Mercy News Article

Mercy Day 2008 Marked by Growth and Change

September 18, 2008

Sisters of Mercy candidate Taryn Stark is beginning a new life this fall, one she didn’t think was possible until a few years ago. “When I turned 30, I decided I wanted to devote my life to working for the poor, but I thought I was too old to become a sister,” said Taryn. “Then one day I Googled the Sisters of Mercy, and I went to a vocations link that said, ‘Come and See Weekend for ages 18 to 40!’ It was bigger than a light bulb going off for me. It was a whole stadium full of light!”

As Taryn, a certified public accountant, celebrates her entrance to religious community, the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of the Americas is experiencing an increased number of inquiries. This year 41 women are in the new membership process across the Institute, which includes those who have recently made first professions.

“There is an upswing,” said Mercy New Membership Minister Sister Carol Mucha. “Inquiries are up incredibly from women age 18 on up. A lot has to do with our online presence. Our web site gives us the best response. It draws women to us.”

For Sisters of Mercy in Michigan, much is changing. They are now part of the new West Midwest Community, which stretches from Michigan to California. The new community brings together the former Mercy regional communities of Auburn, CA; Burlingame, CA; Cedar Rapids, IA; Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; and Omaha, NE. It includes more than 850 Sisters of Mercy and 500 Mercy Associates and Companions, living and serving in 32 states and four countries.

September 24, 2008 is their first Mercy Day as members of the West Midwest Community. On this day, the Sisters of Mercy celebrate the founding of the House of Mercy by Catherine McAuley in Dublin, Ireland, in 1827 and look forward to wider horizons and new challenges.

“We are committed to carry on the work of our foundress,” said Sister Norita Cooney, the President of the new West Midwest Community. “She worked tirelessly for those who are poor, sick and lacking education, with an emphasis on women and children.

”Today, we continue to be called to respond to critical issues that face our global society: violence, racism, the environment, women and immigration.”

“For example, we are at the United Nations,” said Taryn. “We are in Washington, DC. As sisters, we can make such a difference.”

The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas - West Midwest Community is part of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, an international community of Roman Catholic sisters who address human needs through collaborative efforts in education, healthcare, housing, pastoral and social services, and advocacy. Visit