Venerable Catherine McAuley

Statue of Catherine McAuley outside Baggot Street Convent, Dublin

Catherine McAuley was a daughter of James and Elinor McAuley. Her father James McAuley and mother Elinor Conway were married in 1777 and Catherine was born the following year. She had a brother James William and a sister Mary.
By 1798 Catherine’s parents had died and by 1803 she went to live with Mr & Mrs O’Callaghan in Coolock House in northeast Dublin.
She cared tenderly for them until their deaths in 1819 and 1822 respectively. She then found, to her amazement, that she had been left the sole beneficiary of William Callaghan’s will.
Catherine used this money to establish a residence in Baggot Street, Dublin to serve the poor women and children in Dublin.
The house on Baggot Street opens its doors on 24th September 1827 – the Feast of Our Lady of Mercy.
On 8th September 1830 Catherine went with Anna Maria Doyle and Elizabeth Harley to enter the Presentation Sisters at St George’s Hill, Dublin to train as the first Sisters of Mercy.
On 12th December 1831 the first Sisters make their Profession of Vows and return to Baggot Street:
Thus, the Sisters of Mercy come into being.

Click on link to find out more about the Sisters of Mercy and view the recent film on Catherine’s life “In God Alone”.