To Forgive Injuries

Behind the scene ...

During 1829 Catherine McAuley was receiving criticism in relation to developments in the House of Mercy at Baggot Street. For reasons unknown, she did not attend the blessing of the chapel on June 4, 1829, nor the lunch afterwards. Her absence did seem out of character. Perhaps the criticism, especially from some priests, had hurt Catherine so deeply that she could not face those involved.

Sullivan (2012, p. 88) recounts the words of Fr William Young who said to Sr Frances Warde, following criticism of Catherine by another priest during the lunch mentioned above: “My dear, have the goodness to assure Miss McAuley of my respect for her and my good wishes for the prosperity of the institution. I am but a poor priest yet I will contribute my mite; I wish I could do more. He gave her a gold sovereign. Mary Ann Doyle says “no more [was] said on the subject just then, but a day or two after came an anonymous note directed to ‘C. McAuley Esq.’ Which contained the most mortifying, the most insulting strictures on Miss McAuley’s proceedings. She knew the handwriting as that of the priest who had spoken so harshly on the day of the dedication and so did Dr Blake.”


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