About Mercy: The Sisters of Mercy
Since its inception, Mercy Medical Center has been blessed by the service and
dedication of the Sisters of Mercy. Over the years the Sisters have served
in a wide range of roles in support of the hospital and its mission. The stories below offer some insight into the inidividual journeys of the Sisters who
currently serve the patients, families and staff of
Mercy Medical Center.
Sister Helen Amos, RSM
Executive Chair, Board of Trustees
I was born and raised in what is sometimes
called The Deep South, in Mobile, Alabama. When my older sister, Pat, came
to Baltimore for college (and to Mercy
Hospital for Medical Technology training), my family thought she came home
with a strange accent.
The Sisters of Mercy taught me through elementary and
high school. As I became friends with many of my teachers, particularly those
who guided the school
newspaper, the glee club and sports, I decided to join the community.
I’ve been a teacher and an administrator, including seven years
as President of the Sisters of Mercy. In the latter role I visited
the U.S., in Jamaica, Guyana, Honduras, Belize and Argentina. Observing
the works of Mercy in these cultures was an unforgettable experience.
the four vows we make as Sisters, the vow of obedience has changed most dramatically
in its meaning for me (and all of us) over the years.
it means to me today is searching daily for how to be the best instrument
peace, mercy and justice I can be. God’s work on earth really
is our work.
My work here at Mercy is motivated first of all by the
patients — their
needs, their gratitude for every act of caring we give them, even
only a smile. At the same time, I am moved by the spirit of this
great house of Mercy that lives in our incomparable co-workers
Sister Theresa Carter, RSM
Human Resources Coordinator and Job Coach for the Baltimore
Alliance for Careers in Healthcare Program
Bittberg, Germany was my birthplace. My family moved to the
United States when I was about two years old. My mother was born and
raised in New York
father in Georgia, so I claim both heritages. My family lives in Georgia.
first met the Sisters of Mercy when I was a 13-year-old ninth grader at Mount
de Sales in Macon, Georgia. I saw the Sisters as women who were intelligent,
strong, and happy. These women felt strongly, especially about justice issues.
They remained open to others and their insights, however.
Prior to working
at Mercy Medical Center, I taught both children and adults for about 19 years.
My first years were spent teaching French and then I became
a Certified Reading Specialist. I taught in Georgia; Washington, DC; and
Living the vowed life as a Sister of Mercy is an honor and a privilege.
The vow of service to the poor, sick, and uneducated is unique to us. In
I have been privileged to work with the economically poor and with the wealthy.
Often I have been the one learning. In serving people of different cultures,
experiences, and backgrounds, I have been challenged to broaden my view of
the world and challenged to understand my own limitations and biases.
honored and humbled to work with people who are so passionate about what
they do. It is wonderful to see the influence of Catherine McAuley at Mercy
Medical Center. She understood the importance of meeting the needs of the
Sister Elizabeth Anne Corcoran, RSM
Assistant to the President: Hospitality
My first contact with the Sisters
was at birth, right here at Mercy Hospital! And through my aunt, Sister
Mary Veronica Daily. As a student in the School
of Nursing, I decided to enter the community and Sister Mary Thomas Zinkand
was my mentor during the discernment period and a true friend until the
day she died.
The Sisters’ love and fairness to all persons attracted me: I could
see their love for the very ill. I feel it is a privilege to care for God’s
sick people, and for me it is always an honor to be with a dying patient.
than Mercy Medical Center, I have served at St. Joseph’s Hospital
in Atlanta for nine years. At Mercy I have been the nurse recruiter, director
of Nursing, and vice president for Nursing and Related Areas. I now work
in Hospitality Services in the Conference Center and Lobby area, and am
for the Alumnae Association. I have loved every assignment
over the years, and hope to be part of the Hospitality Services for years
In everyday life the most significant vow for me has been the vow
to the poor, sick and uneducated. Each day I see where, as a Sister of Mercy,
I am able to assist visitors, patients and staff who need help and guidance.
Each time that happens, a feeling of satisfaction comes over me.
Sister Fran Demarco, RSM
Director, Mission Services and Minister to Employees
I was born into a large Italian-American family in Baltimore. Though I had only two sisters, many members of my extended family lived with us in our four bedroom, one bathroom row home. There was an innate sense of community in the neighborhoods of West Baltimore at that time. A large population was Catholic. We attended the same parish school and Sunday Mass together; the parish church was the focal point of our lives. My two sisters married two brothers--childhood sweethearts from elementary school. Lucky for me there wasn’t a third brother!
After high school, I worked at the Social Security Administration for about two years realizing all the while that I was looking for something “more” in my life. I had maintained relationships with the Daughters of Charity and School Sisters of Notre Dame, who had been my teachers, but it was a Sister of Mercy who worked in the Inner City who influenced my final decision to become a Sister of Mercy. I admired her love and commitment to the poor with whom she served. Over the years I have never regretted that choice.
I received my B.A. and M.A. from Mt. St. Agnes College, Baltimore and Duquesne University in Pittsburgh respectively. Later I earned an M.A. in Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore. I have been an elementary school teacher, principal and Pastoral Associate in two Baltimore parishes as well as Pastoral Director of several Mercy sponsored programs and institutions. Ultimately the combination of these ministries and my studies guided me to the position I hold today at Mercy Medical Center. I am Minister to Employees with special emphasis on Mercy’s mission. In this position I am able to provide spiritual and emotional support to employees and staffs of the hospital: “Care for the Caregivers.” The mere existence of my job confirms that the Mercy spirit is alive and in practice. Mercy Medical Center's mission is far more than a framed document on a wall: it is alive in the employees and in the decisions made at the hospital.
Sister Joan Donahue, RSM
Women's Center Concierge
Born in the "City of Brotherly Love" (Philadelphia), I was the youngest of five children reared in a strong Catholic family and neighborhood. Our entire schooling was deeply rooted in the Archdiocesan System; hence, while attending the largest Catholic girls' high school in the City, I had the privilege of being taught by several women religious of varied congregations, one of which was the Sisters of Mercy.
The generosity of "presence" to young women coupled with their joyous spirit and deep spirituality made a lasting impression on me. It was these qualities which I found in the women of Mercy that deeply influenced my decision to enter the Congregation.
Since then the varied ministries of teacher, administrator, principal and pastoral associate have afforded me tremendous opportunities of service. From the ice huts of Alaska to the adobe homes of Mexico; from rhea Indian reservations of the great Northwest to the historical city housing the Declaration of Independence and, also, to the beautiful Flemish country side of Louvain, Belgium --- these cherished assignments continue to motivate me to "wonder at the marvels of God and at what might yet lay ahead."
The vow of service significantly impacts my life's journey as I continue to treasure the persons, places, and events to which I am exposed. These have now brought me to Mercy Medical Center, where I previously ministered as a pastoral person in Outpatient Oncology. Presently, I minister as Concierge in The Weinberg Center for Women's Health and Medicine, where, daily, I encounter so many women who beautifully embrace the serious illness afflicting them. It is here, at Mercy, that I can honestly say that I have come full circle. The journey has been most exciting, extremely challenging, spiritually rewarding and all too brief. I continue, daily, to be empowered by the charisma of Mercy. Indeed, God's call to me has been special..."I have called you by name, you are mine..."
Sister Madonna Gies, RSM
Staff Educator (part-time)
Baltimore was my home from birth through my early
days as a Sister. I first met the Sisters of Mercy at Cecilia’s
School in Baltimore. They were caring, loving women and I wanted to
be like them and to become one of
them. Their example was a strong influence in my life.
After years of
training as young Sister I was assigned to Holy Trinity School in
Washington; St. Mary’s in Rockville; St. John’s in Florida;
Assumption in Atlanta; St. Ignatius and Our Lady of Sorrows in Alabama; Immaculate
Heart of Mary, Shrine of the Sacred Heart, and Mount Washington Country School
in Baltimore; and Sacred Heart in Glyndon. I was principal of four different
schools for 23 years and a teacher for 33 years. I have been teaching at Mercy
Medical Center since 1996 and taught at Stella Maris from 1997 to 2004.
In 1987 I volunteered to move to an extremely poor region in Appalachia, Virginia,
where I remained for nine years. Those years were the greatest for me! I worked
in prison ministry, gave numerous tutor training workshops, participated in
civic community issues, board memberships, and direct service to the poor.
While there, I became certified as a nursing assistant and as a hospice caregiver
for the terminally ill.
My vow of service to the poor, sick and uneducated has always been highly
significant for me. The need for education is everywhere, and I am motivated
each day by my contacts with my students. I have never lost my love for people
or my enthusiasm for teaching.
Sister Patricia Smith, RSM
Leadership Development and Service Excellence
I am a native of Baltimore. My family moved a lot, so I know my way around many neighborhoods. I met the Sisters of Mercy in 1952, when I started at Mt. St. Agnes High School. They were excellent teachers, warm, human women. I entered the convent in 1956.
One of the greatest gifts of my life has been my education, provided and encouraged by my Mercy community. That education has broadened my world beyond the borders of my mind and my geography. I received my undergraduate degree in Latin Education from Mt. St. Agnes College, my Masters in Theology from the University of San Francisco and my PhD in Theology from the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto, Canada. I taught Latin, French and Religion at Mercy High School. Some of my students work at Mercy. I taught Theology at Mt. St. Agnes, Loyola and St. Francis (Loretto, PA) Colleges. I was Academic Dean and Professor of Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary and served as community theologian for the Sisters of Mercy, Baltimore. Most recently, I was Vice-President of the Sisters of Mercy, Baltimore Regional Community. In all these ministries, I discovered my identity as a teacher, and cherish that identity.
Having ministered here at Mercy as Assistant to the President for Theology, Mission and Ethics (1992-2000), I returned here in January 2010, working in Leadership Development and Service Excellence. What drew me back was Mercy’s commitment both to clinical excellence and to compassionate care, values dear to Catherine McAuley, Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy. Mercy’s employees inspire me with their dedication to patient care – their professionalism and gracious, courteous presence. They live our mission each and every day.
I have a great family. My sister, Carol Smith, has retired as a Circuit Court judge of Baltimore City and continues as a sitting judge and mediator between disputing parties. My brother, Jim “Snuffy” Smith, has been a business consultant and college and high school basketball coach. Currently, he teaches as an adjunct faculty member at Stevenson University and the University of Baltimore. Referring to himself as a middle child, he says that he lives “between the Law and the Lord,” and has all his bases covered. I have niece and two married nephews, two great-nieces and two great-nephews.
May we always cherish the privileged call to serve God’s people. And may we always live up to our name, which is the name of God, MERCY.
Sister Regina Werntz, RSM
Mission Services and Communications Associate
In 1914, the Sisters of Mercy arrived in Shamokin, PA, to teach the children of the coal miners. They taught my Dad and his siblings, then me and my brothers. I grew up hearing my Dad’s stories, especially how the Sisters nursed the sick during the 1918 influenza epidemic. It seems as if I always wanted to be a Sister.
Following high school graduation from St. Cyril Academy, I entered the Sisters of Mercy in Dallas, PA. Destined for teaching, I earned a bachelor of science degree in education from College Misericordia and a master of arts degree in theological studies from the University of Dayton.
We Sisters of Mercy vow to serve the poor, sick, and ignorant. As a teacher, I worked with young people—mostly teenagers-- in five states. Through communications ministry for the Sisters of Mercy, I tried to further our mission by strengthening the links among us and finding new ways to tell our story. Mission Services ministry took me to Mercy hospitals in Ohio, Missouri, and Arkansas. In August 2010, I came to Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, serving in Mission Services and as a Communications Associate for Mercy Health Foundation.
Years ago, when visiting Mercy, I first observed the sign, “The Sisters of Mercy welcome you.” Now, I smile each time I see that sign, happy to be in a place which Catherine McAuley would recognize as one of her own. It reminds me of a line from a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ:
I say that we are wound
With mercy round and round
As if with air.
Also serving the patients and families
of Mercy Medical Center are Sister
Mary Harper, RSM, and Sister Annella Martin, RSM.