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Mission and History

Amy Lahart

Amy Lahart, MS
Vice President for Mission Integration and Student Life

Phone: (570) 674-6320




Mercy Heritage Celebration


Learn more about upcoming events in celebration of Black History Month

The Vice President for Mission Integration and Student Life complements the President in promoting Misericordia's Catholic and Mercy identity in University culture, policies, and practices.  This role also assists the President by promoting and supporting the University's planning process and the development of policies and programs to ensure that they are consistent with the mission of the University. The Vice President for Mission Integration and Student Life provides leadership, oversight and stewardship for all aspects of Mission, Ministry, and Service, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the Ruth Matthews Bourger Women with Children Program.

Mission Statement

Misericordia University, a Catholic liberal arts institution founded in the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, cultivates a transformational educational experience that promotes intellectual curiosity and critical thinking in a supportive and inclusive community, inspiring all students to engage in a life of service and global citizenship.

Values Statement

As a community, we are committed to integrity and the values of the Sisters of Mercy as the foundation of university life. Our values are:

Mercy Through:




Service Through:




Justice Through:




Hospitality With:




Catherine McAuley

History of the Religious Sisters of Mercy and Catherine McAuley

All Sisters of Mercy worldwide trace their roots to their founder, Catherine McAuley, an Irish Catholic laywoman. Catherine McAuley, Founder of the Sisters of Mercy. Catherine recognized the many needs of people who were economically poor in early nineteenth century Ireland and determined that she and women like her could make a difference. 

Spending her inheritance, she opened the first House of Mercy on Lower Baggot Street in Dublin, Ireland on September 24, 1827, a place to shelter and educate women and girls. Catherine's original intention was to assemble a lay corps of Catholic social workers. Impressed by her good works and the importance of continuity in the ministry, the Archbishop of Dublin advised her to establish a religious congregation. Three years later on December 12, 1831, Catherine and two companions became the first Sisters of Mercy.

In the 10 years between the founding and her death, she established 14 independent foundations in Ireland and England.

Click here for the complete history of the Religious Sisters of Mercy.

Click here to visit Mercy International Association's website to read more about Catherine's life and the Cause to Canonize her.

Sisters of Mercy in America

The first Sisters of Mercy arrived in the United States from Ireland in 1843 at the invitation of the Bishop of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Their energy in ministering to the sick and economically poor attracted so many new members that by 1854, Sisters had come from Ireland to settle in New York, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Little Rock, Arkansas; and San Francisco, California. The sisters spread across the country and establishing schools and hospitals. Since then, the works of Mercy have expanded to embrace education, health care, pastoral, and social services in hundreds of sites today.

History of Misericordia University

Mercy Hall in the year 1924

The Religious Sisters of Mercy were founded in Dublin in 1831. The Sisters vowed to be of service to the impoverished, sick and uneducated. The Sisters of Mercy came to the Wyoming Valley area of Pennsylvania in 1875, continuing their mission of praying, teaching and caring for the sick. The Sisters quickly established a school for children and soon after, a night school for adults in the established coal mining region. Having secured a strong foundation of Catholic education, the order recognized that a great need was still waiting to be met.

On September 15, 1924, the Sisters of Mercy established Luzerne County's first four-year institution of higher learning, College Misericordia, on nearly 100 acres of land in Dallas, Pennsylvania, purchased by the Sisters for this purpose in 1914. More than 2,500 people witnessed the dedication of College Misericordia (whose name means “heart of mercy"). That September, 37 students began their studies sharing the Sisters' motto: Mulier Fortis, valiant women trained in scholarship and spirituality. Misericordia was founded as, and continues to be as a university, a broad-based liberal arts and pre-professional studies institution offering superior education to those of all faiths. The university has been co-educational since the 1970s and offers graduate programs as well.

Sisters of Mercy Cross

The Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

Responding to a call to serve the needy of our time. Inspired by the life of Jesus and by our founder Catherine McAuley, the Sisters of Mercy envision a just world for people who are poor, sick and uneducated. The Sisters of Mercy are women of faith who commit our lives to God and our resources to serve, advocate and pray for those in need around the world.

Click here to visit The Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas website.

Sisters of Mercy Critical Concerns

The Sisters of Mercy were founded out of a deep concern for persons who are poor. Today, that focus is in five “critical concerns" that we address through prayer, attention to personal, communal and institutional choices; education; advocacy with legislatures and other government leaders; and corporate engagement.

Click here to download a (PDF) document highlighting the Sisters of Mercy Critical Concerns.

Conference for Mercy Higher Education (CMHE)

The mission of the Conference for Mercy Higher Education is the preservation and development of the core Catholic identity and mission of Mercy higher education in accord with the spirit, mission, and heritage of the Sisters of Mercy.

Click here to visit the Conference for Mercy Higher Education (CMHE) website.

Mercy International Centre

Welcome to Catherine's House, the first house of Mercy built by Catherine McAuley in response to the needs of the poor of Dublin. It is home to the Mercy family from all over the world.

Click here to visit the Mercy International Centre website.