Academy commemorates Mercy Day

106
AOLG Class of 1976 presents a scholarship to AOLG Freshman Azia Pilar Bay-Asen, center. Class of 1976 originally presented their gift to Sr. Angela Perez in the summer for an incoming student. From left to right, AOLG principal Mary A. T. Meeks ‘69, Jesusa Pangelinan Williams ‘76, Edi Villanueva Alvarez ‘76, scholarship recipient Azia Pilar Bay-Asen ‘21, Lorraine Banu (mother of Azia), AOLG vice principal Daphne K. Castillo, and AOLG president Sr. Angela Perez, RSM ’64. (Photo provided by AOLG)

For the Umatuna Si Yu’os

The Academy of Our Lady of Guam (AOLG) students, faculty, and staff recently celebrated Mercy Day with a special assembly and liturgy. This special occasion observed yearly, pays tribute to the Sisters of Mercy for their ministry worldwide and commemorates Catherine McAuley, who founded the Sisters of Mercy and opened the first “House of Mercy” in Dublin, Ireland.

The special assembly held on Sept. 20, 2017 at the AOLG Ysrael Auditorium of Fine Arts began with a prayer service that payed tribute to the school’s Mercy heritage followed by a life story video entitled “Circle of Mercy. “ The video recollected Catherine McAuley’s life and journey in Dublin as an advocate for the poor, women and children, sick, and uneducated.

Present and honored at the assembly were AOLG’s Sister Mary Angela Perez, RSM, Sister Dorothy Lettiere, RSM, and Sister Orlean Pereda, RSM. These three sisters continue the legacy of the Sisters of Mercy who provide unrelenting service at the school and local community. To close the assembly, AOLG students from the different grade levels and club organizations presented personalized gifts to the school’s Mercy Sisters.

AOLG Class of 2020 class officers present their class gift to the AOLG Sisters of Mercy. (Photo provided by AOLG)
Fr. Tom McGrath, S.J., center, receives the offertory gifts from Sister Angela Perez, RSM, left; Sister Dorothy Lettiere, RSM, second from left; and Sister Orlean Pereda, RSM, not shown, at the school’s Mercy Day liturgy. (Photo provided by AOLG)

AOLG also held a special liturgy on Sept. 22, 2017 at the Cathedral Basilica as part of the Mercy Day celebration. Father Thomas McGrath, S.J., celebrant of the Mass, reminded those present that “mercy” is not passive; rather, “mercy” must be put into action.

He pointed out that Catherine McAuley led a life that was a perfect example of mercy in action. Today, the Sisters of Mercy locally and worldwide as well as the AOLG “Walking Nuns” continue to exemplify mercy in action following Catherine McAuley’s footsteps in “making mercy real.”

After Mass, AOLG president Sister Mary Angela Perez, RSM addressed the students and those present. She remarked and echoed Fr. James F. Keenan’s, S.J. definition of mercy: “The willingness to enter into chaos of another.” Sister Angela explained, “God gave us a perfect world, but it becomes chaotic. In this respect, God entered the chaos, sending us Jesus.”

In her closing, Sister Angela Perez invited the AOLG Class of 1976 to present their $1,700 scholarship award to -freshman Azia Pilar Bay-Asen.

Congratulations and thank you to the Sisters of Mercy on their celebration of Mercy Day and for 70 years on island. We hope and pray that your ministry will continue to grow on Guam and worldwide.