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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 with Mercy Day on Tuesday, September 24.

Learn more about Mercy’s history, mission and values.
View the Mercy Week 2019 Photo Gallery.

Mercy Week Celebration

September 21-27, 2019 — see programs below and check back for updates!

“The Door of Mercy rests on the threshold of need; Its single key is kindness which is always in the lock”  – Mary Whickham, RSM

2019 Mercy Week

Saturday, September 21

Hospitality for Weekend Students 
12PM | Marian Hall, Student Lounge

Monday, September 23

Movie Night, “On the Basis of Sex – The story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
6:30PM | Marian Hall, Room 105

Tuesday, September 24

Feast of Our Lady of Mercy
12:30PM | Marian Hall, Fitzgerald Court

Votive Mass to the Blessed Mother. Celebrant: Fr. Mark Reamer, O.F.M. All are welcome.

Wednesday, September 25

Hospitality for Day & Evening Students
11:30AM-1PM & 5:30PM-7PM | Marian Hall, Fitzgerald Court

Catered by Hamilton Street Café in support of a women-owned business.

Thursday, September 26 Comfortable Cup of Tea
10:30AM | 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 27

Appreciation for Circles of Mercy Winter Clothing Drive
10:00AM | Main Building, Maria Market Food Pantry

Friday, September 27

Prayer Service for Women in the Spirit of Catherine McAuley
10:30AM | McAuley, Room 103B

In conjunction with the Women’s Coffee Club.


Week long activities:

Reading of Catherine’s letters in relevant classes

Winter Clothing Drive (new or gently used)

Door of Mercy reflective task

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.