Mcauley, Catherine

McAuley, Catherine foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, was born at Stormanstown House, County Dublin, Ireland, September 29, 1787. When of age she formed a regular system for the distribution of food and clothing to the needy, and called in the lame and blind to partake of her bounty. She also erected, in 1824, a large building in a fashionable quarter of Dublin. She made a novitiate in the Presentation Convent in Dublin, professed December 12, 1831, and was appointed by the archbishop superior of her order, the objects of which were, the education of the poor and the protection of good women in distress. When the cholera visited Dublin, in 1832, she and her sisters nursed the hospital patients until they recovered. The women admitted into her houses of refuge were taught various useful employments, and, as soon as possible, provided with good situations. Her order developed rapidly. Many ladies of distinction joined it. Houses were established in London. Ten houses were founded in Ireland during her lifetime, and two in England, and in the course of forty years there were over two hundred convents of the order in Great Britain, United States, Newfoundland, South America, Australia, and New Zealand, with more than three thousand sisters. She died in Dublin, November 11, 1841. Her life has been written by Mother Austin of New Orleans (New York, 1866). See (N.Y.) Cath. Almanac, 1882, page 73.

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