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SPRING / SUMMER 2020 ISSUE 2039 North Geyer Road Saint Louis MO 63131 www.mercycenterstl.org


n the heart of this season of Lent, we find ourselves in the midst of a world turned upside down as a result of the coronavirus/ COVID-19 pandemic, with schools, businesses, nursing homes and whole communities locked down. Sadly, there have also been some individuals, groups, and governments engaged in reactions born of panic, fear, greed, disrespect for science, and disregard for the health, safety, family and financial well-being of the community and the world. At Mercy Conference and Retreat Center, we are choosing to respond mindfully versus reacting. On our website, you will find the preventative measures we have put in place to protect our guests, staff, and Sisters. We are adhering to all federal, state, and local requirements regarding group sizes at events and gathering. We are working with individuals and groups who have had to cancel programs or registrations, or with whom we need to cancel, to offer opportunities to reschedule or to provide full refunds if other dates are not available. Our commitment to you is that we will stand


in solidarity with each one of you in prayer and respond with mercy and justice as the situation unfolds. At Mercy Center, our doors will remain open to the individuals and smaller groups who find that a quiet refuge is even more needed during this time. Even small pockets of peace in the midst of chaos can make a difference, and so we will offer reflections and other meaningful messages online in the coming months. Each person, whatever their faith tradition, is daily offered the opportunity to make choices and take actions for (or against) mercy and justice. Sometimes it takes a liturgical season, a global pandemic or a focused intention to inspire us. Together, may we reflect mindfully on what is our part in the much-needed efforts to foster kindness, reduce greed, and support our community and world.



Prayer Service At Mercy Conference & Retreat Center


n celebration of the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, patron saint of survivors of trafficking, and the World Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking, over 80 people gathered in the chapel at the Mercy Conference and Retreat Center on Monday, February 10th for a prayer service entitled, “Together Against Trafficking.� The prayer service was co-hosted by U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking and the Mercy Conference and Retreat Center, and open to the public.

St. Josephine Bakhita

During the service, four true stories of survivors of trafficking were shared from four different countries, highlighting different ways that people become victims of both sexual exploitation and forced labor. During the service, four true stories of survivors of trafficking were shared from four different countries, highlighting different ways that people become victims of both sexual exploitation and forced labor.

Around the world it is estimated there are 40 million victims of human trafficking. It is the second largest crime in the world, present in every country and every state of the United States. The ages of

survivors range from toddlers to adults and crosses all genders, races, religions, and classes. Each of the stories was split into two parts: how they became victims of trafficking and how they escaped thanks to the support of others like neighbors or women religious. As each story was shared, a piece of a puzzle with words connected to human trafficking in various languages was placed up front, with the final piece containing the words: together against trafficking, representing the international efforts to end human trafficking. Towards the end of the service participants were invited to write down a word they were taking with them from the experience and then post it around the puzzle. Some of the most common words were hope, love, and prayer. The gathering concluded with words from Sr. Esther Hogan, CPPS a member of TOGETHER AGAINST TRAFFICKING US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking who works with survivors of human trafficking in St. Louis. She shared about her work and encouraged all those present to join in prayer and action to end human trafficking and support survivors.


"We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us."

Jan 31 – Feb 1, we welcomed Jessica Fillingham and Krissi Vandagriff, MSW, to facilitate Enneagram Stances: Recognizing our Intelligence Centers. Over 80 people signed up quickly! For those new to the Enneagram, this workshop helped them begin to practice awareness and narrow down their “Type” to three likely possibilities. Those experienced in the Enneagram deepened their understanding and application of the gifts of the Enneagram using practical exercises for personal transformation. The energy over the two-day workshop was fantastic.

Catherine McAuley

For the Circle of Mercy is Timeless

Catherine's Circle

“Taking a broader look at the stances was helpful. I started trying to fit what I was learning into my number, learning to balance the centers was eye opening. I especially appreciated the time for group discussions” “The Presenters were excellent, easy to understand and to follow. Amazing speakers, very gifted in what they do and share.” “Mercy Center had wonderful service and a great environment” “I have learned a great deal about the Intelligence Centers the information is so relevant to my daily life, and integrates more knowledge about my type Wish I had learned about this a lot sooner!”


Introducing Catherine’s Circle - A Monthly Donor Circle


t Mercy Conference and Retreat Center, we believe that when individuals are refreshed and renewed they can renew their communities and transform our world. It is why we welcome individuals and groups into a tranquil environment of hospitality where personal, spiritual and professional growth can occur. Catherine McAuley invited the people in Dublin, Ireland, to support her in responding to the needs of her time. Today, we extend a special invitation to you to become a member of Catherine’s Circle - a Monthly Donor Circle. Through your monthly sustaining gift, you will make a profound difference in the lives of individuals and groups in our community and world. Your monthly financial gift makes a BIG IMPACT as it goes toward supporting our programs and continuing to provide hospitality and sacred spaces.

SAVE THE DATE May 7th , 2020 will be a great day of generosity in St. Louis. Get excited and ready to share your enthusiasm for Mercy Conference and Retreat Center throughout the day. We will have NEW CAMPAIGNS this year for you to support. New this year – Early donations accepted after April 6 Let’s show St. Louis how we can make a difference in just 1 Day. Check back in April for details. Thank you! https://www.givestlday.org/mercycenterstl #GiveMercyCenterSTL

Please visit our website to become a Catherine’s Circle Founding Member or contact us for more information www.mercycenterstl.org or 314-966-4686.

Take time away to relax, refresh, and go within. Private and Directed Retreats are available throughout the year, as space is available.

Spir itual Dir ection Spend time in confidential conversation in which God’s Spirit is present as you share with one of our spiritual advisors. For more information, contact Rita O’Dea at 314-909-4663.

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round the halls of Mercy Conference and Retreat Center some would argue - the day doesn’t really begin until you hear “Good Morning” from the sweet and cheerful voice of our very own, Sister Agnes! That welcome isn’t reserved for just her co-workers - Agnes is the essence of Mercy hospitality! Always welcoming retreatants, directees, and guests with warmth and enthusiasm. Recently, we celebrated her 20-years of service as a spiritual director who guides individual retreats, coordinates group retreats and provides individual spiritual companioning. Agnes also has been part of the Spirituality Team coordinating Yoga and other programs, Spirit Committee, Mercy Formation, Special Events, and she faithfully listens to and posts all of our prayer requests. She truly is the heart for the whole campus! Thank you, Sister Agnes, for all the gifts you bring to Mercy Center. We are so lucky to share our days with you.


An Evening with Carrie Newcomer and Pianist Gary Walters

Saturday, June 6, 2020 – 7:30 PM - Doors open at 6:30 Carrie Newcomer is a recording artist and educator, described as a “prairie mystic” by the Boston Globe and one who “asks all the right questions” by Rolling Stone. This event is a fundraiser benefiting Mercy Conference and Retreat Center Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – South Central Community.

MINDFULNESS MERCY CONFERENCE AND RETREAT CENTER continues to support those seeking mindfulness in daily life. Our programs have grown to include a variety of offerings: Foundations of Mindfulness – a 4-week session to explore the practices and benefits of mindfulness. Led by Coke Hennessy Deepening Mindfulness – a 4-week session for those who have some grounding in mindfulness practice. Led by Coke Hennessy Mindful Meet-Up – one evening a month for all who are interested – whether you are new to mindfulness or want to delve deeper – all are welcome. Led by Coke Hennessy Mindfulness in Nature - Experience mindfulness practices outdoors including: mindful eating, walking meditation, and mindful nature activities. – Led by Lucy Freeman Mindful Self-Compassion – a week-long Skills Training Intensive Workshop. Led by Kristy Arbon A sampling of feedback comments from recent Foundations of Mindfulness program held in March 2020: “Conference Center was warm & welcoming, I felt like I had come home. Coke was fabulous!” “Don’t hesitate to take this course!” “Everything was helpful. I will use all of it, the resource manual is especially nice to return to for refreshing of new information.” “Coke was exceptional, peaceful, kind, trustworthy, loving, nonjudgmental, hopeful - just what is needed. I sought her out and was thrilled I could sign-up for this class.”


Tickets on Sale Now – General Admission - $35 Reserved Seating $55 includes reserved seating and parking. Doors open at 6:30 PM Purchase your tickets online at www.mercycenterstl.org or mail in a check Attn: Carrie Newcomer Concert

Mini-Retreat Seminars Friday Evening, June 5th - Our Lives As Sacred Story:  A Creative Exploration of the Stories that Sustain Us  Carrie invites participants to explore the depth and value of our own stories. This class explores paying attention and honoring our daily experiences.  Carrie will use conversation, exploratory writing, music, individual and group creative experiences.  Saturday Morning, June 6th - The Beautiful Not Yet:  Hope as a Resource  Carrie will explore maintaining hope and our ability to envision during times of individual and community challenges. Carrie will use music, poetry, reflective writing, small and large group conversations to explore personal stories and practices that keep us resilient and help us to stay centered in daily, faithful, and life-giving action. The retreats will be conducted in a safe and welcoming atmosphere. No previous experience with creative art forms is necessary. Create your weekend experience by adding an overnight stay, picnic dinner before the concert, or a Mini-Retreat Seminar or two!  Please visit our website for all the details and registration  www.mercycenterstl.org

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2039 North Geyer Road Saint Louis, MO 63131 www.mercycenterstl.org 2039 North Geyer Road, Saint Louis MO 63131



Impelled by the Gospel, the Mercy Conference and Retreat Center, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, provides a tranquil environment of hospitality and healing in the Mercy tradition, where groups and individuals of all faiths can engage in prayer, reflection and dialogue for personal, communal and global transformation.

Kevin Lee, Chair Tonia Burke, Vice-Chair Sandy Shotwell, Sec/Treas Angela M. Brennan Judy Carron, RSM John (Jack) Fox Jan Hayes, RSM Rev Anthony McPherson Deborah Moll Jacquelynn Richmond Laura Richter Diarmuid Rooney Don Schepers Matt Walsh Carolyn Wright

Our vision is to be a thriving oasis of vibrant spirituality which is expansive, integrative, inclusive and responsive to the needs of seekers of peace, personal growth, and development.


under the light of a full moon Enjoy a self-guided meditative walk in our Labyrinth under the light of a full moon with Staff present from 8:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. (weather permitting). Free. No registration needed. ​ e suggest you bring your own ​flashlight for the W walk to the labyrinth​. For more information please visit our website: www.mercycenterstl.org Please note: The mulch path to the labyrinth is a bit uneven. Please use caution. • Thursday, May 7- Flower Moon • Friday, June 5 - Strawberry Moon


• Sunday, July 5 - Buck Moon

CALL 314-966-4686

• Monday, August 3 - Sturgeon Moon

CLICK www.mercycenterstl.org

• Wednesday, September 2 - Corn Moon

E-MAIL info@mercycenterstl.org FOLLOW US


• Thursday, October 1 - Harvest Moon note: We will not be hosting a full moon walk in July. 

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