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Sister Rosemary Connelly speaks at Saint Xavier University's Commencement

Executive Director of Misericordia/Heart of Mercy Center

Chicago (May 12, 2006) – Sister Rosemary Connelly, R.S.M., executive director of Misericordia/Heart of Mercy Center, will be the commencement speaker at Saint Xavier University’s Spring Commencement Ceremonies on Sunday, May 21. She will also receive an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.

A Chicago native, Connelly is a member of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and earned a bachelor of arts in social science from Saint Xavier in 1957, a master of arts in sociology from St. Louis University in 1963, and a master’s degree in social work from Loyola University Chicago in 1966. 

She was appointed administrator of Misericordia/Heart of Mercy Center in 1969, when it was a home for just 132 children under six years old. Operated by the Sisters of Mercy under the auspices of the Catholic Bishop of Chicago, Misericordia has been providing services for persons in need since 1921. Today, between its two Chicago campuses, Misericordia provides a loving, challenging and dignified environment for more than 500 children and adults with mental and physical disabilities. Misericordia is dedicated to the principle that each person be encouraged to realize his or her maximum potential. 

A few of Connelly’s numerous awards include the National Caritas Award of the Kennedy Foundation, the Award for Outstanding Christian Service from the Association of Chicago Priests, the Guttenberg Award from the Chicago Bible Society, the Ann McGlone Burke Olympian Service Award from the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation, the Loveland Award from the American College of Physicians, the Daniel A. Lord, S.J. Award from Loyola Academy, the President’s Cabinet Award from the University of Detroit Mercy, the Sword of Loyola Citation from Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine, the Distinguished Service Award from Catholic Theological Union, the Woman of the Year Award from the Galway Fellowship Club, the Catherine McAuley Leadership Award from Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School, the Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Award from the Archdiocese of Chicago, and the Order of Lincoln Medallion from the Lincoln Academy of Illinois.

Saint Xavier University is a private, coeducational institution serving more than 5,700 students with high-quality academic programs. It offers 36 undergraduate degree majors and 32 graduate program options in five schools: School of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, Graham School of Management, School of Nursing and School of Continuing and Professional Studies. With campuses in Chicago and Orland Park, the University offers personalized education that emphasizes challenging undergraduate, graduate and professional programs of study.


Saint Xavier University, a Catholic institution inspired by the heritage of the Sisters of Mercy, educates men and women to search for truth, to think critically, to communicate effectively, and to serve wisely and compassionately in support of human dignity and the common good.

Saint Xavier University Media Relations: 773-298-3325
3700 West 103rd Street, Chicago Ill. 60655 * 18230 Orland Parkway, Orland Park, Ill. 60467
online faculty expert guide: www.sxu.edu/relations/faculty_experts.asp