November 11 marks the 169th anniversary of the death of Catherine McAuley, the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy. Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1831, Catherine used her inheritance to open the House of Mercy, providing social services to those in need particularly women and children. On December 12, 1831 Catherine and two of her associates founded the "Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy." When Catherine died in 1841 there were 150 Sisters of Mercy. Shortly thereafter, small groups of sisters left Ireland at the invitation of bishops in Newfoundland, New Zealand, the United States, Argentina and Australia.
Today the Sisters of Mercy number approximately 10,000 across the globe. Sisters of Mercy of the Americas serve in North, Central and South America; the Caribbean; Guam and the Philippines, with more than approximately 3,900 sisters responding faithfully to the needs of the poor in these countries.