Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was founded by Sisters of Mercy from Carlow Ireland. The Sisters arrived in Pittsburgh in 1843 and began to establish schools and hospitals. They opened Mount Mercy College in 1929. In 1969 the name was changed to Carlow College. Carlow College officially became Carlow University in 2004.
The Sisters of Mercy came to Carlow town, Ireland from Dublin in April 1839. The sisters established St Leo’s College, a school for girls. The Mercy Order had been founded by Catherine McAuley in Dublin in 1831. St Leo’s opened its doors to its first students on May 1st 1839. Today the school is a thriving institution which educates girls form twelve to eighteen years.
In 1843 Michael O’Connor, a native of Fermoy Co Cork was appointed the first Bishop of the new Diocese of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. He was consecrated in Rome and passed through Ireland on his return journey to the US. He visited Carlow and invited members of the Mercy Order to come and work in his diocese. The Mercy Order agreed and nuns from Carlow travelled to the USA.
Mother Francis Warde and six Mercy Sisters: Josephine Cullen (28), Veronica McDarby (27), Aloysia Strange (24), Philomena Reid (23), Elizabeth Strange (22), and Margaret O’Brien (21) left Carlow for Pittsburgh on November 1st 1843. They established schools and hospitals in Pittsburgh, including the first permanent hospital in Pittsburgh which opened on New Year’s Day 1847. During the following years they also established schools and hospitals in other locations in the USA.
The Sisters founded a Catholic University called Mount Mercy College in 1929. The name was changed to Carlow College in 1969. In 2004 Carlow College achieved University Status and is now known as Carlow University. Over 2,200 students, from undergraduate to PhD level, study a wide range of programmes at the University.
Carlow University has an international programme through which students study in institutions all over the world, from England to Russia to Tanzania to Thailand. It maintains its links with its Irish heritage and students and staff from the University visit Carlow. Each year a group of students from Carlow University spend a semester studying at Carlow College in Ireland. Students from the University also study at Universities in Northern Ireland and participate in programmes in Sligo.
Carlow University was established in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA in the year 1929 On This Day.
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