On 12 December 1831 Catherine McAuley, Anna Maria Doyle and Elizabeth Harley returned to the House of Mercy on Baggot Street, Dublin as the first Professed Sisters of a new religious order – the Sisters of Mercy. They had trained in the Presentation Convent in George’s Hill in another part of Dublin and had mad their Profession of Vows in the presentation Convent Chapel before returning in joy to Baggot Street where they were welcomed by the young women who had continued to do the works of Mercy as the order was being formed. The new Sisters were soon to be called by many “the walking nuns” as they were not bound be enclosures as most other religious orders of the day were. Catherine McAuley was known to say “Need is our cloister”.
Catherine McAuley sowed the seed of Mercy in Baggot Street, Dublin in 1827 when she opened what she called a House of Mercy. This led on to becoming the first Convent of Mercy a few years later.