October 2013

Wit's End . . . notes from the principal

Social conscience: noun; an attitude of sensitivity toward and sense of responsibility regarding injustice and problems in society.*

I choose to believe most people, when asked, would respond that they have one. Something we are born with? No. Something in humanity that we are wired to develop if the right factors are put in place? Yes. Something that matures over time, and age, and experience? Most definitely.

So how do we forge a social conscience in our children? It begins in early childhood. We teach them to become increasingly aware of their environment, to recognize that they do not exist in isolation. At birth, their “universe” begins with their parents but soon widens to include other siblings, grandparents, and extended family members. In a few short years, neighbors, classmates, and teammates join what now constitutes this growing classification of “others.” Children learn to share, to see and then respond to the differences surrounding them. They become increasingly aware of the wider world, first in our case, the vast land and people of these United States, but secondly, the many countries and billions of people who share the planet. Immediate access to so much information has accelerated this education. With an awareness of others comes the reality that all do not share the same resources. Inequality is quickly recognized and begs a response. If the resources are not equally available, then those who have more must assist those who have less. Helping others, therefore, directly impacts the development of one’s social conscience.

Quite intentionally, we celebrated this element of our Mercy education with the service day that occurred here on September 25th. In the midst of our yearly Spirit Week, we inserted a day when the entire school population focused on others. What we had was a lengthy list of organizations in southeastern Michigan that expressed need. What we offered was an army of more than 900 students and adults who worked to reduce those needs. It was quite simply, quite remarkable. Those who had asked for help were given help. An alphabetical list of the places we went will make this clear:

  • Another Way Pregnancy Center-Farmington Hills
  • Belle Isle Conservancy-Detroit
  • Boys Hope/Girls Hope of Detroit
  • Cadillac Gardens-Detroit
  • Clark Park Coalition-Detroit
  • Focus Hope-Detroit
  • Gesu Catholic Elementary School-Detroit
  • Great Lakes Alliance on Belle Isle-Detroit
  • Most Holy Trinity School-Detroit
  • Motor City Blight Busters-Detroit
  • Saint Patrick/Saint Aloysius Senior Center-Detroit
  • Saint Paul of the Cross Retreat Center-Detroit
  • Saint Sabina Church-Dearborn Heights
  • Saint Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center-Farmington Hills
  • Southfield Parks and Recreation
  • The Lennon Pregnancy Center-Dearborn Heights
  • Vista Maria-Dearborn Heights

What each of us saw on that day was the world where some of those “others” reside. We saw evidence of inequality, but we also saw resilience. We saw what making a difference actually looks like. We left places, and in many cases people, better for our having been there. There was a greater good to which we had contributed collectively. There was a bond made between individuals, even between students who began the day as strangers but who ended the day knowing one another’s names. Is your daughter’s social conscience fully formed? Not hardly. But she has one more experience, the benefits of which should not be ignored.

It seems that as the universe often speaks to me, themes develop or begin to resonate. I have learned not to think of these moments as mere coincidence. Mercy’s Make a Difference Day was one such event. Little did I know that just two weeks later, on October 11th, I would hear a keynote speaker at a Mercy conference in Savannah, Georgia who would resurface my thoughts about social responsibility. Sister Aine O’Connor, a native of Ireland, who now serves as the Mercy Global Action Coordinator at the United Nations, gave a presentation focused on current inequalities around the world. She spoke of the lack of resources and went beyond money and education to include the lack of water, sanitation, food, energy, even land. She spoke also of exploitation, the vulnerability of women and girls across many continents. Despite the horribly depressing statistics, Sr. Aine voiced the importance of education in our schools, in Mercy schools, so that this generation of children nurtures a passionate commitment to change the statistics. This generation can create a different reality. Their collective social conscience, that requires them to act, will change the tide.

I offer a timely suggestion for action. This very Saturday, October 26th, 2013 is National Make a Difference Day. This day marks the largest national day of community service and has done so for more than 20 years. A primary sponsor of this event is Points of Light, the world’s leading volunteer organization. Its website (www.pointsoflight.org) suggests a profound goal: to “(connect) people to their power to create positive change and address the critical needs of our communities.” On Saturday, make the choice to make a difference. Do something, big or small, that feeds the soul. Do something that will not only impact someone around you, but will also create a feel good moment when you close your eyes at nightfall. One day, one action, one change.


Mrs. Carolyn Witte, Principal


Mercy Moment of the Month - Make a Difference Service Day

Mothers Club

Thank you to all of the moms who attended our second meeting of the school year on October 7th. Please join us at our next meeting on Monday, November 4th at 6:30pm in the Media Center. Please note that even though Mercy does not have school on Monday, November 4th, the Mothers Club meeting will be still be held at 6:30pm. Be sure to check out the Mothers Club web pages and calendar for more information about upcoming events and important notes.

JOIN US IN PRAYER - The Mercy Moms Prayer Circle is in session every Monday afternoon from 1:30-2:30 in the chapel. Debbie Tisdel has graciously offered her time to host the Prayer Circle again this year, so please join us as we pray for our daughters, as well as the faculty, and special intentions from the entire Mercy community.

SAVE THE DATE - REFLECT and RECONNECT with your daughter at the Mother Daughter Evening of Spiritual Reflection on Monday, December 8th. More information will come about this wonderful evening.

Dads Club

GRAND RAFFLE - The Dads Club's biggest fundraiser (and biggest payout) is in full swing. Did you know the Mercy Grand Raffle odds are 1 in 200 (assuming 6 tickets purchased last year) - guaranteed winner. Compare to these odds:

  • Make a hole in one, 1 in 12,500
  • Be a movie star, 1 in 1.5 million
  • Play in the NBA, 1 in 6.8 million
  • Be elected president, 1 in 10 million
  • Win the Powerball, 1 in 175 million - no guaranteed winner

Now is your chance to take advantage of this great opportunity. For only $100 you can get 6 chances at the Grand Prize of $10,000. The drawing is on November 27th. This Dads Club raffle benefits all Mercy girls. Donations are made to fund various school functions, clubs, activities and needs. Please join us in celebrating the Mercy experience with your daughters by purchasing the Grand Raffle tickets today!

ANNUAL WREATH AND ROPING SALE - Wreaths are a base of Fraser fir with boxwood, juniper berry, concolor fir and decorated with pine cones and a red ribbon. 24", 28" or 42" Wreaths; 20' or 60' Cedar Roping; and Merry Mix Swag available. You can also support Mercy by purchasing English Gardens Gift Cards for all your other Christmas decoration needs. CLICK HERE for pricing and to pre-order online. Pay for and pick up your items Tuesday & Wednesday November 26 & 27, noon to 3:00pm at the flagpole entrance.

ALL MERCY DADS are encouraged to meet, greet, and eat at our next meeting Tuesday, November 5th at 7:00pm in the Cafeteria.

Thank You Dads Club

The Mercy parking lot is all dressed up courtesy of the Dads Club. Thank you Mercy Dads Club for the new banners. We are Mercy, Home of the Marlins!

Open House

Prospective students can MEET MERCY at the Fall Open House Sunday, November 3 from 1pm - 4pm. Invite 7th and 8th graders to tour Mercy and discover what it means to be a part of the Mercy tradition!

If someone you know can't make it to the Open House, have them check out our shadow a student program. Contact the Admissions Office at admissions@mhsmi.org or 248.476.2484.

Fall Play - "Our Town"

Mercy High School Presents
November 8 - 9 at 8:00pm
November 10 at 2:00pm
Tickets $8

"Our Town," celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year, is Thornton Wilder's masterpiece about small town life. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, "Our Town" is the tender and romantic recollection of life in a New Hampshire village at the turn of the 20th Century. It is the immortal tale of small-town immortality as seen through the Webbs and Gibbs families. This classic story follows the lives of George Gibbs and Emily Webb as they experience Daily Life (Act I), Love and Marriage (Act II), and Death (Act III). This celebration of life will make everyone appreciate the simple things in life and the people who affect them daily. This is a beautiful and heart-wrenching show about what is really important in life.

Student Successes . . . APPLAUSE! APPLAUSE!

National Achievement Semifinalists - Jasmine Hunt and Tyler Parlor were named Semifinalists in the 2014 National Achievement Scholarship Program. More than 1,600 Black American high school seniors have been designated semifinalists in the 50th annual NASP. These scholastically talented women now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for approximately 800 awards.

National Merit Commended Students - Anjali Alangaden, Alicia Finnorn and Lena Pivetta have been named Commended Students in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program. Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2014 competition by taking the 2012 PSAT.

Congratulations to Danielle Thomas '17 who competed in Novice Ice Dancing with her partner Alexander Martin at the Pikes Peak Classic Ice Dancing Championships in Colorado Springs held September 20 - 22. Their Free Dance program "My Fair Lady" took 1st place and won the Oscar Lobst Memorial Trophy for best performance at Juvenile, Intermediate and Novice levels.

Latest and Greatest from the Alumnae Office

MEMORIAL MASS - Mercy High School remembers our loved ones.
Please join us for Mass to commemorate the lives of Mercy’s deceased alumnae, staff, family, friends, and benefactors on Sunday, November 10th at 12pm in the Mercy Chapel. If you are unable to attend, please contact the Alumnae Office with the names of those family and friends you would like included in our prayers and book of remembrance.

NOMINATIONS for Mercy Distinguished Alumna Award

Deadline: November 22, 2013

The Mercy High School Alumnae Board is accepting nominations for the 2014 Distinguished Alumna Award to be presented at Tea for Tuition on April 13, 2014.

Examples of Distinguished Alumna Criteria include:

  • Distinguishes herself through outstanding achievement in her chosen field or profession – home, community, church, or workplace
  • Uses her talents and skills to exemplify the Mercy values and mission of being a Woman Who Makes a Difference
  • Serves as a positive role model for young women
  • Supports Mercy with her loyalty and leadership

Nominate an alum today! Visit our website for details and click here for a nomination form.

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


Swim and Dive Team captured the Oakland County Championship for the ninth consecutive year. Golf played superb, capturing the Catholic League Championship, and Julia Shaw is the individual Catholic League Champion with a score of 81. Field Hockey is gearing up for States this weekend. Cross Country finished second in the Catholic League Jamboree and Allysen Eads received All-Catholic. Volleyball defeated Marian.

Cross Country Coach Mr. Gary Servais was honored as a legend at the Coaching Legends Classic Meet held Sept 28th at Huron Meadows. He received this very distinguished medal!


Mercy athletes are making headlines! CLICK HERE to read about some of them in all their Marlin glory. Brush up on your Marlin cheers and chants and see our teams in action! CLICK HERE to view the Athletics Calendar and even get driving directions.

Book Notes

Be sure your daughter uses the Mercy library webpage at http://galesites.com/k12/lom_mercyhs for resources available 24/7! Digital database and e-Book access (password “mercy”), as well as access to the Destiny catalog showing books in the Mercy library and additional links to helpful research sites are accessible. The Mercy Media Center supports the curriculum and is the first stop for student research needs.

Focus: HOPE Walk for Diversity

More than 5,000 people turned out for The Focus: HOPE 39th Annual Walk for Diversity held October 13th. The walk was renamed Eleanor's Walk for Hope this year in honor of their late co-founder, Eleanor Josaitis.

Mercy High School has been serving on the Steering Committee for the Walk for the past four years. Nine students, Ann Mark, Jillian Jennings, Rachel Belans, Amy Vlachos, Abby Rosler, Ogechi Nwaopara, Mikayla Benton, T'yara McMillan and Madison Flyte, along with Mrs. Judi Griggs-Dennis, participated in the walk and volunteered in the entertainment area.

Mercy alumna Kelsey Pizana '11 and her family, owners of Inflatable Playscapes, also got into the act by donating the use of a bounce house for the children's play area. Focus: HOPE celebrated its 45th anniversary. The event raised more than $225,000 to support their food, job training and community programs.


The kick-off meeting for the 35th Annual Auction was held on October 9th. While the turnout was great we still have lots of room for more volunteers. Committees that specifically need more assistance are: bid monitor, display, calling and banquet. CLICK HERE to see our Auction committee descriptions. Contact Lindsay Weismiller at 248.893.3535 or email lmweismiller@mhsmi.org to sign-up for a committee today!

Successful auctions always depend on fabulous gifts. Now is the time to start thinking about acquisitions and the ideas are endless from air miles to gift certificates. Click here for a complete auction wish list of suggested donation ideas. If every family obtained one gift for the auction we would have more items than ever before! There is also a giving tree in the school reception area, please feel free to take a tag and bring that donation to the school by January 31st.

Join Mercy family and friends at upcoming gift gathering parties. Gift parties are a great way to connect with Mercy families and are located across Metro Detroit. Join us for the year’s first gift party on Thursday, November 14th from 6:30 – 8:30pm and have Pizza with Mercy’s President, Dr. Cheryl Kreger ’66 here in the Mercy Media Center!

Do you have a product or service not conducive for bidding? Advertise! From business card to full page color sizes we have a spot for all. Where do you GO? Who do you KNOW? Advertising contracts are available online here.

Click here for all things auction and save the date of Saturday, February 22nd for a night of fun, food and friends!

Please do not hesitate to contact Lindsay Weismiller in the Special Events office at 248.893.3535 or lmweismiller@mhsmi.org with any questions, suggestions or to volunteer. Thank you for supporting the Mercy High School 35th Annual Auction. We are Mercy!

2014 Lore Yearbook

Yearbooks: The staff is working on the first deadline and wanted to give you a preview of what you'll find within the pages of the 2014 Lore. Yearbooks will be sold before and after school Nov. 11-15 for $65. Additional options such as personalized nameplates are available by purchasing your yearbook at www.yearbookordercenter.com and using order # 13826. In December the price increases to $70, which is the last month we sell in school. Last year the yearbook sold out and many students were unable to purchase a yearbook. Don't let this happen to your daughter.

Ads: The LORE Staff would like to present you with the unique opportunity of placing an ad for your daughter in this year’s yearbook! This is an excellent way to offer congratulations and to recognize your daughter’s efforts in high school. Ads are available in a variety of sizes. To order, please fill out this form and submit all ad materials by November 1. Parents may also design their ad online at www.yearbookordercenter.com using order # 13826.

MNotes . . . miscellaneous info you need to know!


THE 2013-2014 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.

DIPLOMA NAMES - Attention Senior Parents: Diploma name requests were distributed to all seniors through their adviser and are due Friday, November 1, 2013. Any late changes to diploma names will require additional cost to process.

After School Tutoring - NHS tutoring will be held in N12 from 2:45-3:30 on the following dates for the first semester: September 4, 11, 25; October 2, 9, 15, 23, 30; November 6, 13, 20, 26; December 4, 11, 16, 17. Second semester dates will be released in January. Students can get help in any subject. If it is a 1:40 dismissal, tutoring is from 1:45-2:30.

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.

Subscribe to NEWSPRINT, the student voice of Mercy High School! It is a complete 24-page tabloid-format newspaper filled with everything from school news to world events, exciting features, sports, and entertainment. Newsprint is the source that links the Mercy community to the rest of the world. Support the staff of talented young Mercy women and enjoy informative and entertaining features by purchasing a subscription to this award-winning, student produced paper. Newsprint is distributed to students at school but it can also be delivered directly to your home or place of work. The price is $12 for the year (6 issues). Please send your name, preferred mailing address and email, along with a check payable to Mercy High School to Ms. Lynn Waldsmith, Newsprint Advisor Mercy High School, 29300 W. 11 Mile Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48336-1409. Visit mhsmi.org/newsprint to view past issues. Don't forget to click NEWSPRINT online website newsprintnow.net where you can stay up to date on Marlin news and read work by Mercy students 24/7.

Snapshot of Mercy

A new bronze statue of Catherine McAuley guiding a student is currently on display in the drama alcove. It will be put on a pedestal and placed in the newly renovated cafeteria courtyard, a daily reminder of her influence. This limited edition sculpture entitled "Guiding Grace" is by Sondra L. Jonson and also stands at Mercy High, Omaha; Mercy Academy, Louisville; Assumption High, Louisville. Thank you to the Mothers Club for their donation. If you have a snapshot of Mercy to share, please send to jhearle@mhsmi.org.

Mercy Month Ahead

Event Date / Time Location
All Saints Day Mass Nov 1 Auditorium
OPEN HOUSE Nov 3 / 1p - 4p MHS
No School Nov 4  
Mercy Mothers Club Meeting Nov 4 / 6:30p Media Center
Mercy Dads Club Meeting
Nov 5 / 7p Cafe
Fall Play "Our Town"
Nov 8 - 9 / 8p
Nov 10 / 2p
Alumnae Memorial Mass Nov 10 / 12p Chapel
Focus Hope Food Drive Nov 12 - 25 MHS
Thanksgiving Prayer Service Nov 25 Auditorium

If you have any questions or want to submit information contact jhearle@mhsmi.org. Want even more? Click the school life calendar and the Mercy web site. And don't miss all of the latest Mercy In The News articles. Check out the current announcements and browse the home page links to see what's happening at Mercy.

Your Giving Story

Help a girl develop her faith, acquire leadership skills, and find her voice in an academically superior environment. Please consider making a donation to Mercy. Then share your giving story using this link. Your gift always makes a difference.