WEST HARTFORD – Twenty-five Sisters of Mercy participated in a festive liturgical celebration commemorating sisters’ 55th- through 75th-year anniversaries.
Twenty-four Mercy sisters marked significant anniversaries that represent more than 1,500 years of fostering and developing dedicated service throughout the dioceses in Connecticut and Central America.
Their works include many varied ministries, from prison programs, special education, autism and theology to pastoral services, spiritual direction, nursing, health care, early childhood education, higher education, religious education direction, leadership administration and efforts to relieve homelessness.
Sister Marita Charles Murphy was especially recognized for 75 years in Mercy ministry throughout Connecticut. She was educated by the Sisters of Mercy in her home parish in Rockville and entered the order of Mercy upon her graduation in 1940 from St. Joseph College, now the University of St. Joseph, in West Hartford.
Sister Marita was a dedicated educator, serving as a classroom teacher, several appointments as principal, and director of guidance at Lauralton Hall in Milford.
Sister Marita gave her life to her students, community and the dioceses of Connecticut for nearly 60 years prior to her academic retirement.
She then volunteered her many gifts in direct assistance to the elderly poor, itself a hallmark of the renowned Mercy fourth vow of service.
Today, at 97, Sister Marita resides at St. Mary Home, part of Mercy Community Health. She said she has always had a gift of adaptability to change.
“I’ve been able to accept whatever comes and maintain a peaceful heart,” she said. Characterizing her religious life, she said, “Prayer, gratitude and relationships.”
The Sisters of Mercy, Northeast Region are part of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, whose charism is based on the corporal and spiritual works of Mercy and the example of its Dublin foundress Catherine McAuley dating from 1831.
The central office for the more than 3,000 American religious women is located in Silver Spring, Md.
The sisters continue to serve the critical unnumbered needs of the underserved, especially women and children.