March 20, 2018 | CONTACT:
Join Us for Mass Before the March
Via Maggie Conley, Institute Justice Team Director: We are looking forward to being with those of you who will be traveling to DC this weekend for the March for Our Lives. With more than 700 “sibling marches” around the world, this will be the largest march in the world. We have many Mercy schools who will travel to DC and many others who will participate in their own cities. What a tremendous sense of solidarity to all be living out our commitment to Mercy in this concrete way—led by our students!
For those coming to DC, there will be lots of your fellow students joining you, but we look forward to gathering and praying and walking together as Mercy. Here are some specifics to finalize your plans for the day:

  • Below is a map of the event (taken from where you can find additional information as well).  
  • There will be a mass for local DC area Catholic high schools at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in advance of the March (close to Metro Center Metro). I have attached a flyer of the event. I am unclear of the amount of space that would be available, but if you are interested in attending the mass, please feel free to do so.
  • We will gather at 11 am outside of St. Patrick’s - 619 10th Street, NW, Washington, DC - to walk as close to the stage as we can. The stage is at 3rd and Pennsylvania. It is a little less than a mile walk. The March will begin at noon.
  • The program will include speakers, none of whom are older than 21 to further demonstrate how this is a student-led movement. We will do our best to get close enough to be able to see and hear the speakers.
  • My cell phone number is 443-695-3891, and I am happy to receive texts leading up to and on the day of the event to ensure our connection when the reality of the space and crowd is known.
Other Information
  • Please send any pictures that you or your students take at the DC sibling marches to
  • If you have a student who would be interested in blogging about her/his experience with the march, please let us know as we would love a follow-up conversation.
If there are additional resources that you would like or if you have other questions, please do not hesitate to contact Maggie Conley,, or the MESA staff.
St. Patrick Church is located at 619 10th St., NW, Washington, DC 20001, at the corner of 10th and G Streets, NW. A map showing the location of the church, including local landmarks and hotels, is here.
Click the map above to enlarge.
Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School's Peace Walk
Via Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School: Students organized a school-wide Peace Walk titled, "We Walk With..." in solidarity with the victims of the Parkland, Florida, shooting and for peace across our country and throughout the world. Earlier in the week, students made origami cranes representing prayers for peace, and hung them throughout the school corridors.

Wednesday morning began with a student-led prayer service, which included an impassioned speech by Gwynedd Junior, Olivia Manfrey, who shared:

We are gathered here today to participate in the 2018 walk out in a way that replaces protest with prayer, so we have decided to call it the We Walk With…

This new phrase encompasses our goal for today: to show solidarity with victims of gun violence in not just our words but our actions. The Parkland School Shooting in February was a wake-up call. We are now faced with the harsh reality that school shootings have become normal. We have come to a point where we are no longer fazed by these horrible acts of violence.

We cannot forget: this is not normal. This is not okay. It is up to us to put a stop to gun violence. We can no longer be passive; it is our responsibility not only as citizens but as moral human beings to take action. This Walk With is a small step in our generation’s march to end gun violence. Our generation is soon going to be the parents sending their children off to school, the constituents electing representatives, and the congresswomen voting on important legislation.

Before we begin, I would like to quote Emma Gonzalez, a student at Parkland, who is only 18 years old: "We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks. Not because we're going to be another statistic about mass shooting in America, but because...we are going to be the last mass shooting." “
Students then processed through the red and gold corridors of Gwynedd in a walk for peace, led event organizers carrying a hand painted banner bearing the names of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School victims. the walk for peace throughout the red and gold corridors and concluded with a final prayer as the school community formed a circle of Mercy in the Performing Arts Center.

It was certainly a powerful and moving display of unity and prayer for peace. #LeadwithMercy
  A Dose of Inspiration: Read This Story about a St. Mary Academy-Bay View Student Who Won a National Arts Award
Via the Providence Journal: In some productions at St. Mary Academy-Bay View, Cecelia Egan has performed in her wheelchair, but in others she’s positioned herself on a piano, a sleigh or some other prop.

Her favorite was during performances of “Grease,” when she rode in a little car on stage while she and her castmates belted out “Greased Lightning.”

Times like those are an escape from the neuromuscular condition that 14-year-old Egan was diagnosed with about eight years ago.

“Yeah, kind of. Unless I’m in a wheelchair, they don’t know,” she said, referring to the audience.

Egan’s dedication to theater has been recognized with the 2018 National High School Heart of the Arts Award, which is given out annually by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

She was selected from 41 other state award winners and will be recognized at the federation’s summer meeting June 29 in Chicago.
 Connect with Fellow Educators
on #CatholicEdChats
Did you know every Saturday morning, Catholic educators around the world gather together on Twitter to engage with and learn from one another? They use the hashtag #CatholicEdChat to converse with the virtual professional learning network. Since the fall of 2012, hundreds of Catholic school teachers and administrators have discussed a wide range of timely topics. Recent discussions have included school safety after Parkland, blended learning, teacher spirituality, use of social media in schools, Lent, and sports. Topics are announced on Twitter and Facebook each week, and the chat starts at 9 am Eastern on Saturday mornings. To participate, you simply need to log into Twitter, search for the hashtag and jump in with your best ideas.
  School Profile:
Mercy Montessori School
We continue with our series of brief school profiles with Mercy Montessori School in Cincinnati, Ohio. 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:
Greater Cincinnati’s first and oldest Montessori school, Mercy Montessori is a private, independent school offering an extraordinary educational and life experience for students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Under the leadership of Principal Patty Normille, the student population has remained steady at about 290 pupils, with a student/teacher ratio of 15:1. Faculty members know every child by name. With Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas as inspiration, the school nurtures the development of the whole child in the context of a Catholic Montessori community that inspires the love of God, respects individual differences, cultivates life-long learning, and helps each child become a contributing member of society. Founded in 1969, the soon-to-be 50-year-old institution is accredited by The Ohio Catholic School Accrediting Association and it is a member of the American and Cincinnati Montessori Societies.

Learn more about the school by visiting its website and following it on Facebook, Vimeo, and Twitter
The Montessori Method of education, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. As expressed at Mercy, it means that every child is encouraged to search for his or her part in the Cosmic Plan, and mutual respect for individual rights is emphasized. This is consistent with the philosophy of Montessori education; that every child is a unique individual, one to be encouraged to learn and grow at his or her own pace, and with the range of differences among the children valued and encouraged. Leaders at Mercy Montessori also know that many of the most important lessons mastered in childhood go beyond academics. Graduates are both well-educated and well-prepared for an inspiring, compassionate and productive life. Mercy Montessori is one of a few Mercy schools that offers tuition on a sliding scale. That means, families pay a rate that is based on their annual incomes. Like many Mercy schools, Mercy Montessori offers financial assistance to help cover the cost of attendance.
Mercy recently renovated two floors of the school and installed a new garden learning space called the Farmessori. The space and attending program is a unique new offering of the school, allowing children to develop a product cycle from farm to table. As part of the Montessori Microeconomy program, our students will grow, design, create, and sell handmade garden products with all proceeds being used to supplement future class projects. The students dream up and
design their own business plan, creating a one-of-a-kind educational program.
Additional new features include:
  • MakerSpace & Library
  • Sister Aloyse Arts Center
  • New Junior High Classrooms and Gathering Spaces
  • New Spanish Classroom
  • Farmessori (outdoor garden and greenhouse)
  • Ecolab Natural Playspace

Mercy Montessori envisions itself as a future "waste-free" school. The school boasts numerous green initiatives in line with the Mercy Critical Concern for the Earth.
Good News & Great Opportunities
  • March for Our Lives happens this Saturday, March 24, 2018.
  • April 22-28, 2018 is Early College High School Week. Learn all about it.
  • Did you know MESA cohort group calls are archived on our website? If you've missed one or want to be more informed about a topic, visit this page.
  • Amazon is tripling its donation amount to 1.5% when customers make their first eligible Amazon Smile purchase from March 12 - 31. Reach out to your communities and spread the word.
  • This website helps parents estimate the future cost of sending children to college.
  • The National Catholic Education Association has announced a series of webinars relevant to Catholic education professionals. Read more and sign up here.
  • In case you're following March Madness, nine schools representing Catholic education have been in the mix.

Want to highlight good news from your school? Send a note to .
Sister Marilyn Lacey Honored in Song

Hear Her Song is a new special initiative of the Canales Project, that each year will create a celebration of remarkable women. It does so through the creation of new songs about their lives and the choices they've made. Presented in partnership with Vital Voices and the Women Like Us Foundation, Sister Marilyn Lacey was honored yesterday in a ceremony in Washington, DC. Other honorees included Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama and Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
A New Issue of Around the Table is Out

Head over to the MESA Publications page to check out the latest edition of Around the Table, our quarterly newsletter. In the March 2018 issue, we explore Women's History Month, recap the Leadership Forum and profile MESA Board Member Peg D'Agostino and Kimberly Baxter, Associate Director for Programs and Services. Sisters Richard Mary Burke and Lisa Griffith both offer important, must-read reflections.

Teaching Together in America's Catholic Schools 

A nonprofit organization is seeking to help adults with special needs find employment in Catholic schools, with positions such as teachers aides. Teaching Together has been successfully piloted in two Washington, DC, schools and has been expanding nationally. The organization's founder said the program ultimately seeks to live out a mission recognizing the inherent worth of everyone and exposing schools to the untapped talents of people with special needs. Learn more about Teaching Together by visiting its website.
  Join the MESA Conversation
on Social Media
Sisters of Mercy Lenten Reflection Series - The Seven Last Words of Jesus, Week 5
Imagine that you are standing at the foot of the cross. Now hear Jesus say, “I’m thirsty.” How do you feel when you hear these words? Do you wish you could give Jesus some water? Recall some of Jesus’ many teachings and miracles which took place around water. Recall another time when Jesus was thirsty, at the well. He asked the woman at the well for a drink of water, and he changed her life (John 4:1-26).

        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
“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