Who Are We?
As early as 1827, Catherine McAuley, a wealthy heiress in Dublin , Ireland , began caring for women and children in need . . . providing safe housing, teaching the uneducated and visiting the ill. By 1831, she officially dedicated her life and her inheritance to this mission by establishing the Sisters of Mercy. Following a novitiate with the Presentation Sisters, Catherine and two other women took their vows as the first Sisters of Mercy.
The community grew rapidly and the sisters were much in demand. At the time of Catherine’s death in 1841, she had established Mercy communities throughout Ireland and England . By 1856, the Sisters of Mercy had expanded into Scotland , Newfoundland , Australia and New Zealand . Simultaneously, hundreds of thousands of Irish laborers and their families were emigrating to the Americas and the Sisters of Mercy came with them, establishing schools and hospitals. Today, Catherine’s original House of Mercy on Baggot Street in Dublin is known as Mercy International Centre and it remains a center of hospitality, reflection and tradition for Sisters of Mercy worldwide.
Please visit www.mercyinternational.ie for more information.
Sister Mary Frances Warde was the first Sister of Mercy to arrive in the United States in 1843. She established the first community of the Sisters of Mercy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and since then the congregation spread throughout the North, South and Central Americas.
On July 20, 1991, the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas was formed to bring together over 4,000 Sisters of Mercy who minister in North, South and Central America . The Institute leadership team and staff act as liaisons to the Sisters of Mercy Communities, facilitating the Mercy mission and creating a unified corporate voice on the national level.
Please visit www.sistersofmercy.org for more information.
A New Mercy Moment
Between now and 2009, the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas is undergoing a reorganization process, consolidating 25 regional communities into six larger geographic Communities to better focus the lives and mission of Mercy. As of July 1, 2008 the Cedar Rapids Regional Community of the Sisters of Mercy joined with the regional communities of Auburn and Burlingame, California; Chicago; Detroit; and Omaha to become the Sisters of Mercy - West Midwest Community. The West Midwest Community includes nearly 900 Sisters of Mercy and enables the Sisters to be even more responsible stewards of their ministries, resources, talents and energy.