Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament Celebrate their Foundation Day!

“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith”(Heb. 13:7). On this solemnity of the Annunciation, we remember Mary’s “Yes” given to the angel Gabriel. This “Yes” has been imitated by so many holy men and women throughout history in response to the needs of their time. María del Refugio was one of these people. The early 1900’s in Mexico was a time of revolution. The Church was seen as an enemy of the common people and was persecuted severely. Maria, though, believed strongly in the Gospel message. She saw the need for authentic Catholic education which focused on the Eucharist and Mary.

Sr Jeanette, local superior in Cleveland.

She founded a group of sisters in Mexico City on March 25, 1910, the Solemnity of the Annunciation. By God’s design, Father Alfredo Scotti, O. de M., Mercedarian, was chosen to be the director and guide of the Institute. Father Scotti became very interested in the well-being of the Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. On July 11, 1925, the sisters were spiritually incorporated in the Order of Mercy. They obtained pontifical approval on July 22, 1948.

In an age, when  many are questioning if Catholic education is a necessary or feasible it is good to look back at the example of leaders such as Mother Maria del Refugio. The times in which she lived in were not that much different than today. Today, we see that persecution is coming from what Pope Benedict calls a secular “dictatorship of relativism”. The pope has been warning us about “aggressive forms of secularism” which no longer value, or even tolerate, religious voices in public life. Mother Refugio faced the same strong opposition to Catholic education in Mexico. Her sisters have always sought “to work eagerly to extend the reign of Jesus in the Eucharist and filial love for our Blessed Mother of Mercy.” This apostolate is expressed through the education of children and youth and their formation in Eucharistic worship and piety. Obviously, these are countercultural values. But, this sort of renew is the answer to the relativism of our culture. Pope Benedict told educators during his visit in April 2008 that, “charity calls the educator to recognize that the profound responsibility to lead the young to truth is nothing less than an act of love.” Teaching children that their dignity and worth is found in the love that God has for us is a priceless gift. The  Mercedarian Sisters strive to prepare a new generation with a firm grounding in the truths of the faith.

Here in the United States, the sisters work with the Friars at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish. For over 13 years, the sisters have staffed the parish school and placed a special emphasis on promoting an authentic catholic identity. This of course means promoting devotion to the Eucharist and veneration of Our Mother of Mercy. During this time the school has been ranked among the best in the City of Cleveland.

Those who may feel that they may have a vocation to the Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament are welcome to contact them at (216) 281 9304.