“Our lobby serves as our threshold to Mercy for all of us and our patients,” said Sr. Myra Bergman, RSM, Vice President, Mission Integration, Mercy Health, during the Dedication and Blessing of the Cross in the renovated Main Hospital Lobby on Wednesday, January 6, as more than 100 colleagues, physicians and volunteers gathered to celebrate and bless the addition to the lobby.
“From our very foundation in 1893, Saint Mary’s was dedicated to being an expression of God’s merciful, compassionate love for the sick and the dying. This cross is a creation of artistic beauty—it serves as a symbol of hope, and that God’s love and caring presence is with everyone who enters through our doors. This beautiful piece was made by Chris Nordine with the design inspiration and support of our special art consultant, Scott Kozurak, and is a one-of-a-kind piece, with three crosses, the Mercy cross. The outer most cross, constructed of metal, reminds us the permanence of God’s mercy. The inner cross constructed of wood reminds us of the Cross upon which our Savior died. And finally, the innermost cross—constructed of many glass elements represents every person associated with this organization. Each of us brings God-given, unique gifts to those we encounter and those we directly serve.
“Purposefully, all the elements of this cross are not placed in straight lines. Living a merciful life often takes unexpected turns, unusual opportunities for service.”
Read Sr. Myra’s full comments below:
Our lobby serves as our threshold to Mercy for all of us and our patients.
From our very foundation in 1893, Saint Mary’s was dedicated to being an expression of God’s merciful, compassionate love for the sick and the dying. The founding Sisters of Mercy embedded key elements of Mercy into the organization’s culture and spirituality. Saint Mary’s was established to be a welcoming home of Mercy for every person who came to its doors. This legacy of Mercy is deeply engrained into Who we are in the community and in the health care beliefs and values that are essential to the healing ministry of the Catholic Church. In recent years Mercy has become even more prominent, as we now call ourselves “Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.”
With this very long and powerful organizational tradition—and with this, the Church’s Jubilee Year of Mercy—it is most appropriate that Mercy Health Saint Mary’s has commissioned a special cross for this renovated lobby. It is a creation of artistic beauty—but more importantly, its intent is to be a sign and symbol of hope, representative of the reality that God’s merciful love and caring presence is with each and every person who enters through our doors. Mercy Health Saint Mary’s remains true to its original intent—to be a Home of Mercy for all who cross our threshold—for whatever purpose.
This beautiful piece made by Chris Nordine with the design inspiration and support of our special art consultant, Scott Kozurak—has powerful symbolic meaning for Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. Let’s take a few moments to reflect on that intended meaning…
The Cross is reminiscent of a cross that is near and dear to Sisters of Mercy across the world—primary sign of formal membership and affiliation with this religious congregation.
You will note that the cross is really three crosses in one. The outer most cross, constructed of metal, reminds us that God’s mercy to us humans is only possible because of his Son’s willing death on a cross. Our Savior gave up his human life so that all humankind—for all ages and in all times—would be able to experience the loving, merciful, forgiveness of God the Father. The permanency of metal reminds us that God’s mercy never ends—is totally unchangeable.
The inner cross constructed of wood also reminds us of the wood of the Cross upon which our Savior died. Additionally, though, it is intended to remind us of our religious tradition and heritage of the Sisters of Mercy—and how that heritage has made Saint Mary’s the special health care organization that it is today. In earlier times of the Sisters history—a time when members wore a full length habit—every Sister daily wore a cross, held close to her heart, and secured in her cincture (belt). That cross was a perpetual reminder that she was to be the lived expression of God’s mercy and loving compassion through her daily ministry of service. In modern times, this wooden cross has become a more simple, stylized version. But, the meaning remains. Each and every person associated with Mercy Health Saint May’s has a accepted a special calling to be faithful stewards of the mercy tradition.
And finally, the inner most cross—constructed of many glass elements. This outer cross represents every person associated with this organization. Each of us brings God-given, unique gifts to be expressions of God’s mercy to those we encounter and those we directly serve with our health care services. In essence, we are to be the sources through which Mercy can be experienced.
You will note that, purposefully, the elements of this cross are not exactly the same; they are not placed in straight, perpendicular lines. Living a merciful life often takes circuitous routes, unexpected turns, unusual opportunities for service—The cross of mercy takes us where we would otherwise not find ourselves going. But—here’s the important thing—no matter where our journey takes us—we stand firm in hope and courage because God’s Merciful Presence is our steadfast foundation.
So, with deep gratitude for our merciful God, for our mercy heritage, and for those who’ve made possible this inspiring work of art and faith, we ask for God’s blessing today.