The Sisters of Mercy in Buffalo, Erie, Pittsburgh, Rochester and the Philippines united to form the New York, Pennsylvania, Pacific West Community on Jan. 1, 2008. Our new Community has about 500 Sisters of Mercy and 400 Mercy Associates. Administrative offices are located at Mercy Center in Buffalo.
We continue the legacy of Catherine McAuley, who founded the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland, in 1831. Her sisters first came to the United States in 1843 to form a community in Pittsburgh. Today, the arms of Mercy continue the rich legacy of embracing the poor, sick, uneducated and people who need compassion, especially women and children.
Historically, structures for Mercy religious life have changed many times to adapt to the needs of the times and changes in the number of members. In 1991, 25 Mercy regional communities from the United States, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Guam and the Philippines came together to form the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. The Institute's founding document stated that the purpose of unification was to "strengthen and enable one another in mission."
The Institute is an international community of women religious vowed to serve people who suffer from poverty, sickness and lack of education, with a special concern for women and children. In innovative and traditional ways, the Sisters of Mercy address human needs through collaborative efforts in education, health care, housing, pastoral and social services and advocacy.
Again responding to the needs of the times, our 25 regional communities have come together to form six Communities within our Institute. The New York, Pennsylvania, Pacific West Community is the third Community to unite. The Northeast became one Community in 2006, followed by the Mid-Atlantic Community a year later. The South Central and West Midwest Communities United in 2008. The CCASA (Caribbean, Central America and South America) Community formed in 2009.