McAuley College History
Catherine McAuley founded the order of the Sisters of Mercy in Ireland in 1831. Catherine McAuley recognised the needs of those who were marginalised and oppressed by unjust social attitudes and practices of her day. She responded by establishing a House of Mercy in Dublin, which provided educational, religious and social services for women and children who were at risk of homelessness through exploitation and entrenched poverty.
The Sisters of Mercy have been important contributors to the educational mission of both Parishes of St Mary’s Beaudesert and All Saints Boonah since the time of their arrival in the area. St Mary's Primary School, Beaudesert, was established in 1901 and administered by the Sisters of Mercy until 1996. All Saints Primary School, Boonah, was established in 1957 and administered by the Sisters of Mercy until 1989. During these years a strong Catholic ethos evolved, alongside a rich community spirit that still exists today.
The Sisters in Australia have committed to the tradition of ministerial religious life, which Catherine had entrusted to all Sisters of Mercy. This meant that wherever they served, whether in growing cities or towns or remote 'outback' places, they tried to respond to the human needs for evangelisation, education, health care, welfare services, and a myriad of pastoral services. This commitment to service is very apparent in the Beaudesert and Boonah districts.