SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Just when we needed something inspirational on the streets of Savannah, there she was.
Let's face it, this is a trying time for our city, but if anything can remind us of the good within people, it's the statue dedicated Friday to Catherine McCauley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy, who started St. Vincent's Academy and St. Joseph's Hospital. She's touched hearts and lives around Savannah for nearly two centuries.
"They have certainly made a tremendous contribution to the growth of the Catholic church in Savannah,'' said Bishop Gregory Hartmayer, of the Diocese of Savannah. "And they have served the people of Savannah in a generous way.''
For 172 years, the Sisters of Mercy have simply done for others, regardless of who those others were.
They operated orphanages, secretly educated the children of slaves, treated the wounded during the Civil War and cared for the sick and buried the dead during two Yellow Fever epidemics.
Now, at the corner of Liberty and Abercorn streets, adjacent to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and down the street from St. Vincent's, whose hundreds of students still study the Sisters of Mercy tenets, is a monument to share those beliefs with anyone who happens past.
"I think this is so important,'' said St. Vincent's Principal, Mary Anne Hogan, "for the students to see that mercy endures forever and that the sisters have been a wonderful role model for all these years, and it's their legacy.'
It's also the legacy of Catherine McCauley, who the sculptor of the monument felt like she got to know personally while making it.
"Her work wasn't just about doing good,'' said Sondra Jonson, who attended the unveiling. "It was about people, helping one person at a time and giving what she had in life to others so they could grow from it, and in turn, give it to others.''
That's a good lesson and a good message, for today or anytime.