A special Mass on Thursday, Sept.1, will mark the merger of two congregations of the Brothers of Mercy. The 4 p.m. Mass at Our Lady of Peace, 10950 Main St., Clarence, will signify the union of the Brother of Mercy of Montabaur, located in Clarence, and the Brothers of Mercy of Mary Help of Christians, located in Trier, Germany. Bishop Richard J. Malone, bishop of Buffalo, will be the celebrant.
During the Mass, the American brothers will received the Way of Life, the habit and the ring of vows of the Brothers of Mercy of Mary Help if Christians, as symbols of their membership. All brothers present will renew their vows together before the bishop.
The merger of the two groups was confirmed by the Roman Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life in May. Three brothers from Germany traveled to Western New York and have been involved in chapter meetings with the local brothers (there are 11 Brothers of Mercy in Western New York) and will also meet with key executive officers of the various entities on the Clarence campus of Brothers of Mercy.
"The decision to merge with the Brothers of Mercy of Mary Help of Christians was made to strengthen our common charism and ministry to the sick and elderly," said Brother Jude Holzfoerster, regional superior.
Brother Peter Berg, general superior, named Brother Kenneth Thomas superior for the community.
The brothers will continue to operate their healthcare institutions in Clarence, Brothers of Mercy Nursing Home, Brothers of Mercy Sacred Heart Adult Home, Brothers of Mercy Senior Apartments and the Montabaur Heights Apartments.
Following Thursday afternoon's Mass, there will be a private reception at Samuel's Grande Manor.
For more information about the Brothers of Mercy, contact Brother Kenneth Thomas at 759-7205.