Sunday, Sept. 24, is Mercy Day, a celebration of the day in 1827 when Catherine McAuley opened her first House of Mercy, offering aid to those in need. The house remains a symbol of her legacy of mercy, 190 years later.
McAuley was a Catholic laywoman of great means and great faith, and realized she could make a difference in the lives of the impoverished people she saw living around her in Dublin. This first House of mercy was a place to shelter and educate women and girls and was run by like-minded women she recruited. The Archbishop of Dublin encouraged McAuley to establish a religious congregation and, in 1831 she and two companions became the first Sisters of Mercy.
McAuley was to live only another 10 years after the founding of the Sisters of Mercy, but in that time she established 14 independent foundations in Ireland and England. The first Sisters of Mercy in the United States came in 1843, and were invited by the Bishop of Pittsburgh. Their ministry to the sick and poor attracted widespread attention and they soon settled in many communities from New York to San Francisco. Their mission grew over the years to include education, in addition to working with the sick and poor. In 1941, the sisters founded what was to become Mercy College of Detroit; in 1990 the College merged with University of Detroit to form University of Detroit Mercy.
We tell you all this because, in honor of the special day, the Sisters want to know what Mercy means to you. To this end, they are collecting your stories of how Mercy has touched your life. “We are extending the invitation to students of Mercy institutions—faculty and staff too!—to join in sharing stories of how we and others #MakeMercyReal. You can find inspiration online by searching the hashtag on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.”
Share your story by clicking here and we will collect what you send us in a post next week. We thank you and the Sisters of Mercy thank you, too.