Nearly 500 Mount St. Mary Academy students, faculty and staff spent the morning of September 23rd volunteering at 22 locations across central Arkansas. The schoolwide day of community service took place in honor of Mercy Day. This special day, celebrated by the global Mercy community, commemorates the day Catherine McAuley opened the first House of Mercy on Baggot Street in Dublin, Ireland, in 1827 to serve the sick and poor.
In the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy founder, Mount St. Mary honors this important date in history each year by completing acts of service on its campus, in its surrounding neighborhood and throughout the Little Rock area. This year, to recognize its milestone five-year anniversary, Mercy Education invited its 55 member schools to “Celebrate with Service” by collectively accruing five years’ worth of service – 43,800 total volunteers hours – in honor of Mercy Day. Mount St. Mary Academy proudly contributed 988 hours toward this goal.
This year’s Mercy Day activities included cleaning and picking up trash, preparing meals, sorting clothing, and helping with various additional tasks at churches, schools and organizations that serve those in need. Work was completed at the following sites: The Allen School, Allsopp Park, Calvary Cemetery, Camp Aldersgate, CareLink, Central Arkansas Library System, Easterseals, The Helping Hand of Greater Little Rock, Home for Healing, Jericho Way Day Resource Center, Little Rock Compassion Center, Live Thankfully Little Rock, Missionaries of Charity Abba House, Museum of Discovery, Recycle Bikes for Kids, River City Ministry, St. Joseph Center of Arkansas, St. Theresa Catholic School, Stewpot, War Memorial Park and Mount St. Mary Academy.
Once service work was completed, the MSM community gathered together in the McAuley Center gymnasium for a special all-school Mercy Day Mass. The day of celebration ended with Mercy Education’s missioning of Sara Jones as Mount St. Mary Academy’s new head of school. Mount was honored to have Kimberly Baxter, Mercy Education associate director for programs and services, in attendance to lead the special ceremony.
View photos from this year’s Mercy Day at https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjA9FYN.