Every September Mercy Medical Center celebrates Mercy Day, a special day set aside to observe the rich faith tradition created by Sr. Catherine McAuley, the foundress of the family of Mercy hospitals. The observance further gives the Mercy community an opportunity to acknowledge the years of service given to Mercy by all women’s religious communities who have served the hospital during its 123 years of existence in Sioux City. This year, Mercy Day will be celebrated on Monday, September 24 with a variety of activities highlighted by the dedication of the renovated Mercy Rehabilitation Courtyard.
Thanks to the generosity of the Gilchrist Foundation and the Mercy Medical Center Foundation, the hospital has completely redone its outdoor rehabilitation courtyard with new benches, artwork, a water feature and other amenities designed to enhance the experience of patients and their families. The hospital community will gather at 10:30 on September 24th to officially bless and dedicate the new courtyard space.
Catherine McAuley, an Irish Catholic laywoman, recognized the many needs of the poor in the early 19th century and made the determination that she wanted to help them. With a family inheritance, Catherine opened the first House of Mercy in Dublin in 1827. This facility became a place where poor women could find shelter, be fed and learn. The Archbishop of Dublin was so impressed with Catherine’s work that he encouraged her to start a religious congregation. On December 12, 1831, Catherine and two companions took their vows and returned to Dublin as the first Sisters of Mercy.
Today, over 10,000 Sisters of Mercy continue the dream of Catherine McAuley by serving in many roles including physicians, nurses, administrators and advocates for the poor and underserved. The first Sisters of Mercy to settle in the United States came to Pittsburgh in 1843. Decades later, in 1890, Sioux City civic leaders invited the Sisters of Mercy to come to Sioux City to establish a new hospital. The city fathers intent was to open a hospital that was independent of city government and local politics. The events of the subsequent 123 years are significant.
1902 St. Joseph School of Nursing Opens
1977 Sisters of Mercy and Sisters of St. Benedict
agree to merge St. Joseph Hospital and St. Vincent
Hospital into Marian Health Center
1999 Marian Health Center becomes
Mercy Medical Center – Sioux City as the hospital joins
the Mercy Health Network, a statewide network of
2000 Mercy Medical Center becomes part of Trinity Health,
the 4th largest Catholic healthcare system in the
Mercy President and CEO Robert J. Peebles says the rich history of Sr. Catherine McAuley is embedded in the work being done everyday at Mercy. “We are proud of the work done by the Sisters of Mercy and the other groups of religious women who have worked at Mercy or one of its predecessors,” said Peebles. “We honor their work by providing quality healthcare to the poor and underserved, the challenge given to us 123 years ago by Sr. Catherine McAuley. The Sisters of Mercy have left us a valuable and strong legacy. We are resolved to honoring and strengthening that commitment.”
For more information, contact:
Jim Wharton, VP of Marketing and Business Development
Dianne Krier, Mercy Marketing and Communications Coordinator (712) 279-5682