Maria College is one of 17 colleges and universities in the United States sponsored by the Conference for Mercy Higher Education. We trace our heritage to 1831, when Catherine McAuley founded the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland. A woman of means who was raised in both Catholic and Protestant households, Catherine McAuley was an innovative, modern-day thinker who felt that not enough was being done for women and children in need. McAuley believed education was a key to one’s ultimate success, and she used her inheritance to purchase a building in downtown Dublin where women and children could find both refuge and education. Her ideas and dedication to the cause attracted other local women and soon evolved into a new order of Sisters – the Sisters of Mercy.
The Sisters of Mercy quickly grew, and became international in scope. In 1863, four Sisters of Mercy took a boat up the Hudson River and settled in Albany, New York. True to their focus on caring and service to others, the order founded St. Peter’s Hospital, the McAuley Residence, Circles of Mercy, and Maria College.
The Sisters of Mercy continue to participate in the life of Maria College, through teaching, working in staff roles, serving as advisors to the President, and sitting on the College Board of Trustees.
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