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 Friday, September 24.

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

Mercy Week Celebration

September 24 – October 1, 2021

This year’s Mercy Week theme will be unity. “And above all put on love, which binds you together in perfect unity.”  Col 3:14

Interactive Activity: Each year for Mercy Week we ask the Maria Community to answer a question related to the year’s theme. Take time to reflect and answer, “How can you create a sense of unity in your everyday life, welcoming new perspectives, and showing love and hospitality to those who are different than you?” Click here to answer.

For more information, reach out to

2021 Mercy Week

Friday, September 24

Feast of Our Lady of Mercy Mass
Marian Hall, Fitzgerald Court | 9:30AM
All are welcome.

Saturday, September 25

Mercy Hospitality for Weekend Division
McAuley Building, Front Lobby
Grab & Go Meal at 12PM

Monday, September 27

Inaugural Dorothy A. Connolly Annual Lecture
Marian Hall, Rm. 105 | 6PM
Speaker: Mary-Paula Cancienne, RSM, Ph.D.
“The Mystery of God Encountered through Symbols, Images, and Stories in Our Own Day”
Refreshments to follow in Fitzgerald Court.

Tuesday, September 28

Blessing & Opening of the Troy Savings Bank Writing & Communication Center
Frank E. O’Brien, Jr. Student Support Center | 10AM

Tuesday, September 28 Walk for Mercy, Partnering with Circles of Mercy
Marian Hall, Courtyard | 2PM-4PM
Light refreshments served.
Wednesday, September 29

Comfortable Cup of Tea | Faculty & Staff Recognition Event
Marian Hall, Fitzgerald Court | 10AM
Light refreshments served.

Thursday, September 30

Charity Drive for Winter Clothing Donations
Marian Hall, Rm, 106A

Friday, October 1

Special Blog Post for Mercy Week

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.