March 13, 2018 | CONTACT:
Resources for Student Activism
The following message and resources come from Maggie Conley, Director of the Institute Justice Team . It is meant to support schools where students are preparing to participate in national school safety marches and gun law reform demonstrations in Washington, DC, and around the country.

Formation and Action:
  • If your students are preparing to march, engage participants in reflection around how marching is an expression of faith. 
  • Educate yourself and inform your participants on the Catholic stance toward gun legislation reform.

We will be choosing our meeting space for the March 24th March in DC soon. I will circulate it to you as we know more details of the route. This will give us the chance to begin together in prayer and walk together as a Mercy Family. If you are marching or doing something locally, please take pictures and send them to us to share how many parts of Mercy are responding. I have attached two PDFs of our Mercy signage for Peace and Justice that could be used by your students if they find it helpful.


If your students are interested in lobbying your members of Congress, we are happy to support that in DC or in your local office:
  • I have attached a PP presentation by our partner NETWORK that gives some helpful tips. If you would like to talk through how to use this presentation most effectively, please let me know and we can talk it through.
  • If you have time while you are in DC for the March and would like to schedule a visit for the students to share their stories, we can make some connections with schedulers or talk through how to assist.
  • Local visits can be as impactful, so if there is a local congressional office consider that option as a preparation or follow-up to your involvement in an action.

I hope these will be useful to you and the energy of your students. It is so exciting to see how we are being led by the young people and that we can be here to support their efforts and provide some additional context and framework to their passion and commitment. If there are other specific resources that would particularly be of use, please let me know. We are happy to speak directly to any students as well if they would find that helpful.

Director, Institute Justice Team 
New Staff Member Joins MESA
Please help us send a warm welcome and blessings to Jamie Landry, a Mercy Associate who has joined the MESA staff as our new Executive Assistant. Jamie works in the Silver Spring, MD, office.

She is responsible for providing administrative support to the MESA office and Board, and she will coordinate future MESA meetings and events. Jamie is filling a role held by Jennifer Lasseter, whose last day with MESA is March 15, 2018.

Jamie comes to MESA from Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy in Mobile, Alabama, where she worked as a development assistant with charge over fundraising, communications, and volunteer management. Before that, she held a similar position at Little Sisters of the Poor Sacred Heart Residence and Catholic Social Services, both in Alabama. That means Jamie is new to the Washington, DC metropolitan area, and we're thrilled she made the move to join us!

Jamie made her covenant as a Mercy Associate on Foundation Day in 2015. She had been introduced to the Sisters of Mercy by her boss at Catholic Social Services, Sr. Mary-Anne Plaskon, RSM, at a special time.

"I had found a new purpose in my life," Jamie said. "I wanted to continue doing what I could to serve the poor. I was looking for a way to serve."

The opportunity to join MESA came about in a similar fashion.

"It is something that God offered me at the right time in my life," she said. "It wasn't an opportunity I could pass up when it was presented to me. I felt God was telling me this was my new opportunity to serve Him, and I needed to do what He told me to do. Mercy Associates strive to support the work and ministries of the Sisters of Mercy in their own lives as laypersons. In my case, the Sisters of Mercy in Mobile guided, supported, and prayed for me when the opportunity to serve with MESA became available."

You can reach Jamie at
Sister Patricia Donlin, RSM,
Helps Open Celebration of
National Sisters Week
This is National Catholic Sisters Week! All week the Institute has been sharing on what it means to be a Sister of Mercy. Sister Patti Donlin, RSM, a theology faculty member at  Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School, helped to launch the Institute's celebration with a Facebook Live discussion from her classroom. Students from her class on Catherine McAuley joined her as she discussed her journey to becoming a Sister. Tune in to watch the full video, and don't forget to follow the hashtag #NCSW2018 on Twitter to see more updates.
Harvard Launches Caring Schools #CommonGood Campaign
In the face of deepening divisions around the world, the Harvard Graduate School of Education has initiated a new campaign to spread kindness, empathy, and equity.

More than 130 schools in 28 states and 14 countries have signed on to participate in the Caring Schools #CommonGood campaign by taking concrete steps to deepen students’ care for others and their communities. Harvard is providing a list of detailed suggestions for schools, such as giving students time to talk “across the aisle” with people who have opposing viewpoints and supporting sustained community service.

Middle and high schools are invited to join and commit to action by August 1, 2018. Schools will have an opportunity to be included in a special report to be developed by campaign organizers.
  School Profile:
Mount St. Mary Catholic High School
This week, we continue with our series of brief school profiles with Mount St. Mary Catholic High School in Oklahoma City. 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:
Mount St. Mary Catholic High School is a 115-year Oklahoman institution that proudly boasts its Catholic and Mercy identities. Perched above the Oklahoma River, the school is located on a stunning 28-acre campus just outside of downtown Oklahoma City, but each day, thanks to the school's unique block schedule, students leave campus during their Christian Service class period to serve at their assigned location. In addition, all-grade-level Service Days at the school allow students to leave campus to commit a full day of work to meet needs around the community. Some of the incredible service work done by students recently include packing food boxes at Feed the Children, partnering with a local neighborhood organization to make improvements, collecting toys for Catholic Charities, tutoring their classmates, venturing into political activism during Rose Day at the state capitol, and hosting a "prom" for senior citizens. McAuley, the school's Golden Retriever therapy dog also provides lots of service.

Learn more about the school by visiting its website and following it on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Be sure to also check out the great photos on the school's Flickr page. The school also publishes a must-read magazine.
Under the leadership of Principal Talita DeNegri (Class of 1980), The Mount is renowned for its high-achieving students and rigorous college preparatory curriculum. MSM offers 18 College Board certified Advanced Placement courses and 16 Pre-AP courses. AP-trained teachers also teach non-AP courses, so even students who do not take AP classes benefit from enhanced instruction. Ninety-nine percent of MSM graduates attend college and over 80 percent graduate from college. The 98-student Class of 2016 was noted in local media for having five AP Scholars, two National Merit Commended Students and a record-shattering $7,123,000 earned in scholarships. The school's athletic programs are also well-known, and "Rocket Pride" blankets the entire community. About 85 percent of students participate in an athletic program.

The Mount is a multi-year winner of The Oklahoman Readers' Choice Awards for Best Private School in Oklahoma City. In December 2003, the school celebrated its centennial with the kickoff of a $6 million endowment campaign designed to secure the school’s future for the next 100 years. The school is currently engaged in its annual Week of Giving.
The school enriches student life with a number of clubs, including Archery, Art, Robotics, Drama, Reps & Host Team, Student Council, Mercy Girls, Literary Magazine, Gaming, National Honor Society, Chess, World Affairs, Key Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, International Thespian Society, French, German and Spanish Honor Society. In addition, the school is grounded in faith with a full Religion Department with a mission to teach as Jesus taught. Through retreats, Kairos, service days, school mass and other special events, it works to instill a deep foundation in students so that they will live out the teachings of the Catholic faith.

But Mount St. Mary also strives to reach beyond its traditional borders.
The school, which is co-sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy and the Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, founded a beloved outreach program, the Centro de Oportunidades. This program provides evening classes for English Learners, U.S. citizenship, and GED preparation to the adult community of Oklahoma City. In addition, the school has begun implementing its new Cornerstone Inclusion Program, which will help integrate students with disabilities into the school rather than turn them away.
Good News & Great Opportunities
  • Mercy High School - Middletown, CT is one of approximately 1,500 schools worldwide to implement the AP Capstone™ diploma program―an innovative program that allows students to develop skills that matter most for college success, such as research, collaboration, and communication.
  • Sister Jean Evans, RSM,vocation minister for the Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community, Burlingame, published thoughts in Catholic San Francisco on the root causes of violence among youth.
  • The Alliance for Catholic Education has announced several summer professional development opportunities.
  • The National Catholic Education Association released a statement on school safety and March for Our Lives.
  • Calling all alumnae artists! The Mother McAuley chapter of The National Art Honor Society, is hosting a mini career fair on March 21, 2018, and invites those interested in sharing their educational and career experience with visual arts students.
  • The Mercy International Centre is accepting registrations for its second Mercy Pilgrimage 2018-2 (Education Tradition).

Want to highlight good news from your school? Send a note to .
Sister Marybeth Beretta Is a Rhode Island Leading Lady

Providence Monthly is publishing 100 inspiring stories of women making a difference in Rhode Island, and the publication has chosen to recognize Sister Marybeth Beretta, RSM, new president of St. Mary Academy - Bay View.

WEBINAR TODAY: Teaching So Students Remember

This webinar offers seven actionable steps to help students use what they've learned when they need it. The practical strategies and suggestions, carefully followed and appropriately differentiated, can revolutionize the way you teach and immeasurably improve student achievement. TODAY at 3 p.m. Eastern time. 

Gratitude Added to Mercy Focus on Haiti Immersion Trips

Dubbed the Gratitude Project, each Mercy Immersion student is now given contact information of at least two donors who have made contributions to the Mercy Focus on Haiti ministries. Then using the themes from the "Amen We Affirm" song, students are invited to creatively express our gratitude and bless donors for being people willing to embrace Mercy. The students then visit the ministry and spend several hours seeing the program and rendering some service while there. Recently, Mercy High San Francisco students visited Jesus and Mary School in Gros Morne, Haiti, and helped prepare, serve, and clean up as part of the school lunch program. After lunch they spent time writing a note of thanks to the School Lunch donors, explaining what they had seen and how the donor had made a difference in the lives of the children.
Sisters of Mercy Lenten Reflection Series - The Seven Last Words of Jesus, Week 4
The image of Jesus literally being nailed to wood can hardly ever be thought of in that manner. And this cry from Jesus—"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"—strikes such a desperate chord. Yes, the pain and despair that Jesus experienced were excruciating, but they were blessed by the healing and hope of resurrection. As we look across the world at the injustice and pain experienced by children, women, men and Earth, perhaps we hear the cry of “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me,” or perhaps, “My brothers and sisters, why have you forsaken me?” In his life on Earth Jesus revealed the response to this heart-wrenching question: “Love one another as I have loved you.”

      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