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McAuley Ministries, based in Providence, Rhode Island, is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy and rooted in the ideals of its founder, Catherine McAuley. Our ministry provides the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, health services, emotional support and guidance to the most vulnerable in our community.


While we minister to the immediate needs of those who seek our help, we also advocate for changes that better address the needs of those we serve while working to create a caring community where people can connect with one another. Through our work, we strive to:


  • Treat everyone with respect and dignity;

  • Build the self-esteem of those we serve; and Encourage their self-sufficiency

The core values that guide McAuley Ministries are rooted in charity and justice, as taught by the Gospel.



Hospitality: We believe that hospitality, a vital component of our ministry, demonstrates a spirit of welcome with an emphasis on inclusion and community building.


Compassion: We believe that compassion is expressed through kindness, acceptance, understanding, advocacy, and presence to persons in need.


Dignity: We believe that each person is a God-given gift and must be treated with dignity and respect.

History of the Sisters of Mercy


McAuley Ministries is named after the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, Catherine McAuley.


Catherine McAuley was born in Ireland in September 1778 to a prosperous Catholic family. Though her father died when Catherine was just five years old, his compassion for the poor, especially children and families, was a lifelong example for her.


Fifteen years after her father's death, Catherine was orphaned in 1798 and sent to live in the home of relatives. Then, in 1803, Catherine was invited to live in the home of William and Catherine Callaghan. The Callaghans were childless and upon Mr. Callaghan's death, Catherine inherited their fortune.


In 1824, Catherine used her inheritance to lease property on Baggot Street, a fashionable neighborhood in Dublin, to build a house for religious, educational and social services for women and children. Other women began to join her. Though not her original intention, Catherine accepted advice and began the founding of a new religious congregation of women dedicated to service to the poor.


Catherine and two of her associates entered a convent on September 8, 1830, to begin formal preparation for founding the Sisters of Mercy. Fifteen months later they pronounced vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, forming the new community.


While Catherine lived only ten years as a Sister of Mercy, during that time, she established nine foundations in Ireland and England, and two branch houses in Dublin. When she died in 1841, there were 150 Sisters of Mercy. Shortly after, small groups of Sisters left Ireland at the invitation of Bishops in Newfoundland, New Zealand, the United States, Argentina, and Australia.


Today, the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas now serve in North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Guam and the Philippines, with more than 4,500 Sisters responding faithfully to the needs of the poor in their countries



Mercy in the United States


The first Sisters of Mercy arrived in the United States from Ireland in 1843 at the invitation of the Bishop of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mother Frances Warde—after whom The Warde-robe in Central Falls is named—left for America with a band of six Sisters.


The Sisters began ministering in Pittsburgh, founding Parochial Schools and Academies, visiting the sick and poor in their homes, as well as religious visits to the penitentiary, and opening the city’s first hospital. Each project followed the other in rapid succession. The Sisters also founded ministries in Chicago, Providence, New York and San Francisco, before moving throughout the rest of the country.


Northeast Community


McAuley Ministries is sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy—Northeast Community.


The Sisters of Mercy—Northeast Community was officially formed on July 1, 2006, uniting Sisters and Associates from Albany, New York; Connecticut; New Hampshire; Portland, Maine; Providence, Rhode Island; and Vermont.


Today, the Northeast Community has more than 1,000 Sisters, Associates and Companions.


The central office for the Northeast Community is located in Cumberland, Rhode Island. Sisters, Associates and Companions minister where they live in the areas of education, healthcare, and social and pastoral services. To learn more about the Sisters of Mercy, please visit www.sistersofmercy.org.


- Excerpted from the Sisters of Mercy website




McAuley Ministries 622 Elmwood Ave Providence, RI 02907 Tel: 401-941-9013 Fax: 401-941-6862 About Us Our Ministries Giving & Sponsorship News & Events Volunteer Contact Us

McAuley Ministries

622 Elmwood Ave

Providence, RI 02907

Tel: 401-941-9013

Fax: 401-941-6862