One Hundred Thousand Thank Yous for one Hundred Thousand Welcomes

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“Every human being
Has a great, yet often unknown gift
To care,
To be compassionate,
To become present to the other,
To listen, to hear and to receive.
If that gift would be set free and made available-
Miracles could take place.”

-Henri J. Nouwen

This quote from Henri Nouwen is a very treasured gift to Mercy Center that goes back to early days when Henri was at Yale and often stayed at the Center while writing or bringing groups of students from Yale. Henri wrote in later years Reaching Out which described the paradox of hospitality. “The paradox of hospitality is that it wants to create emptiness, not a fearful emptiness, but a friendly emptiness where strangers can enter and discover themselves as created free. Free to sing their own songs, speak their own languages, dance their own dances, free also to leave and follow their own vocations. Hospitality is not a subtle invitation to adopt the lifestyle of the host but the gift of a chance for guests to find their own."

Mercy by the Sea recognizes a rich tradition in a hospitality that reveres the value and uniqueness of each person and that fosters a welcoming space where strangers can enter and discover themselves as created free.

Mercy by the Sea recognizes a rich tradition in extending a hospitality and spaciousness that nurtures right relationship with the Sacred in self, others and creation.

These mission statements through the years reflect and inspire a hospitality of relationships that foster a mutual respect, where we are present to each other to listen, to hear and to receive.  Hospitality is one of the service pillars of the Center with staff and volunteers committed to making individuals and groups feel comfortable and welcomed. There is a long tradition of welcoming church and professional groups, civic organizations and businesses.

To the staff, past and present, who have worked here as receptionists, registrars, program directors, program presenters, spiritual directors, bookkeepers, accountants, secretaries,  directors of services, housekeepers, chefs, cooks, maintenance and grounds keepers, thank you for your hard work and ever compassionate and respectful care and hospitality given to our guests and each other.

Thank you! Thank You!  Thank You!

Catherine McAuley foundress of the Sisters of Mercy had her own brand of hospitality. At the end of her life, she said to one of her sisters, “Be sure you have a comfortable cup of tea when I am gone.” Ever since, a cup of tea has been a symbol of the warm and caring relationships which were at the heart of Catherine McAuley's Mercy vision.

As a little tribute to fifty years of comfortable cups of tea: in the old coffee corner with a friend or one of the many gatherings over 50 years sharing in relationships and creating new ones.

Do you remember Mother’s Day Brunch, dancing under the stars, lobster bakes, jazz bands, autumn food and the Connecticut Opera Express?

 And the Alexander Peloquin Concert, Christmas parties...