thom johnson jim dlugos with door of mercyAround this time last year, we witnessed as Pope Francis called for an Extraordinary Jubilee centered around mercy. The theme felt especially auspicious coming on the heels of our 150th anniversary celebration of the Sisters of Mercy in Maine. This Holy Year of Mercy, begun in December 2015 and running through November 20, emphasizes the need for the faithful, and all who turn to God for compassionate love, to embrace and demonstrate mercy on a daily basis. As a College founded by the sisters and grounded in the Catholic faith, this Holy Year serves as a complement to Saint Joseph’s core values and mission. It’s only fitting that we take this issue of the magazine to recognize the ways in which members of the College live mercy, both in honoring this Holy Year and in our day-to-day interactions with each other.

Coincidentally, as we celebrate this Jubilee, we also must recognize two milestones for the College: 10 years of service trips to Guatemala and 25 years of Spring Break Workfest. The commitment of our staff, students, and faculty to service work at home and abroad is echoed in the compassion and camaraderie felt here on campus.

It’s clear this emphasis on mercy that begins during our students’ time at the College has a way of radiating out into other communities as our alums embark on new adventures following graduation. This issue, we had the pleasure of speaking with several families with ties to the College—the Sheas, the Campbells, the Arnolds—many of whom have dedicated their lives post-graduation to professions and careers in service to others. If that’s not a testament to the values we foster at SJC, I’m not sure what is.

As we continue on throughout this Holy Year of Mercy, I’d like to encourage our alums to reach out and reconnect with their alma mater. You have an open invitation to return to campus at anytime and participate in any of our Jubilee events—or even just pop by for a quick tour and a visit. After all, this Holy Year ultimately is about closing distances and coming together as a community. I hope you’ll join me on this journey.