The path of mercy

The life of Catherine McAuley

Mary C. Sullivan

Hardback €31.50
Catalogue Price: €35.00
ISBN: 978-1-84682-320-6
March 2012. 446pp.

‘A very thorough and scholarly biography of this dedicated and saintly nun, whose cause for beatification is now with the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. All those with a serious interest in the history of education, in the care of the poor, sick and marginalized, and in the later development of hospitals and nursing homes will welcome this informative account of the lady whose vision and commitment led to the founding of an order that has served he Church with fidelity and generosity throughout the world, especially in English-speaking countries', Ambrose Macaulay, Seanchas Ard Mhacha (2012).

‘This new life of a great and heroic Irish woman is the outcome of decades of devoted research by its American author, Mary C. Sullivan, herself a Mercy nun … she has filled out the details of [McAuley’s] whole life, a life devoted largely to work among the wretched of the Earth … Marcy C. Sullivan bases herself on extensive primary sources, scattered around the world, which enable her to revise some of what was popularly thought, and to sort out the difference between what she was believed to have said and done, and what she actually did. The long appendix to this book on these primary sources makes for very revealing reading … here in some 390 closely written pages are the fullest facts we have ever had … this is not just an account of a religious order: through her personality and the work Catherine McAuley’s nuns did, this is a contribution to our understanding of the development of modern Ireland and the part that the religious played in it. It is a book which its readers will find greatly rewarding in many ways', Peter Costello, Irish Catholic (March 2012).

‘This fine book on Catherine McAuley, the Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, is rich in biographical detail on the context of her life in the nineteenth century: it also exposes her path of mercy in a way that still speaks to us today … This new biography draws on the more personal and original voice of Catherine … not only does [Sullivan] search out extensive primary sources scattered around the world, she also revises some popular interpretations of what Catherine did and said … the long appendix on primary sources is an additional and rewarding read … This book, as it says in the title, is about one woman’s living of the “path of mercy” in the highways and byways of her history', Jo O’Donovan RSM, The Furrow (September 2012).

'In a well-researched, vivid chronicle with many picturesque details, Mary C. Sullivan charts the life of Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy. Sullivan sheds new light on how McAuley’s work for the poor and destitute fitted into the life of Dublin in the early nineteenth century, when penal laws put severe restrictions on the activities of Catholics', Rima Devereaux, The Tablet (October 2012).