top of page

Our  Whakapapa

Nga Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa
Sisters of Mercy New Zealand...

Nga Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa Sisters of Mercy New Zealand is a Catholic religious congregation of vowed women.

Over 200 sisters seek to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ by engaging in the works of Mercy, according to the charism of Catherine McAuley. Together with our companions in mission, our vision is for a world where God’s generous love and mercy are experienced by all.

Catherine McAuley founded the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland in 1831. From these small beginnings sisters and their companions in mission now work in more than 40 countries worldwide.

Sisters of Mercy were the first religious sisters to come to Aotearoa New Zealand arriving in Auckland from Ireland on 9 April 1850. They came in response to a call from wahine Māori.

From 1850 to 1897 four Mercy Congregations were founded in Aotearoa.

On 12 December 2005 the four Congregations of Aotearoa united to become a single Congregation – Nga Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa Sisters of Mercy New Zealand.

This decision was inspired by the sisters’ desire to become ‘a new creation for mission’ and underlines the truth that faithfulness to God’s mission means openness to the future.
As created by God, our world is constantly unfolding and the best response we humans can make is to work at becoming the dream we long to see, for ourselves and generations still to come. To be engaged in mission is to recognise in today’s rapid and far-reaching change the seeds of future life and growth.


Karanga Atawhai ko te puāwai a te Atua?
What do we bring to birth as we live God’s call to be Mercy?

Click here to learn more about our founding history and establishment in New Zealand

Discover the story of Catherine McAuley


Catherine McAuley was born in Dublin, Ireland, in September, 1778 and went on to establish the Sisters of Mercy in December 1831..


bottom of page