Honoring the Sisters: Celebrating the history and traditions established by St. Joseph's founders

(January 2016) -- Sisters Margaret Mary McBride, Madonna Marie Bolton and Rachel Torres renewed their annual vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and service during a special prayer service honoring the Sisters of Mercy on Foundation Day hosted at St. Joseph’s Marian Chapel in early December.

The ceremony also commemorated Pope Francis’ launch of the Year of Mercy.The sisters follow in the footsteps of their foundress, Catherine McAuley, who established the religious order in Ireland on Dec. 12, 1831, to serve the sick, poor and uneducated. In 1892, the Sisters of Mercy traveled to Phoenix to open a parish school—a mission that was quickly expanded after it was discovered the community was under siege by tuberculosis.

Once the school was fully functioning, the sisters raised enough money to begin operating the Valley’s first hospital: St. Joseph’s Sanitarium.

Over the last 120 years, St. Joseph’s has evolved from a 24-bed facility for patients suffering with tuberculosis into a 607-bed world-class hospital that treats thousands of patients annually. While the location has changed, and the building has expanded multiple times, St. Joseph’s Hospital still relies on the support of the community to fulfill its healing mission.

St. Joseph’s Foundation continues the Sisters of Mercy’s legacy, raising money to further the healing ministry of Jesus, providing high-quality, compassionate healthcare services to all patients served at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.