Catherine Mcauley's House For The Poor

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“Do not put all your trust in any human being, but place all your confidence in God.” This was the main faith of the house of the poor, a Catholic school and boarding home for poor girls on the street. Catherine McAuley created the ‘House for the Poor’ Sister school because of her beliefs and she was once on the street herself. This essay will give a brief overview of her life, her hardships and her achievements. It will then explain how she responded to the needs of her community at the time and finally responding and breaking down her key writing, messages and her legacy.

Catherine McAuley was born on September 29, 1778 in Dublin, Ireland. As both her parents died while she was young, Catherine went to live with relatives and though they
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She soon realized the much social, economic and political oppression under which they struggled and she had bitter experiences trying to find shelter for abused servant woman and homeless girls who were turned down by bureaucratic institutions with little sense of the urgency of their situations. These experiences left indelible sorrow and determination in her mind and heart. With the advice and encouragement of three priests- Joseph Nugent, Edward Armstrong and Michael Blake- Catherine decided to use her inheritance to build a house for poor servant girls and homeless women on Baggot Street. The foundation stone was laid in July 1824.

Catherine’s legacy was very simple: she wished to empower poor people and others to lead happy, mutually sustaining lives; she believed the development of girls’ and women’s talents is most conducive to the good of society; and she saw religious education as the centrepiece of a truly merciful education. She was convinced that “we learn more by example than by precept,” and that the testimony of a teacher’s own example, manner, and values is the most persuasive instruction. “Hurrah for foundations, makes the old young and the young
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