STANDISH — All are welcome to engage with and reflect on the Critical Concern of Women (one of the five Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy) during Mercy Week 2021 at St. Joseph’s College of Maine in Standish on Sept. 20-24. The Sisters of Mercy have long given special attention to women’s education, health, and spirituality through legislative advocacy, schools, healthcare institutions, and spirituality centers. Here is a list of some of the special events planned:
Monday, Sept. 20
Mission Momentum Community Reflection led by Dr. Kassy Clements, assistant professor of education and chair of the Education Department at St. Joseph’s College of Maine. Join the conversation online here.
Online conversation with Donna Loring, host of the Wabanaki Windows radio program and former senior policy advisor on tribal affairs to Gov. Janet Mills. Loring grew up living with her grandmother on Indian Island and in her late teens, she served during the Vietnam War. She earned a degree in political science as well as an honorary doctorate she received from the University of Maine in 2017. Loring has worked in law enforcement, was elected to the Maine State Legislature, and served as aide-de-camp to then-Gov. Angus King. She is a published author and playwright, a tribal member of the Penobscot Indian Nation, and a well-regarded champion of Maine’s native populations. Join the conversation online here.
Tuesday, Sept. 21
Mission Momentum Community Reflection led by Dr. Leah Lazzaro, adjunct professor in the social work program at St. Joseph’s College of Maine. Join the conversation online here.
Livestream conversation with Melissa Skahan, vice president for Mission Integration and executive director of the McAuley Residence for Northern Light Mercy Hospital in Portland. Since she was a child, when her mother served as nurse in the Sisters of Mercy motherhouse, Skahan has desired to serve others within the context of the Mercy mission. She emphasizes outreach as a critical role in the Catholic healthcare system, especially focusing on the most vulnerable to advance change in a systematic way that creates a more just society. Under her leadership, the McAuley Residence partnered with Community Housing of Maine for expansion into a new, child-appropriate fifteen-unit residence. She also transformed the addiction and support programs available to women at the McAuley Residence into a holistic evidence-based model to combat substance use disorder. The results are that 80 percent of the women remain clean and sober, with 95 percent reunifying with their child/children. Join the conversation online here.
Wednesday, Sept. 22
Mission Momentum Community Reflection led by Dr. Wendy Galgan, associate professor of English and chair of the English Department at St. Joseph’s College of Maine. Join the conversation here.
Online conversation with Claudette Ndayininahaze, co-founder and executive director of In Her Presence. Claudette arrived in Maine seven years ago from Burundi, where she served as national sales manager of Heineken, the largest beverage company and brewer in Burundi. Deeply committed to the welfare of women and girls, she also served as the president of Burundi Girl Scouts Association. She has held several community positions since her arrival, and is currently the co-foundress and executive director of In Her Presence, which provides needed support for the immigrant, asylee, and refugee communities on a grassroots level. Join the conversation online here.
Thursday, Sept. 23
Mission Momentum Community Reflection led by Dr. Yi Jin Gorske, assistant professor in the Natural Sciences Department at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine. Join the conversation online here.
Alfond Hall Auditorium
Screening of the documentary The Mask You Live In followed by a panel discussion.
Friday, Sept. 24
Dedication of the Sr. Sylvia Comer Interfaith Prayer Room
On this day in 1827, Catherine McAuley opened the House of Mercy on Baggot Street in Dublin, Ireland. For almost 200 years, the Sisters of Mercy have carried forward her legacy impacting the lives of generations, including here at Saint Joseph’s College. As she was dying, Catherine comforted the Sisters with the following instruction, “Be sure to have a comfortable cup of tea for … when I am gone.” And so, each year, the college hosts a tea to honor Catherine and the work of the Sisters of Mercy. Sister Mary George O’Toole and Sister Joyce Mahaney will be in attendance to share reflections on how they joined the Sisters of Mercy.
For more information about Mercy Week, the schedule, and the speakers, visit the Mercy Week section on the college website at http://sites.google.com/sjcme.edu/mercy-week-2021.