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The Sisters of Mercy have outlined areas of critical concern in the world today that our students need to be able to address in constructive ways: Earth, nonviolence, anti-racism, women, and immigration. Mercy educators have a unique opportunity to teach our usual subject area curricula in ways that also educate students about these concerns and equip them to work toward solutions. The following resources provide tools for incorporating the social justice priorities of the Sisters of Mercy into school curriculum.

For lists specific to each Critical Concern:

Resource TitleDate AddedTypeDescription
Curriculum Guide for the Sisters of Mercy Critical Concerns
2023-10-10ClassroomA brand-new collection of lesson plans, classroom activities and audiovisual aids to help students learn about extractivism through the lens of the Sisters of Mercy Critical Concerns and the Mercy Education Core Values.
Curriculum Guide for the Sisters of Mercy Critical Concerns
2023-10-10ClassroomLesson plans, classroom activities and audiovisual aids to help students learn about Nonviolence, one of the Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy.
Infographic Series

Part 1: Supporting Migrants at Borders and In Detention (link)
2022-11-09Classroom, StaffPublished by Mercy International Association, this infographic series helps all in our Mercy world to engage with and understand people on the move.
Breaking Boundaries: A Mercy Response to People on the Move (link)2022-09-24Classroom, StaffA publication of Mercy International Association, this resource highlights Mercy's experience in serving migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers around the globe.
Lesson Plans on Care for Earth: Extractives (link)2022-08-03ClassroomWritten by Sister Patricia Donlin, RSM, theology faculty at Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School.
Faithful Voter Reflection Guide (link)2022-07-19Classroom, StaffFrom Interfaith Power & Light, this guide focuses on many of the Critical Concerns. The guide is endorsed by the Sisters of Mercy Justice Team and includes an overview of each issue, reflection questions and questions for candidates.
Mercy Oceans Campaign (link)2022-07-11Classroom, StaffThis campaign from the Mercy Global Action Oceans Taskforce urges the Mercy World to reflect on and take action for the health and sustainability of the world's oceans.
Prayer for Our Ocean from Mercy International Association (link)2022-07-11PrayerMercy Global Action, on behalf of Mercy International Association, is pleased to offer a prayer resource focused on our ocean.
Classroom Guide: Berta Saves the River (link)2022-04-26ClassroomThis resource guide was created by Mercy Education and is intended for use in Mercy Education schools. Suggested grade levels are 4-7.
War in Ukraine and the Critical Concerns (link)2022-03-10ClassroomPrepared by the Sisters of Mercy Institute Justice Team, this resource looks at the war in Ukraine through the lens of the five Mercy Critical Concerns.
Resource Guide: Racism (link)2021-12-01Classroom, StaffMercy Education is committed “to find ways to have courageous conversations that inspire graced actions to preserve the dignity of and respect for each human being.” As part of this commitment, the Mercy Education staff in conjunction with colleagues throughout the Mercy world have shared resources that may be used for one’s own personal edification as well as classroom resources to help students grow in their understanding of our Mercy Critical Concern for racism.
Critical Concerns Poster (link)2021-07-01ClassroomOne-page poster of the Sisters of Mercy Critical Concerns.
Hispanic Heritage Month Resources (link)2020-09-05ClassroomFor our Mercy community, National Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated from September 15 to October 15, invites us to reflect on and celebrate the richness our Hispanic sisters and brothers bring to the tapestry of the United States.
Voting Resources from the Sisters of Mercy (link)2020-09-03ClassroomWe know in our Mercy secondary schools, educating students on the Critical Concerns goes hand-in-hand with educating them on their potential to make an impact on these issues through their words, their actions and, when eligible, their votes. We have compiled a list of resources here including voter guides, tips for nonviolent conversation on controversial issues and more.
Critical Concerns Bingo (link)2020-09-01ClassroomA spin on the traditional game of Bingo that offers pathways for engagement with the Critical Concerns through readings, videos, suggested actions and spirituality.
Global Sisters Report: GSR in the Classroom (link)2020-09-01ClassroomGSR in the Classroom helps students learn about the varied missions and ministries of Catholic women religious — and religious life — around the world. Each lesson explores Global Sisters Report articles and columns more deeply by posing questions that first open readers’ minds to new learning, then help them understand what they’ve read. Other features deepen the message with pertinent passages from Scripture and Catholic social teaching. Each lesson sends learners forth in prayer.
Just Mercy: A Catholic Study Guide (link)2020-09-01ClassroomThis resource from Catholic Mobilizing Network serves as an accompaniment to the film Just Mercy and offers viewers a way to explore the Catholic call to uphold the sanctity of life within the U.S. criminal legal system.
Digging into Laudato Si' (link)2020-07-01Classroom, staffThis series of articles from Earthbeat, a project of National Catholic Reporter, explores Laudato Si’ through a social, political and spiritual lens.
Anti-Racism Education: Mercy Critical Concern Challenge (link)2020-06-01Classroom, staffThis clickable five-week calendar provides daily opportunities to watch, listen, learn and act and pray. Mercy Volunteer Corps has also shared this blank version of the calendar that can be customized with resources appropriate for younger children
Laudato Si' Visual Reading2020-06-01Classroom, StaffIn commemoration of the 5th anniversary of Laudato Si’, the Sisters of Mercy have created a “visual reading” of the encyclical, highlighting key passages with powerful images, which is perfect for individual reflection as well as classroom activities.

Part 1: Pollution and Climate Change

Part 2: The Issue of Water
Part 3: Loss of Biodiversity
Part 4: Global Inequality
Combatting Racism - K-12 Education Resources from USCCB (link)2019-10-01ClassroomThis link includes resources for K-12 classrooms, school activities and resources for reflection.
Critical Concerns Summer Reading Lists (link)2019-05-01ClassroomThe English department at Mercy High School in Burlingame, California, developed a summer reading program highlighting our Mercy Critical Concerns.
Motto Project - Senior Capstone Project (link)2019-04-01ClassroomThis senior capstone project from Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women allows students to connect their talents, passions and interests to the Mercy Critical Concerns and Core Values.
Nonviolence Activities for Young Students (link)2019-03-01ClassroomThis guide, shared by educators at Colegio Santa Ethnea, includes curriculum ideas for natural and social environments, literature, visual education, personal and social formation / emotional education / integrated sexual education, practices of the use of language and physical expression.
Nonviolence Project for Secondary School Students (link)2019-03-01ClassroomThis resource is an outline of a 2018 Mercy Day project at Colegio Santa Ethnea which focuses on nonviolence.

Accompanied by faculty members, students visit local families to talk about peace, share a blessing and leave a gift of holy water. Each family is also invited to come to the school later for a student performance. The full project is described in this letter to faculty from Ali Botto, coordinator of catechesis, and can be adapted to meet the needs and locality of your school.
Peacebuilders Project for Primary School Students (link)2019-03-01ClassroomThis project shared by Colegio Santa Ethnea helps students in grades 1-6 learn about building peace with everyday actions; learn and reflect on the lives of different peacebuilders including Catherine McAuley, Malala Yousafzai, Mahatma Ghandi and others; and share the message of peace with the rest of the school through visual displays.
Practicing Nonviolence for Faculty and Administration(link)2019-03-01StaffThis resource from Colegio Santa Ethnea shares tips on identifying and addressing areas of conflict in an educational community.
Understanding Racism: Mini-Course from Saint Mary's Press (link)2019-01-01ClassroomThis mini-course focuses on themes of change, unity and solidarity. By connecting racism to the greater Catholic Social Teaching of Human Dignity, the course helps students understand more about its origins, how it affects others, and how to confront racism and stand in solidarity with people of all walks of life.
Critical Concerns Curriculum Guides for English and Social Studies (link)2018-09-01ClassroomThese curriculum guides were designed by a group of Mercy educators in August 2018.
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