Sister Inga, OLM; Sister Confida, OLM; Sister Mary Ruth, OLM; Sister Mary Claire, OLM; Auri, Amy, Sister Caterina, OLM. Photo courtesy/Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy
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From the beginning, the mystery and message of Divine Mercy has been at the heart of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, characterizing its spirituality and giving shape to its mission. With the proclamation of mercy as their charge, the sisters live an active-contemplative life under the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
The Congregation was founded in Warsaw, Poland in 1862 by Mother Teresa Potocka, OLM (1814-1881). At the beginning of her religious life, Mother Potocka journeyed to France, by advice of her spiritual director, where she put herself under the guidance of Mother Teresa Rondeau (1793-1866) the co-foundress of the congregation, who had opened "Mercy Houses" which worked to help restore morally fallen women and girls. Following her formation, Mother Potocka returned to Poland as foundress bringing with her the apostolic work and rule of Mother Rondeau's congregation. Later in 1878, both the French and Polish houses merged into one order which was officially approved by the Holy See with Mother Potocka appointed as the first superior general.
It was to this congregation, already marked by the charism of mercy and zeal for the salvation of souls, that God called St. Faustina Kowalska, the spiritual co-foundress of the order. At the request of Jesus, St. Faustina wrote a Diary, "Divine Mercy in My Soul," becoming the apostle and secretary of the Divine Mercy. By her life and writings, God "bestowed on the congregation, the charism of proclaiming to the world God's merciful love to man." The mission and calling of each of the sisters is thus to be a living sign of mercy for the modern man, a light in the midst of darkness, bringing the message of God's love to the world; especially to the abandoned, the despairing and the hardened sinner.
In 1988, Bernard Cardinal Law invited the congregation to bring the message of Divine Mercy to the archdiocese of Boston, where the sisters eventually founded a formation house at St. Ann in Dorchester. Today, the sisters in Dorchester continue to spread the message of Divine Mercy in two ways. First, by giving talks at conferences and parish missions, visiting prisons and nursing homes, distributing Divine Mercy materials through their online bookstore and organizing-directing retreats at "His Land" in Lakeville. Second, and most importantly, through prayer and sacrifice. "The Congregation's apostolate consists first of all in the witness of the consecrated life, which according to the foundresses' intention is expressed by trust in the mercy of God, by prayer...and also by the ministry of deeds of mercy." Through prayer, the sisters embrace the needs of the world, the Church, and the people entrusted to them by God's providence, presenting them to the Merciful Heart of Our Lord. "I have opened My Heart as a living fountain of mercy," Our Lord told St. Faustina. "Let all souls draw life from it. Let them approach this sea of mercy with great trust." (Diary of St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, 1520)
For vocation inquiries, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to: 241 Neponset Ave., Dorchester, MA 02122.
To learn more about the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, upcoming events and their bookstore, or to submit a prayer request, visit their website at: SisterFaustina.org.
For information on His Land retreat house, visit: His-Land.com.
Amy Green is a postulant with the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. She entered the religious order on Nov. 1st, 2015, after graduating from Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, Merrimack, NH.