Dedicated to building a more just and merciful world, hundreds of students, faculty, and staff participate each year in Carlow University’s Mercy Service Day. This special event takes place at the beginning of each academic year and connects community organizations around southwestern Pennsylvania to the Carlow community.

Tradition of Service

Mercy Service Day is especially designed to help all first year students immerse themselves in Carlow’s long tradition of service.

The university’s commitment to service began with Catherine McAuley, who founded the Sisters of Mercy in 1831. In 1843, Frances Warde and six other sisters from Carlow, Ireland, traveled to Pittsburgh, where they founded the first American congregation of the Sisters of Mercy.

Committed to compassionate and caring service of persons who are poor, sick, and uneducated, regardless of race, nationality, age, gender, or religion, the seven Sisters of Mercy established and staffed numerous schools, an orphanage, and Mercy Hospital (now UPMC Mercy), the first hospital in Pittsburgh and the first Mercy hospital in the world. In 1929, the Sisters of Mercy founded Mount Mercy College, which later became Carlow University. With service a core value and “embracing an ethic of service for a just and merciful world” as part of its mission statement, Carlow University strives to be synonymous with service.