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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania—the location of the first Sisters of Mercy foundation in the United States—will also be the site of several commemorative events for the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the "first seven," the seven sisters who left St. Leo's Convent in Carlow, Ireland to cross an ocean and leave an indelible and enduring legacy of mercy across the Americas.
On August 30, Carlow University in Pittsburgh awarded honorary degrees to the seven founding sisters: Mother Frances Warde, Sister Josephine Cullen, Sister Elizabeth Strange, Sister Aloysia Strange, Sister Philomena Reid, Sister Agatha O’Brien and Sister Veronica McDarby. Institute President Sister Patricia McDermott was there to accept the degrees and to address the university's fall convocation. Sister Sheila Carney, the vice postulator for the Cause for Canonization of Catherine McAuley, will present the degrees to sisters of the Mercy community at Carlow, Ireland in early November. During the same ceremony, a plaque honoring the seven sisters will be unveiled.
The Pittsburgh motherhouse will host an anniversary celebration on December 21, marking the day on which the Pittsburgh community was established in 1843.