A capable administrator with a head for numbers, she was also an expert fundraiser. Once asked if she was still begging, she replied, "Yes, and I shall continue to beg until I go before the Throne of God. Even then I shall beg for mercy." At the time of her death at 86, she had plans for a tubercular home.
One cannot discuss Catholic America's history without reference to the difference women religious have made. In a state that officially banned Catholics from political office until 1877, the Sisters of Mercy were among New Hampshire's first female teachers, social workers (before the term existed), nurses and hospital administrators. For nearly sixty years, Sarah Anne O'Brien helped overcome prejudice and mistrust through her exercise of the works of mercy.