Celebrating National Nurses Week: Sister Recounts Mercy Heritage
During National Nurses Week, Sisters of Mercy salute all nurses, including the many Mercy sisters, associates and staff, who work tirelessly as healthcare providers, educators and in other multiple nursing roles. National Nurses Week begins on May 6 and ends on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, May 12. The theme of this year’s national Nurses Week celebration is: “Delivering Quality and Innovation in Patient Care.”
Sister Charlotte Young, RSM, MSN, took time to reflect on her own experience as a nurse and to recall the rich history of the Sisters of Mercy in nursing. A 1960 graduate from Mercy Central School of Nursing, Grand Rapids, MI, Sister Charlotte received her BSN from Mercy College of Detroit in 1967 and her MSN from Wayne State University, Detroit, MI., in 1972. Her nursing experience ranges from serving as a medical surgical staff and head nurse to teaching medical surgical nursing. Over the years, she continued to use her nursing background while working in other healthcare positions. Today, she is a guest lecturer at McAuley School of Nursing of the University of Detroit Mercy.
Mercy Nurses - A Grand Heritage
By Sister Charlotte Young, RSM, MSN.
From the time I was a little girl, I knew that I was going to be a nurse. My older sister had a brain tumor and my plan"Mission of Mercy: Florence Nightingale Receiving the Wounded at Scutari." Sister of Mercy Mary Clare Moore, shown in the crowd at left, and Florence developed a friendship as they ministered during the Crimean War. was that I would be a nurse and take care of her. While I did become a nurse, my sister did not survive. However, she is the catalyst that keeps me loving nursing.
As the celebration of Nurses Week draws near, I reflected on my many experiences as a nurse and what a wonderful and giving ministry it has been. Intrigued by the rich history of Sisters of Mercy and their contributions in the field of nursing, I decided to do some research.
From our Mercy Heritage, I have always thought being a Mercy Nurse was special. After reading the history of Mercy Nurses, I have an even greater appreciation of what a wonderful heritage we have in our Mercy Nurses. In the spirit of National Nurses Week, I would like to share some of that heritage.
Catherine McAuley founded the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland , on Dec. 12, 1831, and immediately the Sisters began the visitation of the sick in their homes. The first hospital nursing for the Sisters of Mercy was during the cholera epidemic in 1832. In her book “The Path of Mercy the Life of Catherine McAuley,” Mary C. Sullivan recounts the long hours that Sisters spent at the Depot, Townsend Street, a hospital for cholera victims. The Sisters worked in shifts, and even with Catherine’s fear of contagion and death, she rarely left the hospital. Stories that have been handed down in Mercy history recount that the Sisters were so tired when they came home at night, that they would fall asleep on the stairs. Mary Anne Doyle spent so much time on her knees going from one patient to another that her knees began to swell. Catherine, to cheer up Mary Anne, playfully named the knees Cholera and Cholerene(1)
Sisters of Mercy hold in our prayers those who were injured or who died in the explosion in Boston. One of our critical concerns is non-violence. Our sisters, associates, companions and friends of Mercy promote peace-making at all levels - in families, communities, businesses, nations, and among the countries and people of the world.
West Midwest Elects Leadership Team
Members of West Midwest Leadership Team 2013-2018, are: seated from left: Judith Frikker, RSM, Laura Reicks, RSM, president, and Susan Sanders, RSM. Standing, from left: Maria Klosowski, RSM, Anne Marie Miller, RSM, and Margaret Mary Hinz, RSM.
Amid joyous celebration, six Sisters of Mercy were elected April 6-7 to lead the West Midwest Community of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, a Community which stretches from San Francisco to Detroit.
Elected to a five-year term were: Sister Laura Reicks, RSM, Dubuque, Iowa, president; Sister Judith Frikker, RSM, Omaha, Neb.; Sister Margaret Mary Hinz, RSM, Tinley Park, Ill.; Sister Maria Klosowski, RSM, Farmington Hills, Mich.; Sister Anne Marie Miller, RSM, Sacramento, Calif.; and Sister Susan Sanders, RSM, Darien, Ill.
The election took place during the West Midwest Community’s Assembly held April 3-8 at the Crowne Plaza O’Hare in Rosemont, Ill. In addition to electing the West Midwest Community Leadership Team, Sisters also engaged in discussions to determine the Community’s direction for the next five years. The newly elected members of the West Midwest Community Leadership Team will begin their term on July 1, 2013. They will live in Omaha, Neb., where the Central Office for the West Midwest Community is located.
“The lives of an incredible number of people are touched each day by the presence and ministries of Sisters of Mercy, Associates, and co-workers,” said Sister Laura. “I feel honored to be called to the ministry of leadership as together we make visible the Incarnation of God among us and through us in the Works of Mercy.”
4/1/13--Sister Maurita Sengelaub was inducted into the Modern Healthcare Hall of Fame at a ceremony held at the Hilton Hotel in Chicago on March 10, 2013. The first woman head of the Catholic Hospital Association, now Catholic Health Association (CHA), Sister Maurita was recognized for her 60 years of leadership in health care. Sister Maurita, Don Wegmiller who pushed the hospital industry to integrated systems, and Dr. Denton Cooley who made the first U.S. heart transplant, were given the awards during the America College of Healthcare Executives 2013 Congress on Healthcare Leadership.
Sister Maurita began her career as a nurse in 1937 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI. She then joined the faculty at the Mercy Central School of Nursing at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, with units located at MercyHospital, Muskegon and MercyHospital, Bay City. She felt called to enter the Sisters of Mercy in 1945 and was sent to St. LouisUniversity for her master’s in health care administration.
Sister Clare Marie Dalton given Medical Community Service Award in Sacramento
Sister Clare is shown with Dr. David Herbert, president of the SierraSacramentoValley Medical Society
Sister Clare Marie Dalton, RSM, vice president of Mission Integration at Mercy GeneralHospital, was awarded the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society’s prestigious 2012 Medical Community Service Award at their annual awards and installation dinner on Jan. 17. This award was presented to Sister Clare as a nonphysician community member who has made a significant contribution to a medical or public health issue.
The society noted: Clare’s participation in regional activities benefiting the poor and underserved, her advocacy and her tireless work to ensure that the underserved have access to quality medical care.
Clare has worked to provide quality healthcare in multiple capacities with Dignity Health. She served as a registered nurse at Mercy GeneralHospital and Mercy Medical Center Redding through the mid-1980s, tending to intensive care and trauma patients. In 1991, she transitioned to director of mission integration at MercySan JuanMedicalCenter and later served in a similar capacity at the Dignity Health corporate office in Rancho Cordova, providing spiritual care to employees and managing community outreach programs. Since 2006, Clare has been vice president of mission integration at Mercy GeneralHospital, managing the chaplain, health ministry, nurse school health and volunteer departments.
Sister M. Maurita Sengelaub Honored by Modern Healthcare
Sister M. Maurita Sengelaub of Farmington Hills, MI, has been chosen as an inductee into Modern Healthcare's Hall of Fame. Maurita began her career in healthcare in 1940 as a nurse at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI. From 1970 to 1977, she was president of the Catholic Hospital Association (now Catholic Health Association) and the first woman to hold that position. She and two others will be honored at a ceremony Sunday, March 10, at the Hilton Chicago during the America College of Healthcare Executives 2013 Congress on Healthcare Leadership. The three inductees will then be profiled in the March 11 issue of Modern Healthcare. To read more,
Diversity Award presented to Readiness Center and Sister Paulita Walters
Lake Michigan College presented its annual Diversity Award to the Readiness Center of Benton Harbor, MI, and Sister Paulita Walters, RSM, its founder and executive director. Sister Paulita received the awarded at the college's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration held Monday, Jan. 21.
The LMC Diversity Award is presented annualy to an individual or organization that embraces and values the diversity of the greater community and promotes connections across differences.
Sister Paulita founded the program in 1980 with a $2,000 grant. She had a vision of giving pre-school children the tools they need to succeed in school by creating a nurturing environment and by involving parents. Over the past 33 years, she and her dedicated staff have done just that serving more than 1,000 families and showing significant results. For example, their studies have shown that 90 percent of the children participating perform up to their ability and the high school graduation rate of their graduates is 97 percent. Many center graduates go on to college. Their parents also stay involved in their children's education.
Services have grown over the years as well. Today, the Readiness Center also has an after-school program for teens and a program in which young adults tutor and mentor younger children and are compensated for half of their time. The center also offers parent and adult education.
January is 'Anti-Human Trafficking Awareness' month.
All people of faith were invited to pray together this past weekend (Jan. 11-13) to strengthen our resolve to work together for an end to human trafficking. Learn more at: http://www.weekendofprayer.net/.
Human trafficking, both for labor and sex, is among the largest and fastest-growing criminal enterprises in the world. Labor trafficking dominates much of the world economy, and accounts for upwards of two-thirds of the estimated 27 million people enslaved today. Sex trafficking, the more common form in the United States, depends on the willingness of men to pay for sex, and all too often from minors. The average age at which a girl is forced into prostitution in America is 11-13, and it is the most vulnerable among us who are being abused.
Next week our nation celebrates the 150th anniversary of the 'Emancipation Proclamation', as the new film 'Lincoln' details the heroic efforts of our 16th President to secure passage of the 13th Amendment. The 13th Amendment made slavery illegal and so ended slavery in the 1800s for all intents and purposes. Unfortunately, as we now realize, slavery still exists in our country, both in the form of sex trafficking and labor trafficking. During this month of Anti-Human Trafficking Awareness, a number of leaders and faith organizations plan to speak out.
Band of Sisters, a documentary produced by Mercy Associate Mary Fishman, continues its showings throughout the country. The movie, eight years in the making, highlights the lives of many communities of women religious since Vatican II. In the 50 years since the Council, the sisters have moved into civil rights, women's rights, immigration reform, environmental justice and a host of other causes. Fishman chronicles the changes in their thinking and patterns of living, emphasizing their constant focus on carrying out their mission in new ways.
Mary Fishman is a native of Chicago. She was educated by the Springfield Dominican Sisters at St. Walter School and the Sisters of Mercy at Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, she was an architect and urban planner in Chicago before switching to filmmaking. She began work on Band of Sisters in 2004. For more about the movie and to schedule a showing, visit www.bandofsistersmovie.com.
Love in Action Features San Francisco Sisters
The lives and mission of sisters so impressed students at the University of San Francisco that three undergraduates and a resident minister made a short film “Love in Action,” focused on women religious in the Bay Area. The filmmakers felt it urgent to show the courage and vision of the sisters from a variety of religious communities living lives for others.
“These women have committed to lives of service, simplicity, and faith and spent countless hours working in the areas of education, domestic violence, women’s rights, faith development, and homelessness,” said students Lucas Waldron, Lauryn Gregorio, Evan Vaughan and USF Resident Minister Emily Czarnik-Neimeyer in a statement.
Sisters Judy Carle, Marilyn Lacey, and Taryn Stark were included in the film which was shown at the November 2012 Ignatian Solidarity Network’s Family Teach in for Justice.
“I’ve been collecting cans for 20 years!” said Sister Rita Marie Brennan, a resident of Mercy Convent in Chicago. While it is true that recycling helps the environment, Rita Marie started her can collecting for a different reason: to help a young man in need.