The Creation of a Community of Kindness

Creating a Community of Kindness was the topic. Mercyhurst University Walker Recital Hall was the place. Religious Sisters, Erie political leaders, and Mercyhurst staff gave the input. Erie News NOW and the Northwest bank were the sponsors. Sisters, friends and interested members of the Erie community were the audience. Put it all together and you have the makings of a conversation, panel discussion and sharing—and the creation of a community of kindness.

The initiative was part of the annual celebration of National Catholic Sisters Week planned by the Sisters of Mercy, the Sisters of St. Joseph, the Benedictines Sisters, and the Diocese of Erie. As moderator Eva Mastromatteo from Erie News NOW said, the gathering was of “intimate” size and allowed for a meaningful conversation.

The panelists and guest speakers shared strong, hope-filled messages. Sister Anne Wambach, prioress, based her remarks on the Benedictine principal of listening with the ear of the heart as the beginning of kindness: “If you really listen and hear what a person needs it is easy to be kind. As the saying goes: ‘There isn’t anyone you cannot love [and give the gift of kindness to] once you’ve heard their story.’”

Members of the audience had the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas. “It was very moving to hear people speak of their experiences of kindness—whether they were on the giving or the receiving end,” said Sister Anne. “Random acts of kindness, paying it forward, simply offering a smile and a greeting—once you try it, you find out how remarkably easy it is.”

The conversation was a beginning. Attendees left with kindness magnets, window clings and pins—all with a simple yet important message: BE KIND. By working to build strong and kind family, school, neighborhood, city, and church communities all of us can have a positive and productive effect on the world in which we live. Remember: Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love (Lao Tzu).

Click on the arrow to view a brief photo re-cap of the event.