Members of the Sister of Mercy West Midwest Community serve in a variety of elementary educational settings. As administrators, teachers, support staff, professional staff, and volunteers, they bring the charism of Mercy to those they serve. In many cities of the West Midwest Community, the presence of Mercy is part of a rich tradition. The oldest school dates back to 1846 when the first elementary school was opened in Chicago by the Sisters of Mercy, the first in the state of Illinois. An historical timeline of the West Midwest Community tells more of the story. Sisters of Mercy and their co-ministers in elementary education gather in an annual conference coordinated by the Mercy Elementary Education Network.