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Combining Knowledge with a Servant’s Heart at the United Nations

JeanJordanUnTrip-888739-edited.jpgOver the summer, Jean Angel, a Physical Therapist Assistant student, and Jordan Schmitt, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing student, were able to combine this dual emphasis on head and heart with a trip to the United Nations. Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, the Sisters allow students from the various Mercy-tradition colleges through the country to join them in a “U.N. immersion experience,” where students accompany the Sisters as they advocate for the poor and vulnerable at the U.N. in New York City, and share strategies of advocating locally that students take home with them.

Anticipating the Beauty of Haitian People

Who would have thought just a few months after initially meeting Sr. Karen Schneider RSM, MD, in early February, 2016, a Mercy College Faith and Healing Series speaker, I would be reconnecting with her for my first international flight at the Miami, Florida airport enroute to Gros Morne via Port au Prince, Haiti to assist with Mercy Focus on Haiti effort. 

Gros Morne, Haiti is a town of 30,000 serving a greater population of 130,000 located in the Northwestern portion of the Artibonite Valley. Via car it takes approximately five (5) hours to reach Gros Morne from the capital Port-au-Prince.

To be “the newbie” is always an interesting lesson in paradox.

To the one starting, everything is a new adventure, with a “point zero” in which everything begins anew. For me, January 6th, 2016 will always be the day I started at Mercy College. Everything will be measured from that day going onward, a new life sprouting from a definitive point.

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And yet, Mercy has not started anew just because I happened to pass through the doors. It is this thing, this 100+ year old thing, which has lived longer than any of us. It has multiple contours that each face points to, whether the face is walking through the halls or adorning the walls. How will my start join this life that’s heart has already been beating through many decades? How will the vision of “the veterans,” who have “seen it all,” match up with my eyes that see all things in a newborn glow?