As part of its 10th Anniversary, Mercy Clinic, part of Mercy Ministries of Laredo will honor three individuals with the Mercy McAuley Award of Service. The honorees are Daniel Guevara, Judith Gutierrez and Dr. Ray Keck, all of who played a pivotal role in the inception of Mercy Ministries of Laredo which is part of the 120-year history of the Sisters of Mercy in Laredo.
The announcement was made by honorary chairman of the celebration, Dennis Nixon, who was the inaugural recipient of the Mercy McAuley Award in 2011.
All three served on the original board when Mercy Ministries of Laredo and Mercy Clinic were formed. Guevara became the first CEO of the ministry in 2003 and retired in 2006 after 40 years with the Sisters of Mercy. Dr. Keck served as the first president of the board and former county commissioner Gutierrez was on the board and has served the Sisters ministry in many ways.
Sr. Maria Luisa Vera, President of Mercy Ministries, expressed joy in the selection of the three who each played an important part in continuing the legacy of the Sisters.
“Danny, Judy and Ray have all served this community in so many ways and were a blessing to Mercy Ministries at a turning point in our history,” said Vera. “Our founder, Catherine McAuley, would have been proud to count them among her friends.”
Close to 200 years ago Catherine McAuley opened the House of Mercy in Dublin to shelter and care for impoverished women and children. A few years later she became a nun and founded the Sisters of Mercy who vowed to unselfishly serve the neediest in their communities with respect and dignity. Faithful to Catherine’s mission, the Sisters of Mercy brought that same healing, caring and teaching to Laredo more than 150 years ago.
Mercy Ministries of Laredo administers Mercy Clinic and Casa de Misericordia. This celebration is for Mercy Clinic which provides healthcare with a focus on prevention and control through health education and outreach to the uninsured and Laredo’s neediest population. Close to 90% of Mercy’s patients fall below the federal poverty guideline which allows a total income of only $19,530 for a family of three.
The Mercy McAuley Gala will be held on Thursday, Nov. 7 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Currently, committee members include Dr. Minita Ramirez, Betty Flores, Melissa and Joaquin Cigarroa, Tammy and Memo Trevino, Julie Tijerina, Mary and Robert Freeman, and Judith and Mercurio Martinez, Catalina Zaragoza, Priscilla Salinas, Mindy Casso and Mr. and Mrs. Jorge Verduzco.