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Carlow University honors the first Sisters of Mercy with doctoral degrees

August 30, 2018

Carlow University honored seven Sisters of Mercy, who first came to Pittsburgh from Ireland in 1843, with posthumous honorary doctoral degrees during the university’s Academic Convocation on August 30, 2018.

The seven Sisters of Mercy – Frances Warde, Josephine Cullen, Agatha O’Brien, Elizabeth Strange, Veronica McDarby, Aloysia Strange, and Philomena Reid – left Carlow, Ireland for Pittsburgh, Pa. in 1843.  Their beginnings in Pittsburgh eventually led to the founding of Mount Mercy College – now known as Carlow University – in 1929.

Sister Patricia McDermott, president of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, accepted the honor.   

Each of these seven women had her own gifts, deep commitment to those who are poor and in need and together they created an energy, a wellspring of Mercy in this community,” said Sister Pat. “ We [are] the benefactors of their faith, goodness, careful planning and courage.  They are our ancestors in Mercy; they were the face of mercy and compassion to a fast-growing city in the nineteenth century.”

This event is only the beginning of a season of celebration of the Sisters of Mercy of the America’s 175 years of service, beginning in Pittsburgh. Visit our website for more information.

Photo: Sisters Sheila Carney and Patricia McDermott celebrate with Frances Warde the legacy of Mercy on the campus of Carlow University.

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