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Sisters of Mercy – Jubilee Anniversaries

Published on September 17, 2012 | By Lindsay Cox

Recently a special edition of FaithLife News Bulletin was released in celebration of jubilee anniversaries throughout the Diocese of Erie. Within this, model leaders have been highlighted for their contributions as faithful servants and their work in the Erie area. Several Sisters of Mercy are celebrating monumental anniversaries and we commend their work and their time put forth as many of them have impacted the Mercyhurst community in so many ways. We congratulate the following sisters and thank them for their wonderful contributions:

Mercy Cross and ring

Sisters of Mercy proudly wear the Mercy Cross

Sr. Bernadette Bell, RSM, 60 years,

Sr. Mary Paul Carioty, RSM, 60 years,

Sr. Mary Felice Duska 60 years,

Sr. Donna Marie Orton, RSM, 60 years,

Sr. Teresa Okonski, RSM, 50 years,

Sr. Natalie Rossi, RSM, 50 years,

Sr. Patricia Whalen, RSM, 50 years.

The lives and work of these women are quite inspiring. Sr. Bernadette, a faculty member at Mercyhurst, was called to the Sisters of Mercy while attending Mercyhurst as she felt the presence of the Sisters and realized that was the life for her. She continues to actively work in the community and was named Diocesan Woman Religious of the Year by the Serra Club and was named a Woman Making History in 2012. Sr. Mary Paul, known on the Mercyhurst campus as a receptionist in Baldwin Hall, was actually kicked out of her house as a young girl because of her desire to attend a Catholic high school. Never letting this deter her, she believed God was telling her to “go out that door” and has served in education and health care as she lives by the vows of “By the grace of God I am what I am.” Sister Mary Felice was led to the Sisters of Mercy while attending Mercyhurst Seminary (now Merychurst Prep) and has had a career centered around God and the community which is where she describes her heart to be found. Sr. Donna Marie places key importance on helping others. This is evident in her time as a registered technician which was an enjoyable ministry for her because she was able to help people who were ill or injured.

Sr. Teresa explained that the meaning and energy of the Sisters of Mercy was contagious for her as a young woman who was drawn to their lifestyle. She has led a spiritual life centered on young people and continues to direct retreats. Her days are surrounded by young people but always begin and end in prayer. Sr. Natalie believes that “each one of us is called to being peace, justice and mercy into this chaotic world” She has done just that through her work in team and prison ministry and is beginning a new role as a councilor on the leadership team. Sr. Patricia, the current Registrar of Mercyhurst University has spent all 50 years of her religious life in education either as a teacher or an administrator. One of her most fulfilling roles has been working for the Cadet Teacher Program, preparing lay men and women to teach in Catholic schools. She is thankful for the legacy of deep faith presented to her by her parents and enjoys spending her time in the community with others.

These seven women tell stories of how the Sisters of Mercy once had a strong effect on them and they were led to join and live a life of mercy, service, teaching and healing. Our community is thankful that they were led to the Sisters of Mercy and even more thankful for the effect that they have had on so many of our lives and the lives of the community.

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Mercyhurst Alumni is on Facebook Follow Mercyhurst Alumni on Twitter Connect with other alumni on LinkedIn The Official Mercyhurst Alumni YouTube Channel