Authors M - R

McCarthy, Mary-Theresa, R.S.M. “Gabriel Redican, R.S.M.: The Early Days of Mercy Higher Education.” The MAST Journal 5, no. 3 (Summer 1995): 8-14.

This article is a well told history of Georgian Court University, but its interest reaches beyond one institution or one person.  Of particular interest is the claim that “in 1905, Gabriel Redican founded the world’s oldest extant Mercy-sponsored four-year liberal arts college.” (8)  Saint Xavier University makes a similar claim.  The two differ in that SXU has the oldest charter (1847) that authorizes college or university status.  Georgian Court was the first to actually offer collegiate classes (1905), since Saint Xavier only began offering college courses in 1915.

Application:  Researchers looking into the history of Mercy higher education will be interested in this article and may find this annotation’s explanation of the apparently competing claims helpful to their attempts to understand and convey to others the story of one congregation’s contributions to Catholic higher education for women.

NOTE:  Until The MAST Journal is available on-line, individual copies of an article can be requested from the Mercy Heritage Center.  Contact the archivist Grant Gerlich at

Misto, Leona, R.S.M. “Mercy Spirituality, the Foundation for Compassionate Service” (2008). Mercy Illumines.

This article originated in a program on mission,  Catholic social teaching, and Catholic-Mercy identity for faculty at Salve Regina University, a Mercy-sponsored institution in Newport, RI.  The author uses Scripture to characterize mercy “not only as loving-kindness but as liberation and restoration to wholeness,” connecting those qualities to the purposes of education.  (70)  Citing the life and teaching of Catherine McAuley, the author identifies three characteristics of Mercy spirituality:

1. a focus on those who experience poverty and who need “liberation,” in this instance through education;

2. a “synthesis of contemplation and action,” keeping the two in a reciprocal relationship (74); and

3. a “reflection of God’s loving-kindness,” vis-a-vis the gospel scene of the Last Judgment in Mt. 25 (75).


Two examples involving Salve Regina faculty members and students illustrate the author’s points that “compassionate service can be a component of every academic department,” (73) and that Mercy spirituality can be a source of unity among those invested in a Mercy institution’s educational mission.

Application:  Mission officers may find in this article not only ideas and inspiration for programs at their own Mercy institutions, but also helpful articulations of aspects of the Mercy charism.  The sources and the examples cited in the article give practicality to that central reality of Mercy-inspired, Mercy-sponsored institutions.   

O'Neill, Mary Aquin, R.S.M. “The Role of Higher Education in the Mission of the Sisters of Mercy and of the Catholic Church.” Address to the Board of the Conference for Mercy Higher Education, October 02, 2008.

This address might more tellingly be titled “The Role of Board Members in the Catholic and Mercy Mission of Higher Education,” since the speaker names and discusses several distinctive aspects of serving on the board of a Mercy college or university.  Rather than terms like “fiduciary responsibility,” this presentation explores terms like “mission,” “theological  assumptions,” and “the ethos of Vatican II” as key aspects of trustees’ “paramount responsibility to insure the continuation and development of the Mercy Catholic character” (12) of Mercy-sponsored institutions of higher education. Board members are also counseled to keep informed on Church matters – universally, in terms of higher education (e.g. Ex corde Ecclesiae) and locally, in terms of the diocese in which their Mercy college or university is located.  Organizational matters, this author asserts more than once, are always in service to the core mission of Catholic Mercy higher education, an education she describes as characterized by respect for the dignity of all, gratitude for the gifts of God, consciousness of the needs of others, a readiness to respond in service, and dedication to the common good. (5)

Application:  Here is an article that highlights aspects of Board service at a not-for-profit ecclesial institution that differ from Board service at a for-profit business corporation.  Originally offered for the founding board members of the Conference for Mercy Higher Education, this presentation’s emphasis on mission and its clear language about the various dimensions of mission make it both relevant and challenging for current and potential Board members and administrators of individual institutions. 


Pharr, Christine M., and Caroline R. Pharr. “A Generational View of Sustainable Leadership in Education: Faculty and Administrative Perspectives.” The MAST Journal 20, no. 1 (2010): 55–61.

Drawing on Hargreaves and Fink’s work on sustainable educational leadership, these authors explore connections among three principles of such leadership, the Sister of Mercy critical concerns, and related decisions or practices by administrators and faculty members.   A brief explanation of sustainable leadership as that which promotes deep learning beneficial to the learner and others in the present and for the future precedes a discussion of the principles of justice, diversity, and conservation in education.  (Conservation here refers to an institution’s past, not to ecological practices.)  Examples of administrative and faculty actions that embody and promote these principles are linked primarily with three of the Mercy critical concerns – immigration, racism, and women’s issues.

Application:  Faculty members and administrators may find some intriguing juxtapositions in this article’s discussion of justice in relation to access to higher education, resources for student success, an institution’s carbon footprint; of diversity in terms of teaching methods, faculty hiring, utilization of technology; and of conservation in terms of resisting nostalgia, willingness to change, interaction between senior and junior faculty.

NOTE:  Until The MAST Journal is available on-line, individual copies of an article can be requested from the Mercy Heritage Center.  Contact the archivist Grant Gerlich at

Reed-Bouley, Jennifer, and Ken Reed-Bouley. “Introducing Students to Social Analysis and Theological Reflection: Foundations for Facilitators of Service-Learning at Colleges and Universities Founded or Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy.”


Starting from the premise that “for service-learning to realize its potential, facilitators must be skilled in mining the depths of the service experience,” (3) this handbook offers brief, accessible overviews of social analysis and theological reflection with specific reference to Mercy institutions.  Thus, the authors begin by citing the “congruence between hallmarks of Mercy higher education and service-learning,” as a rationale for such pedagogy among Mercy educators.  (5)  Aware of the religious diversity of these institutions and of a general lack of familiarity with Catholic social teaching, the booklet spends some pages on the latter and on Scripture as resources for the social analysis and theological reflection that should accompany service learning experiences.  Discussions follow of social analysis: examination of “causes, consequences, stakeholders, powerbrokers, structures, and assumptions that influence situations” (14), and of theological reflection: “making meaning…[by] placing into dialogue life experiences with a religious tradition…[to] confirm, challenge, clarify, and expand how we understand our own experience and how we understand the religious tradition.”  (18)  The booklet concludes with a detailed “sample plan” that applies these concepts in to a concentrated experience of service learning such as a weeklong service trip.  A list of cited and helpful resources adds further value to this handbook.

Application:  Faculty and staff members embarking on service learning will find this handbook helpful both theoretically and practically.  While for some, it may seem rudimentary, for many the handbook’s attention to both social analysis and theological reflection provides a balance that may confirm their strengths and supply for their weaknesses.  Invoking characteristics of Mercy education, attending to the diversity of students and faculty at Mercy institutions, and citing Mercy resources – all in the context of Catholicism – further enrich this resource.  In its holistic and practical approach, the “sample plan” alone makes this handbook worth perusing.


Reynolds, Mary, R.S.M. “Catherine the Educator” (2010).

As its title suggests, this resource grounds contemporary Mercy-sponsored education in the vision and practice of Catherine McAuley, applying that history to the realities with which Mercy colleges and universities wrestle today.  An outline rather than a full text, this presentation by Reynolds, an Irish Sister of Mercy who, as Executive Director of the Mercy International Centre in Dublin, speaks in a variety of international Mercy forums, is easily applicable cross-culturally.  While the outline format means that full detail is not present, the headings and sub-points nonetheless indicate aspects of Catherine McAuley’s life and vision that mission-sensitive educators might well research for themselves.  Happily, the latter part of the outline (point 7 and beyond) overlaps with a related Reynolds’ text, “Root Values of Mercy Education,” which is also annotated in this bibliography.

Application:  Mission directors especially may find that this resource offers them a plan for orientation or in-service presentations to faculty and staff members new to a Mercy institution or seeking greater appreciation and application of an institution’s Mercy heritage.  Trustees, administrators, faculty and staff who have some familiarity with Catherine McAuley’s life may also find here a concise reiteration of the ideals which a Mercy-sponsored institution seeks to realize.


Reynolds, Mary, RSM. “Root Values of Mercy Education.” Cairns, Queensland,

     Australia, March 2014.

Using the analogy of a tree whose health and quality depend on its roots, the author names four qualities that she sees as the “root of our educational enterprise in Mercy:…an integrated education that develops the whole person [who will be] compassionately concerned for the poor and especially women, dedicated to excellence, and committed to community building.”  (1)  In her discussion of each of these qualities, the author draws on the teaching and example of Catherine McAuley, and occasionally on Church documents, to explore some contemporary implications of these basic Mercy emphases.  This text expands the outline of a related Reynolds’ presentation, “Catherine the Educator,” also annotated in this bibliography.

Application:  What should a Mercy-sponsored institution of higher education look like or offer to its students and its community?  Reynolds lists very concrete responses on which students, faculty, staff, administrators, and trustees might well reflect as they embark on assessment processes, design recruitment materials, shape orientation programs for those new to a Mercy institution, or utilize opportunities (historical anniversaries, ritual occasions, holidays or holy days) for professional renewal and inspiration. 


Rittner, Carol, R.S.M. “Education: Our Heritage - Our Future.” The MAST Journal 9, no. 3 (Summer 1999): 24–32.

This article, originally a presentation to a conference of Mercy educators from various parts of the world, unfolds in three parts – a look at the past and Catherine McAuley’s commitment to education, a focus on the present and the values that mark a Mercy education, and a scanning of the future through a series of critical questions.  The author highlights Catherine McAuley’s convictions that education is key to improving the lot of poor persons and that such education needs to foster not only the good of the individual but also the good of society.  Such education today, the author asserts, will be marked by the values of “justice, compassion, hospitality, and excellence,” each of which she defines and discusses in terms of an academic setting.  Because “questions are more important than answers,” (29) the article closes with a series of challenging questions for Mercy education in the twenty-first century.  Among them are queries about the “willingness to teach Catholic and Mercy values across the curriculum… [whether to] be Catholic with a capital ‘C’ or catholic with a small ‘c’…sensitivity to women’s experiences…[and inclusion of] ecological consciousness.”  (31)

Application:  For those assuming responsibility for Mercy educational institutions, this article provides a concise and thoughtful introduction.  For seasoned trustees, administrators, and faculty members, the article offers both a fresh review of “basics” and a possible “examen” of how their institution actualizes Mercy convictions about education.  Posed on the cusp of a new century, the questions with which the article concludes remain relevant and challenging for Mercy colleges and universities. 

NOTE:  Until The MAST Journal is available on-line, individual copies of an article can be requested from the Mercy Heritage Center.  Contact the archivist Grant Gerlich at

Rosenblatt, Eloise, R.S.M., ed. “Papers of the Conference for Mercy Higher Education: Transforming Hallmark: Education and Action for Justice.” Special issue, The MAST Journal 16, no. 2 (2006).

This edition of The MAST Journal offers articles based on both the plenary and several breakout sessions of a national Mercy higher education symposium focused on the theme “Transforming Hallmark: Education and Action for Justice” and held at Gwynedd-Mercy College (Gwynedd Valley, PA) June 15-17, 2006.  Broad articles on Mercy higher education in this edition of The MAST Journal are included individually in the CMHE Annotated Bibliography.  Other articles of more specific focus in this edition of The MAST Journal are noted below.  

Brown, Martha L., and Heidi Jacobson.  “Assisting Single Mothers Achieve College Degrees and Self-Sufficiency”: 62-63.   This article catalogs several initiatives by which the College of Saint Mary (Omaha), long “focused on ‘the careful education of women,’” has in recent decades creatively and persistently “reach[ed] out to ‘niches’ of women for whom persistence toward completing a degree might be difficult.”  (62) 

Brown, Martha L., and Lori Werth.  “Diversifying Enrollment at a Higher Education Institution”:  64-65.  Attentive to the growing presence and particular needs of Hispanic students at their institution, these authors outline “several strategies that have successfully fostered the cultural development of the campus community” (64) at the College of Saint Mary (Omaha).

Clendenen, Avis.  “Women of Duty and Daring: Hildegard of Bingen and Catherine McAuley”: 33-38.  Characterizing Hildegard and Catherine as “transformational leaders,” this article “explores intriguing episodes of duty and daring in each of their lives that reveal qualities of leadership so needed then and now.”  (33, emphasis in the original)

DasGupta, Kasturi.  “Why Is There No One at the Peace Vigil?”: 52-55.  In this article, the author laments a sense of apathy among Americans, an apathy fed, he believes, by “a runaway, rampant consumerism and a pervasive anti-intellectualism.” (52)  He calls for institutions of higher education to retain and advance their “commitment to issues of social justice, which emanates from the core of our Catholic and Mercy identity.” (52)

Luquet, Wade.  “Did the Sisters of Mercy Contribute to the Development of Professional Social Work?”: 39-43.  Noting the existence of Sister of Mercy places and programs for the poor well before Toynbee Hall in England (1884) or Hull House in the U.S. (1889), this article examines possible reasons for the exclusion of sisters (Mercy and others) from the social welfare history books.

Mikulich, Alex. “A Theological Pedagogy of White Privilege and Racism”: 48-51.  After sharing his conviction about the importance of addressing issues of white privilege and racism, this author recounts steps by which he seeks to create “a safe, mutually respectful, dynamic learning community” (49) in which students can examine these topics.  

Redding, Sharon R.  “Passing on the Traditions: Rituals and Celebrations in Nursing Education”: 66-69.  This article reflects on affective learning and the traditions, symbols, and rituals by which nursing educators “lay the foundation for future beliefs and practices” (66) of their students who are the future of the nursing profession.

Reed-Bouley, Jennifer. “Challenging Prior Knowledge: Strategies of College Teaching”: 44-47.  This paper discusses the “role of mental models” and describes ways to help students “question their inaccurate mental models about society [especially individualistic constructs] and replace them with more accurate models.”  (44)

NOTE:  Until The MAST Journal is available on-line, individual copies of an article can be requested from the Mercy Heritage Center.  Contact the archivist Grant Gerlich at

Rosenblatt, Eloise, R.S.M., ed. “Proceedings of the CMHE Third Biennial Symposium: Becoming a Global Citizen in Mercy.” Special issue, The MAST Journal 20, no. 1 (2010).

Amazingly, this edition of The MAST Journal identifies but does not include the keynote address for this symposium, held at Mercyhurst College (Erie, PA) June 2-4, 2010.  The symposium theme was “Becoming a Global Citizen in Mercy,” and the keynote speaker was Sister Deirdre Mullan, R.S.M., then the Director of Mercy Global Concern, the international Sisters of Mercy non-governmental organization at the United Nations.  Accordingly, the comments of the responding panelists are not found here.  Those panelists were Peadar Cremin, President of Mary Immaculate College, Ireland; Rosemary Jeffries, R.S.M., President of Georgian Court University, New Jersey; Adrian Leiva, Dean of Muffles College, Belize; and Kerry Robinson, Executive Director of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, U.S.A.

The “Becoming a Global Citizen in Mercy” theme prompted most symposium presenters to address one or more of the Sisters of Mercy critical concerns – earth, immigration, non-violence, racism, and women’s issues.  These global concerns easily became a sub-theme of the conference. 

Broad articles on Mercy higher education in this edition of The MAST Journal are included individually in the CMHE Annotated Bibliography.  Other articles of more specific focus in this edition of The MAST Journal are noted below.  

Baker, Greg.  “Local Immersion Experiences as a Portal to Critical Reflection and Creative Response”: 1-5.  This article champions local immersion experiences, discusses their increasing importance for students, and offers practical strategies for what the author names as “intentional burdening, direct service,…personal, gut-level sharing, and critical academic reflection.” (2)

Bruess, Lili.  “Incorporating Global Citizenship Perspectives into ESL Teacher Preparation through Service Learning”: 12-17.  Based on a study of the perceptions of ESL teacher candidates, this article reports that such candidates’ “experience with cross-cultural integrated service learning has a powerful impact on their attitudes, cultural competence, and sense of global citizenship.”  (15)

Cancienne, Mary-Paula, R.S.M.  “How Do We Engage Risks When It Involves the Environment?”: 18-19, 21.  This paper is a space-limited excerpt from “Mercy and Justice: Sustainability and Women,” the full presentation given at the symposium.   This excerpt deals with the risk-assessment and cost-benefit analyses, proposing that such methods “do not include criteria broad enough to guarantee the safety and well being of humans and the natural environment.” (19)

Connolly, Kathleen, R.S.M., and Marilyn Lacey, R.S.M. “The Power within Us: Mercy Promoting Girls’ Education in Sudan”: 20-21.  This workshop moved from key qualities of the Mercy charism to their embodiment in Mercy Beyond Borders’ work in Sudan for the education of girls, maternal/child health promotion, and economic development for refugee women.

Fischer, Beth, Marylouise Welch, and Elizabeth Brown.  “Act Locally, Think Globally: A Convergence of Mission, Vision and Ministry Creates a Wellness Center”: 22-24.  In telling the story of The Wellness Center, a collaboration between St. Joseph College and the Franciscan Center for Urban Ministry in Hartford, CT, this article discusses the impact of the Center on the College’s nursing students and curriculum, as well as on the local community, especially those with limited means and limited access to health care.

Hermann, Mary.  “Mercy Leadership, As Nurse, As Global Citizen”: 25-30.  Building on the vision and values of Catherine McAuley and Florence Nightingale, both of whom saw nursing as “a God-given mission grounded in a sense of justice,” (27) this author recounts the redesign of the nursing capstone course at Gwynedd-Mercy College to inculcate social responsibility and foster action to “address the social, political and environmental factors that result in disparities between rich and poor in their access to health care.” (29)

Kuntz, Lisa.  “Infusing Ethics into Senior Psychology Students’ Capstone Experience”: 37-40.  At Saint Joseph College, the Psychology Department has transformed the traditional comprehensive examination for majors into a capstone course that requires group research, analysis, and presentations.  The transformation, using scenarios typical to psychological practice, has proved more engaging for students and more relevant to their professional aspirations.  

Lowe, Allyson M., and Sandie Turner.  “Teaching in the 2009 G-20 Cauldron: Lessons from Pittsburgh”: 41-45.  This article discusses Carlow University’s efforts to seize the “teachable moment” presented by the contentious meeting of the G-20 in the University’s home city in 2009.  The authors assess the successes and missed opportunities of this experience, offering insights that might guide educators seeking to take advantage of other real world “teachable moments.”

Lucas-Darby, Emma T.  “Greening the Community: Social Work Practice and Service Learning”: 46-48.  Choosing “Goingreen” as the theme for a required Community Practice course in social work involved both informative in-class presentations on a variety of “greening” or ecological topics and meaningful in-community service projects related to ecological concerns in specific neighborhoods. 

Makos, Susan Smith. “Working for a Just and Sustainable World through Socially Responsible Investing Inspired by Mercy”: 49-54.  After defining “socially responsible investing,” this article outlines the strategies used by faith-based investors like the Sisters of Mercy to influence “corporate practices that promote social and economic justice, a sustainable earth and the common good.” (51)  Examples illustrate the alignment of investor activity with the Mercy critical concerns.

Raman, Shyamala.  “The Internationalization Project at St. Joseph College”: 62-65.

At St. Joseph, a sustained internationalization effort infused with the Mercy critical concerns has affected the entire curriculum, launched an International Studies major, encouraged study abroad opportunities, supported short-term immersion experiences in Guyana and Guatemala in connection with the Sisters of Mercy in those countries, and led to a number of partnerships institutions abroad and organizations at home.

Rohlf, Francis H., and Rosemary J. Bertocci.  “Inviting Global Citizenship in Senior Capstones”: 66-69, 61.  Recognizing that a senior capstone project has goals related to a student’s major and to an institution’s educational goals, including the inculcation of Mercy values, this presentation discusses the value of and some strategies for “making global citizenship an impetus [within a capstone project] for students to broaden their vision of the future.” (66)

Rufe, Steven.  “Meet the United Nations”: 78-81.  Offered by a student halfway through his college career, this presentation describes his experience at a CMHE-sponsored “Mercy Meets the U.N.” conference for students at Mercy-sponsored colleges and universities.  In his words, his three days at the U.N. and subsequently at the Mercy NGO there “transformed the way I look at the world” and inspired him to become a “global citizen of Mercy.” (78; emphasis in the original)

NOTE:  Until The MAST Journal is available on-line, individual copies of an article can be requested from the Mercy Heritage Center.  Contact the archivist Grant Gerlich at

Rosenblatt, Eloise, R.S.M . “Promotion of Women's International Rights: Bedrock of Education for Global Citizenship.” The MAST Journal 20, no. 1 (2010): 70–77.

After a few introductory and engaging, if sometimes tangential asides, this article delves into its main argument; namely, that education for global citizenship “must focus on women as the test case for whether the stories are being heard and whether systemic change…is actually changing old patterns.”  (70)  The article focuses on three areas where women worldwide experience a lack of equality, a denial of citizenship – rape and forced marriage, access to education, and religious tenets of subordination.  In these and other areas, the author notes that stories “establish empathy,” but that systemic change “has to be the goal of educating for global citizenship.” (73)  Thus, through story and analysis, students being educated for global citizenship need to encounter such tools of systemic change as  social reform, governmental action, data gathering and comparative study, educational opportunity, personal resistance, and social critique.

Application:  Faculty members in the social sciences and in gender studies may appreciate this article’s advocacy of women’s equality and its citations of contemporary authorities on the vital links between the oppression of women and issues of poverty and violence, even terrorism.  Mercy educators will also appreciate the author’s observation that such a “perspective is not revolutionary for Sisters of Mercy or…Mercy-sponsored institutions” (73) since Catherine McAuley’s earliest ministries focused on the safety, housing, education, and self-sufficiency of women.

NOTE:  Until The MAST Journal is available on-line, individual copies of an article can be requested from the Mercy Heritage Center.  Contact the archivist Grant Gerlich at

Back To Top