'Unto All Ages Holy Ground' (William Kinsella)
Dr William Kinsella, Bishop of Ossory, consecrated this cemetery. In his funeral oration he recommended that the Sisters of Mercy never enter the cemetery “but in a reverent mood, for it would truly be unto all ages holy ground” Sign at entrance to Sacred Garden
Editor: A Memorial wall now faces Catherine’s tomb in the redeveloped Sacred Garden at Baggot Street. Inscribed on the memorial stone affixed to the wall are the names of the first 13 Sisters of Mercy to be laid to rest, housed in the crypt at St Teresa’s Church, Grafton Street, and those of the 49 Sisters who died after Catherine and are buried beside her in the Sacred Garden.
Some of these women’s stories - not just that of Catherine - but, for example, those of Elizabeth Harley, Cecilia Marmion, De Pazzi Delaney and Clare Augustine Moore, are familiar to us through books, articles and the Mercyworld.org website. Of many of the other lives given, we know a lot less. Wonderfully though, each Sister is named here and all who gave their lives in the service of Mercy in the first 52 years of the Order (1831-1883) are recorded permanently, together now for the first time.
An African proverb, variously expressed, says that 'As long as you speak my name I shall live forever'. Names have power when spoken aloud.
In this month of remembrances and on the day (11 November) when we remember Catherine's death, consider visiting the online crypt and the Baggot Street cemetery online to pray and read what is recorded about each of these early Mercy women, or sit with this photograph of the memorial stone.
As you speak each Sister's name, may you remember her, her story and her legacy with gratitude.
May you remember with gratitude, too, the Sisters of Mercy, Associates, Partners-in-Mercy and all who have shared God's compassionate Mercy with those in need.
Will we all meet in heaven? O what joy even to think of it. Catherine McAuley to Teresa White, 3 February 1841
Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - CEO MIA