90 years of tradition


Mercy opened its doors in 1928. Over the years, we have built magnificent traditions that are integral to all the members within the Circle of Mercy. This includes over 13,000 Mercy alumnae – truly women whose lives were changed at Mercy! Each of our school’s traditions has special and meaningful significance to every Mercy Girl. Quite often, alumnae return to Mercy to participate in these events that made such an impact on them during their time here.

Here are just a few of Mercy’s cherished traditions

Golden Mass

Golden Mass, the long-standing Mercy tradition of providing food, clothing, and gifts to families in need, is perhaps the most moving ceremony held at our school each year during Advent. Following a beautiful liturgy, in which the wrapped gifts and food baskets surround the altar are blessed, students and families personally deliver the items to families in need. Many Mercy alumnae return specifically to celebrate Golden Mass. It’s a great way to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.

Junior Ring Ceremony

Each spring, Mercy juniors celebrate a milestone event in their high school career by receiving their school rings. The rings, blessed at the celebration of the Mass, are a sign of the students’ journey through Mercy’s hallowed halls, and a sign of the oneness they share with the thousands of alumnae who also wear the ring. The girls enjoy the tradition of ‘turning’ each other’s rings at the reception.

May Day

May is the month of Mary, the mother of Jesus. In her honor, Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women observes our traditional May Day celebration, which dates back to the very beginnings of Mercy. Mass is celebrated and witnessed by the May Court, students, parents, teachers, and friends. Chosen by their classmates and staff, the junior and senior May Court exhibit qualities that represent Our Lady of Mercy and the entire student body. The celebration of the Blessed Mother’s crowning takes place in the Grotto following Mass.

Rose Mass

Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women celebrate our traditional Rose Mass in the Motherhouse Chapel the evening before commencement. The Mass – attended only by seniors, faculty, and staff – is the last opportunity for students and teachers to gather as a Mercy family to say goodbye. Each student carries a rose into Mass that is blessed by the priest. These roses are given to the young ladies at graduation.

Other beloved Mercy traditions include the Father-Daughter Dinner Dance, Spirit (Field) Day, Senior Parent Breakfast, Mission Month, and so many more.

Mercy Alma Mater

Written by Anna Hoffman Donner ‘32

Glory to Mercy High, our dear old Alma Mater,

Let’s sing her praises joyfully.

For well does she deserve them.

Via, Veritas, et Vita to us has sacred meaning.

Glory to Mercy High.

She teaches truth and leads the way.

Mother, thou will be proud of us, as we are proud of thee.

Ne’er shall we leave the path of light and truth and loyalty.

Thanks and undying love, we owe to her high standards.

Her halls have led us to our guiding star:

Dear Mary, the Mother of Mercy.

Glory to Mercy High, beloved Alma Mater!

Glory, may her banners float aloft a guide for aye.

Wafting heavenward may our hearts

Joyfully sing her praises far and near.

Ne’er shall we forget our cherished Mercy High

Our dear O.L.M.

Watch the entire Mercy student body sing the Alma Mater during the 2018 Moving Up Day ceremony above!

Mercy’s Alma Materwritten by alumna, Anna Hoffman Donner ’32is sung by the entire student body (and any alumnae in attendance) after most traditions, including Spirit Day, Junior Ring Ceremony, May Day, 8th Grade Commencement, Moving Up Day, and Graduation. During Moving Up Day (shown above), the seniors join hands and walk to the stage to sing it together for the last time in the Auditorium. At the end of their graduation ceremony, seniors officially sing the Alma Mater for the last time as a Mercy student.

Experience the Circle of Mercy

To truly understand how life changing Mercy is, schedule a visit. Tour the campus, meet us in person, and talk to our students and staff. From information sessions and tours, there are many ways to learn about the Circle of Mercy.

Your Journey to Mercy