About Us

Our History

Catherine McAuley was the founder of the Sisters of Mercy. Born in North Dublin in 1778, Catherine established the Sisters of Mercy in 1831, a religious congregation primarily dedicated to caring for the poor, the sick, and the educationally disadvantaged. Initially focused on serving the people of Dublin, the congregation eventually expanded to become one of the largest congregations of women not only in Ireland but also worldwide.

The first foundation of the Sisters of Mercy in Johannesburg was established in Braamfontein on the 24th of September in a building which still exists today and is now part of the University of the Witwatersrand. It was then called the Convent of Mercy, later it became Parktown Convent and then McAuley House School. The school officially opened its doors at its current location on the 16th of October 1965. Its name honours Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy.


True to the values of Catherine McAuley, caring for the needy is an important aspect of McAuley House – our students take part in various outreach programmes, fostering a sense of social responsibility and social awareness and nurturing engaged students who are able to take a stand against the wrongs of society.


We Live Our Faith through:
Honesty, Integrity, Humility, Responsibility, Commitment, Reliability and a willingness to serve.

Living Our Faith


  • Faith and Spirituality
  • Respect for oneself, neighbour, and environment.
  • Mercy and Compassion
  • Tolerance
  • Truth
  • Excellence in all we do
  • Justice
  • Loyalty


Our School embodies the Mercy School ethos, centred around the teachings of Jesus Christ and fostering a sense of familial love for God within our community. Emphasis is placed on upholding Christian values, promoting respect and kindness towards all individuals, particularly those marginalized by society. Each student thrives within a nurturing environment characterized by care, respect, and joy.


Our vision is to nurture resilient, confident, and compassionate young individuals who will wholeheartedly dedicate themselves to serving the needs of their community and the world with dignity, humility, and integrity. Rooted in Christ’s teachings of love for God, oneself, and others, McAuley House strives to cultivate young women and men who embody these values, committed to making a positive impact on both the South African community and the global society.

The Mercy Shield

The symbolism of the Mercy Shield, adopted as the School Badge, is explained as follows:

The Crown Bearing the Monogram signifies

The Patroness of the Mercy Institute, the Mother of Mercy, who is Queen. The monogram means MARIA REGINA. It reminds us to give proof of our love of our Blessed Lady by imitating her.

The Seven Bars symbolise

The seven-spiritual works of Mercy, and The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The Celtic Cross indicates

The Irish origin of the Sisters of Mercy. It combines the Symbol of Redemption and of the Sacred Passion with that of the Holy Eucharist.

The Anchor testifies to

Our Unwavering Faith and confidence in God. “Confidence in God causes us to hope for everything from His paternal goodness”- Words of Mother Catherine McAuley.

The Motto

Mother Catherine regarded the word MERCY as a synonym for the Holy Name, JESUS. The spirit that should animate all who bear this motto is that of “Serving Christ in the Spirit of Christ”.