When Fr. Joseph Eddy was looking for a religious community to join ten years ago, there were several characteristics that just had to be there. He found these and more in the Order of Mercy.
“I was looking for a community that was Marian, Eucharistic, and faithful to the Magisterium,” explained the 33-year-old priest, who was ordained in 2008.
“It was amazing to find this ancient order which possessed all the characteristics that I was looking for,” said Fr. Joseph, who serves as the vocation director for the order, which has as its formal title, The Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy.
The U.S. branch of the order boasts of ten men in formation against a backdrop of 22 solemnly professed friars. “That’s a healthy sign,” Fr. Joseph said. “The older orders such as ours tend to struggle to get vocations. God is blessing us with these new men, and we look toward a grace-filled future.”
The order’s friars, which consist of brothers and priests, wear crisp white habits, pray the Divine Office together, and live a community life based on the Rule of St Augustine. The men teach in schools, administer parishes, and engage in other apostolic work.
No wonder the order is doing well. Traditional groups are those that are attracting vocations today, according to a 2009 study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University.
The Order of Mercy, also known as the Mercedarians, has its U.S. motherhouse in Philadelphia. Their website is www.OrderofMercy.org. Hear the men chant the Salve on their YouTube video, or visit Fr. Joseph’s Facebook page.