for providing detailed accounts of their inspiring or agonizing experiences using ed-tech products.
  Sisters of Mercy Lenten Reflection Series - The Seven Last Words
of Jesus, Week 2
"Pause. Breathe. Ponder the triple crosses of public humiliation, back-dropped by an angry sky. Move in closer. Hear the conversation of the condemned crucified. One thief mocks with angry derision. The other thief is incredulous and defensive. Both turn to Jesus in the center, and one dares to ask, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” The response of Jesus tumbles off the hill and echoes around the globe, down the centuries, right into this moment, the pledge of loving, merciful forgiveness.” 

      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.