A century of service in the United States

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Bishop Dennis Sullivan accepts the offertory gifts from three sisters of the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy: Mother M. Beatriz Lassalle, former Mother General; Sister M. Gabriella Donaera, Vicar General; and Sister M. Antonietta Lucisano, Mother Provincial of Italy. On Sept. 28, Bishop Sullivan celebrated Mass in Newfield to commemorate the centennial of the community’s arrival in the United States. Photo by Alan M. Dumoff

Bishop Dennis Sullivan celebrated a Mass of thanksgiving to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy in the United States.

The Mass was celebrated Sept. 28 at Our Lady of Mercy Chapel at Villa Rossello, Newfield, the headquarters of the U.S. congregation. On the grounds are located the Provincial House, Our Lady of Mercy Academy and the original Provincial/Novitiate House.

Bishop Ronald W. Gainer of Harrisburg was the homilist.

The Daughters of Mercy began their ministry in the United States in Springfield, Massachusetts, where they had been invited to open a parish mission center, principally to offer religious instruction to children.

The community’s other founding mission in the U.S. was in Hazelton, Pennsylvania.

The dream of the community’s foundress, Saint Mary Rossello, was “to have arms long enough to embrace the whole world and do good to all.”

Born in Albissola, Italy, Benedetta Rossello founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy in 1837. She and three companions began their work – the education of youth, the care of the sick, and all the works of mercy — in the city of Savona.

Their ministry grew throughout Italy, and in 1875 Sister Mary Joseph Rossello sent 15 sisters to Buenos Aires, Argentina. From there the sisters’ work spread to Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Peru. Today the sisters minister on five continents and in 19 countries.

Pope Pius XII canonized Sister Mary Joseph Rossello on June 12, 1949.

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