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 Thursday, September 24.

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

Mercy Week Celebration

September 21-29, 2020

This year’s Mercy Week theme will be “Care for the Earth” inspired by the 50th anniversary of Earth Day (April 22) and the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ (May 24).

“The new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!”  2 Cor 5:17b

It is with great honor that the Mission Office will be hosting Sister Ilia Delio, OSF, PhD, as our keynote speaker to kick-off Mercy Week via an exciting Zoom presentation live!

Sr. Ilia holds the Josephine C. Connelly Chair in Christian Theology at Villanova Universe. She is the author of over twenty books including Birth of a Dancing Star: My Journey from Cradle Catholic to Cyborg Christian, Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology and Consciousness, a finalist for the 2019 Michael Ramsey Prize and The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution and the Power of Love, for which she won the 2014 Silver Nautilus Book Award and a 2014 Catholic Press Association Book Award in Faith and Science. She is also founder of the Omega Center, an online educational resource for the work of Teilhard de Chardin and the integration of science and religion in the 21st century.

2020 Mercy Week

Monday, September 21

Speaker: Ilia Delio, OSF, PhD
“A Hunger for Wholeness: Greening the Earth and the Fecundity  of Life”
6:00pm | Hosted Virtually
Registration closed 1pm on Monday, September 21.
Suggested donation of $20 (note: donations are not expected of Maria or Siena Students)

Event co-sponsored by Siena College.

Tuesday, September 22

Comfortable Cup of Tea with Mercy Associates & Sisters of Mercy New Membership Team
4:00pm | Hosted Virtually

Wednesday, September 23

Cosmic Walk with Anne Curtis, RSM, Mercy Ecology
Available Virtually

Thursday, September 24

Mass for Feast of Our Lady of Mercy, Fr. Mark Reamer, OFM
10:00am | Marian Hall, Fitzgerald Court
Live Stream

Friday, September 25 Blessing of the Maria Garden, Seed Packets Distributed
12:00pm | Maria Garden located by Mercy Hall
Saturday, September 26

Commissioning of first Graduate Class, Occupational Therapy, MS

Tuesday, September 29

Catherine’s Birthday, Employee Recognition Event
Video Presentation

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

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.

Photo Gallery

View the Mercy Week 2019 Photo Gallery.