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A Legacy of Monarchs

Teresa Wildhalm, Class of 1949

At Mercy High School there are many students who come from generations of Mercy girls before them, making Mercy a tradition in their family household. One of the students, Rita Leuck, who is a junior, comes from three different generations of Mercy students.

The first to attend Mercy High School was her great grandmother, then it was her aunt, and last to join the group was her mother. Rita is proud of her Mercy roots, as it has helped her grow and connect with Mercy traditions. Knowing every day that she is walking in the halls where the women in her family had once been makes Mercy feel as a second home to her.

Her Great Grandmother Teresa was the first to become a Mercy Monarch. She didn’t exactly attend this building as it was under construction, but received her Mercy education at St. John’s. Not much is known about her other than she graduated in 1949 and was given a scholarship for her outstanding academics. Rita is very proud of her, and looks upon her accomplishments as motivation to also strive every day and do her best at school. 

Denise Leuck, Class of 1991

Next in the family was Rita’s great aunt Denise who was in the class of 1991. She was an athlete who played soccer for all four years of high school. She was also involved in her faith by being part of the Campus Ministry and says she was a “geek” when it came to history. She had the chance to participate in the Ireland pilgrimage  where she visited the first Mercy school opened in Dublin. While there she met an Irish boy named Mark who became her pen pal, and they are still friends to this day.

Last, Rita’s mother Rischa joined Mercy and was in the graduating class of 2000. She shared a love for the arts, just like her daughter, and was part of Mercy High Singers. She also dedicated her life to serving others and worked at a convent while attending Mercy. One of her biggest accomplishments was being the young Catherine McAuley on Mercy Day of 1999. The experience was truly amazing for her, and she never forgets to tell Rita about the importance of Catherine McAuley in our lives. 

Rischa Leuck, Class of 2000 as young Catherine McAuley on Mercy Day

Without having a generation of Monarchs before her, Rita would have never been raised with the Mercy traditions she and her family have adapted as their own. Rita hopes that in the future she can continue the Mercy tradition, and hopes that the Mercy spirit and values will always be in her family for generations to come.

Maria Gerardo-Dominguez
“Make each day your Masterpiece”- John Wooden /Animal Lover who likes bullet journaling
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