Misericordia Leadership & Organization Update

December 8, 2021

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, we have been quietly celebrating our 100th year here at Misericordia, and we still plan to celebrate this centennial accordingly when it is safe and prudent to do so as it deserves a grand celebration. I have always said that I am in awe of our residents, in awe of our families, in awe of our staff, and I am in awe of the countless volunteers and benefactors who have walked this journey with the Sisters of Mercy since Misericordia opened in 1921. Together we have made a difference, and Misericordia looks forward to the next 100 years of making a difference for our deserving population whom we are privileged to serve.

We are always trying to ensure the future for Misericordia and our residents. As part of our ongoing efforts, we have been working with our Board of Directors and pro bono attorneys to determine that Misericordia could be best served from a governance standpoint by creating a Misericordia Foundation for our numerous fundraising efforts. This 2-entity model (Misericordia Home and Misericordia Foundation) is utilized by many charities, especially nonprofit healthcare organizations. While there will be some challenges and some growing pains initially, we are delighted to know that all funds held within the Misericordia Foundation will be fully protected from any potential liability that could arise at any point in the future. It is important for me to share that this has never been an issue for us, and that there are no issues today pertaining to any potential liability. However, we wanted to be proactive and take these steps necessary to better serve our residents and Misericordia and are doing so with this initiative.

Thus, all of our future fundraising efforts to support Misericordia will be directed to the Misericordia Foundation. Please be assured that any and all donations will continue to support Misericordia Home through the Misericordia Foundation, and that the Misericordia Foundation has been organized to support Misericordia Home exclusively. Attached please find a memo that will answer some questions you may have about the new foundation.

As part of this organizational change, a few roles will change immediately, including my own as Executive Director of Misericordia Home. It has been an honor to serve as executive director for the past 52 years, and I thank the Lord for giving me the good health and strength to serve in this important capacity. My new position is Chairman of the new Misericordia Foundation. Lois Gates will serve as the Executive Director of the Misericordia Foundation. Lois recently celebrated her 50th year at Misericordia and has been instrumental to the growth and success of Misericordia throughout the years. We are excited about the Misericordia Foundation and look forward to continuing our efforts with all of you to make a difference for the children and adults of Misericordia. 

I am also delighted to announce that Father Jack Clair will be the new President and Executive Director of Misericordia Home. Father Jack has overseen numerous aspects of Misericordia Home since he arrived in 2000, and we have worked closely together for several years to prepare Misericordia Home for this change of leadership. I know he is up to the task and has the full support of the entire Misericordia community. Mary Pat O’Brien will continue to serve as Misericordia’s Assistant Executive Director of Residential Services. Kevin Connelly will continue to serve as Misericordia’s Assistant Executive Director of Finance & Development. 

I have attached two letters from Cardinal Blasé J. Cupich which address Father Jack’s new role and my transition to the Misericordia Foundation. I especially want to thank Cardinal Cupich and his senior leadership team both at the Archdiocese of Chicago and Catholic Charities for providing their expertise with respect to these important developments for Misericordia.  

Change is always exciting and challenging, so please continue to keep Misericordia in your prayers. We have been blessed here at Misericordia for 100 years, and I know the Lord will continue to bless Misericordia through all of you. Stay safe and I hope to see you very soon. God bless you all.

Sincerely,

Sister Rosemary Connelly, RSM 

Letter from Cardinal Cupich to Sister Rosemary

Letter from Cardinal Cupich to Father Jack

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Misericordia Foundation