Carita is named after the word Caritas meaning charity. The emblem of two hands holding a heart is a symbol of charity and almsgiving. Carita house is represented by the colour red. Carita house members are called to reflect on Catherine McAuley’s dedication and work in improving the lives of girls through education. The house motto Actions speak louder than words emulates Catherine’s devotion to serving others in this way. Her words, “God and God alone must be the principal motive for all our actions” is the essence of what Carita house stands for.
Coolock is named after ‘Coolock House’, which is situated in Dublin, Ireland. Coolock house is represented by the traditional Irish colour green. With Catherine’s inheritance of Coolock House from the Callaghan family, her vision to provide protection and education to poor women and children became a reality. The claddagh ring is the emblem for Coolock. The ring displays hands representing friendship, a heart representing love, and a crown representing loyalty. These three qualities are the essence of Catherine’s work and who she was as a person. Catherine’s words “Try to meet all with peace and ease” resonate through the house motto of Friendship, love and loyalty.
McAuley is named after Catherine McAuley who was the founder of the Sisters of Mercy. The colour yellow represents McAuley house. Catherine’s constant faith and love for God, her compassionate spirit, and her determination to serve Christ, was shown through her dedicated life’s work in caring for the disadvantaged. Catherine’s vision continues to inspire and encourage many young girls today on their journey to walk the path of Mercy. The emblem for McAuley is the lotus flower, which symbolises compassion, courage, mindfulness, peace, and wisdom. The lotus flower’s quest to emerge through the water to blossom in the sunlight symbolises Catherine’s life as she emerged from challenges using her strength of character and compassion for others. Catherine’s philosophy was “If we love God, we should undoubtedly love our neighbour too” hence the house motto Strength through compassion.
Mercedes is the Spanish word for Mercy. The colour blue represents Mercedes house. Mercedes house was named after the congregation of the Sisters of Mercy, which was established by Catherine McAuley in 1831 for the visitation of the sick, poor and the charitable instruction of women. Mercy or Mercedes describes God’s loving kindness to all people. Catherine McAuley said, “The only return God asks of us, is a return of love”. This embraces the very essence of who she was as a person and the wonderful qualities she possessed, being humble, just, and merciful to others. Hence the Mercedes house motto Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly. The emblem is the Irish trinity knot. The three points of the knot represent the Trinity, that is, The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. By adding a circle to the Trinity knot it represents the eternity of God’s love and the circle of Mercy.