Category Archives: Sister Mary Sullivan

The Two Catherines

April 28, 2021

By Sister Mary Sullivan

Catherine McAuley evidently thought the Sisters of Mercy and their companions in merciful action could learn something centrally important from St. Catherine of Siena. In the 1830s, when she composed the original Rule of the Sisters of Mercy, using the Rule of the Presentation Sisters as her guide, she inserted references to Catherine of Siena in two places.


In listing the saints to whom the sisters were to “have particular devotion,” she added Catherine of Siena. In composing the chapter on the “Visitation of the Sick,” a main ministerial work of the Sisters of Mercy, she named Catherine of Siena as one of “the most eminent saints [who] devoted their lives to this work of mercy.” Catherine of Dublin saw the saint of Siena as an inspiring exemplar of Jesus Christ’s “great tenderness for the sick,” and of care for Christ’s own human body “in the persons of the suffering poor” (Rule 3.2).

Although Catherine McAuley said nothing in the Rule about honoring the feast day of the mother superior of a community (a title she never used of herself), those at Baggot Street regarded her feast day—that of Catherine of Siena (now on April 29, then on April 30)—as a day of celebration. 

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Las dos Catalinas

April 28, 2021

Por la Hermana Mary Sullivan

Catalina McAuley pensó evidentemente que las Hermanas de la Misericordia y sus compañeras en la acción misericordiosa aprenderían algo de gran importancia de Santa Catalina de Siena. En la década de 1830, cuando compuso la Regla original de las Hermanas de la Misericordia utilizando como guía la Regla de las Hermanas de la Presentación, introdujo referencias a Catalina de Siena en dos lugares.


Al enumerar a santos y santas a quienes las hermanas debían «tener una devoción particular», agregó a Catalina de Siena. Al redactar el capítulo sobre «Visitar a enfermos», uno de los principales oficios apostólicos de las Hermanas de la Misericordia, nombró a Catalina de Siena como una de «las santas más eminentes [que] dedicaron su vida a esta obra de misericordia». Catalina de Dublín vio a la santa de Siena como ejemplo inspirador de la «gran ternura de Jesucristo por los enfermos» y del cuidado del propio cuerpo humano de Cristo «en las personas de los pobres sufrientes» (Regla 3.2).

Aunque en la Regla Catalina McAuley no mencionó el celebrar la fiesta de la madre superiora de una comunidad (un título que nunca usó para sí misma), en la Calle Baggot consideraron su fiesta —la de Catalina de Siena (ahora el 29 de abril, entonces 30 de abril)—, como un día de celebración.

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The Many Faces of Mercy During the Pandemic

July 15, 2020

Taken from the special July/August 2020 pandemic issue of ¡Viva! Mercy, these three blog articles include reflections and photos from Sisters of Mercy and Mercy Associates from across the Institute about how they have been and have experienced Mercy and where they have found God in the time of COVID-19.

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Advent Week 1 — The Divine Hope of Our Advent God

November 29, 2019

By Sister Mary Sullivan

This is the first reflection in our 2019 Advent blog series.

Throughout this season of hope and anticipation, we invite you to subscribe to our blog and read along with us.

Let us not be shortsighted during this First Week of Advent. Let us not limit our thoughts and prayer to commemorating only the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. As decisive for our lives and ultimate happiness as the enfleshed Son of God lying on straw in Bethlehem is and will always be, that blessed Coming of God into the midst of our human history and circumstances is not the Advent, the Coming of God, that we now await.

To hope is to recover or acquire, with God’s help, a humble awareness of the Always "Coming God"
“To ‘hope’ is to recover or acquire, with God’s help, a humble awareness of the Always Coming God”
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Primera Semana de Adviento — Esperanza Divina de Nuestro Dios de Adviento

November 29, 2019

Por Hermana Mary Sullivan

Esta es la primera reflexión en nuestra serie de blogs del Adviento 2019.

En esta estación de esperanza y anticipo, les invitamos a subscribirse a nuestro blog y a leer junto con nosotras.

Durante esta primera semana de Adviento no seamos miopes. No limitemos pensamientos y oraciones a conmemorar solo el nacimiento de Jesús de Nazaret. Tan decisivo para nuestras vidas y felicidad final como está y estará siempre el Hijo de Dios, encarnado sobre un pesebre en Belén, esa bendita venida de Dios en medio de nuestra historia y circunstancias humanas no es el Adviento, la venida de Dios, que ahora esperamos.

Nuestro Dios es un "Dios que siempre viene", todavía presente moviéndose hacia nosotros.
“Nuestro Dios es un Dios que siempre viene, todavía presente moviéndose hacia nosotros.”
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Praise and Thanksgiving for God’s Gifts on Easter

April 8, 2012

By Sister Mary Sullivan

Catherine McAuley welcomed the profound goodness revealed on Easter Sunday with joy, and “praise and thanksgiving for God’s gifts.”

Her Journal of Meditations, with which she prayed each day, invited her to set aside “innumerable fancies…trifles and dreams” in favor of “real and solid good,” for “Christ is ready to raise us out of these.” Read More »

Remembering Catherine McAuley on Good Friday

April 6, 2012

By Sister Mary Sullivan

Good Friday is a very good time to remember a central aspect of Catherine McAuley’s faith.

She believed that the purpose of the Sisters of Mercy is to “unite their hearts perfectly to God by dying to themselves…so as to apply all the powers and faculties of their souls to the service ” of Jesus Christ, for “this Institute is in a special manner founded on Calvary, there to serve a crucified Redeemer” (Rule II, 6.2).

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