Corporate Philosophy of The Sisters of Mercy
We, the Sisters of Mercy, because of our commitment to participate in the teaching mission of the Church, sponsor secondary education facilities. We believe that the message of Jesus can be taught only when deed matches word. Therefore, our goal in education is not simply academics, but an overall service of compassion, respect, and justice.
The Sisters of Mercy
The Order of the Sisters of Mercy was founded by Catherine McAuley, a remarkable woman who once walked through the poorest sections of Dublin City, Ireland, and was stunned by what she found there – ignorance, neglect, and disease. Catherine was appalled by the all too visible helpless hunger and hopeless prejudice. The Irish poor had no way out, caught as they were in a bitter struggle of political-religious ideas and ideals that denied them food, freedom, property, and education. Catherine knew there was something she had to do, and so she started an institute of women religious who could bring to those in need the incomparable quality of God’s mercy.
Catherine was a woman of compassion and prayer – socialite turned social worker, lady of fashion who lived among the poor, woman of wealth who had no money, activist who early learned the discipline of sanctity. Her institute is the religious Sisters of Mercy, started in 1831 with only seven co-workers. As a founder of an Irish religious order, Catherine was thought unlikely to succeed, largely because a religious institute was never really her intent at all. She was approximately 50 years old when the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy was established; she lived only 10 years after that uncertain beginning; and she found out very quickly that what she had thought a vast amount of inherited wealth -close to one million dollars in twentieth century currency-was pitifully inadequate for the needs of those who cried out for help. Ireland was in turmoil – bitter, deep, and divided. Dublin was split into religious, economic, and socio-political categories unalterably opposed to each other: Catholic-Protestant, poor – rich, underprivileged – influential.
Catherine began to launch the projects she had long envisioned: first to educate and care for the poor, and second, to provide a residence for herself and others who might choose to work with her. She arranged to buy property on Baggot Street in Dublin. There she built, not a small house, but one large enough to carry out her plans. It was to be called the House of Mercy. Those who came to join Catherine lived austerely: praying, teaching, and caring for the needy. Visitation of the sick in their homes began in 1828. Perhaps the idea of the first Mercy hospital sprang into existence when Catherine came home carrying a sick and abandoned child.
Sisters of Mercy today still teach, still care for the sick, and still use their freedom to respond to new needs in the marketplaces of the twenty-first century. They influence politics and economics, ethics and moral theology. They counsel the doubtful, comfort the sorrowful. They speak out for justice. They support, influence, and take responsibility for difficult projects and controversial causes. The first Sisters of Mercy in Belize arrived in the country on the morning of January 20, 1883 aboard the ship “City of Dallas.” Earlier, in December 1879, two Jesuit priests had visited the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Mercy in New Orleans, USA imploring the Sisters to teach the children in Belize. Obstacles, which proved insurmountable at the time, prevented the Sisters from committing themselves to the request, although the Sisters were deeply touched by the dire need for formal education in the British colony. In June 1882, however, the Sisters were able to make a more promising response, and on January 14, 1883, seven Sisters of Mercy set sail for Belize to establish the first convent of their institute within the Tropics and to establish schools at Holy Redeemer and St. Catherine’s.
The Sisters of Mercy in Belize have given much to this country, even outside the realms of education. In addition to sponsoring St. Catherine’s Academy in Belize City and Muffles College in Orange Walk Town, the Sisters also sponsor Mercy Kitchen, Mercy Clinic, and the House of Mercy, Big Falls, Toledo; they administer the Guadalupe Spiritual Life Centre. The Sr. Cecilia’s Home for the elderly is named for Sr. Mary Cecilia Esquivel in recognition of her untiring efforts among the elderly poor.
Source: Remember me affectionately to all, M.C. McAuley by Regina Kelly, R.S.M and Sisters of Mercy in Belize by Yvonne Hunter, R.S.M.
The Values of Mercy Secondary Education Association
- Compassion and Service
- Educational Excellence
- Concern for Women and Women’s Issues
- World Vision and Responsibility
- Spiritual Growth and Development
- Mission Education