Catherine McAuley founded the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland, in 1831.
In her youth, Catherine had the opportunity to study the Old Testament and the Gospels; as a result Catherine developed a strong faith in God and came to believe that:
"Mercy is the Way God Acts Towards People."
Catherine adopted the title of Mercy for her institute and she and her sisters expressed mercy in their love and service of the deprived, the rejected, the lonely, the weak, the lost; in other words, the poor.
Further, Catherine believed that EDUCATION bestowed a LIFE-GIVING POWER and that no work of Charity could be more productive or good for society nor more conducive to the happiness of the poor than education.
The young women of Dublin were the first to benefit from her vision, a vision that led to the establishment of schools and hospitals in many countries of the world, including Australia, before the end of the 19th Century.