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Mary Jo Colligan (left),

president and founder

Our work helps women in need find the spiritual, physical and emotional strength to follow the plan God has for them, while supporting them on their journey with hope and unconditional love. Their past does not have to determine their future...God will meet them right where they are and can make beauty from ashes!

-Mary Jo

Circle of Mercy in Action! Mary Jo Gugino Colligan '70

April 14, 2020

Circle of Mercy-Mary-Jo-and-Teagan-compo

Circle of Mercy in Action! As founder and president of Angels of Mercy, Mary Jo Gugino Colligan ’70 knows what it’s like to serve on the front lines. Angels of Mercy is the New York State chapter for Dress a Girl which is dedicated to helping women in need locally, across the nation, and around the world. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Mary Jo put out a request to her Dress a Girl seamstresses to help in the effort to sew masks. The response was overwhelming! To date, over 2,500 masks have been sewn and distributed to patient care centers, senior living and nursing homes, Catholic Family Center, and 30 other organizations in need. “It is such a joy for me and for our volunteers to help the community,” Mary Jo said. “We are always ready, willing, and able to meet the needs of others.” One of the volunteers who sprang into action was Mercy junior Teagan Holmes ’21 who spent much of her Spring Break at the sewing machine. Thank you, Teagan, and thank you Mary Jo! #CircleOfMercyInAction


  • 2010 Italian American Civic Club ‘Gala Recipient’ for non-profit Charitable work

  • 2011 Recipient of the Irondequoit Chamber of Commerce ‘Person of the Year’

  • 2012 United Nations Association of Rochester ‘Outstanding Community Organization Award’ given for humanitarian work

  • 2012 IACC (Italian American Community Center) ‘Women of the Year Award’ in the Civic Category

  • 2012 Hope for Women International Recognition for Dress A Girl success

  • 2014 Woman of the Year, Rochester Federation of Women

  • 2015 Paul Harris Rotary International Award for Humanitarian Work

  • 2016 Sons of Italy Humanitarian Award

  • 2017 Church Women United, Key Woman Award, Annual State Assembly, New York State

  • 2018 Alumnae Circle of Mercy Award

  • 2019 Finalist for the Athena Award

  • 2022 Girlie Goodwin Citizen of the Year - Mary Jo Gugino Colligan, Angels of Mercy, Inc. awarded by The Greece Chamber's 35th Annual Community Awards

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