About Catherine

Catherine McAuley was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1778. In 1824 she used her inheritance from an Irish couple she had served for twenty years to build a large House of Mercy where she and other lay women would shelter homeless women, reach out to the sick and dying and educate poor girls. The House on Baggot Street opened in 1827. To give these efforts greater stability, Catherine and her co-workers founded a new religious congregation. On 12 December 1831, she and two others professed their vows as the first Sisters of Mercy. Before her death on 11 November 1841, Catherine founded convents and works of mercy throughout Ireland and England.

Her Story Catherine's Dublin
About Catherine
About Catherine
In God Alone

Catherine's Resource Library

Articles, videos, audio tracks, web links and video clips on Catherine McAuley, the founding of the Sisters of Mercy and the issues Mercy is addressing today, can be downloaded or viewed here.

A community in which this universal charity reigns is ... capable of surmounting all difficulties.

Letter to Catherine McAuley

Mercy Facts

Foundation to Moorfields, London from Wexford - M Joseph Kearney

September 22, 1858

view more facts

Mercy Quotes

“The bishop of Cork urged at a profession in 1837 that they add a fourth vow - the service of the poor, the sick and the ignorant - as both integral to their dedication and descriptive of it.”

Joanna Regan and Isabelle Keiss

view all quotes