Mercy Day, September 24, marks the anniversary of the opening of the “House of Mercy” in 1827 in Dublin, Ireland. Catherine McAuley, the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, devoted her life to the poor, sick, and uneducated. In the nearly 200 years since, more than 55,000 women have joined Catherine in her service and Mercy can be found in 46 countries around the world.
Today at Pittsburgh Mercy, we continue the Sisters’ legacy of caring and compassionate service in the communities where we provide services.
When Catherine McAuley was dying, many of the sisters gathered around her bedside to say good-bye and to pray the prayers for the dying. Not long before she died, at the end of a long day of waiting, she said to one of the sisters: “Be sure you have a comfortable cup of tea for them when I am gone.” Ever since, the comfortable cup of tea has been a symbol of the warm and caring relationships which were at the heart of Catherine McAuley’s Mercy vision.
Honoring that tradition, persons served by Pittsburgh Mercy’s Psych Rehab and Paths to Wellness programs, along with a small group of invited guests, were treated to a “comfortable cup of tea” — Irish breakfast tea with sugar cubes, and Irish soda bread — served in pretty porcelain teacups and saucers.
At three of our residential sites, persons served were treated to sweet potato cake at Outlook and ginger snap cookies at Glen Hazel and Journey Home, three of our residential sites. The attendees at all the events played a parlor game, The Minister’s Cat.
“It was good to have interactions between Psych Rehab and the staff,” says Elizabeth Fisch, who organized the events.
Also on Mercy Day, students from Carlow University helped sort donations given to Pittsburgh Mercy’s Operation Safety Net, our program that serves people experiencing homelessness. Mercy Day is a day of service for students at the the university.