Introducing Catherine McAuley

Catherine McAuley was born in Dublin, Ireland, in September 1778. She founded the Sisters of Mercy in December 1831.

  • Early Childhood
    1778
    Early Childhood

    Early Childhood

    Life at Coolock House
    1803
    Life at Coolock House

    Life at Coolock House

    Discover to me, O my God, the nothingness of this world, the greatness of heaven, the shortness of time, and the length of eternity.
    An Insistent Vocation
    1810
    An Insistent Vocation

    An Insistent Vocation

    An Extraordinary Gift
    1819
    An Extraordinary Gift
    Coolock House

    An Extraordinary Gift

    House for the Poor
    1827
    House for the Poor
    House of Mercy

    House for the Poor

    Do not put your trust in any human being, but place all your confidence in God. Derry Manuscript, in Sullivan, Catherine McAuley, 49
    Legal Guardian of Nine
    1829
    Legal Guardian of Nine

    Legal Guardian of Nine

    Moving to Baggot Street
    1829
    Moving to Baggot Street

    Moving to Baggot Street

    Ladies who prefer a conventual life, and are prevented embracing it from the nature of property or connections, many retire to this House. It is expected a gratuity will be given to create a fund for the school, and an annual pension paid sufficient to meet the expence a lady must incur. The objects which the Charity at present embraces are daily education of hundreds of poor female children and instruction of young women who sleep in the House. Objects in view - superintendence of young women employed in the house, instruction and assisting the sick poor... (Sullivan, ed., Correspondence, Letter 6)
    Misunderstanding and Criticism
    1829
    Misunderstanding and Criticism

    Misunderstanding and Criticism

    A Difficult Decision
    1829-1830
    A Difficult Decision

    A Difficult Decision

    The First Sisters of Mercy
    1830
    The First Sisters of Mercy

    The First Sisters of Mercy

    I, Sister Catherine McAuley, called in religion Mary Catherine, do vow and promise to God perpetual Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, and to persevere until the end of my life in the congregation called of the Sisters of Mercy, established for the visitation of the sick poor, and protection and instruction of poor females... (Sullivan, ed., Correspondence, Letter 12)
    Mercy Spreads
    1830-1840
    Mercy Spreads

    Mercy Spreads

    Final Requests
    1841
    Final Requests
    Pope Gregory XVI

    Final Requests

    Preserve union and peace amongst each other - that if they did they would enjoy great happiness such that they would wonder where it came from (Elizabeth Moore to Mary Ann Doyle, November 21, 1841) Get a good cup of tea... when I am gone & to comfort one another - but God will comfort them (Mary Vincent Whitty to Cecilia Marmion, November 12, 1841)
    Servant of God
    1990
    Servant of God

    Servant of God

    The Servant of God Catherine McAuley... practiced to a heroic degree the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity toward God and neighbour, and along with them the cardinal virtues of Prudence, Justice, Temperance, and Fortitude (Decree, April 9, 1990, Congregation for the Causes of Saints)