Skip Navigation

Jesuit-Mercy Traditions

Jesuit Charisms

The Jesuit approach to education is based on nearly five hundred years of excellence, originated by St. Ignatius Loyola, who founded the Society of Jesus (“the Jesuits”) in 1540. It begins with a deep respect for students and their potential, a principle the Jesuits call cura personalis. Students are challenged  to strive for personal excellence in all aspects of life — intellectual, emotional, moral, and physical. That principle, called magis, accounts for the rigor of intellectual exchange and the varied challenges.

Core Charisms

Cura Personalis

Care for the whole person: body, mind and spirit
Dedication to promoting human dignity
Being open to and accepting a person's religious, spiritual and cultural development

Faith that Does Justice

Seeking justice for all God's creatures, especially the poor and marginalized
Working actively for and with the poor, and to be just as active in reflecting on God's presence in their work and their relationships

Finding God in All Things

An invitation to spiritually encounter God's beauty in everything we come to know in our lives
Accomplished through an ongoing process of personal discernment

Women and Men for and with Others

More than just giving and providing service to those in need, but working with or alongside of those we serve to promote solidarity
Recognizing that all humans have physical, emotional, and spiritual needs


Mercy Charisms

Life of Blessed Mother Catherine McAuley

On September 24, 1827, Catherine McAuley, the First Sister of Mercy, first opened the doors of her home to the public on Baggot Street in Dublin, Ireland. By coincidence or act of providence, September 24th, is also the feast of Our Lady of Mercy, who would lend both her identity and spirit to the building and its works, when it was named the House of Mercy.

Prior to founding her religious order, Catherine’s lifelong dream came true when she used her inheritance to build a home where women and children in dire need would be provided with housing, education, religious and social services enabling them to find a far brighter future than was generally available to the Irish, particularly Irish women, of the time. Catherine’s innovative approach to housing and educating young women and children from the slums was considered shocking, especially since it brought the poor, the sick and the uneducated into an affluent neighborhood. Within three years over 200 girls were enrolled in the school at House of Mercy and volunteers, inspired by Catherine’s spirit and compassion, were numerous.

Catherine McAuley’s Mercy Charisms

Preferential option for the poor,

Life of generous service to
persons in need,

Special concern for women
and children,

Spirit of hospitality,



Trust in the providence of God.