During March, which is both Mercy Month and Women’s History Month, the Women of Mercy series will profile Sisters of Mercy, prominent historical figures, and Mercyhurst graduates. Here are the most recent women:
Catherine Egan, later known as Mother Borgia, was born in 1876 on the Feast of Saint Benedict, the patron saint of students. A leader in education, she insured that Catholic schools taught by the Sisters of Mercy were certified by the state; St. Catherine School, DuBois, Pa., was first in the commonwealth to receive PDE certification.An advocate for the higher education of women, she realized her dream of opening a college for women, which she did by enlisting her “pioneer” Sisters of Mercy in fundraising, seeking the aid of benefactors, purchasing 75 acres of land in southeastern Erie, and building Mercyhurst College and Seminary. Now two separate schools, Mercyhurst University and Mercyhurst Preparatory School opened in 1926. Mother Borgia led the college until 1959.
Rachel Carson (1907-1964) conducted research into the effects of pesticides on the food chain, published in her most influential work, Silent Spring (1962), which condemned the indiscriminate use of pesticides, especially DDT (later banned). The book led to a presidential commission that largely endorsed her findings, and helped shape a growing environmental consciousness.”Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.”
– Rachel Carson