“Mercy Then and Now”


Treasuring our heritage, embracing our future

Seven Sisters of Mercy, led by Mother Frances Warde, arrived in the United States in 1843 at the invitation of Michael O’Connor, newly-consecrated as the first Bishop of Pittsburgh. Bishop O’Connor believed that no other congregation of women religious was as uniquely-suited as the Sisters of Mercy to bring relief to the poor, offer education and religious instruction to children and adults and care for the sick and dying.

Over the next several years, the sisters attended to the sick in their homes, opened schools, visited prisoners and in 1847 established the first Mercy hospital in the world. From Pittsburgh, Frances established convents, schools and hospitals across the United States—in Chicago, Providence, Rochester, Portland and numerous other cities. This heritage of Mercy remains vibrant in the 21st Century, in large academic and healthcare institutions, in parishes and in ministries that provide vital services to the people who are so often forgotten and marginalized.

Learn more about how sisters today continue the mission begun 175 years ago. Over the next weeks we'll be sharing stories of sisters who are honoring our Mercy heritage in their many and varied ministries today.