Authors W - Z

Weigert, Kathleen M. “Emerging Themes for Catholic Higher Education.” The MAST Journal 6, no. 1 (Fall 1995): 20–28.

Though this article takes up some perennial questions about Catholic higher education, its value is limited by the passage of time since its publication.  After a brief review of statistics about Catholic higher education in the United States and highlights from the then relatively new papal document Ex corde Ecclesiae, the author addresses the meaning and the mission of Catholic universities and colleges under three headings – the university’s understanding of and relationship to the world; the influence on an institution of its student profile; and what a university or college means by and does because of its claim to be Catholic.  From these three areas, the author draws six “emerging themes” related to engagement with the world, impact on students, and practical aspects of being a Catholic institution.

Application:  Faculty members or administrators interested in “emerging themes” in the world of Catholic higher education might find in this article a useful approach for a contemporary examination of such a topic.  One wonders what themes would emerge from an updating of the 1995 statistics or a comparison of ACCU and HERI data then and now.  Certainly, what it means for an institution to be Catholic in all dimensions of its existence remains widely discussed and diversely understood, but such discussion today undoubtedly includes not only some of the insights of this article but also aspects or themes not foreseen in 1995.

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


Weigert, Kathleen Maas. “The Mercy Call to Learn and Serve for Social Justice.” The MAST Journal 18, no. 2 (2008): 2–7.

This article links three aspects of service learning – the Mercy vision of response to need, the nature of the learning and serving involved in the pedagogy of community-based learning, and the Catholic tradition of social justice.  The author briefly highlights the Mercy ethos of service before moving on to discuss the pedagogy of service learning. She emphasizes the importance of creating “authentic mutuality with [community] partners, based on a shared vision and jointly created agenda” and offers resources for this process. (4)  In relation to the potential impact of service learning, she discusses research about the priorities of students as they start college and highlights the importance of practical institutional recognition and rewards for faculty and students engaged in this pedagogy.  Finally, the author focuses on social justice – what it is and how service learning helps students understand it as a method of systemic analysis that moves behind the symptoms (community needs) they may be encountering to probe for root causes and to seek the common good.

Application:  This is a resource rich article.  While the data cited by the author may be outdated, faculty, service learning staff, and administrators engaged in or considering service learning initiatives may find here sources of data that continue to research and publish and so, provide appropriately relevant information for current consideration. 

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

Wheeler, Carol Estelle, R.S.M. Catherine: A Reflection on Values from the Mercy Tradition. Baltimore, MD: Privately published, 2002.

This booklet offers Mercy educators an engaging presentation on key aspects of Catherine McAuley’s life and ministry which remain relevant today for Mercy-inspired educational institutions.  Many readers will discover an alignment here between Catherine’s values and the values claimed by Mercy colleges and universities.  The author discusses Catherine’s commitment to the poor, to women, and to the sick.  She explores Catherine’s “innovative, collaborative, and highly professional” style (5), noting her emphasis on quality and excellence.  She teases out some of Catherine’s personal qualities that mark – or should mark – Mercy institutions: graciousness, light heartedness or humor, and courage.  Finally, the author expands on Catherine’s “hallmark” quality – an “endless, bottomless hospitality” (8-9), a quality that moves beyond politeness to the reception of others with respect, affirmation, and support, enabling them to realize their own power and value. 

Application:  An accessible, reflective presentation, this article tells enough of Catherine McAuley’s life and vision to provide a worthwhile orientation on Mercy heritage for persons new to a Mercy college or university.  Trustees, administrators, and faculty and staff members would all find material for discussion and application to their home institution.

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