Mercy Day 2018
Mercy Day is September 24. This annual Mercy High School event honors the day when the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, Mother Catherine McAuley, opened the first House of Mercy in Dublin. Today’s celebration included a Mass and program by seniors educating other students about McAuley’s life. This year’s play began with Catherine on her deathbed with her sisters gathered around her. She flashes back to important events she remembers in her life. A highlight of the program is the unveiling of the seniors who portray McAuley. This is considered one of the biggest honors students can receive and is voted on by the senior class.
This year’s two Catherine McAuleys were Anne Laferla who served as the narrator of the play and Shacty Alvarez-Hurtado who portrayed Catherine on stage.
Anne knew after she shadowed at Mercy that she wanted to attend the school. She has had a job for most of her high school years and works at a child care center four days a week. She has found time to be a Eucharistic Minister, a member of Board Club, and Girls State her junior year. Her favorite classes are Guitar and English. She plans to study photojournalism in college.
“I hope I live up to the honor my classmates have given me in portraying Catherine,” she said.
One of the reasons Shacty decided to attend Mercy was because it was a school, “that let me experience my faith throughout the school day.”
She is currently the Vice President of FBLA, a member of the Pastoral Council and Pro-Life Club. She was a Nocturne princess freshman and sophomore year, a May Court member freshmen year, and Class Secretary sophomore and junior year. She is on the tennis team and hopes to be part of the stage crew for the spring play. Her current college plans include majoring in either theology or public administration.
“When I found out I was named Catherine, I was really surprised. I hope I can represent Catherine for what she was—a great example of the Mercy mission in action,” she said.
Mercy Day was also a special day for alumnae and members of the Mercy community. The school reached out to former students who played Mother McAuley to share reflections on what the honor meant to them. Their reflections are featured here.
At the same time, alumnae throughout the country shared pictures and comments on social media using the hashtag #OMercyDay2018. A Facebook Live of the play garnered about 600 viewers.
At the end of the play, seniors showed a video of several Sisters of Mercy and Mercy Volunteer Corp members talking about the impact Catherine McAuley has had on their lives.
Pictures from the day are available here.