On Friday, September 22, 2023, Our Lady Academy held its annual Mercy Day celebration. Each year, OLA observes the founding of the House of Mercy on Baggot Street in Dublin, Ireland. Catherine McAuley opened the House of Mercy to shelter and educate women and girls. Mother McAuley founded the Sisters of Mercy in 1831. Her motto, “Let us fit young women for earth without unfitting them for heaven” remains present in the halls and spirit of OLA.
The day consists of a prayer service, formal tea, life skill activities, family picnic, and lots of music, games, and laughter. In a student’s first year at OLA, she is sorted into one of six sisterhoods that are made up of members from grades 7th-12th. The sisterhoods are named after works of mercy important to the Sisters of Mercy: Respect and Dignity, Hospitality, Diversity, Integrity and Compassion, Stewardship, and Justice. In the prayer service, each sisterhood presents an act of service that they will complete this year to help the community. Later in the day, their sisterhoods compete to win the coveted Mercy Day trophy. They competed in corn hole, spike ball, and quiz bowl. This year the Stewardship sisterhood won first place.
At the Mercy Tea, students were served hot tea in unique tea cups donated by previous senior students. Following tradition, the seniors each had a brand new tea cup that they will donate to the school to be used at the tea each year. The Mercy Tea commemorates Mother McAuley’s final statements before her passing. She told the sisters surrounding her to make sure to have a “comfortable cup of tea” when she is gone. The tea represents the warm and caring spirit of Mother McAuley and her vision for the Sisters of Mercy.
Following the tea, the students learned important life skills with their sisterhoods. They learned how to change a tire and jump a car, how to sew a button, and decorated cookies. The family picnic was located on the lawn overlooking the beach. Themed tents, set up by parents, were scattered throughout with food for each grade. Students and families sat on blankets and chairs beneath the historic oak trees as they listened to music. The open mic encouraged students to display their talents.
Mercy Day is a favorite tradition among students, parents, and faculty. It’s a day full of fun and fellowship. It’s a day to remember the positive impact the Sisters of Mercy have had on the education of young women.
We had over 1,600 photos taken at Mercy Day! If you’d like to see more, visit our online gallery: