Frances was born in 1810. She was the youngest of 6 children. She was raised on a farm in Abbeyleix, Queens County, south of Dublin
Frances is Born
Frances' mother died shortly after Frances' birth. Her mothers sister came to live with them. She home schooled them and they received Communion, Confirmation, and learned to pray
When Frances was 9 Catholics were banned from owning land. Her brothers went to Dublin and her father went to the seminary. The girls then moved in with their aunt
Between 1824 and 1815 Frances lost three family members. Her brother John died in 1824. That same year her sister Helen died. In 1825 her father John died of a very sudden death.
Mother Mary Maher Warde Dies
Family Loses Home
Many Family Members Pass Away
Frances and six other women became the first Sisters of Mercy with Catherine as their leader. They lived at Baggot St. At the age of 21 Frances took her vows to become a sister.
Catherine asked Frances to open up a house at St. Leo's Parish. It became a very strong community for both children and adults. The house and Frances' garden there still remain today.
Catherine died on November 11, 1841. She had just returned from England and starting a new foundation. It tormented Frances that she wasn't with Catherine when she died.
Frances Opens a House in Carlow, County Kildare
Frances Becomes a Sister of Mercy
The Sisters moved into Chicago in 1846. The traveled by horses and buggies to only find an empty log cabin. Although the cabin was empty and there was no city they managed to build a thriving foundation
Frances and four other Sisters set out on a ship to Pittsburgh at the request of a Bishop. They landed in Pittsburgh on Dec. 21, 1843. They were welcomed to the U.S. very nicely.
In 1842 the bishops requested that Frances builds a foundation in Naas. She then proceeded to Westport and built another foundation. Both these places provided education for children.
Frances Sets up two other Irish Foundations
Frances Arrives in Pittsburgh
Sisters move to Chicago
By 1854 Frances had founded foundations in Newport, RI, Hartford, CT, and Baltimore MD. These new houses sprung up quickly and many women wanted to join the Sisters at each location. The women wanted to help society and families grow in the New World.
In 1858 Frances authorized the opening of a new foundation in Buffalo. On Feb. 11, 1858 the Sisters came to St. Brigid's Parish Convent where they found many immigrants. They then opened MMA, Mercy Hospital and the Mercy Center that are still in use today.
The Sisters were called out west that was an outpost at the time. They had to travel along the flooded Missouri River and railroads were just starting to go west. However, mercy still thrived there and still does today.
Frances Heads to Omaha, Nebraska
Sisters Arrive in Buffalo, NY
Frances Founds more Foundations
In the 1870's the Sisters were not so welcomed in New Jersey. The Bishop in Jersey City did not agree with Frances so he put their positions out at the curb and the Sisters left. Despite all these conflict back then there are now many houses all throughout the state.
Sisters in Princeton, New Jersey
Frances lived a long life becoming the oldest living Sister of Mercy of her time. She died on Sept. 17, 1884 in Manchester, NH. She lived as a Sister for 55 years and established 38 foundations in the US.