One hundred and thirty four years of Mercy in Belize
Founded in 1827, the Sisters of Mercy are a long way from their home in Dublin, Ireland, where their founder, Catherine McAuley, was born. A woman of noble birth Catherine decided to dedicate her life and means to helping the poor and afflicted members of her society. She was known for her unlimited energy and enthusiasm and such traits were also inherited by her congregation. In their quest to live the teachings of Jesus Christ and to emulate the actions of their founder, the Sisters of Mercy have traveled world, helping the poor, advocating for human rights, educating the youth, and fighting for a more just and caring world.
On January 14, 1883 seven intrepid sisters made the journey from New Orleans to Belize on board a ship called " The city of Dallas". Their names were: Mother Mary Evangelist Kearney, Superior, and Sisters Mary Raphael Woolfolk, Mary Colette Baker, Mary Cecilia Paula Sebastian and Mary Gabriel Lavin, together with Mother Mary Theresa Austin Carroll and her companion Sister Mary Henry Briscoe. On arrival they began their works of Mercy around the country, specially in Belize city. Soon enough they had won the hearts and minds of Belizeans through philanthropic work with the poor and needy and their sponsorship of educational programs such as the St. Catherine's Academy, named after their beloved founder.
The Sisters of Mercy came to Muffles College in 1967 to replace the Jesuit community who was until then responsible for the school. They applied their usual determination to the mission of making Muffles College a respected and admired institution and were quickly successful. Today Muffles College is a reference point when it comes to good quality education in Belize. Apart from creating academically successful individuals Mercy education aims to produce well-rounded, socially conscious, spiritual members of society.
Other activities of the Sisters of Mercy in Belize include the Mercy Kitchen and the Mercy Clinic, both located in Belice city. In 2006 the Belize community of Sisters of Mercy became part of the Caribbean, Central American and South American (CCASA) organization, to create a better system of communication between local branches.