Community of Care: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

October 22, 2020

Dear Friends,

After several very long days in the past few weeks, having never completed my to do list and with multiple reports to write, I looked to Mary Oliver for solace! Mary wrote a wonderful poem entitled Luna, where she reflects on the luna moth which lives only for 24 – 48 hours. She ends the poem with:

How quietly
and not with any assignment from us,
or even a small hint
of understanding,
everything that needs to be done
is done.

I have often thought of this poem at the end of the day, ”Everything that needs to be done is done.” Though I struggle with unfinished tasks, I know that ultimately Someone else is in charge. I can only imagine how parents feel at day’s end with so many responsibilities of children, work, school, etc. The link to Mary Oliver’s poem is here and I suggest we all take a minute to appreciate her insights.

Another reference came to mind this week. Jon BonJovi  is a friend to some of the Sisters of Mercy working to end homelessness in Philadelphia and so I follow him a bit. He has released a new album entitled 2020 reflecting on this year. One of the songs (and video) is “When you can’t do what you do, do what you can.” This video (on YouTube) is uplifting and also reminds me that we can only do what we can do, but we do need to do what we can. I hope you enjoy it.

And now it is the end of the day. What needed to be done, is done, including this letter.

May you know good health and God’s peace at the end of your long days.

In the spirit of Mercy, 
Sister Eileen 

Please visit our Campus > Beach page for additional information regarding our beach closure.


Life has become extraordinarily busy with lengthy to-do lists crammed with tasks that often get put off and put off yet again. Work-related duties, family responsibilities and social gatherings keep us running. And in the midst of our over-scheduled existence, we’re constantly bombarded by loud music while we shop, mobile devices demanding our attention, TV commercials with ear-splitting exhortations, and cable news blaring from TVs in airports and cabs in major cities. 

Yet we yearn for peace, for time to gather in our scattered energies to heal body, mind and spirit.  We hunger to really know ourselves. We thirst for a deeper relationship with God.

Enter Mercy by the Sea, an oasis of stillness; holy ground where one can experience the Sacred; a sanctuary where the Earth is respected, sustainability practiced and natural beauty abounds.

Mercy by the Sea, located on 33 acres on the shores of Long Island Sound, invites all irrespective of faith tradition to come and spend time “far from the madding crowd.” 

Mercy by the Sea offers:

  • A sanctuary for reflection and prayer
  • Programs through which you can explore new ways of being with self, others and the world at large
  • Conference rooms for church groups, nonprofit organizations and companies to take the time and space for creative thinking, fellowship, planning, etc.

Come for a day, a weekend or longer.  Come to participate in day and weekend programs, themed and directed retreats, sabbaticals, or professional spiritual direction formation. Come as a day guest to enjoy the grounds and the silence.

Come to “be still and know…”