Mercy Day: A Chance to Remember Catherine McAuley’s Legacy

Sept. 24 marks Mercy Day, a day with double importance for Trocaire and all Mercy institutions.

In the Catholic tradition, Mercy Day is the feast of Our Lady of Mercy, the patroness of the Sisters of Mercy. Additionally, on this date in 1827 in Dublin, Ireland, Sisters of Mercy founder Catherine McAuley opened the House of Mercy. The house was a school for the education of poor young girls and a residence for homeless girls and women.

Two of Catherine’s first co-workers, Anna Marie Doyle and Catherine Byrn, opened the house several months in advance of Catherine arriving.

According to the Mercy International Association, “Miss Doyle remarked that she would be particularly rejoiced to begin her labours on that day as it was dedicated to Our Lady of Mercy, suggesting at the same time that House of Mercy would be a good name for the institution.”

Today’s Sisters of Mercy uphold the values that Catherine McAuley espoused: spirituality, community, service and social justice.

Trocaire, founded by the Sisters in 1958, works to honor  those same traditions. The Sisters of Mercy in Buffalo manned a display detailing their history and ministry earlier in the week at both Trocaire locations, to allow all students and employees a chance to get to know their roots.

Happy Mercy Day to all!

“The simplest and most practical lesson I know…is to resolve to be good today, but better tomorrow. Let us take one day only in hands, at a time, merely making a resolve for tomorrow, thus we may hope to get on taking short, careful steps, not great strides.”

– Catherine McAuley