Mercy’s Evolution

From 1831 onward, the Sisters of Mercy ministries have grown in response to global need. Today, the Sisters serve the poor and underserved in over 40 countries and territories. Works of Mercy have been carried out principally through the ministries of education, health care, and social service. Vocations to the Sisters of Mercy reached the highest point in the post-world war period – mid 40’s to mid 60’s.

Today, the story and example of Catherine McAuley, continues to attract and inspire people around the world. The Sisters, together with associates and partners in ministry, are the eyes and ears that see, hear, and attend to the needs of the poor, the sick, women and children, and the marginalized and forgotten.

When the number of religious declined in the mid – 60’s, the Mercy congregation recognized this as a transition point, and responded to the changing times by increasing engagement of lay people and the youth. The opportunity to share in meeting global needs through the works of Mercy associates and lay partners in ministry was, and continues to be, compelling. Today, there are about 7,200 Sisters serving in the world, over 5,000 lay associates and more than 250,000 partners in ministry. Thanks to the role of lay people, Mercy’s tent is widening.