students showing off their new Mercy pins on their collars

Monday, February 5, represented a special day for Mount St. Mary Academy. It marked 173 years since the Sisters of Mercy founded what was originally known as St. Mary’s Academy in 1851, at the request of Arkansas’ first Catholic bishop, Andrew Byrne. Recognized as the oldest continuously operated school in Arkansas, and the third oldest of the secondary schools sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy worldwide, Mount St. Mary Academy has been providing Mercy education to young women in Arkansas ever since.

On Monday, the Mount St. Mary Academy community gathered in the school’s McAuley Center gymnasium for the annual Founders Day and Sophomore Pin Mass. As students entered the gymnasium, senior Student Council members rang the Angelus Bell 173 times in honor of the school’s 173-year history. The bell was given to the Sisters of Mercy by Bishop Byrne at the school’s first location in downtown Little Rock. At the conclusion of the all-school Mass, the members of the Class of 2026 received their Mercy pins, which serve as reminders to the sophomores to live the Mercy values in their everyday lives.

Happy birthday, Mount St. Mary Academy!