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Provincial Leadership Team of the South African Province

Srs. Christine Jacob, Colleen Wilkinson, Constance Khuele,
Kathy Rule (Provincial Leader), Chrissie McGettrick.

Our Story

In 1897, the community of the Sisters of Mercy of Strabane, Ireland, acceding to the request of Bishop Anthony Gaughren OMI, Vicar Apostolic in Kimberley, South Africa, undertook to make a foundation in Mafeking, Bechuanaland.

Accordingly, on 24th September, under the patronage of Our Lady of Mercy, five sisters, accompanied by four postulants, left Ireland and reached Cape Town on 17th October 1897.

The first Convent of Mercy in Africa was opened in Mafeking in the diocese of Kimberley on the 15th of February 1898.

The founding sisters were Srs. Mary Teresa Cowley, Magdalen Dunne, Evangelist McGlynn, Stanislaus Gallagher and Gonzaga McDonagh. The postulants commenced their novitiate on 24th June 1898 and were the first sisters professed in Mafeking on 23rd June 1901 – Srs. Mary Joseph Coffey, Columba McGlinchy, Patricia Byrne and Anthony McRory.

Convents were established in the diocese of Johannesburg from 1907, archdiocese of Pretoria from 1923 and the diocese of Mariannhill from 1965.

These communities, and all those which have grown from them over the years, constituted one Congregation of Pontifical Right, under the title of Sisters of Mercy Johannesburg.

This Congregation became a founding member of the new Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy in 1994 and is now the South Africa Province of this Congregation.

To download the complete history of the Sisters of Mercy in South Africa click here

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