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Alumni Spotlight: The Many Gifts of Mercy – Community, Faith, and Simplicity

June 4, 2022 will forever be one of my favorite days. Not only did I renew my wedding vows with my husband, Josh, but I was in the presence of many who represent Mercy to me. While I was brought up in the Catholic faith with the Sisters of Mercy, I was able to personalize my Mercy experience when I first became a Mercy Volunteer in 2013. Those two years ultimately inspired me to become a social worker with a heart for social justice. I learned living simply, in community, and with spirituality as the focal point of my life, was key to creating meaningful relationships. It was my passion of living out the charisms of Mercy that laid the foundation for the relationship with my now husband. 

Living in community with Alex and Sonia in Hartford opened my eyes to deep, meaningful relationships. We lived simply while growing together in our discussions and desire for deep connection. Our spirituality nights enlightened me that friends can openly discuss their faith, wrestle with God about major social justice issues, and challenge one another to meet God in different ways. 

I am so grateful for our support team in Hartford, CT, who demonstrated the importance of community. Once we finished our volunteer year in Hartford, we were sent on our way with a journal to pass along in order to remain connected with the Mercy community we were leaving behind. This journal has traveled to Chicago, Philadelphia, Rochester, and Hartford, all while capturing our stories. 

When it came time for me to write the next chapter of my story, marriage, I knew that I needed to have the Mercy community at the center of it. Not only were Alex and Sonia two of my bridesmaids, but Mercy Sisters Judy and Lorraine from Hartford officiated it. Even though Josh did not participate in a year with Mercy Volunteer Corps, he has become a witness to the power and love of the Mercy community. I am forever grateful of the Mercy life I was introduced to and look forward to continuing my connection to Mercy as a Mercy Associate and proud MVC alum.

Lauren Baer: Hartford Alumna

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