More than 500 Mount St. Mary Academy students, faculty and staff spent the morning of September 22 volunteering at nearly 25 locations across central Arkansas. The schoolwide day of community service took place in honor of Mercy Day. Around the world, Mercy Day is celebrated to commemorate the day Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy, opened the first House of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland, in 1827 to serve the sick and poor.
In the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy founder, and as a sponsored ministry of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Mount honors this important anniversary each year by completing acts of service on its campus, in its surrounding neighborhood and throughout the Little Rock area. The school contributed approximately 800 hours of hands-on service to its community on September 22.
According to Mount’s director of campus ministry, Josh Salman, this work not only enables students to uphold the Mercy Values and live in the example of Catherine McAuley but also provides the opportunity to grow closer to God.
“Every year on Mercy Day, each of us gets the chance to serve others, directly or indirectly, and this service helps us see our lives with ‘kingdom-colored glasses,’ to see glimpses of the kingdom of heaven here and now among us,” Mr. Salman said. “Service is so much more than random acts of kindness or generosity. My hope is that our students can see the face of God in the people around them while serving.”
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: ACCESS, The Allen School, Allsopp Park, Arkansas Foodbank, Arkansas House of Prayer, Calvary Cemetery, Camp Aldersgate, Central Arkansas Library System, Easterseals Arkansas Center for Training and Wellness, The Helping Hand of Greater Little Rock, Home for Healing, Immerse Arkansas, Jericho Way Day Resource Center, Little Rock Compassion Center, Live Thankfully Little Rock, Missionaries of Charity Abba House, North Little Rock Catholic Academy, 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.