Divine Mercy Catholic School began as a dream for a new school establishment in Merritt Island to educate children in the Catholic faith. Four Sisters of Mercy from Ireland, one lay teacher, the pastor, and friends of the community made their dream a reality in 1964 with the inaugural class of 1st through 6th grade. Since its humble beginnings 57 years ago, Divine Mercy Catholic School (now named Divine Mercy Catholic Academy) in Merritt Island has a rich history of excellence in education and service to the community. Divine Mercy alumni are characterized as responsible faith-filled citizens, leaders in the community and church, family-oriented, and productive members of society.
On March 26th, Father Kenny Aquino, Pastor of Divine Mercy Catholic Church announced the merger of DMCA with the surrounding schools in the area including St. Mary Catholic School in Rockledge, Our Saviour Catholic School in Cocoa Beach, and St. Teresa Catholic School in Titusville. The school has experienced over time enrollment declines and financial shortfalls combined with a severe impact of the pandemic. This decision to merge DMCA with area Catholic schools came after much research, collaboration, contemplation, and prayer among Diocese of Orlando Catholic school leadership. Upon this news of the school merger, the community of families have experienced heartfelt sadness, but are being welcomed and embraced by the sister schools in the Central/Northern Brevard area. Though the physical buildings of Divine Mercy will be closed at the end of this school year, Catholic education will continue for Divine Mercy families at its three sister schools with continued assistance the parish and school endowment. The spirit and memories of DMCA will carry on in the hearts of the alumni, students, and families forever.
The three surrounding schools will hold Open Houses exclusively for the families of DMCA. Our Saviour Open House is on Monday, April 5, 8 AM – 5 PM, St. Mary Open House is Wednesday, April 7, 9 AM – 2 PM and St. Teresa Open House on April 12th, 8 AM – 4 PM. Families can take tours, meet state-certified teachers, and register their child(ren) at the school of their choice. Current DMCA families whose children have scholarships will be afforded the same scholarships at the neighboring sister schools.
Many of the rich traditions of DMCA will be incorporated at the three sister schools including attending the Mass and receiving the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion, and the student mentor buddy program. DMCA is well known for excellence in all subject areas, faith-formation, focus on STREAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math), Space Day where all students participate in science experiments led by Nasa engineers, and being a family-oriented community of friends.
The commonality of DMCA and neighboring Catholic schools is that every student is embraced as an individual, a child of God, and is known and loved in the nurturing and faith-filled environment by all teachers and staff. The students and families of DMCA will be warmly welcomed and become vital members of their new school community. As they are accustomed to at DMCA, students will soon discover at their sister schools the same beautiful traditions, liturgical celebrations, daily prayer, and participating in the Mass.
As with DMCA’s legacy of excellence and service to others, St. Mary, Our Saviour, and St. Teresa also have a rich tradition of providing an outstanding education as children learn both inside and outside of the classroom through outreach projects, hands-on activities, field trips, and athletics.
DMCA families are in the thoughts and prayers of the entire Catholic community as they embark on a new educational journey for their children that is truly an extension of their own special community, where students will continue to grow intellectually, spiritually, socially, and emotionally.
By Dawn Melcher, Special to the Florida Catholic April 1, 2021