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Mercy Spirit Present Every Day

February 23, 2018
By Grayce McCormick

Faith is a cornerstone of the Mercy High School community.  One way it manifests itself is through the students’ passion, drive, and for- others centered character.   Alumnae Ashley Shrader Miller ’04 continues to make faith her cornerstone and allows the spirituality of the Sisters of Mercy to motivate her each day as she works as the school’s Campus Minister of Mercy.

Miller knew she was destined to be a Mercy girl since the Open House she attended her 8th grade year.  She had attended a number of recruitment events, but she said there was something about that day at Open House.  She felt as if her grandma, who had lived across from Holy Cross for many years, was saying that Mercy was where she was supposed to be. 

Miller participated in plenty of clubs and activities as a high schooler.  She was involved with Mercy High Singers, Show Choir, Theatre, Justice and Peace Club, Operation Others, National Honor Society, and Student Ambassadors.

At Mercy, Miller said, “I was not only appreciated for who I was, but encouraged to share that person with others. Mercy instilled in me a confidence in myself and my ability to positively impact the world around me.”

This confidence propelled her to graduate from Rockhurst University in 2008 with majors in Communications and Theology, and minors in Theatre Arts and Catholic Studies.  After college, Miller worked for a year as a Youth Minister and Liturgist at the parish level.  Then, she became the Campus Minister at Mercy in the summer of 2009.  She earned a Masters of Arts in Ministry from Creighton University while working at Mercy.  She is now a wife and mother to “two rambunctious boys.” 

“My job is definitely unique,” Miller said, referring to being a Campus Minister at Mercy.  “How many other people can say that they regularly perform skits, bust dance moves, and do other ridiculous things within their workday? It never gets boring.”

She arranges service trips, washes and irons the chapel linens, organizes retreats, plans Masses and prayer services, and spends time with the students.  Most importantly, though, Miller spreads the Mercy spirituality.

“There is something intangible about Mercy,” she said.  “It is a spirit that flows through the building, and I think that stems from our connectedness to Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy.”

This spirit was what brought Miller back to Mercy. 

“I am amazed at how, though things have advanced since I was a student, the same spirit is still so strong,” she said. 

Miller encourages other alumnae to return to Mercy, saying, “Once you get back in the building, especially when it is full of students, you can’t help but feel like you are home!”

According to Miller, she sees Mercy students witness what living a life of service, joy, faith, and merciful love looks like.  Miller witnessed it as a high school student, and now she experiences it herself every day.