Sr. Marilyn Lacey urges Mount Mercy community to encounter God in the everyday

Sister Shari Sutherland and Sister Marilyn LaceyWith more than 25 years experience working with refugees in Africa, Sr. Marilyn Lacey had an insight or two to share with the Mount Mercy community during her keynote address on September 22 in honor of Mercy and Mission Week.

With humor and candor, Lacey shared life lessons her work with African refugees has taught her, which she brought to life through an illustrative and thought-provoking presentation, "Mercy Beyond Borders: A Faith Journey."

"God is always coming into our lives when we are not attentive," Lacey told the students, faculty and staff who nearly filled the Chapel of Mercy. "Be attentive," she said. "God comes to us in the people we meet – you'd be surprised where God is hiding."

Through her work as the executive director of Mercy Beyond Borders, Lacey has helped speak the truth of human dignity into the lives of women and children living in Africa, build up their entrepreneurial skill set, and help ward off infant mortality. Working side by side with refugees, Lacey has come to understand the importance of seeing God in strangers and meeting Him with a welcoming spirit.

"We all have the power to welcome each other," she reminded the audience. "You don't have to go to Sudan, you can welcome the student next to you," she said.

"People often tell me how depressing it must be working with refugees," Lacey said. "And I always tell them, 'Do I look depressed?' Great joy awaits us when we welcome God in strangers."

As Lacey and her organization continue to fight the devastating living conditions of the women and children of Africa, Lacey challenged the audience to find ways to get involved, both locally and globally, every year.

"You will figure it out for your own lives," she told Mount Mercy students. "For each of you it will look different, but it will be glorious."

Lacey's address was the culminating event during Mercy and Mission week, September 18 – 24, which the campus celebrated in honor of its rich Mercy history and traditions steeped in the teaching of Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy. 

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