Sisters of Mercy Cincinnati, OH

The Sisters of Mercy were founded by Catherine McAuley in Dublin, Ireland, in 1831.Sister Catherine McAuley Moved by the terrible conditions of the poor, Catherine used her inheritance to build the first House of Mercy for abandoned and abused women and children in Dublin. While building the house, Catherine established a women's network to train and educate poor women to become self-supporting. Catherine and her friends also visited patients at a time when health care was in such a state of disrepute that only the most desperate entered hospital doors. At the encouragement of the local Catholic bishop, Catherine established a religious community known today as the Sisters of Mercy, so that the mission of Mercy would extend beyond her lifetime.

For 10 years, Catherine guided her new community. Its growth was rapid and, by the time of her death in 1841, Catherine had helped her Sisters begin in 13 towns and cities across Ireland and England. Two years after her death, seven Sisters of Mercy journeyed from Dublin to the United States. They established the first American Mercy convent in Pittsburgh, where many Irish immigrants were in need of religious instruction, education and health care. The first Mercy Hospital in the world opened there in 1847. Soon the Sisters of Mercy were responding to the needs of poor immigrants throughout the entire US. Today, more than 165 years later, the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas embraces an international network of ministries through which more than 6,500 Sisters carry on the mission established by Catherine McAuley. The Institute is made up of 25 regional communities throughout the US; North, South and Central America; the Caribbean; Guam, and the Philippines.

Today, nearly 400 Sisters of Mercy and 63 associates of the Regional Community of Cincinnati minister in many varied ways, primarily in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Jamaica, West Indies. The Sisters are one of five co-sponsors of Catholic Healthcare Partners. In addition to the health ministry, the Sisters of Mercy also minister in five high schools; dozens of parish schools; seven schools offering Montessori, kindergarten or special education; two residential boys' trade schools, and a business school. The Sisters serve those who are poor through such programs as housing, shelters, soup kitchens, care of the elderly and a broad range of social work. Sisters and associates also are engaged in parish ministries, congregation and diocesan positions, retreat work and spiritual direction.

Learn More About Sisters of Mercy Around the World

Sisters of Mercy, International Centre
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas