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Our Lady of Mercy HS celebrates 10 years

It has been 10 years since Our Lady of Mercy (OLM) Catholic High School in north Fayette County opened its doors. It has been a decade that has led to many achievements and one that points to an even brighter future.

OLM opened its doors in 2000 for grades 9 and 10 with an enrollment of 70 students. The school at that time offered a few sports and fine arts, said Principal Danny Dorsel, adding that OLM’s first graduating class came in 2003 when 19 students received their diplomas.

Now 10 years later a lot has changed. Enrollment for the 2010-2011 school year is now 316. But there is more, Dorsel said. OLM now offers 16 sports (24 teams with junior varsity and varsity) and has won six state championships in track and cross-country and numerous individual state titles.

OLM today offers a complete dance program, visual arts, band and drama and has 16 student organizations and clubs, Dorsel said.

“Last year we received one of 25 Hewlett Packard Education Grants worth $265,000, Dorsel said. ”We were the only Catholic school in the nation to receive it.”

And in 2008, Dorsel continued, OLM instituted the House System so that each child belongs to a group in which they get to know faculty, staff and students in each grade.

Also noteworthy was that 100 percent of the 54-member 2010 graduating class was accepted to a college or university and eight signed to play college athletics. OLM students in 2010 garnered $5.6 million in scholarships.

“Since 2000, Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School has had the pleasure of serving as the only Catholic high school in Atlanta south of I-20. In the last few years we have seen a large increase in enrollment. I think our success in having students be accepted into the college of their choice and the majority of them with large scholarships has been a real drawing factor for us,” Dorsel said.

“Also, we offer the traditional math curriculum and a full 180 days of instruction. We also have a dedicated faculty with an average of 15 years of teaching experience.”

Dorsel said all faculty members interact with the students on various levels outside the classroom, whether as a
coach, fine arts instructor, or club moderator.
“This aspect really helps build the sense of community. Our families are also very involved, said Dorsel. “In fact, the families are required to give 20 hours of service to the school through volunteer efforts. This initiative helps create the family atmosphere that is so important in forming children.”

OLM on Aug. 13 held its 10th Anniversary Celebration, filling the auditorium for a special mass attended by clergy and alumni.

Dorsel said OLM has rolling admissions, so it is never too late for a family to explore if Mercy is right for them. Those interested in learning more about OLM should contact admissions director Sandy Martin at 770-461-2202 or by email at



What is it about Catholic men and their need to adorn themselves in silly hats and dresses? This is one of the most absurd photos I've ever seen in the Citizen. Thanks for the giggle, Cal :-)

Git Real's picture

(Shaking head) You got issues girl.

<em><strong>Stupid can't be fixed. We can only vote him out</strong></em>

I prefer my "holy men" in jeans and hiking boots.

Have you seen this quote:

<strong>“There’s no longer evidence for a need of God, even less of Christ. The so-called traditional churches look like they are dying.” - Pope Benedict XVI</strong>

This sort of make-up is similar to the motorcycle discussion about the PTC cycle----the trim makes a world of difference to some since it prompts silly conversation at stops along the way and for neighbors!

It is done to impress!

What with all the helicopters, motorcycles, Mustangs, dogs, shopping center carnivals, haircuts, mustaches, and weekly pictures in the paper, the budget will be even bigger next year.
Same with churches doing it, the rigs impress even if the person wearing it doesn't! The Pope has hundreds of combinations and colors, and red shoes!
He doesn't wear a sack cloth and ride a donkey to town either (on palm leaves).

In reading the article, it looks to me like OLM is doing a really good job of educating young people. Funny hats or not, I'm in favor of organizations that provide excellent education.

Many Congrats to Our Lady of Mercy on ten years! As part of their 2nd graduating class of 2004, and the first class to attend the 9th-12th grades at OLM, I have definately seen major growth and development throughout the school and I genuinely felt that I received the best education. I felt that attending OLM afforded me many opportunities that I wouldn't have had, had I not attended. At the time, Our graduating class was quite small and very tight knit and we were more like family than simply "peers." In addition, we had a very small classes which aided in our teachers being able to give us one on one attention and guidance. I look forward to watching the continual expansion and growth that Our Lady of Mercy has such potential for! In addition to this, As it pertains to the below mentioned comments about the "men in funny hats," I must add that the Gentleman that are on the far left and far right of the picture are wearing what is part of a traditional uniform for certain members of the Knights of Columbus which is a charitible fraternity. The Knights of columbus have raised and contributed many millions of dollars to various charities throughout the more than 125 years it has been in existence. As for the three Gentleman in the middle of the picture, they are the current and former chaplains of the school and former Archbishop of Atlanta. Their robes are part of traditional clerical clothing and particular colors and vestments represent different times in the liturgical year or are worn on certain holy days of obligation. Hope this helps!

Jacqueline P.

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness." - Matthew 23:27-28

Knights of Columbus donate big money:

AnonRegisteredVoter's picture

Tell the leaders of your religion to stop turning a blind eye to your religion's priests who molest our children.

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