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Transcript of Catherine McAuley
The Sisters of Mercy
The sisters of mercy are a religious order founded by Catherine McAuley in Dublin, 1831 dedicated to serving God's people, especially those who are sick, poor and uneducated. Catherine McAuley devoted her life to helping and educating those in need on the streets of Dublin specifically servant women and orphans. The Sisters of Mercy are a very active religious order and were known as the 'walking nuns', who were without the usual strict enclosure, and whose convents quickly became part of many dioceses. The Sisters of Mercy Inspired local girls to see and meet local needs, causing the new institute to spread rapidly.The Constitution of the Sisters of Mercy was approved by Rome on 5 July 1841.
Who was Catherine McAuley?
Catherine McAuley was born in 1778 in Dublin, Ireland and was a part of a loving, wealthy and catholic family. Catherine’s father died when she was very young, but his compassion influenced her entire life. Her father was a very kind and devoted man who brought poor children to their house on weekends for instruction in the Catholic Faith. When her mother died, Catherine went to live with William and Catherine Callaghan; an elderly, wealthy, protestant couple who gave Catherine financial support for charitable works that included religious instruction and the education for the poor. The story of the sisters of Mercy in Australia began when Catherine McAuley made her vows in Ireland, December 12, 1831.
What did she do to address the social sins at the time?
The social sin addressed by Catherine McAuley was the large number of homeless servant women on the streets of Dublin. Inspired by her father’s work, Catherine felt a strong call to devote her life to the service of the poor, the sick and the uneducated. Society at the time was very money hungry and poverty was a major issue in Ireland.With fortune inherited from the Callaghan’s, she built the house of mercy, a home for working girls, orphans and a school for poor children. She and three of her friends soon after became the sisters of mercy.
Catherine grew up in Ireland at a time when Catholics were considered ill-mannered; there were few priests and no religious schools for Catholic children.Church bells and steeples were banned and the Church did not even hold title to its own cathedrals. Due to Catherine’s limited religious education and lack of support, she was often put to the test; but her faith remained strong and true. Throughout the strong anti-Catholic atmosphere of the times, Catherine developed a spirituality based on God's Mercy.
By Sophie Morris