Anchors Aweigh Masthead
November 2015

On November 11, 1841, Venerable Catherine McAuley passed away surrounded by a group of Sisters at the House of Mercy on Baggot Street. In the 10 years between founding the Sisters of Mercy in 1831 and her death in 1841, she had established 14 convents of Sisters in service to people - especially women -- who were poor, sick, and lacking basic education. The gift of her legacy is manifested in the numerous ministries of the Sisters of Mercy around the globe. At Mercy High School, we continue to give thanks that we are heirs to this legacy.

In the spirit of giving thanks, we remember that gratitude is simply an affirmation of goodness and that the source of this goodness comes from God. As an administrative team, we express our gratitude to all who dedicate their time, talent, and treasure to providing an excellent education for the young women of Mercy High School: alumnae, board members, donors and foundations, faculty and staff, parents, and the Sisters of Mercy. We give thanks for the young women of Mercy who remind us every day that we are called to reflect God's merciful love.

Thanksgiving blessings!

In gratitude,
Rita E. Cutarelli, Associate Principal of Mission and Campus Life
Audrey Magnusen, Director of Advancement and Alumnae Relations
Daniel Meyers, Director of Academic Affairs
Janine Nolfi, Director of Student Activities
Laura Schulkin-Parnell, Director of Counseling
Lorelei Zermani, Director of Finance and Human Resources
In This Issue
Jade Ritterbusch

Jade Ritterbusch '13, a current Junior at Emory & Henry College, in Southwest Virginia, where she is participating in their Bilateral Study Abroad program in Exeter, England, has been fortunate enough to have already directed two plays, one of which was chosen to represent the theatre department. Jade credits her time at Mercy for preparing her to take this journey alone for her first time abroad by allowing her to grow and fully appreciate herself without the fear of being told she could not do something. On this she says "In high school I was pushed to grow without trepidation into a strong independent woman in the world without fear of the unknown by being challenged in the classroom, as well as being exposed to opportunities such as Intersession and Career Day... There's no one more fearless than a Mercy woman, of that I am certain, or I wouldn't have leapt at this wonderful opportunity". 


Mercy taught Juanita Tamayo Lott '66 that women could be world leaders. In 1971, she left San Francisco for graduate school at the University of Chicago then moved to the D.C area. A senior federal demographer/statistician she retired back home after planning the 2010 Census at the U.S. Census Bureau. Hanging up her statistical policy hat, Juanita returned to deep literary roots. Her poetry was featured on October 3, at the San Francisco Public Library Filipino American Book Festival in two anthologies:

Beyond Lumpia, Pansit, and Seven Manangs Wild, an anthology featuring stories from second, third and fourth generation Filipino Americans and Flips, 2015, an updated version of the 1971 original compilation by children from the south of Market communities.

Monique Mariano 2012

Monique Mariano '13, now attending UC Irvine, is involved with the Orange County Children's Therapeutic Arts Center and waiting to start her internship at Hoag Memorial Presbyterian Hospital in Newport.

Monique is pursuing a degree in Public Health and plans on graduating in 2016.

Kristina Wong 1996

Kristina Wong '96 was recently featured in the New York Times' Off Color series "highlighting artists of color who use humor to make smart social statements about the sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious ways that race plays out in America today." She is a performance artist, comedian and writer who has created five solo shows and one ensemble play that have toured the United States and the UK. Her work has been awarded grants from the Center for Cultural Innovation, the Durfee Foundation, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and others. Kristina has twice given the commencement speech at UCLA, her alma mater. She has guested on Comedy Central's The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. On television, she's been on General Hospital, Nickelodeon's Nicky Ricky Dicky and Dawn, and Myx TV's I'm Asian American and Want Reparations for Yellow Fever. She's currently touring "The Wong Street Journal" across the USA. For more on Kristina,  please visit her website.


Victoria Adetuyi 2011

Victoria  Adetuyi '11 attended Santa Clara University graduating with a degree in environmental studies and sciences. She moved to Denmark and participated in a Sustainability in Europe Program. While in Europe, she traveled with 2 other Mercy alums, Jamila Snell '11 and Abi Velasco '11, to London, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris and Barcelona. She now lives in New York, pursuing a Masters of Science in Sustainability Management at Columbia University, while working for the Tory Burch Foundation. This organization cultivates programs that empower women, providing them access to capital, resources and education to grow their businesses. Victoria states that her formative years at Mercy are what "have driven my career interests and educational paths."


Class of 1970 Holds Reunion at Mercy
Class of 1970 Reunion
The Class of 1970 held their lively 45th reunion November 7 at the Rist Hall. Seekers of '70 shared memories and celebrated!

It's time to plan for 2016 reunions! Please call or email Audrey Magnusen at 415.337.7218 for information on being a class reunion coordinator.
Class of 1971 - 45 years
Class of 1976 - 40 years
Class of 1981 - 35 years
Class of 1986 - 30 years
Class of 1991 - 25 years
Class of 1996 - 20 years
Class of 2001 - 15 years 
Class of 2006 - 10 years

Save The Date: Class of 1966 Golden 50th Reunion

Sunday, June 5, 2016
Luncheon at the Lake Merced Golf Club, Daly City. A time to share memories, photos and celebrate! Luncheon Chair - Nancy Dito '66 415.608.5792

Thursday, September 22, 2016
Mercy Day Eucharistic Liturgy with the Mercy student body, faculty and staff, celebrating the founding of the House of Mercy by Catherine McAuley in Dublin, Ireland. The liturgy will include the Class of 1966 as honored guests and the 50th Golden Diploma commemoration followed by a campus tour, program and reception in Rist Hall.

Help us find the following classmates from the Class of 1966:
Diane Broussal
Linda Carey Emerson
Carol Demello Smith
Elizabeth Delgado
Dorthy Havner
Donna Lee
Virginia McDonald Winslow
Linda Mullen Spindle
Cherlynn O'Connor Robinson
Diane Scherer Snodgrass
Carol Schneider Morris
Margaret Shanley
Judy Strain Schmidt

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From the Director of Academic Affairs

Parents and students: Please make all personal and vacation plans in accordance with the school calendar posted on the Mercy website. NO student will be excused from these exam dates. DO NOT schedule holiday plans before Friday, December 18, 2015 nor beyond the start of 2nd Semester classes on Monday, January 4, 2016.

Christmas Holiday: Monday, December 21, 2015 to Friday, January 1, 2016
Second semester classes begin Monday, January 4, 2016 at 8:00 am.

An Invitation from the Sisters of Mercy
Year of Mercy

To begin the Year of Mercy as designated by Pope Francis, the Sisters of Mercy will initiate Opening Doors of Mercy on Saturday, December 12 at 7 pm. The ritual will celebrate the Year of Mercy, Foundation Day and Our Lady of Guadalupe. Refreshments will follow. All are welcome.

Please RSVP for this free event. To view invite, please click here.

Support Mercy High School as your giving choice for 2015!

Parent Giving Program

The Parent Giving Program is a four-year commitment made by parents during their student's freshman year. We ask each family to pledge or give annually any amount that is reasonable for them. We are thrilled to announce that we are close to completing the Theatre seat and Theatre upgrade appeal, "Take Your Seat". Whether $25 or $2,500 your participation is so appreciated. Currently for this school year we are at 14% parent pledge commitments. Our goal is 100%! Please join Mercy as your giving choice this year. Every gift is 100% tax deductible. Your name, as you wish, will be included in the 2015-16 Mercy News Annual Report. If your company matches, your gift is doubled! If you have recently made a gift, thank you! For your convenience, you may go to online giving. If you would like a pledge card, please reply to and we will send you one in the mail. 

Annual Fund

The collective support of alumnae, parents and friends has generated funds for Mercy's most critical need: tuition assistance. We are asking you to consider a gift this year to help us reach our Annual Goal of $1,000,000 by December 31, 2015! We are at 50% of our goal. It doesn't take a large donation to have a big impact. Gifts to Mercy's Annual Fund, whether $50 or $5,000, create one of the school's most significant sources of support. Click here to make an online donation. If you have already made a gift to MERCY HIGH SCHOOL for 2015-16, thank you! Gifts of cash, check or credit card are tax deductible and provide immediate funds to the school. Pledges are encouraged and payments can be set up monthly or quarterly.

Transfer of Stocks

Gifts of stock are accepted through a Direct Transmittal from your Broker. Please call the Advancement Office for instructions (415) 337-7218.

Giving Levels

Catherine and William Callaghan Circle $50,000 +
Catherine McAuley Circle $10,000 - $49,999
Mercy Society Circle $5,000 - $9,999
Principal's Circle $2,500 - $4,999
Red & White Circle $1,500 - $2,499
Skipper Circle $500 - $1,499
Friends $1 - $499

Current Capital Projects at Mercy

"Take Your Seat" Theatre campaign to replace all existing seats. The total campaign goal is $200,000. We have reached $116,900! Please consider this appeal as another year-end choice. All parent pledge donations benefit the "Take Your Seat " Theatre Campaign. 

"Stairway to Heaven" Rooftop Terrace on the 4th floor which extends off of the former community room in the convent. The outdoor Rooftop Terrace will be a beautiful 1,000 sq. ft. space for all types of Mercy events, receptions and student use. We are thrilled to announce we received a lead gift of $50,000 from Bernita McTernan '63 and Maria Schiavone. Your gift will enhance the terrace with seating, lighting and plants!
Stairway to Heaven Project

Recycling Image

The Technology Department recycles used cell phones, laser toner and inkjet cartridges throughout the school year. Please have students drop off items in the Computer Lab, room 319.
 School News
  Dia de los Muertos

To carry on the tradition of Día de los Muertos, Spanish II students in Ms. Cynthia Ovares' classes created Day of the Dead altars to honor those who have gone before us. Several of these altars were displayed during the All Souls Liturgy on November 2nd.

 2019 WITA Students
This summer Mercy welcomed seven new Women in the Arts (WITA) students. Each applicant submitted a portfolio, showcasing their artwork. After the portfolios were reviewed, students received acceptance into this program from the Admissions Office. During the two-week workshop, the students studied drawing, painting and printmaking with Ms. Jane Mauchly and ceramics and sculpture with Ms. Gail Bennett. They were introduced to a variety of concepts and skills and created some fabulous artwork! This semester the students are taking Intermediate Art and will have Intermediate Ceramics in the spring. Already these students have gone on a field trip to the de Young Museum and completed two collaboration workshops using their own photographs and adding text to create a new artwork. Their photographs as well as other completed two-dimensional and three-dimensional artworks will be shown along with the other WITA students' artworks in the Eighth Annual WITA Art Exhibition in February 2016. We look forward to working with our young artists and guiding them towards future careers in the arts!

Thanksgiving Cards for Troops  
Señorita Cynthia Ovares got a head start on the holidays this year. All of her Spanish classes have been hard at work making Thanksgiving cards for troops currently deployed in the Middle East. Fifteen years ago, she served in the United States Navy and today still keeps in touch with the sailors who remain on active duty. These cards are chock full of well wishes and will arrive in time for the holiday.

Harlem Renaissance Poetry Class
Juniors and Seniors in Ms. Bodenheimer's poetry class culminated their study of poets of the Harlem Renaissance with a 20's era speakeasy complete with jazz music, costumes, and ginger ale. Each student recited--some by heart--a poem from this brilliant cultural moment in the history of black American literature.

All Souls Liturgy
On All Souls' Day, November 2nd, the community of Mercy commemorated all of the faithful departed at an all-school Liturgy of the Word. Reyna Morabe '17 presided, and Kei McHale '16 preached. In her homily, Kei invited the assembly to remember and pray for not only their own friends and family members who have passed away, but also all those people who have died due to war, violence, injustice, and human greed. This liturgy, and all our liturgies, were planned and carried out by the Campus Ministry Core Team, who are pictured here in front of banners that bear the names of those who have died.

WIM Students at SF General
Senior Women in Medicine (WIM)  students were recently at San Francisco General Hospital for a Grand Rounds lecture on HIV/AIDs and to visit the clinic.

Mercy and Riordan lead 8th Grade Retreat  
Over the Columbus Day weekend, Carolyn Carranza '17 and Crystal Tobar '17 joined with students from Archbishop Riordan High School to lead the St. Finn Barr 8th grade retreat. This retreat, held at the CYO Camp in Occidental, allowed the eighth graders to celebrate their bonds as classmates, to grow closer to God, and to contemplate their futures. Carolyn and Crystal, both members of Mercy's Campus Life Team (CLT), relished this opportunity for faith-based leadership. Carolyn commented on how affirming the 8th graders were of her guidance: "I never knew that I could be an inspiring and supportive example for younger students--what a great experience!"

Senior Volleyball Night   
Five Seniors on the Varsity volleyball team were honored before the game against Harker Academy last November 3rd: Mikaela Castro, Gina Duenas, Tatiana Gastrock, Justina Jew and Jackie Yee.

Upcoming Events
November 2015
November 20 and 21: 7pm
Fall Play "Twelfth Night"
Saturday, November 21: 10am
Holiday Boutique
Tuesday, November 24: 9:45am
Thanksgiving Eucharistic Liturgy
November 25, 26, 27
Thanksgiving Holiday - No Classes
Thursday, November 26
Happy Thanksgiving
Sunday, November 29
First Sunday of Advent

December 2015
Thursday, December 3: 9:45am
Advent Liturgy of the Word
Thursday, December 3: 7pm
Winter Pops Concert "Yuletide Cheer"
Tuesday, December 8
Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy Begins
Tuesday, December 8
Sisters of Mercy arrive in San Francisco, 1854
Tuesday, December 8: 9:45am
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception Eucharistic Liturgy
Wednesday, December 9: 9:45am
Christmas Assembly
Friday, December 11
Red Flip Minimum Day
Saturday, December 12
Catherine McAuley founds the new Institute of the Sisters of Mercy, 1831
December 14-16
Final Exams
December 17-18
Alternate Exam Day
December 21 - January 1
Christmas Vacation
Friday, December 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord - Merry Christmas
January 2015
Friday, January 1
Happy New Year
Monday, January 4
Classes Resume
Tuesday, January 5: 9:45am
Epiphany Liturgy of the Word
Thursday, January 7: 5pm
High School Placement Test Prep Night
Saturday, January 9: 8am
High School Placement Test
Sunday, January 10
Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord (last day of the Christmas Season)
Thursday, January 14: 8am
Senior Retreat (1/2 Class)
Friday, January 15
Intersession Balances Due
Monday, January 18
Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday - No Classes
Wednesday, January 20: 6pm
Junior Parent/Student College Night
January 22, 23, 29, 30: 7pm
"Allegro" Winter Dance Concert

Twelfth Night

Fall Play: Twelfth Night
November 20 and 21, 2015
7:00 pm
Mercy Theatre

Christmas Boutique

Holiday Boutique
November 21, 2015
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
McAuley Pavilion 

Winter Pops Concert

Winter Pops Concert: Yuletide Cheer
December 3, 2015
7:00 pm
Mercy Theatre

  Winter Dance Allegro

Winter Dance Concert: Allegro
January 22, 23, 29, 30, 2015
7:00 pm
Mercy Theatre

Intersession 2016
Intersession will take place February 29-March 4, 2016.