Mercy Celebrations

What is Mercy Day?

Mercy Day—September 24—is the anniversary of the opening of the first “House of Mercy” in 1827 in Dublin, Ireland. Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy, devoted her life to the poor, sick and uneducated, and today we continue her legacy of caring and compassion in the name of Mercy. Maria College prepared a week’s worth of rich programming starting with Mercy Day on Monday, September 24.

Learn more about Mercy’s history, mission and values.

Mercy Week Celebration

September 24-28, 2018–see programs below and check back for updates!

Mercy Week 2018








“The tender mercy of God has given us one another.” —The Mercy Tradition

2018 Mercy Week

Saturday, September 22

Hospitality for Weekend Students – 12-1PM
Monday, September 24

Voter Registration – All Day
Main Building, Front Lobby
Have you registered to vote? If not, stop by table for more information.

The film, “A Calling” – 6PM 
Marian Hall, Room 105
A conversation to follow with Mary Lou Liptak, RSM and the filmmaker, Nick Viscio.
“A Calling” is a celebration of what is often unseen in women, the power of spirituality and the reward of self discovery. For more information:

Tuesday, September 25

Mass on Justice – 11:00AM
Marian Hall, Fitzgerald Court
Bishop Emeritus Howard J. Hubbard, Celebrant
All are welcome.

Wednesday, September 26

Melting Potluck – 11:30AM-1PM
Main Building, Campus Cafe
(international cuisine catered)
Today an international ‘melting potluck’ where those from the Maria community can share conversation and explore diverse cuisine. Bring your appetite!

Thursday, September 27
Comfortable Cup of Tea – 10:30-11:30AM
Marian Hall, Fitzgerald Court 
Provided by Mercy Associates
When Catherine McAuley, Founder of the Sisters of Mercy, was dying, many of the sisters gathered around her bedside to say good-bye. Before she died, she said to one of the sisters, “Be sure you have a comfortable cup of tea for them when I am gone.” In honor of Catherine’s concern for others, please join the Mercy Associates for a cup of tea.
Friday, September 28
Appreciation to Maria Community for Winter Clothing Donations – 11:30AM
Week long activities:

 What Mercy Means To Me Quilt Pattern

Winter Clothing Drive (new or gently used)

November 11
Catherine McAuley Celebration of Life

Life of Catherine McAuley, September 29, 1778 – November 11, 1841

In memory of Catherine McAuley, first Sister of Mercy, who died on November 11, 1841, we honor her life of serving others and founding the “House of Mercy” on Baggot Street in Dublin, Ireland dedicated to helping the poor, sick, and uneducated. Catherine established independent foundations in Ireland and England whose communities would respond to the local needs of the poor in the areas the Sisters were invited to minister. Compassion for the needy and respect for the dignity of each person were the hallmarks of Mercy for Catherine and her followers. Today, the Sisters of Mercy and partners in ministry are in over 40 countries, continuing in Catherine’s spirit by responding to issues of poverty and injustice.

As she lay dying on November 11, fully aware of the fatigue and sorrow of those around her bed, she made one last request: she asked a sister to tell the community to “get a good cup of tea when I am gone…and comfort one another.” She died that evening at ten minutes to eight, and was buried the following Monday, in the newly created cemetery at Baggot Street. The spirit of this woman of mercy continues to burn bright throughout the world. Hospitality and community are part of her enduring legacy to us.

December 12
Foundation Day

Foundation Day, December 12, 1831

The story of the Religious Sisters of Mercy (RSM) begins in Ireland on December 12, 1831 when Catherine McAuley and two of her companions—Mary Ann Doyle, and Elizabeth Harley professed their vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience as the  rst Sisters of Mercy. The Congregation was founded to educate women in practical jobs and to take care of the sick poor. Catherine wore a plain band of silver on her left hand and the words inscribed were, “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam” translated “to the greater glory of God” and “Fiat Voluntas Tua” or “thy will be done”.

Inspired by these founding women, the Sisters of Mercy and their partners in ministry continue to carry out the spiritual and corporal works of mercy to those in need. The work of social justice is of particular concern to those who follow the spirituality and way of Mercy. There are hundreds of Catholic institutions that have been founded by the Sisters of Mercy to perpetuate the works of mercy to which Catherine McAuley gave her life. These schools, shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, and health care clinics are often purposefully situated in economically deprived neighborhoods to bring services to those who need it the most.

On Foundation Day, let us celebrate the beginning of our shared Mercy heritage and join together in bringing compassion, justice, hope, peace, and courage to everyone we meet.