The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

September 23, 2013

Mount Aloysius College observing 186 years of service tradition with Mercy Week

Kelly Urban

— Mount Aloysius College is celebrating a week of service that will wrap up with homecoming festivities.

The Cresson school is one of 16 colleges in the U.S. serving under the Sisters of Mercy that is currently observing Mercy Week through Saturday.

The week is marked by Mercy traditions inspired by 186 years of service throughout the world, which began in Dublin, Ireland, on Sept. 24, 1827.

College President Tom Foley said the core values of the Sisters of Mercy are part of the institutional fabric.

“We want to ensure that qualities of respect, care and dignity are the rule, not the exception, on this campus, directly linking us to the Mercy traditions and to those four core Mercy values of hospitality, justice, service and mercy,” he said.

Various activities have been planned throughout the campus.

At noon today, the feast of Our Lady of Mercy, an all-college liturgy presided over by the Rev. John Slovikovski, will be held in the college’s Health and Physical Fitness Center.

On Wednesday, Sister Marie Michele Donnelly, RSM, who serves as an adjunct professor in religious studies at Gwynedd-Mercy College and also teaches at the Church Ministry Institute for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, will present “Common Good and Spirituality” at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall. The talk will be consistent with the college’s theme for the 2013-2014 academic year of “The Common Good-Citizens in the 21st Century.”

She will present the lecture again at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in Alumni Hall.

Both events are free and open to the public.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, the public is invited to attend the Vox Nova “Mercy Concert” in the Our Lady of Mercy Chapel.

Mercy Week also will include historical and artistic displays throughout campus.

“With our celebration of Mercy Week 2013, we mark the rich history of this college, its Mercy story and its educational service through its 160 year history,” said Sister Helen Marie Burns, RSM, the college’s vice president of mission integration.

The end of the week will usher in the college’s homecoming with a dance Friday evening, followed by a series of athletic and social activities throughout the day Saturday.

In the Health & Physical Fitness Center, an all-day volleyball tournament starts at 10 a.m., and at Calandra-Smith Baseball Field, a double-header scrimmage will begin at 10 a.m.

Campus activities will include carnival food, a cartoon artist, face painting, Joust Man, an obstacle course competition and opportunities to make a street sign or spin art T-shirt.

For a full schedule of homecoming weekend events, visit at

Kelly Urban is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at