Our Lady of Mercy High School (New York)

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Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women
1437 Blossom Road

, ,

United States
Coordinates 43°8′54″N77°32′16″W / 43.14833°N 77.53778°W / 43.14833; -77.53778 Coordinates: 43°8′54″N77°32′16″W / 43.14833°N 77.53778°W / 43.14833; -77.53778
Type Private, all-female
MottoVia, Veritas et Vita
("The Way, The Truth and The Life")
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Sisters of Mercy
PresidentPam Baker '74
DirectorSherylanne Diodato, Ed.D. (Middle School Dean)
PrincipalMartin Kilbridge, Ed.D.
ChaplainSister Pat Beairsto
Grades 6-12
Color(s) Navy blue and white         
SloganLife Changing.
MascotMonarch (Lion)
Nickname Mercy
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools [1]
PublicationMercedes (literary magazine)
NewspaperThe Quill
Tuition$7,745 for grade 6; $10,100 for grades 7 and 8; $10,650 for grades 9-12 (2018–2019)
AlumniOver 13,000
Admissions DirectorRose Feor Cooper '02
Athletic DirectorAnthony Yandek

Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women is a private all-girls Catholic school teaching grades 6-12, located in Brighton, Monroe County, New York United States, near Rochester. It is located within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester.

A Catholic school is a parochial school or education ministry of the Catholic Church. As of 2011, the Catholic Church operates the world's largest non-governmental school system. In 2016, the church supported 43,800 secondary schools, and 95,200 primary schools. Catholic schools participate in the evangelizing mission of the Church, integrating religious education as a core subject within their curriculum.

Brighton, Monroe County, New York Town in New York, United States

Brighton is a town in Monroe County, New York, USA. The population was 36,609 at the 2010 census.

Rochester, New York City in Western New York

Rochester is a city on the southern shore of Lake Ontario in western New York. With a population of 208,046, Rochester is the seat of Monroe County and the third most populous city in New York state, after New York City and Buffalo. The metropolitan area has a population of just over one million people. It is about 73 miles (117 km) east of Buffalo and 87 miles (140 km) west of Syracuse.


The American Sisters of Mercy founded Our Lady of Mercy High School in Rochester in 1928, based in the tradition of the Roman Catholic sisterhood begun by Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy. The building was built in 1928, and designed by noted Rochester architect J. Foster Warner (1859–1937). It educated young women in grades 9-12 for the first six decades of its operation, branching out to include grades 7 and 8 in 1990. In September 2012, Our Lady of Mercy expanded to include grade 6. [2] [3] To reflect this change, it will change its name to Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women.

Sisters of Mercy religious order

The Religious Sisters of Mercy (R.S.M.) are members of a religious institute of Catholic women founded in 1831 in Dublin, Ireland, by Catherine McAuley (1778–1841). As of 2019, the institute has about 6200 sisters worldwide, organized into a number of independent congregations. They also started many education and health care facilities around the globe.

Catherine McAuley 19th-century Irish nun and saint

Catherine McAuley was an Irish religious sister who founded the Sisters of Mercy in 1831. The women's congregation has always been associated with teaching, especially in Ireland, where the sisters taught Catholics at a time when education was mainly reserved for members of the established Church of Ireland.

J. Foster Warner (1859–1937), also known as John Foster Warner, was a Rochester, New York-based architect. He was the son of one of Rochester's most prominent 19th century architects, Andrew Jackson Warner (1833-1910). After receiving his architectural training in his father's office, the younger Warner opened his own office in 1889 and remained in continuous practice until his death in 1937.


Throughout the year, students participate in many traditions, some dating to the earliest days of the school. The classes compete during Spirit Week and the competition culminates on Field Day. The school hosts an annual fundraiser, the Spirit Gala, in the fall. Homerooms adopt a family and provide Christmas baskets during December. The gifts are blessed at Golden Mass, usually celebrated by the Bishop. March is Mission Month, in which students raise money for local, national and international charities through crafts sold by seniors and other school-wide fundraisers. Arts Fest provides students a chance to show off their talents; this day-long event includes indoor and outdoor performance assemblies, a concert from a local professional group, and hour-long workshops in various areas taught by teachers and other professionals. In May, many girls take their fathers to the Father Daughter Dinner Dance.

During May, the juniors receive their class rings. Mercy is known for its unique school ring. While most high school rings incorporate gems, the center of the Mercy ring is dominated by the school crest (a cross encircled by the Latin motto "Via, Veritas et Vita", meaning "the Way, the Truth, and the Life"). The shank on both sides of the ring feature a rising sun with the open Bible among the rays. After their ring ceremony the Juniors attend Junior Prom in the evening. Toward the end of May, May Day is held. A senior is elected May Queen and has a court of peer elected juniors and seniors who help her organize the ceremony. After Mary is crowned in the Grotto, the seniors prepare for Senior Ball. The year ends in June with the Moving Up Ceremony where the classes provide advice to the classes below them. At the end, the student body moves up seats in the auditorium and the seniors join hands and walk to the stage.

Retreats are also a part of Mercy tradition. Freshman retreat is held in school, while sophomore and junior retreats are a day long event. Senior retreat is an overnight at Camp Stella Maris and is one of the last times the senior class will spend together.


Mercy offers many extracurriculars. There is a fall musical, a spring drama, and a Children's Theatre production. Students may lead the school through Student Council or Campus Ministry Board. Mercy is home to the Catherine McAuley chapter of the National Honor Society, as well as groups that volunteer with inner city children and elder Sisters of Mercy. Youth and Government as well as Mock Trial give students real life skills in practice settings. Robotics, Masterminds and Math League test students' knowledge, while Veritas (yearbook), The Quill (newspaper), and Mercedes (literary magazine) give students a creative outlet. Students can join the Ski Club, Run Club, or Boxing Club. Habitat for Humanity and Friends of Rachel help students get involved with the community both in and outside of school. Improv Club and Dress-a-Girl are some of the newer options for students. There are also a choir, a show choir and an orchestra for the musically inclined. [4]


Varsity and junior varsity teams compete in sixteen sports: alpine skiing, basketball, bowling, cheerleading, crew, cross country, golf, indoor track, lacrosse, sailing, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. [5] The teams have won numerous Section V championships in the areas of basketball, bowling, cross country, downhill skiing, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. [5]

Notable alumnae

Mary Claire "Mimi" Kennedy is an American actress, author, and activist, best known for her performances in television comedies. She co-starred in a number of short-lived sitcoms before her role as Ruth Sloan on Homefront (1991–93). Kennedy is known for her role as Abby O'Neil in the sitcom Dharma & Greg (1997–2002).

Elizabeth Streb American choreographer and dancer

Elizabeth Streb is an American choreographer, performer, and teacher of contemporary dance.

Abby Wambach American soccer player

Mary Abigail Wambach is an American retired soccer player, coach, two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women's World Cup champion. A six-time winner of the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year award, Wambach was a regular on the U.S. women's national soccer team from 2003 to 2015, earning her first cap in 2001. As a forward, she currently stands as the highest all-time goal scorer for the national team and holds the world record for international goals for both female and male soccer players with 184 goals. Wambach was awarded the 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year, becoming the first American woman to win the award in ten years. She was included on the 2015 Time 100 list as one of the most influential people in the world.

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  1. MSA-CSS. "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". Archived from the original on March 25, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
  2. Sixth Grade Flyer, http://mercyhs.com/files/2012_Mercy_Sixth_Grade_Flyer.pdf
  3. "Our Lady of Mercy to Add 6th Grade," http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/201206071803/NEWS01/306070051&nclick_check=1
  4. Clubs, http://mercyhs.com/academics/clubs
  5. 1 2 Mercy Sports, http://mercyhs.com/athletics/mercy-sports