DALLAS, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — There’s a new addition to the Misericordia University campus.
A five-foot six-inch bronze statue of Catherine McAuley gleamed in the sunlight as faculty, students, and alumni came together to welcome her to the campus. McAuley is the founder of Sisters of Mercy, a religious order dedicated to the shelter and education of women around the world. The order started College Misericordia in 1924, as an all-women’s college. It became a co-ed school in the 1970s and became a university in 2007.
“Catherine’s been a big presence on this campus, to the Sisters and to us for a long time as we follow her model of mercy, service, justice, and hospitality in a place where all are welcome,” Tom Boatzman, president of Misericordia University, said.
The statue, made possible by an anonymous donor, was designed by Sister Marie Henderson in Michigan. 30 different molds were created and welded together to make the life-sized statue. Henderson then drove the statue to Dallas for its installation.
“She [Catherine McAuley] is the reason that we live the life we live. We are so inspired in her life, and how she made a difference in her world as a woman as a Sister of Mercy. And certainly, that inspired me to become a Sister of Mercy,” Sister Cindy March, Associate Director for Mission Integration, said.
“For many years we’ve been asking for this,” Sister Jean Messaros, Vice President for Mission Integration, said.
The idea to add the statue to campus came up three years ago, when a group of students traveled to Dublin, Ireland for a Mercy Leadership conference. Mitchell Rock, a junior at Misericordia, went on this trip. He says he and his fellow students learned more about Catherine McAuley and her values during the conference and wanted to bring their experience back to campus.
“I didn’t know if we were gonna be able to see it because I had gone three years ago. And I know that the process of these kinds of things takes a long time. But I’m glad that her image is finally here if only to start the conversation around who she is and what she stood for,” Rock said.
Faculty say they plan to add more seating so that the community can sit and as Catherine McAuley would always say “Have a good cup of tea.”