In response to the challenge that the Second Vatican Council presented to religious congregations, which was to renew the charism of their institute according to the authentic and original spirit of their foundress, seven sisters participated in an experiment that ultimately led to the forming and founding of a new branch of Mercy. The vision of Mother Catherine McAuley, the foundress of the congregation, was to establish Houses of Mercy. The Sisters strive to develop and amplify this vision within the mission of comprehensive health care, understood as the care of the entire person (spiritual, intellectual, physical, and emotional) and the Church has approved this for their particular institute.
The Sisters live together in their Homes of Mercy, live the common life and strive to follow Mother McAuley’s legacy of Union and Charity. All sisters wear the Mercy habit of the community; they promise to observe the three evangelical counsels by the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. The Institute’s orientation to service within the Church and the specification of its charism of Mercy is contained in a fourth vow of “service to the poor, sick and ignorant.” By this fourth vow the Sisters are strengthened in their pursuit of perfect charity, becoming increasingly configured to the merciful Christ.
The Sisters of Mercy of Alma are educated to teach in elementary schools and seminaries and trained as physicians with specialties in surgery, internal medicine, psychiatry, osteopathic and family practice medicine to bring the mercy of God to the misery of mankind.
Sister Mary Charles Mayer, R.S.M., is a Religious Sister of Mercy of Alma, Michigan. Archbishop Robert Carlson invited her community to make a foundation in St. Louis in 2010 and it is located on Washington Place in the Central West End of St. Louis. Sister is presently the Director of the Office of Consecrated Life for the Archdiocese.