The Conference for Mercy Higher Education: One Congregation’s Choice for Preserving Its Charism

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Sheila Carney, R.S.M.

Abstract

In the past eighteen years, the Sisters of Mercy have undergone two major transitions in the structure of the congregation in the United States. In 1991, seventeen independent congregations formed the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, a single canonical entity with twenty-fi ve regional communities. Between 2006 and 2009, another reorganization gradually reshaped the Institute into six communities. While the fi rst transition did not affect the sponsorship of institutions, the most recent re-confi guration dramatically altered the sponsorship “landscape.” This paper describes how the congregation chose to reimagine the manner in which it relates to the sixteen Mercy colleges and universities to preserve and strengthen its charism in its ministry of higher education as well as on individual campuses.

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Author Biography

Sheila Carney, R.S.M., Carlow University

Sheila Carney is Special Assistant to the President for Mercy Heritage and Service, Carlow University, Pittsburgh, PA.