One hundred eighty-eight years ago today, in Dublin, Ireland, Catherine McAuley founded the Sisters of Mercy to care for the poor, sick and uneducated. Out of sheer determination to make a difference, McAuley’s organization grew — spreading its message and its reach to more than 40 countries across the globe.
A sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Mercy South Central Community, Mercy Urgent Care’s not-for-profit urgent care network exists within that same Sisters of Mercy umbrella, and, on this day, Thursday, Dec. 12, we celebrate our Foundation Day — looking back over a legacy that began in 1831.
In the 10 years that followed the founding of Sisters of Mercy, McAuley established 14 more independent ministries in Ireland and England — expanding the Sisters of Mercy to include 100 women by the time of her death in 1841. First arriving on U.S. soil in 1843, the Sisters of Mercy quickly spread throughout the country, caring for the sick and economically poor on this side of the Atlantic. By 1900, the Sisters arrived in the mountains, opening up Asheville’s first tuberculosis sanitarium on the corner of French Broad and Patton Avenues downtown — and we’ve been here ever since.
Today, the Mercy organization includes a diverse range of ministries, from hospitals and urgent care facilities — like Mercy Urgent Care — to universities and high schools, parishes, shelters and immigrant centers.
On Dec. 12, celebrate Foundation Day with Mercy Urgent Care and the Sisters of Mercy — honoring our mission that’s nearly two centuries strong, with 175 partners worldwide.