Guyana

Mercy at a Glance

Founded Area of Ministries Website
1894 Education, Childcare, Healthcare, Skills Training, Empowerment www.sistersofmercy.org

Srs Ursula Green and Antonia Chambers arrived from England, on April 23, 1894 where they were joined by a young Guianese woman, Pauline DeFreitas. The Sister’s early ministry was in education and visitation of the poor and sick in Charlestown. The first Mercy school in Guyana (then British Guiana), St. Joseph’s High School, was opened in 1897.

Between 1910 and 1930, more sisters came from the British Isles and the sisters moved to interior areas of Guyana. A number of local women joined the congregation in the 1920’s. In 1930 the Sisters of Mercy in Guyana joined the Union of Sisters of Mercy of the United States. Today they are members of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, CCASA Community.

Today, Sisters of Mercy in Guyana minister in literacy and alternative education programmes, in health care administration and provision, in empowerment programmes for women, and meeting the personal, pastoral, and spiritual needs of the people. A premier historian in Guyana, Mary Noel Menezes rsm published a history of the ministry of the Sisters of Mercy in Guyana in 1994.

St. Joseph’s Hospital which opened in 1945 provides in-treatment and out-patient care. Its programmes include Remote Area Medical which provides free testing and treatment for women with cervical cancer; the Wishbone Project which provides free surgical repair of cleft lip and palate defects to economically disadvantaged children and young adults; a mobile health clinic and free testing and counseling for HIV.

St. John Bosco Boys’ Orphanage, founded in 1879 is home to over 40 boys aged between 4 and 16. It has been managed by Sisters of Mercy since 1902.

Mercy Wings Vocational Centre offers vocational-technical training to youth aged 15-19 who have not completed traditional school.

Mercy Volunteer Corps has had volunteers working in Guyana since 2000. In addition, several Mercy colleges in the United States have chosen to partner with various ministries in Guyana for immersion experiences for their students.