To Bear Wrongs Patiently

Behind the scene ...

The controversy over the appointment of a chaplain for the House of Mercy during the latter part of 1837 was a great trial for Catherine McAuley. Sullivan (2004, p. 94) records that “in September a deep conflict arose between her and Dr Walter Meyer, parish priest of St Andrew’s church, over his unwillingness to assign a regular chaplain to serve the sacramental needs of the homeless women and girls sheltered in the House of Mercy on Baggot Street ... but the ‘bitterness’ she [Catherine] felt at the injustice of the chaplaincy controversy was a new kind of suffering for her; it was assuaged only with prayer, effort on her part and the support and counsel of friends.”

Even though she thought of herself as lacking patience and prayed for “the virtue and divine gift of patience” (Sullivan, 2012, p. 153), Catherine seems to have been a most resilient woman in the face of many obstacles and stressful situations.


Sullivan, M. C. [Ed] (2004) The Correspondence of Catherine McAuley 1818-1841 Dublin: Four Courts Press.

Sullivan, M. C. (2012) The Path of Mercy: the Life of Catherine McAuley Dublin: Four Courts Press.