Mary Mother of Mercy!

Mary Mother of Mercy!

The Assumption of Mary!

August 15, 2022

Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab; Luke 1:39-56

The artist chosen for this work of Mary was Janet McKenzie. 

Janet provides the following reflection on her painting of Mary, Mother of Mercy:


“Beloved mother Mary protectively and lovingly holds humanity within her mantle. As she loved Jesus so she loves each one of us.

Three racially diverse subjects serve as the inspiration for the figure of Mary thereby contributing to a genuinely inclusive and invitational interpretation. The Blessed Mother does not tower over the people within her mantle rather she is a similar size, familiar and relatable. Mary the unifying force, rises up with outstretched arms holding us within her love, her hands gripping her mantle with strength.

The inclusive subjects within Mary’s mantle, archetypes symbolizing a small portion of the human race, honor diversity. . . .”

The Dish Washer’s Son, Some Border’s You never Cross, by Mike J. Quinn is a book about Frank, whose mom was married to an undocumented immigrant, his father. He simply disappeared one day. Frank did not have a birth certificate being born at home.

At 17 Frank hangs out with the “vigilantes” to chase down undocumented individuals in the desert. In a raid on the Taco Bell where he worked, he was picked up by the authorities and sent to Mexico, where he did not even know the language. In the process, he met his dad’s family, where he discovered he died trying to return to the United States. Frank came to appreciate his heritage. He henceforth proudly described himself as Mexican American.

This book goes into the shades of crossing the border, the dangers, and the treatment of immigrants by the border patrol.

My heart remembers fifteen-year-old Diego, who was an illegal immigrant. He came to the United States to make money for his family, working as a sex worker.

Diego was kind, sweet, and caring. He loved his family with all of his heart. In the two years he was here he became HIV positive, developing into AIDS, and one night a “john’ called the police, and Diego was deported. Two years later a letter arrived from his mother telling me he had died.

On this “Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary” let us remember  “Mary, the Mother of Mercy”, whose hands reach out to all.

Mary, the Mother of Mercy, raises the questions about immigration, and asks: “Why do we need borders?” for we are all of the same family?  Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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