Meet Ms. Merida
October 6, 2014
Ms. Mary Lou Merida is an educator among the myriad of new faculty members who have joined the Mercy community this year. Ms. Merida is a graduated Mercy girl herself and also has developed quite an expansive Mercy connection throughout the years, ranging from her mother’s attendance at Mount St. Agnes (the Mercy college that merged with Loyola University in 1970) to the many decades following, in which all of her sisters; her first cousin, Sister Mary Anne Smith; and her daughter all obtained a Mercy education in these halls. In addition, Ms. Merida is connected to our community by her many years of teaching at Mercy; she had spent nearly fifteen years (from 1984 to 1999) fostering academic growth in generations of Mercy girls. After leaving the academic department of the school, Ms. Merida further fortified her commitment to Mercy, by co-founding and co-directing with Sister Corinne Raven, RSM, the Network for Mercy Education, a program established by the Sisters of Mercy that serves as a “structure [of] sponsorship” and promotes education as well as the development of the ideals of Mercy.
Reflecting on Mercy’s personal impact on her own life, Ms. Merida recognizes that “Mercy really did form me as a human being.” As a student during her days of brown pleated skirts and accompanying saddle shoes, she found herself enlightened by her teachers, as much so as she does today in the opposite position, of being similarly enlightened by her students. In addition, in regard to Mercy’s values, she feels as though “there is little distinction between who [she is] and what the school stands for”; even her hobbies outside of the classroom, which include reading, looking after her two granddaughters, and volunteering at Oak Crest Village, reflect Catherine McAuley’s fundamental principles of knowledge, love, and compassion. Deeply rooted in the essence of Mercy, this returned educator has embraced and embodies all of the values of Mercy sisterhood; indeed, she has much more knowledge to spread and a lot more magic to share.