The Sisters of Mercy date their foundation as a Congregation to 12th December 1831, when Catherine McAuley and two companions made their religious professions at the Presentation Convent, George’s Hill, Dublin and adopted and modified the rules of the Presentation Order as their Rule and Constitutions. In 1835, Pope Gregory XVI gave his approval and blessing to the Congregation for its dedication to the work of ‘helping the poor, relieving the sick in every possible way, and safeguarding, by the exercise of charity, women who find themselves in circumstances dangerous to virtue’. The Holy See approved the Rule and Constitutions of the Congregation in 1841. Later that same year, Catherine McAuley died after 10 years of service as Superior of the Congregation. She founded 10 convents in Ireland and two in England. After her death, the Congregation spread to six continents, with communities in North America (1842), Australia (1846), South America (1856), Africa (1896), Asia (1953) and Europe. It was recognised as an Institute of Pontifical Right in 1926.
During the Emergence hearings, Sr Breege O’Neill, then Congregation Leader of the Sisters of Mercy, outlined the organisational structure of the Congregation: At that time  she [Catherine McAuley] was very clear that for us to be able to be about that work it was important that we would be locally based, and that we would not be constrained by central Government ... It emerged within 20 years of her founding the first house of the Order in Baggot Street. There were convents established in each of the 26 diocese in Ireland ... In some there might have been eight or nine convents ... These convents were autonomous. They were totally, completely and entirely responsible for their own affairs really. There was little central or there was not a coordinating structure among the convents ... there was not a sort of a central Government that established these, but they were established in each locality according to the need of the locality at the time.
The Sisters of Mercy furnished Submissions on 20th June 2005. These Submissions were made in the aftermath of the evidence heard at oral hearings and the documentary evidence which emerged during the course of the inquiry. Establishment of Goldenbridge The Sisters of Mercy were founded by Catherine McAuley in Dublin in 1831.