For 150 years, the Sisters of Mercy, North Sydney, have devoted their lives to carrying on the legacy of Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy.
Catherine founded the Sisters of Mercy in Ireland in 1831. She was a charismatic social reformer, driven by the words of the Gospel and her unrelenting pursuit for social justice. Many women joined Catherine as Sisters of Mercy, working to bring about an end to chronic poverty, particularly for women who suffered ill health, lack of education and homelessness. The Sisters not only served people living in poverty, they courageously challenged the social structures that resulted in disadvantage and social isolation.
In 1865, Mother Ignatius McQuoin established the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy North Sydney. Since that time, they have established many ministries to address the needs of their community. This included primary and secondary schools across NSW and Papua New Guinea and the Mater Hospital in North Sydney, where the Sisters provided health care to all. The hospital built a reputation of readiness to care for anyone brought to its doors.
In 1990, the Sisters of Mercy North Sydney established the Mercy Foundation as their vehicle to continue their commitment to alleviate poverty and challenge the structures that contribute to social inequity.
Since 2008, the Mercy Foundation has focused on ending homelessness for women, women with children and people experiencing chronic homelessness. Today, the Mercy Foundation carries on the legacy of the Sisters of Mercy North Sydney and their founder, Catherine McAuley.