Publication: June 14, 2023
Outrageous. Unprecedented. Irrepressible. Words not often used to describe someone on the path to sainthood. But Catherine McAuley was no ordinary woman.
In 1824, Catherine, a Catholic spinster of 44, unexpectedly inherits millions. However, unlike most women, she doesn’t use it to climb the social ladder or snare a husband; she uses it to fulfil a lifelong dream of building a refuge for the poor and sick of Dublin, Ireland, run by women of faith like herself. That an unmarried woman would dare propose such a thing is so scandalous, even her own brother calls it “Kitty’s Folly.” Dublin society turns against her. The Church tries to take over. To all of these men in positions of power, Catherine must defend her choices or risk losing not only her inheritance, but her reputation and her life’s calling.
One of the first women who seeks Catherine’s aid is Margaret, a maid in the house of Lord Montague, the loudest of Catherine’s detractors. Daring to protect herself from his advances and rebel against his maxim of total obedience, Margaret is left with no choice but to flee or face his wrath. Desperate, she goes to Catherine for help, setting off a series of events that would haunt Catherine for the rest of her days.
Remembering Margaret’s escape, Grace, another of Lord Montague’s servants, soon seeks refuge at the House of Mercy after being dismissed without a reference. There she is taken under the wing of Mary Ann Doyle, Catherine’s closest friend, and becomes an integral part of running the burgeoning ministry. However, unbeknownst to all, she is also one of its greatest threats, for she knows secrets her former employer would do anything to keep and that the Church could use to destroy Catherine’s ministry.
Based on a true story, Catherine’s Mercy, brings to life the exciting tale of Irish reformer Catherine McAuley and the women who helped found the Sisters of Mercy religious order, one of the first to minister in their communities rather than pray behind cloister walls. As a laywoman and then a nun, Catherine is a beacon of mercy and compassion in a world much in need of both.
Pre-order links to come when available.
Formats: hardback, paperback, ebook
Publisher: Chalice Stories (part of Chalice Press)