Mother Mary Vincent Whitty
In May 1861, Mother Mary Vincent Whitty and five other women who had dedicated their lives to works of charity and mercy, arrived in Australia from Ireland. Mother Vincent Whitty had been a close associate of Catherine McAuley, and joining a Mercy venture overseas had been the real desire of her heart for many years.
Under her guidance, this little group was committed to continuing the work of Mercy that had seen the establishment of Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Dublin.
Although the Sisters were immediately busy with education and visiting the sick, Mother Vincent’s main ambition was to build a hospital dedicated to caring for the poor.
Although they did not yet have a hospital at the time of Mother Vincent’s death in 1892, the Sisters had largely replicated the works established in Dublin with 222 Sisters of Mercy in Brisbane and regional Queensland managing 26 schools with 7000 students, a teachers’ training college, a secondary girls’ school, an orphanage, an industrial school and a Magdalen asylum for unmarried mothers.