“Prayer In the Heart of Mercy”

Sr DebbieThe Guam Mercy Catholic Schools attended a one-day retreat/workshop at the Sister Roberta Center in Oka, Tamuning on July 31, 2015. Sister Deborah Troillett (Sister Debbie), presenter and facilitator, flew in from Silver Spring, Maryland to conduct the Mercy Educators Spirituality Retreat/Workshop: “Prayer In the Heart of Mercy”. The Guam Mercy Schools in attendance were Academy of Our Lady, Bishop Baumgartner Memorial Catholic School, Santa Barbara Catholic School, Saint Anthony Catholic School, Mercy Heights Nursery & Kindergarten, and Infant of Prague Nursery & Kindergarten.

Currently, Sister serves as a Councilor on the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas leadership team, Sister Debbie, served in the Mercy secondary education for over thirty years. More recently, she served as a teacher, principal and president at Mount St. Mary Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas. She has traveled worldwide and served on numerous committees and boards, including the MSEC (formerly known as the MSEA, Mercy Secondary Association) and the Network for Mercy Education Board.

Sr Dorothy RelationshipsThe day opened with the celebration of the Eucharist. Sister Debbie led two sessions that followed: I. Prayer in the Heart of Mercy; and, II. Praying with the Mind of Christ. Overall, the underlying theme of the day centered on the spirituality of the teacher and reinforced the importance of being a Catholic School Educator. Sister Debbie believes that Mercy educators have the opportunity to touch lives “for eternity”. As stated by her, “We learn mercy from our work colleagues and we know we are not alone. We need to rely and trust in our school communities; we need to be supportive and encourage each other.”

Mariana Pangelinan, the art teacher at the Academy of Our Lady, commented, “I loved the reminder that prayer doesn’t always need to be conversation. It was encouraging when Sister Debbie likened prayer to ‘just hanging out’ with a close friend. She then had us sit in prayerful silence for several minutes—this is definitely something I will continue to practice moving forward.” Bernie Aguon-Hernandez, AOLG American Government teacher, also found the retreat fitting with the upcoming Jubilee Year of Mercy. According to Mrs. Aguon-Hernandez, “I like the fact that it brought the Mercy schools together starting with camaraderie among us for the new school year. It was appropriate that we came together with the frame of mind of being mercy, especially since we are preparing for the upcoming Jubilee Year of Mercy.”

AOLG Admin FacultySister Debbie’s presentation mirrored her credence that in prayer we place ourselves in the presence of God. Prayer is our relationship to God. According to Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, “Prayer is a plant, the seed of which is sown in the heart of every Christian, but its growth depends on the care we take to nourish it.” This is definitely the case with Sister Debbie, from her calling to her ministry in her high school years to her constant growth in her ministry, she knows she still has other works of mercy ahead of her. In fact, she sees her next role in adult education formation.

The workshop ended with Sister Debbie’s closing remark which was a prayer for all present:
“My prayer is that you have an excellent year, let your light shine . . . and let your love and mercy flow.”
The retreat then ended with the singing of “The Lord’s Prayer” in Chamorro. The day ended with new relationships formed and old relationships strengthened. In prayer, everyone felt the presence of Jesus and the mercy shared as Catholic School educators.


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