Born near Dublin, Ireland, in 1778, Mother Catherine McAuley dedicated her storied life to helping others. A devote catholic, McAuley was challenged when, after her parents died, she was sent to live with anti-catholic relatives. This difficult period in her life only strengthened her convictions and she began establishing the Sisters of Mercy. The organization’s goal was to aid suffering families and children as well as training women for employment. When Catherine was in her mid-twenties a Quaker family offered her residence in their home. The family grew to adore her and when they passed away they left their entire estate to their adopted daughter. In 1827, McAuley used this money to set up her first House of Mercy. In 1990, Pope John Paul II declared her venerable.