Office of Mission, Ministry, and Service

Office of Mission, Ministry, and Service


The office of Mission,Ministry, and Service exists to serve and advance the mission of the college on all levels of institutional life:

  1. On the administrative level by orienting students and employees to our mission as a Catholic and Mercy institution and by helping to craft and implement policies that align with our values and support students as they aspire to careers of achievement and lives of purpose.
  2. On the ministerial level (campus ministry) by designing programs that promote the mission of the college, the critical concerns of the Sisters of Mercy, and the education and development of the whole person (mind, body, spirit).
  3. Through active engagement with the surrounding community via volunteer and community-based learning projects that enrich student learning while serving the common good.

In all of these ways we seek to honor and preserve the legacy of Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy who founded Trocaire College in 1958.

As the Mercy College of Western New York, Trocaire (the Gaelic word for Mercy) strives to create a welcoming, inclusive, communal environment where human dignity,  self-discovery, and professional competence are cultivated in ways that are transformative for our students.  Also, through meaningful engagement with the surrounding community in outreach to vulnerable populations we seek to foster in our students and staff a deeper awareness of the world and the development of a social conscience rooted in compassion, mercy, justice, and the unfailing love of God.


Programs and Services

Campus Ministry
  • Mercy Heritage Week: An annual celebration (Fall semester) of our Mercy Heritage and the Sisters of Mercy Critical Concerns
  • Toward the Common Good: A luncheon series each semester exploring a key social issue in the light of Catholic Social Teaching (CST). The concluding session is a public panel discussion drawing upon people with extensive experience and expertise with the particular issue under discussion.
  • Weekly Mass in our renovated Interfaith Sacred Space
  • Special Prayer Services throughout the year (911, Commemoration of Deceased Loved Ones, Vigil for Victims of Sexual Abuse, Earth Day, etc.)
  • Remembrance Cloth
  • Fair Trade Sales (each semester): Selling handcrafted gifts from producers and artisans from developing countries around the world ensuring that they receive a fair profit for their labor.
  • Interfaith Guided Meditation: An opportunity for students to relax and reflect upon key themes related to personal and spiritual development.
  • Walk of Faith Outdoor Mini-Retreats
  •  For more information contact: s[email protected]; Kathleen Saunders, Chief Student Affairs Officer


Global Achievements Project (GAP)
  • GAP addresses the unique needs of students born and raised outside the continental United States.  Since its inception in 2017 GAP has developed into a comprehensive program reaching out to students through programming and services, and to faculty through workshops designed to raise awareness and help create inclusive classroom experiences more conducive to student success.
  • For more information contact: [email protected]


Mercy Action Project: (MAP)
  • MAP is a tuition-free, non-credit, value-added, co-curricular learning experience. MAP provides service opportunities that integrate the College’s mission through an action-reflection approach that connects service to a student’s career path.
  • For more information contact: [email protected]


Food Security Project (Catherine’s Cupboard)
  • Catherine’s Cupboard is a FREE non-perishable food pantry designed to serve Trocaire students and staff who experience food insecurity either on campus or in their homes.  Catherine’s Cupboard is located in Rm. 340 on the Main Choate St. campus and is open to all Trocaire students and staff.
  • For more information contact: [email protected]





Office Staff                                                                                                                                                                  

Sr. Marian Mullen RSM    

Coordinator: Global Achievements Project (GAP)

Suite 140, Choate campus

716-827– 2535

[email protected]


Sr. Marie Andre’ Main RSM

Coordinator: Food Security Project (Catherine’s Cupboard)

Rm. 340, Choate campus


[email protected]


colleen steffen

Ms. Colleen Steffen

Coordinator: Mercy Action Project (MAP)

Suite 140, Choate campus


 [email protected]





The Life of Catherine McAuley, Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy

Catherine McAuley was born on September 29, 1778 in Dublin, Ireland. As both her parents died while she was young, Catherine, her brother and her sister went to live with relatives, the Armstrong’s.

When she was 25 years old, Catherine became a live in companion and the household manager for a wealthy couple, Mr. and Mrs. Callaghan, who were friends of the Armstrong’s.  Impressed with Catherine’s passion to serve the needy they were willing to financially support her charitable work. For 20 years she gave instruction to the household servants and the poor village children in the Callaghan’s home. She also taught needlework to young women and ran a small shop to sell their goods. Upon his death, William Callaghan appointed Catherine the sole heir of his estate, an inheritance worth a million dollars today. The inheritance enabled Catherine to continue providing social services to poor women and children and to educate young girls.

In 1824 Catherine leased a large, three-story property on Baggot Street, Dublin. As it was being refurbished, she studied current educational methods in preparation for her new endeavor. On September 24, 1827, the House of Mercy opened  and hundreds of girls were soon enrolled in the school. It also served as a home for young servant girls. Catherine had a group of women who helped her at the house and together with them, she visited the sick in their homes, an extremely rare undertaking at the time.

In these early years, a group of 12 women lived and worked at Baggot Street, adopting a common timetable and dressing simply. This lifestyle and dedication to the poor led Catherine to consider establishing a religious congregation, and on September 8, 1830, aged 52 years, Catherine joined the novitiate (a place of training for women wanting to become religious sisters or nuns) of the Presentation Convent in Dublin with two companions from Baggot Street. They were professed (i.e. took vows) on December 12, 1831 and the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy was born.

Catherine’s dream was now reality. She encouraged her Sisters to “educate poor girls, to lodge and maintain poor young women who are in danger, and to visit the sick poor”. Within 10 years Catherine founded nine Convents of Mercy in Ireland and England. Each new convent was independent of the mother-house in Baggot Street but they were all linked to Catherine and each other by her frequent visits and letters.

Catherine died on November 11, 1841 after a short illness.     But the Mercy Legacy lives on – in each of us!  WE ARE TROCAIRE!