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Comfortable Cup of Tea

September 20, 2019
By Deb Daley

When many people think about tea, they recall a famous tea party that took place in Boston.  For the Mercy community, one of our treasured traditions is sharing a comfortable cup of tea. Upon her deathbed, Mother Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, asked her community of sisters to “be sure to have a comfortable cup of tea for them when I am gone.”  The comfortable cup of tea has become of symbol of hospitality and kindness for Mercy.

Mercy events often feature cups of tea.  Each fall, women who have celebrated their 50th reunion from Mercy, St. John’s and St. Mary’s attend the Golden Guild Tea to celebrate their golden jubilees.  On Mercy Day, September 24, many alumnae across the country gather to have a cup of tea and celebrate their comradery and connection to Mercy. At the school, Sister Jeanne O’Rourke, RSM, Spiritual Adviser, holds teatime periodically and invites student to talk about school, personal struggles and whatever else is on their mind over pastries and cups of tea in a special room on the second floor.  In fact, the teacup symbol is depicted on one of the stained-glass windows near the front of Mercy’s chapel. 

Being around Women of Mercy is a warm place to be—just like a comfortable cup of tea.