August 18, 2005

Catherine McAuley’s Letters come home

The journey home with the original letters of Venerable Catherine McAuley began with a Solemn Ritual of Transfer during the Institute of the Americas’ Chapter in Laredo, Texas on 25th June 2005.

The chest containing the 62 letters of Catherine McAuley which were held and treasured in the Institute Archives, plus letters from seven regional communities, was handed by Sr Marie Chin (ILC) to Sr Evelyn Gallagher in the name of, and on behalf of, the Mercy International Association and Mercy International Centre.


Filling the boxes L to R: Srs Marie Louisa Vera,
Sheila Carney and Marie Chin

Catherine’s words and spirit accompanied the Sisters during their Chapter. With joy, tears and deep emotions the letters were returned on long term loan to the MIA Collection housed at the Congregational Archives at Catherine McAuley Centre, Herbert Street, where they can be viewed by Sisters, Associates and friends from around the world.


Sr Evelyn Gallagher and Marie Chin

Evelyn was indeed privileged to carry the letters, guarding them with full attention (her life!) until she touched down in Dublin. A large sign over the Drumcondra Road from the Airport read “Good to be Back Home”. Did Catherine have something to do with that?

At Baggot Street on 30th June, Catherine’s letters were received in a beautiful ritual prepared by Srs Ethel Bignell, Rosie Carroll and her team. Sr Breege O’Neill welcomed the Letters with a lighted ‘Catherine Candle’ in the Chapel. Many photographs captured the significant moments for all present including four Sisters from the Institute of the Americas.

Marianne Cosgrove, Archivist, received Catherine’s letters from Caitlin Conneely, new Director, and placed them in the MIA Collection.

A grateful thank you to the Institute Leadership Team of the Americas for this gift.

Messages to Patricia McMahon rsm

Reprinted with permission from Mercy Union Newsletter, Issue 89, July 2005

L to R: Srs Rosie Carroll, Caitlin Conneely, Evelyn Gallagher, Marianne Cosgrove, Breege O’Neill & Ethel Bignell

L to R: Srs Mary Seton, Jo Anne Courneen, Marianne Cosgrove , Suzanne Neisser and Barb Stinard from the USA

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