Sister Mercedes Berbach entered religious life from St. Mary Church in McKees Rocks, Pa. She credits her parents as having the greatest influence on her decision to become a Sister, as they instilled in her a total dependence on God’s Providence. She also recalls that Sister Edelburga, her first- and second-grade teacher, and Sister Patricia, her sixth-grade teacher, Sisters of Divine Providence, impressed her with their kindness and knowledge of God’s loving care.
Sister Mercedes earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Mount Mercy College and a master’s in education from the University of Pittsburgh. She taught throughout the Diocese of Pittsburgh for 34 years. She was in the medical records department at Divine Providence Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pa. (1976–88). She received her certification as a chaplain in 1988, and soon after became the chaplain at Resurrection Healthcare at Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago, Ill. (1988–2001). She was secretary to the Congregation’s Generalate in Wakefield, RI (2001–02), and a volunteer receptionist at Providence Family Support Center on Pittsburgh’s North Side (2002–10). Since 2003, she has been chaplain emeritus at St. Barnabas Home in Gibsonia, Pa., and Valencia Woods Nursing Center in Valencia, Pa.
When reflecting on her life as a religious, Sister Mercedes recalls a pilgrimage she took in 1951 to the Shrine of St. Anne-de-Beaupré, in Canada. She prayed that she would know God’s will for her life. When she left the shrine to journey home, she said the Lord let her know that he wanted her to give her life to him. That calling has sustained her throughout her life, and she believes that she must bring others to God and must see everyone as a child of God.
Describing herself as “happy, sincere, and reliable,” Sister Mercedes enjoys reading, music, and art.