Mercy education rooted in the ministry of Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy and her companions, has been a force of pastoral care in America since 1854. Growing up in an Irish society rampant with poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment, McAuley recognized that education is essential to the process of the betterment of both individuals and society. McAuley explained that the ministry of education is a work of Mercy that is a response to people’s learning, and the work of the Mercy educator is a potent expression of the love of God and others. Present-day Mercy educators are called to follow in the footsteps of Catherine McAuley and her Sisters, who wholeheartedly committed themselves to the pursuit of knowledge. As a Mercy School, Notre Dame is committed to meeting the needs of all students in the pursuit of learning. The McAuley Studies Program provides academic support and guides students to achieving their full potential at Notre Dame.