Brief History

   
          The community was founded in 1988 as the Ecumenical Brothers of the Mercy of God (BMG).  Br. Gerald William, our founder, did preliminary outreach and recruited a few prospective members who gathered at Christ Church Cathedral, Hartford, Connecticut.  The initial ceremony of  first vows by two brothers and reception of two novices took place in October, 1989, at the St. Pius X Capuchin Friary, Middletown Connecticut.

                  All these early members were from New England, so the small group was able to meet monthly for Sundays of prayer, discussion, and camaraderie.  In 1990, meetings were moved to Sacred Heart Oratory, Vernon CT.  Another brother pronounced first vows there that year.   Since then, additional members have been received every year, except in 1994 when a two-year formation program was instituted.  
                                
                 As the community began to spread geographically, not all members could attend monthly gatherings.  The New England group continued to do so and, in 1992, the first national events, a Religious Life Weekend Retreat in the spring and Chapter I in the fall, were convened at the Christian Brothers Center, Narragansett RI.   

                The entity was incorporated in Rhode Island as a non-profit organization on the Feast of the Transfiguration, August 6, 1992.   At Chapter I, the group adopted a democratic model of self-governance, decided to include women, changed its name to Mercy of God Community (MGC), and adopted a formal Rule and Bylaws.  The first election of a Leadership Council was held at Chapter II, in October, 1993.   In 1994, the U. S. Internal Revenue Service recognized MGC as a religious order and granted tax-exempt status.  

                The first sister professed vows in June, 1995.  The internet domain name "mgc.org" was obtained and the original website was launched on the Feast of St. Clare, August 11, 1996.  Chapter III was convened in October, 1996.  The tenth anniversary celebration highlighted the spring meeting/ retreat in June, 1998.   Chapter VII was held in October, 2011.  

                The community has continued to grow and national spring meetings/retreats and fall conferences/chapters have been held every year.   At the re-founding in 1992, there were nine brothers.  As of December 31, 2016, there are 9 professed members and 80 individual associates residing in 28 states and Australia.

Br. Donald Steele, MGC and Br. Ronald Crepeau Cross, MGC entered eternal life in 2016.

While adhering to our historic foundations, we aspire to a present and future as outlined in our
Charism Statement.


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