December 2014

Wit's End . . . Notes from the Principal

Tis the season. Oh, yes it is. Maybe, just maybe, in the last week or so, you have felt put upon. Maybe, just maybe, you have suffered a disappointment, a let-down. Very likely one or more people has stepped on your toes, at least figuratively if not literally. Yes, tis the season. And it is a season (not just an hour or even a day or a week) . . . of stressors and high expectations, of intended communications, and missed understandings. There is a great deal of good tidings and well wishes, but we seem to operate at such warp speed that we miss many of them. In the rush that consumes us quite easily, we give in to the exhaustion. We feel frantic and frazzled and just plain bothered by it all.

Well, take a moment. Sit down. Breathe. I hope when you are done reading this column, you will have had a momentary respite. The outcome is simple and quite easy - voice gratitude. When I am consciously grateful for something or someone, calm occurs. I cannot speak any word of appreciation without feeling, at least at that moment, calm. Each of you needs a bit of calm. How do I know? Tis the season. Enough said.

So let me begin by throwing a statistic at you, a number that will very likely do anything but soothe. Ready? The world’s population has reached seven billion people; that’s billion with a “b.” I bet that surprised at least a few of you. Such a number is nearly incomprehensible, so it is a significant challenge to try and make a connection between the state of one’s own life and the situation of other human beings. Yes, most of us know we have it good, but if you are like me, it is easy to lose sight of just how good.

Some decades ago, people wrestled with the notion of how global statistics could be framed in a more understandable way. In 1990, an American environmental scientist named Donella H. Meadows published a report under the title “Who Lives in the Global Village?” wherein she compared the world and its population to a village of 1000 people. She then looked at the division of available resources and quality of life indicators across the world and assigned a numerical equivalence for each one to show the proportion of people affected. Since this early work, others have adjusted these numbers as the population has continued to rise and, furthermore, reduced the analogous village to just 100 people.

So here you are in 2014, like me, one of seven billion inhabitants of Earth. It is December. Christmas, by its very nature, is not a movable feast. It will occur on the 25th. And you’re operating at breakneck pace. Remember, the goal here is appreciation, to come away with a sense of thankfulness. Stay with me.

I ask that you position yourself, right now, as one of the 100 People in the World Village. There are exactly equal numbers of males and females. First of all, take note that you are reading this column. Seventeen (17) people in your village cannot do the same, regardless of the language in which it is written. Far beyond your reading talent, if you are fortunate enough to have graduated college, you have six others who share this achievement. 93 don’t.

As to your living conditions, let’s first consider life necessities . . . 23 exist without shelter from the wind, the rain, the cold and the heat. Most have safe drinking water, but that is little consolation for the 13 who don’t. As to food supply, 15 are undernourished, mostly due to the level of poverty. 48 of your neighbors live on less than $2.00 a day, that’s two U.S. dollars a day; 32 others have it a bit better, surviving daily on more than $2.00 but less than $10.00. So we’ve considered food, water, shelter. Oh yes. Electricity is not a given. Twenty-two (22) have none, but at least, the village is not completely cut off from the rest of the world since 22 have some access to a computer. One can only hope that those with access are also the ones with the juice to power up. And finally, 37 have substandard sanitation, either unimproved toilets or no toilets at all.

Life in our village has lost some of its luster, hasn’t it? Add to these startling numbers that 14 of the residents suffer some disability. Just consider adding health care, access to doctors, hospitals. Who’s in? Who’s out?

Still breathing? I hope so. Here’s the stark reality. Each single villager currently represents 70 million people, whose only fault might be the origin of their birth. Take a moment to let that number settle in your consciousness. Back to our village and what the numbers actually mean. 1.2 billion people can neither read nor write. An even larger number, 1.6 billion, lack a roof over their heads, a roof of any kind. A staggering 5.6 billion souls sustain their daily existence on less than ten dollars, and nearly half of them do so without adequate sanitation. All this in the 21st century!

Life for me, and for each one of you, at this moment, is FAR beyond OK in our village. Each of us is fed, cared for, and able to communicate with loved ones. With food in the refrigerator, clothes to wear, and a place to sleep, we are richer than 75 % of this world. We are educated and have choices as to what we wish to learn next. We have folding money in our pockets, change in a dish on a dresser, and money in a bank. That alone positions us among the top eight percent (8%) of the world’s wealthy. We have the prospect of future plans and dreams, and the optimistic belief that many of them might actually come true. In a few short days, most of us will gather together and exchange gifts. Every one of those presents will fall under the category of “lovely and frivolous”; nothing will be an absolute necessity. What a luxury!

So please do have a wonderful holiday and celebrate your good fortune as a member of the human family. This human community is both interconnected and interdependent. Your membership as a citizen of the world is far more valuable to recognize and honor than your residence in any zip code or time zone. Tis the season. Do for yourself. Do for others. And do for the many in your “village” that you will never know. You will feel what I hope is both an abiding sense of calm and long lasting peace.

Blessings to you and your family.


Mrs. Carolyn Witte, Principal


Mercy MOMENT of the Month

Ethnic Bazaar 2014 - Come Together!

Human Relations Council proudly presented Ethnic Bazaar "Come Together" on December 2nd. The Drama Studio was packed with cheering students and proud parents watching the wonderful performances. ETHNIC BAZAAR has been a favorite Mercy tradition which highlights the diversity of Mercy through song, dance, poetry, prayer, food, and fashion. It brings the Mercy community together to experience and embrace our uniqueness. Everyone at Mercy takes pleasure in this special day to honor, educate, and incorporate different ethnicities.

Mothers Club

Thank you to all of the moms who attended the December 1st Christmas meeting. The food was delicious, but the fellowship was even better. Thanks to the Mercyaires for entertaining us and leading us in caroling. It was a beautiful sight and sound.

On December 7th, the Mother/Daughter Evening of Reflection began with a wonderful Mass followed by a meal and video presentation. The committee really did an outstanding job to calm our spirits before the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season.

In January, there will not be a Monday night meeting. We will meet for lunch on Monday, January 12th at 12 Noon at La Marsa’s on 24273 Middlebelt Rd. We will then join Debbie Tisdel in prayer. If you can only attend lunch or just prayer time, please do so. Send an email to let us know: Anyone bringing in a donation for the 36th Annual Auction to the February 2nd Mothers Club meeting will receive a chance to win a free ticket to the Auction.

Save the date! On Saturday, March 21, 2015 the Mercy Mothers Club and Mercy Dads Club will be hosting a Beer/Wine Social in the gymnasium at Mercy. This is a community building event that we hope you will attend. More information will be coming soon!

Dads Club

The next Dads Club meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 6th. Dinner starts at 6:30pm and the meeting begins at 7:00pm.

The Father Daughter Mass and Breakfast will be held Sunday, January 11th at 10am. Mass will be held in the Chapel with breakfast to follow in the cafeteria. There are limited seats available, so please make a reservation by e-mailing Chris Gier at

Give Me a M, Give Me an E, Give Me a R, Give Me a C, Give Me a Y!

College Bound Athletes
Congratulations to these Mercy High senior athletes who committed to play a sport in college!
Back row, left to right: Michaela Bargardi - Swimming, Cleveland State University; Erica Heath - Golf, University of Detroit Mercy; Analise Sala - Soccer, Hope College: Claire Lachner - Ice Hockey, Quinnipiac University; Alexandra Sobczak - Softball, University of Michigan; Taylor Jones - Basketball, Oakland University; Allysen Eads - Cross Country, Hillsdale College

Middle row, left to right: Kathleen McGee - Swimming, Michigan State University; Roxy Griffore - Swimming; Purdue; Molly Murphy - Softball, Emory University Georgia; Brooke Ottaway - Lacrosse, Rollins College; Taylor Babcock - Soccer, University of Portland Oregon

Front row, left to right: Madeline Loniewski - Swimming, Georgetown University; Christine Clayton - Volleyball, Beloit College; Jordan Johnson - Softball, Adrian College; Monica Shuk - Volleyball, Albion College; Marge Terhune - Soccer, St. Lawrence University; Jenna Lerg - Volleyball, University of Michigan; Alexandra Griffin - Soccer, Western Illinois University

Mercy athletes are always making headlines! CLICK HERE to read some of the recent sports stories featured in the news.

It's beginning to look a lot like Basketball, Bowling, Figure Skating, Ice Hockey, Skiing and Pompon, everywhere you go. Check out the winter sports schedule available online and support your Mercy teams! There are even directions. Please help fill the stands with Mercy cheer and come by the Marlin Shop to score some Mercy gear. If you know of more sport honors, please send to Kate Scalzi at

Youth Mercy Associates

The blessing of unity still dwells amongst us and oh what a blessing, it should make all else pass into nothing. This is the spirit of the Order, indeed the true spirit of Mercy flowing on us. ~ Catherine McAuley

Two years ago Mrs. Judi Griggs-Dennis, Pastoral Minister and Mercy Associate, introduced the Youth Mercy Associate Program in the United States. Our Charter Chapter began work here at Mercy High School shortly thereafter and chapters began all across the country and in South America.

After one year of orientation and preparation, we are proud to welcome 10 New Members of the Youth Mercy Associate-USA Program. We also accepted the recommitment of 10 of our Charter Members.

Newly Commissioned Members are: Nicole Belans, Rochelle Chezick, Katherine Colleran, Claire Johnston, Bridget Kenney, Bridget Lyons, Molly Lyons, Peyton Pawlusiak, Kailey Savona and Josephine Wenson.

Charter Members Re-commissioned are: Lauren Battle, Rachel Belans, Madison Flyte, Meaghan Fortney, Lizzie Lilley, Molly Murphy, Alexis Ponder, Amy Vlachos, and Theresa Walle.

Joining Mrs. Dennis in the commissioning ceremony held December 8th were Sr. Nancy Thompson, RSM and Mercy Associates Dr. Cheryl Kreger (President) and Colleen Rozman (Associate Principal) as well as Social Studies Teacher Mrs. Cindy Richter. Mrs. Richter has been working with the Mrs. Dennis and girls very closely this year as co-moderator.

Along with bringing the girls closer to Catherine McAuley and to the community of the Sisters of Mercy, the Youth Mercy Associates wish to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

  • By upholding Catherine McAuley’s joy in the love of the gospel, her vision of faith, and mercy
  • By praying, reflecting and sharing together
  • By letting God’s light shine through everything we do especially in the sharing of our gifts and talents in the service of others
  • By working with the Adult Associates and Sisters in addressing the Critical Concerns: Women’s Issues; Care for the Earth; Non-Violence; Racism; Immigration.


For over 25 years, our students have lived out the Mercy values of Service and Option for the Poor by partnering with Focus: HOPE. Students donated non-perishable food items to help fill local senior citizens’ Thanksgiving baskets. As we wrapped up our food drive efforts during a Thanksgiving prayer service, Science Teacher Kathy Kitzmann performed a song she wrote called “We Give Thanks.”

The Archdiocese of Detroit invited schools to join in the effort to bring Pope Francis to Detroit in 2015. Check out the awesome video made by Mercy girls to support "Let's Bring Pope Francis to Detroit in 2015."


The 36th Annual Mercy Auction is right around the corner and there are lots of exciting things happening to make this a successful event!

Tuition Raffle tickets are being mailed out next week – look for these in your mail soon. These raffle tickets are $25 each and for each ticket sold you are entered into a drawing for FREE TUITION for 2015-16 OR $8,000 cash for first prize ,$1,500 cash for second prize, and $500 cash for 3rd prize. For every 5 tickets you sell & turn in by January 31st, you are entered into a raffle for two free raffle tickets (a $250 value). Your odds are around 1 in 1000 of winning, so sell your tickets today!

Auction acquisitions are in full swing and we are accepting items through January 31st. We currently have less gifts than normal to date and could use the support of the full community to ensure we have great quality items at the auction this year!

Donations can be made from a Mercy family personally or local businesses. Small businesses are great supporters of this event. When you are out shopping or eating in the next few weeks ask the local establishment if they will give a gift for the Mercy auction – if every family was able to donate or secure one item we would have a great selection at the auction.

Remember, no item too big, no item too small, we are Mercy High School, we take it all!

Advertising opportunities are still available for the auction and there are ads for both Mercy families as well as businesses. Advertising contracts are available here and ads are due by January 15th.

During the holiday season there are additional opportunities to support the auction as well. Receive a gift that is great but not great for you? Regift it to the auction! Have extra baskets from holiday gifts that you are not using? Repurpose by donating it to the auction and we will use to display items the night of the event. All auction donations will be accepted at the reception desk during school hours.

For more information contact Mercy's Special Events Coordinator, Lindsay Weismiller, at and CLICK HERE for all things AUCTION.

Broadcasting Field Trip

On Friday, December 5th, the Radio and Television Broadcasting class attended a field trip to CBS Detroit and Campbell Ewald at Ford Field. The students spent the morning at six radio stations including CBS radio, WWJ, 97.1 The Ticket, Country 99.5, 98.7 The Amp, and Oldies 104.3. Coop, from the Coop Show in the Morning on 98.7 took the girls on a tour to meet other radio professionals and to see the equipment used in the industry. The group headed to Ford Field to meet with the professionals at Campbell Ewald. There, the girls were given a tour and were able to talk to the professionals. Thanks to Mercy parents, Pete Kowalski and Pete Spender for setting up the field trips and to Mr. Baker who joined us on this adventure!

Admissions Anecdotes


Mercy students, parents, staff and alumnae: your word of mouth is Mercy's best advertising! Help us spread the word about the benefit of a Mercy education by simply referring a prospective 7th or 8th grader to our upcoming Winter OPEN HOUSE on Sunday, February 15. Mercy Alumnae and their families are invited to an early open house legacy tour from 12:30pm - 1:00pm. Arrive at the Chapel entrance. General Open House is from 1:00pm - 3:00pm beginning at the Lobby entrance.

Open House is a great opportunity for prospective families to learn more about Mercy. Families will receive a student-guided tour and meet administrators, teachers, parents and alumnae. More information about the admissions process can be found on our website.

If you know of a future Mercy girl in your parish or neighborhood, please encourage her to contact the Admissions Office at or 248-476-2484 and arrange a day to shadow a student.



Latest and Greatest from the Alumnae Office

Bunco Ladies Night Out

All ladies welcome - alumnae, Mercy moms, coworkers, neighbors, friends and family! Invite your current friends and come meet new ones. If you can throw dice, you know how to pay Bunco. Join us even if you’ve never played the game before. We’ll teach you in no time.

Friday January 23, 2015

7:00 pm / Mercy Cafeteria

Register online here!

The Alumnae Board is proud to support Humble Design's Jump On The Bed Challenge. Get a FREE raffle ticket for bringing in a NEW item to donate on Bunco night: comforter, blanket or set of sheets for twin or full size bed. Stay tuned to for more information.

Time to Celebrate!

It’s a Reunion Weekend and an Anniversary Celebration all in one! We invite all in the Mercy community to join us.


For more information, visit

Thank you, Mercy Parents!

Current Mercy families have generously contributed over $40,000 to support Mercy this fiscal year. If your family has not yet made a gift, please consider making a donation to the Annual Fund for Excellence today; there are still many unmet needs that require support.

The Annual Fund for Excellence helps provide tuition assistance as well as support for operating and program budgets allowing Mercy the greatest flexibility to support a variety of activities. Visit our secure online giving site or mail your check to Mercy before the end of the 2014 tax year. Every gift makes a difference and together we can have a greater impact on the lives of our students.

“Scholarships aren’t just money, they are blessing in a young woman’s life. They are opportunities for the future. They are experiences that are waiting for us to discover.” ~ Scholarship Recipient

Let Us Pray

Mercy High School wants to join you in prayer. If you have a special prayer request, please use the online prayer intention submission form. It will be added to the Mercy Mothers Prayer Circle as well as copied to the Alumnae Office and Mercy Pastoral Minister.

The Mercy Mothers Prayer Group is an informal group which meets every Monday from 1:30 - 2:30 in the Mercy High Chapel, excluding days off and early dismissal. The Prayer Group recites the Rosary and The Chaplet of Divine Mercy as we lift in prayer specific intentions submitted online and those placed in the prayer box located at the reception area of the school. Please join the Mercy Mothers as they facilitate prayers for blessings and protection upon the faculty and staff of the school, students, the Sisters of Mercy, as well as all Mercy families and alumnae. If you have any questions please contact: Debbie Tisdel



Final Exam Schedule

Wednesday, December 17

  • 8:30 - 9:50 1st Hour
  • 10:00 - 11:20 2nd Hour

Thursday, December 18

  • 8:30 - 9:50 3rd Hour
  • 10:00 - 11:20 4th Hour
  • 11:30 - 12:50 5th Hour

Friday, December 19

  • 8:30 - 9:50 6th Hour
  • 10:00 - 11:20 7th Hour

MNotes . . . miscellaneous info you need to know!

Proposed New Bus Routes for 2015 - 2016 School Year - Mercy transportation may be coming to a city near you! CLICK HERE to view some NEW PROPOSED BUS ROUTES for next 2015 - 2016 school year. We welcome your feedback and look for your guidance in the creation of stops.

THE 2014-2015 MERCY STUDENT DIRECTORY IS ONLINE! The student directory is accessible to all parents and students online through PowerSchool. Login to PowerSchool and click on the STUDENT DIRECTORY icon. You can look at individual listings or the whole school. Please note if your daughter's entry is not displayed, a request was completed for address or phone number information to NOT be included in the student directory. The program used to post the directory pulls directly from the database and does not allow for individual record modification.

Physical and Athletic Forms - The MHSAA Physical & Athletic Forms must be turned in to Mercy before or during the registration periods. You cannot try-out on the first day of the season unless your physical and forms were turned in before or during the registration period. Athletic Code of Conduct is available online.

Mercy Mobile APP - Stay up to date with Mercy on the go! The Mercy High School mobile App is ready for download to your smartphone or mobile device. Simply search "Mercy High School" in your App store.

Snapshot of Mercy

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

Mercy staff gave a memorable "12 Days After Christmas" performance for the students at the annual Christmas Assembly held December 12th. Student Council Officers and Dean of Students Mrs. Tarplin are all decked out in their holiday wear!

"May God preserve and bless you and grant you all the graces and precious gifts reserved for this holy season." - Venerable Catherine McAuley. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at Mercy High School.

Mercy Month Ahead

Event Date / Time Location
Christmas Holiday Break
December 19 after last exam
January 5 / Classes Resume and Second Semester Begins
Mercy DADS Meeting
Jan 6 / 6:30pm
Father Daughter Mass & Breakfast Jan 11 Chapel
NO SCHOOL Jan 19  

Catholic Schools Week

Jan 26 - Jan 30 MHS
MASS Jan 28 Auditorium
Father Daughter Dance Jan 31 Gymnasium