The Sisters of Mercy were founded in Dublin in 1831 by Catherine McAuley who dedicated her life to serving people in need.

Our Foundress

Catherine McAuley was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1778. Dedicating her life to caring for the poor, particularly women, Catherine established the House of Mercy in 1823 – a facility built to house and educate poor women. In 1831 Catherine made her Profession of Vows and created the Order of the Sisters of Mercy. 
Sisters of Mercy should be particularly kind – the kindest people on earth, with the tenderest pity and compassion for the poor.”
Catherine McAuley


Mercy in Australia

The Sisters of Mercy went on to found convents, schools and hospitals across the globe. They arrived in Australia in 1846, led by Mother Ursula Frayne. The Australian congregation established schools and convents around the country and opened their first hospitals in Brisbane and Sydney.

Following a devastating influenza pandemic, the Sisters of Mercy opened their first Victorian hospital – St Benedict’s in Malvern – in 1920. They established a reputation for excellence in care and hospitality that has grown in strength to this day. The success of St Benedict’s allowed the Sisters to open Mercy Hospital in East Melbourne in 1934, Mercy Maternity Hospital (later renamed Mercy Hospital for Women) in 1971, and Werribee Mercy Hospital in 1994. 

Over time, the Mercy order has expanded our mission across Australia, drawing on other local and international religious orders with whom we share our commitment to mission. They include the Family Care, Good Shepherd and Holy Spirit Sisters, all of whom have made lasting contributions to our own charism and care.

Mercy Health Yesterday,Today and Tomorrow

Mercy Health is a dynamic, growing organisation, caring for people through all stages of life. In addition to acute and subacute hospital care and maternity services, we offer extensive aged care services, mental health services, lymphoedema care, transitions care, palliative care, home and community care and health worker training.

You can read more about the Mercy Health story here, and read more about our partners in mission here

Click here to read more about the Sisters of Mercy.

Education and Training >

We provide high-quality professional development and training opportunities for health care, home and community care and residential aged care workers. Read More.

Research >

Our clinical research projects aim to improve health outcomes for the communities we serve. Read More.

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