Catherine’s Anniversary Remembered
November 11, 1841. It was the last day of Catherine McAuley’s life. It saw the night she died in her Baggot Street room…. in that small infirmary which she asked Teresa Carton to prepare for her after the trip back from Birmingham to Dublin, which left her weary.
One hundred sixty-three years have passed and Catherine’s spirit lives on in her house….in her Sisters…and in Associates and friends of Mercy around the world. Catherine is remembered all right. Her presence is felt deeply on Baggot Street. Her home, which is now Mercy International Centre, will be the site of many pilgrims on this anniversary of her death.
Before 7 am, one of the sisters on the team will open the house as Dublin is wakening. Perhaps she will gaze at the star-filled sky as she passes next to Catherine’s grave on her morning rounds. And perhaps she will steal a moment of silence as she stands inside the chapel surrounding Catherine’s grave…and then speak a word to Catherine on this, her anniversary of her passing to eternal life.
All through the day, pilgrims from Ireland and Peru who are participants in the Walking and Praying Extended programme will reflect on Catherine’s life and be present to her death. The Centre’s team will join them for prayer in Catherine’s room as night falls. Other pilgrims are likely to visit Catherine’s grave this November 11. Sr. Ann Hannon will bring a group to the sacred space for prayer in the afternoon. If this anniversary is like any of the recent ones, Sisters and Mercy friends will be stopping in all day long, to remember Catherine and to acknowledge that her presence still lives among us.
Barb Stinard rsm
Heritage Coordinator, Mercy International Centre