The Sisters of Mercy first came to the United States in 1843, settling in Pittsburgh under the leadership of Frances Xavier Warde. Three years later, in 1846, Frances and five other sisters set out to open a new House of Mercy in the muddy, pioneer town on the shores of Lake Michigan, known as Chicago.
Over 160 years have passed since their arrival in Chicago. The city itself has changed greatly from the wooden shacks along the shoreline to the towering buildings that shape one of the country's most notable skylines. Both the Sisters and Chicago have prospered and each has played an important role in the success of the other.
This timeline tracks the history of the Sisters of Mercy of the Regional Community of Chicago and its many firsts in establishing schools, hospitals, and other social services in Chicago and throughout areas in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa that encompass the Chicago Region.