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Mercy Day: A Tribute to Catherine McAuley

September 22, 2017
By Deb Daley

Mercy High School’s Mercy Day, celebrated at the school on September 22, (the official date is September 24), is the annual event that honors the day that the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, Mother Catherine McAuley, opened her house in Dublin. The celebration included a Mass and program by seniors educating other students about McAuley’s life. A highlight of the program is the unveiling of the seniors who portrayed McAuley. This is considered one of the biggest honors students can receive and is voted on by the senior class.

This year’s four Catherine McAuleys depicted three virtues in Catherine’s life—humility, advocacy and hospitality as well as the younger Catherine..

Lauren Ramaekers illustrated Catherine’s life of humility. She plays softball, soccer and is part of the Show Choir. Lauren is a member of National Honor Society (NHS) and Divina, a prayer group that meets in the chapel, and was a Student Council representative her freshman and sophomore years as well as a member of the May Court during her sophomore year. She also sang in the Mercy Singers and was in “Miracle on 34th Street,” her freshman year.

“Being chosen as Catherine gave me a real spiritual boost and confidence that my approach to life is right,” she said.

Lauren went on last spring’s immersion service trip to the Dominican Republic and that journey helped her formulate plans for the future. She wants to attend Creighton University and major in Biology and Spanish, enter pre-med, become a surgeon and use those skills to serve others.

Highlighting Catherine’s life of advocacy, a time when McAuley took her vows and started her missions, was Abigail Jones. A second year cheerleader, she is a Student Ambassador and a member of NHS. She also was a member of May Court her freshman year and Nocturne Court her sophomore year. Abigail is active in Divina and each summer she serves as a junior counselor for Camp Fun and Faith. Her sister Erin graduated from Mercy last year and also portrayed Catherine McAuley, her younger sister, Clara, is a freshman and her mom, Kathy Daley Jones ’88, is executive assistant to the president.

“I am honored that my classmates see God through me. I have strived to be an example of His grace,” she said.

The senior hopes to study pre-med or courses for a physician’s assistant in college.

Portraying the virtue of hospitality was Anne Jandrain. She is a member of Operation Others Core Team and NHS. A leg injury, while running Cross Country and Track freshman year, has sidelined Anne from competition but she serves as the team manager for those sports. She was a member of the May Court her freshman year, Nocturne Court her sophomore year and Prom Court her junior year. She volunteers each year at the Our Lady of Lourdes Festival and her two older sisters, Christine ’07 and Mary ’16 graduated from Mercy. Mary also portrayed Catherine McAuley.

“There are so many nice girls here that this honor has truly touched me. I try to treat everyone with kindness and compassion,” she said.

Molly Bartek-Miller portrayed the younger Catherine. She plays soccer, is on the swim team and is member of Operations Others Core Team. She was on the Nocturne Court her junior year and her sister Clarice graduated in 2015

“This is a very special honor. I try to be positive and make people smile wherever I go and my classmates appreciate that attitude,” she said.

At the end of the play an invitation was issued by the Class of 2018 to all Sisters of Mercy and Mercy High School graduates in the audience to come to the front of Franey Hall to sing the Suscipe of Catherine McAuley.