Sisters of Mercy elect leaders for new West Midwest Community

April 3, 2008

Sr. Frikker
Sr. Frikker

CHICAGO, IL – Sister Judith Frikker, RSM, a member of the leadership team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Regional Community of Detroit, is one of six sisters elected to lead the new West Midwest Community of Sisters of Mercy.

The West Midwest Community, set to launch on July 1, 2008, will bring together nearly 900 sisters and 500 associates from the regional communities of Auburn and Burlingame, California; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; and Omaha, Nebraska. It will be one of six geographic communities in the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.

Find out more about the West Midwest Community (PDF)

Sisters from across the West Midwest elected the new team on March 28 and 29 at an assembly in Chicago. Sister Norita Cooney was elected president. The other members of the new West Midwest Community leadership team are Sisters Judy Cannon, Judith Frikker, Michelle Gorman, Sheila Megley and Kathy Thornton.

Sister Judith Frikker holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from University of Detroit Mercy and graduated from Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine with an M.D. She worked at Mercy facilities in Michigan and Guyana before moving to Chile where she was a primary care physician for 12 years and did pastoral work in parishes.

Upon her return to the U.S., Sr. Frikker worked in a clinic for the uninsured in the Detroit area before her election to the Detroit regional leadership team in 2002. Sister Judith is currently a member of the boards of Freedom House in Detroit and St. Joseph Mercy-Oakland in Pontiac. She says, "My hope is that with the same spirit we felt when we came together in Chicago, we can continue to explore our identity as women religious and our ministry to persons in greatest need in today's world as we move into the West Midwest Community."

The West Midwest will count among its sponsored/co-sponsored works four institutions of higher education (University of Detroit Mercy, Saint Xavier University in Chicago, College of Saint Mary in Omaha and Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids), four healthcare systems, three retreat centers and many other ministries in housing, education and care of the elderly. Sisters and associates also serve in spiritual direction, parish work, social services and advocacy.

West Midwest Community central administrative offices will be located in Omaha, Nebraska, but the sisters' presence and ministries throughout the 32 states and four countries of their new community will continue.

About the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas:
The Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas is an international community of Roman Catholic sisters vowed to serve people who suffer from poverty, sickness and lack of education, with a special concern for women and children. In innovative and traditional ways, Sisters of Mercy address human needs through collaborative efforts in education, healthcare, housing, pastoral and social services, and advocacy.

The Institute includes over 4,300 Sisters of Mercy and 2,800 Mercy Associates and Companions in Mercy who serve in North, South and Central America, the Caribbean, Guam, and the Philippines. Over 600 Mercy Volunteer Corps alumni and thousands of coworkers in Mercy-sponsored programs and institutions also share in the mission. The 25 regional communities of the Institute are reorganizing into six geographic communities, a process to be completed in 2009.