Katie Couric's Notebook: Misericordia

The word Misericordia means "heart of mercy" in Latin. It means a whole lot more to the 560 residents who live there.

Located in Chicago, Misericordia is a home for children and adults with mental disabilities...like Down Syndrome or cerebral palsy...or brain damage from early childhood.

When executive director Sister Rosemary Connelly came there 41 years ago, the home only accepted children under the age of six. After that, many were sent to state institutions or nursing homes.

Sister Rosemary decided to change that. She fought to keep her young residents...to make a permanent home for them...and she did.

Today, Misericordia is 31 sprawling acres of productivity and laughter.

One mom told us that her son came home for a visit and said, " I have friends now."

And he was eager to get back to his digs...where he's happy and independent. Sister Rosemary's commitment has not only given these residents a home, its given them a life.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.