South Central Associates

Mercy Associates Mary Ellen McWilliams (left) and Laura Lauer discuss how their partnership with sisters can help preserve and enliven the Mercy spirit during an association retreat at Mercy Convent in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Mercy Associates are lay people who respond to a call from God, an invitation to Gospel holiness lived through sharing in the mission of Mercy.

Inspired by Catherine McAuley, who founded the Sisters of Mercy in Ireland in 1831, Mercy associates demonstrate love of Christ in service to the poor, sick and uneducated with special concern for women and children. In solidarity with people who are marginalized, Mercy associates join with sisters to promote works of justice and charity.

Living our call
Associates live their unique calls to Mercy in personal ways, given their current life circumstances. As lay people committed to action and contemplation, Mercy associates engage in ongoing discernment reflecting their continued call to inner conversion and outward service to others.

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To learn more
We invite you to join us. For more information about Mercy Association in the South Central Community, please contact Ty Barnes, director of association, at