What does Mercy mean to you? To Catherine McAuley, the founder of The Sisters of Mercy, it meant to care for the economically poor, to provide shelter and educate women and girls in Dublin, Ireland. Since their foundation, the Sisters of Mercy have spread worldwide. On December 21, 2018 a celebration to honor Mother Frances Warde, Sister Elizabeth Strange, Sister Josephine Cullen, Sister Veronica McDarby, Sister Aloysia Strange, Sister Philomena Reid and Sister Agatha O’Brien will culminate with celebratory solemn vespers at the Mercy Motherhouse in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Today marks the 175th anniversary of Mother Frances Xavier Warde arriving in Pittsburgh and the official opening of the first Mercy convent in the United States. Through their pioneering spirit over the next 20 years, Mercy convents, hospitals, and schools were opened in various cities; their message of Mercy charism – serving the poor, uneducated, and sick. The women sacrificed to care for others and created a devoted, spiritual legacy of service and Mercy.
What does a Mercy Education mean? To this guest student blogger, having a Mercy education means that through my studies and association with the College, I am charged with continuing the traditions of Catherine McAuley. I am to apply my education to the best of my ability to serve those in need, and act as a caretaker of the legacy of all the Sisters of Mercy. Narrowing the scope to the values of Maria College,I am a global citizen who recognizes and respects the dignity of all human beings through service, scholarship, justice, hospitality, and diversity.
Mother Frances Xavier Warde and the other Sisters who created a way to educate all those in need so that they could learn job skills, develop leadership skills, have societal influence, build a depth of character, and to reach their full potential. As we celebrate these incredible women who helped so many and sacrificed so much, let’s think about how they prepared the way for Maria College to be founded and serve an important need and how on this 175th anniversary we can we can continue to create our own way to serve those in need.
-Jennifer Mullet, Liberal Arts