News & Events

The Lenten Journey: Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday signals the start of Lent, the Season of the Year when we have the opportunity to change, to begin again, to renew ourselves.  We are all invited by Pope Francis in his message for Lent 2018 'to take up the Lenten journey with enthusiasm', sustained by the traditional practices of almsgiving, fasting and prayer.

During the Season of Lent (14 February-29 March 2018 ), the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Congregation invite you to join with us and with the Mercy community globally in praying these intercessions:

  • In a world of violence and denial of basic human dignity, may we be lights in the darkness:
  • Create in us new hearts, O God
  • In a world of abundance which allows children to go hungry, may we work to banish famine and malnutrition:
  • Create in us new hearts, O God
  • In a world which places ambition and the quest for wealth and power above the values of family and faith, may we stand as witnesses that you are the source of all true happiness:
  • Create in us new hearts, O God
  • In a world where disagreements and longstanding enmities are resolved by war and civil disruption, may we be reconcilers and unifiers:
  • Create in us new hearts, O God
  • In a world created through your love and charged with your presence, may we teach others to see your face in all people and all creation:
  • Create in us new hearts, O God
  • In a world which hungers for meaning and searches for you, may we accompany those journeying to Baptism and support them through our prayer and witness:
  • Create in us new hearts, O God

You might also like to post a prayer, thought or reflection in our prayer space
Resources to aid your Lenten preparation can be found here

Source: Morning and Evening Prayer of the Sisters of Mercy

Celebrating International Women's Day

The women who pack The Big Issue for distribution to subscribers have now dispatched 500,000 copies of the magazine through the Women’s Subscription Enterprise (WSE).

The theme of this International Women’s Day is Be Bold for Change and we are proud to support the WSE and help provide opportunities for women to positively change their lives.

We have just begun supporting the WSE  with 59 subscriptions across the year, as Birthday gifts to our sisters.



The initiative is designed to offer a safe and viable work opportunity for vulnerable women, as an alternative to selling The Big Issue on
the street.

WSE employees hand-pack subscription copies of the magazine, giving them an income and helping them gain new skills and career pathways for the future.

Some of you may already be familiar with the fortnightly magazine, which is sold on the streets around the country. Since 1996, more than 6500 people have sold the magazine, putting more than $24 million into the pockets of homeless and disadvantaged men and women.

If you would like to find out more about The Big Issue or subscribe for $12.40 per month, visit www.thebigissue.org.au.

We hope you enjoy the magazine!

City of Parramatta shows strong leadership and welcomes refugees

A few weeks ago, the Jesuit Refugee Service, the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta, and the Refugee Council of Australia, together approached the City of Parramatta to propose that the council become a Refugee Welcome Zone, a national initiative recognising local government areas that make a commitment in spirit to welcoming refugees into the community and acknowledging the positive contribution refugees make to society.

On the 10th October, 2016, the City of Parramatta, led by Administrator, Amanda Chadwick, formally endorsed this recommendation and at a ceremony planned for later this year, Parramatta will become a Refugee Welcome Zone.

Maeve Brown, Manager of Jesuit Refugee Service’s Arrupe Project, which provides casework support, emergency relief, legal assistance and social and educational support to people seeking asylum said, “The City of Parramatta has a long history of welcoming many thousands of refugees and people seeking asylum. Becoming a Refugee Welcome Zone recognises council’s ongoing commitment and support for refugees.”

The Sisters of Mercy Parramatta also welcomed the endorsement by the City of Parramatta. “The Council’s decision demonstrates a commitment in spirit to welcoming refugees into our local community, upholding the human rights of refugees and demonstrating both compassion and an understanding of the suffering and traumas many of these people have endured,” said Sister Catherine Ryan, Congregation Leader.

Sr Catherine also acknowledged that becoming a Refugee Welcome Zone is an important recognition of the tremendous contribution refugees have made over the years to enhancing the religious and cultural diversity of the Australian community.

The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) Acting Chief Executive Officer, Tim O’Connor, said the Refugee Welcome Zone initiative was a simple and effective way local councils could exercise positive leadership on refugee issues.

“Since Federation, Australia has welcomed more than 840,000 refugees and local councils have a proud history of helping support the settlement of refugees who have gone on to make a profound contribution to our economic, cultural and social life.”

Recent research from RCOA across the 143 Refugee Welcome Zone signatory councils found those with large numbers of humanitarian arrivals, like Parramatta, have developed extensive services and activities.

However, Refugee Welcome Zones with smaller refugee populations are also active in implementing support and assistance to the increasing diversity of their community.

“Activities and initiatives introduced by local councils in Australia include local partnerships with community groups and service providers, Refugee Week and Harmony Week events, public forums, living libraries and community-based projects.”

Mr O’Connor encouraged more local councils to consider becoming a Refugee Welcome Zone.

“The process for becoming a Refugee Welcome Zone is straightforward. Councils simply sign a declaration to welcome refugees, uphold their human rights, demonstrate compassion for new arrivals and enhance cultural and religious diversity. How councils implement the pledge is entirely up to them.”

The Refugee Welcome Zone report is available here http://refugeecouncil.org.au/g/131219_RWZ.pdf.

For further information about Refugee Welcome Zones http://refugeecouncil.org.au/g/rwz.php

For further information

Oliver White
Jesuit Refugee Service Australia
Tel: +61 2 9356 3888
Email: oliver.white@jrs.org.au
Twitter: @JRS_Aus

Source: This article in its entirety is sourced from the JRS Website and can be accessed here: http://www.jrs.org.au/city-parramatta-shows-strong-leadership-welcomes-refugees/


Responding to the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor

The Statement from the 2016 Chapter can be viewed here.

To download and read a pdf copy of the Statement, please click on the document below.

  • (113 KB)
  • 11th General Chapter Elects New Congregation Leader and Council

    Throughout 2016, the sisters have been engaged in a process of Chapter preparation in which we considered the "sign of the times" and sought to identify both the urgent needs of all creation and the ways in which we will respond.

    The outcome of this process, was the development of our Chapter Statement, which not only sets the direction and focus for the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta for the six years, but also articulates who we are, and how we hope to be in our world. Having articulated this, the sisters then discerned those sisters who they would call forth to serve in leadership over the next 6 years.

    Those Sisters elected were:

    Congregation Leader:          Sr Mary-Louise Petro
    Congregation Vicar:            Sr Maria Lawton
    Congregation Councillor:    Sr Patricia Bolster
    Congregation Councillor:    Sr Margaret Jones
    Congregation Councillor:    Sr Margaret Sheppard.    

    The new Congregation Leader and Council will take office on December 8th, 2016.

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