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“…Should we not then undertake our duties with great courage, for infinite is the love God bears to souls who repose in his protection.”

Catherine McAuley, Familiar Instructions.


History of Mercy Education

Jump to: Formation of the Mercy Education System of the Americas

Roots in Ireland

Mercy education has a long and rich history. One finds its roots in Ireland in the ministry of Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, and her coworkers. Mercy education, faithful to Catherine’s legacy, continues into the present.

September 24, 1827 – Catherine McAuley opens the first House of Mercy on Baggot Street in Dublin, Ireland, as a school for poor young girls and a residence for homeless girls and women. Learn more about Catherine’s story. The hallmarks of Mercy education begin at this first House of Mercy:

  • Commitment to mission
  • Structural creation and adaption
  • Partnership and collaboration
  • Courage in the face of challenge
  • Responding to the needs of the time

Mercy Education Comes to the Americas

From Ireland, Mercy education spread to the United States and beyond. This video reflects on the legacy of Mercy education:

Formation of the Mercy Education System of the Americas

To assist in orientation and ongoing understanding of the journey to Mercy Education System of the Americas, these moments in the journey are noted. A full historical record is on file at the MESA office.

July 1, 2017

Mercy Education System of the Americas was formally established to unite and serve the Mercy education ministries in Argentina, Belize, Guam, Honduras, Jamaica, the Philippines and the United States. View MESA’s introductory video shared to celebrate their founding:


December 12, 2016

“On this 185th anniversary of the founding of the Sisters of Mercy, we are very pleased to share with you the following (linked) information regarding our appointment of the inaugural Mercy Education System Board of Directors and the hiring of the Executive Director of the Mercy Education System of the Americas.” Institute Leadership Team

August 3, 2016

“ln my April 2016 communication I announced that I had invited several individuals to join me to form a transition work group. One of the charges of this group was to create an education document in regards to where we are on the journey of creating the Mercy Education System of the Americas. The document, “To Hold in Trust” has been created for this purpose.” This document includes reference to the agreement of the Institute Leadership Conference promulgated on December 12, 2014 “that there will be one Mercy System of Education organized under the Institute Public Juridic Person with governance and administrative components” (page 21) Sr. Lisa Griffith, Institute Leadership Conference

March 21, 2016

“As the Mercy Education Leadership Committee, we are confident that this governance framework now ratified by the ILC will serve our original collective motivation and deep desire of this project—that Mercy-sponsored schools and educational ministries, as identified within the mission of the Catholic Church, are strengthened in their capacity to be faithful to the charism, mission, core values and tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, now and into the future. MELC, Mercy Education Leadership Committee.”

September 25, 2015

“The task forces, chairs and members have been named for five of the task force groups. I want to thank all those who were able to say “yes” to serving on these groups…” Sr. Lisa Griffith.

December 12, 2014

“Let us together in a spirit of mutual collaboration, love of Mercy, and hope for the future bring together one Mercy education system, belonging to one Institute, marked by fidelity to the charism of one foundress, Catherine McAuley, committed to the gospel and in service to the Church. For the journey we ask Catherine’s blessing.” With these words, on Foundation Day 2014, the Institute Leadership Conference set forth with all in Mercy Education to forge what would become Mercy Education System of the Americas.

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