News & Events

World Day of Social Justice

'We will protect the  rights of the natural world...We will open our hearts to the cries of the poor' ( Chapter Statement)

20 February is World Day of Social Justice, a day specifically designated by the United Nations for member states and territories and their citizens as an occasion for awareness and action on issues requiring our attention and response. 

For Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Congregation, there are many social justice issues requiring attention and action, but we have identified the needs of Earth, Indigenous communities, refugees and asylum seekers, homelessness, the impact of poverty on women and those affected by injustice within the Church as among the most urgent.

We have identified these needs and our commitment to addressing these 'at personal, local and systemic levels through friendship, direct assistance, advocacy and research and by joining networks or partnerships with groups that have similar values and goals' in our Chapter Statement and in our participation in the Mercy International Reflection Process (MIRP). Together with Sisters of Mercy globally we have committed  to action under two key themes that emerged from MIRP: (i) displacement of persons, and (ii) degradation of Earth.

'The Mercy world has heard “the cry of Earth and the cry of the Poor” in a new way. It will respond by seeing Mercy in a new way and by daring Mercy in a new way' (MIRP Report p19)

  • Read our Chapter Statement here
  • Read the MIRP Report here

45 Years Teaching and Still Passionate About Learning

In a teaching ministry that has spanned 45 years as a Sister of Mercy, Sr Marie has dedicated her life and ministry to the education of infants and primary school children in numerous schools across metropolitan Sydney. From St Anne's in Bondi Beach to Blacktown, North Parramatta and Quakers Hill, and many places in between, Sr Marie's commitment and enthusiasm have never waned.

Sr Marie has ministered at all levels within the school system as a classroom teacher, Principal and in more intensive work with students who need extra support.

An innovative educator, Sr Marie is always keen to embrace new and emerging approaches to teaching and learning, including technological innovations such as web based learning programs and tablet computers. In her various appointments, Sr Marie has championed innovation and change wherever this will assist students to learn.

Sr Marie's passion for education is not limited to the traditional areas of reading, writing and mathematics, but is holistic in raising student's awareness of issues of social justice, where Mercy and compassion are most needed.

Despite have been in the field of education for over 45 years, Sr Marie is showing no signs of losing her passion or commitment
 to the education of children, particularly those who benefit from extra support.

Promise, Fulfilment and Future Possibilities....

In a joint media statement, the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta and the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta have said:

The legacy of the Parramatta Sisters of Mercy at the historic Mamre House, built during Australia’s colonial era, will house a range of CatholicCare services to benefit the people of St Marys and Western Sydney. The accompanying 200 acres of land is rich in biodiversity and will be a focal point for the Church’s commitment to protecting our environment and supporting sustainability.

Exciting plans for the future use and protection of the property will be announced at a special Celebration event on November 18th.

We have great hope that Mamre will continue to serve the people of Western Sydney under the umbrella of CatholicCare Social Services Parramatta for many years to come

Sister Mary-Louise said.

The Catholic Diocese of Parramatta and the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta are pleased to announce a new chapter in the life of historic Mamre House, with Mamre now being integrated into CatholicCare Social Services.

The Mamre ministry began nearly 30 years ago when youth unemployment was at an all- time high. The Sisters of Mercy Parramatta turned the nearly derelict former home of Samuel Marsden into an essential part of the community, with training and support for disadvantaged young people in the Western Suburbs.

The driving force behind Mamre has been Sister Mary Louise Petro and Sister Joyce Vella. The Sisters have built Mamre into the thriving community resource it is today.
Sister Mary Louise says the continued growth of Mamre is essential: ‘Mamre plays such an important role in the lives of the poor and disadvantaged in Western Sydney and it’s essential that its survival is assured,’ Sister Mary Louise said.

‘Recent social and political changes have meant that smaller organisations can struggle to keep afloat and so the Board of Mamre Plains Ltd and the Sisters of Mercy have decided to integrate with a bigger organisation to ensure Mamre’s future,’ Sister Mary Louise continued. ‘We have determined that CatholicCare Social Services Parramatta is closely aligned with the values of Mamre and are now proud to announce that talks have reached a positive conclusion.’

Mamre will keep its name, and will now be fully integrated into CatholicCare Social Services.

Sister Mary Louise says she is grateful to have been part of Mamre’s past and also of protecting its future.

Event: Tuesday November 18th, 2014 Time: 10.00am Venue: Mamre House - 181 Mamre Road, Orchard Hills Enquiries: (02) 9683 2555 

Finding Hope When It Hurts - Mercy Sister Shares Research at World Congress on Pain

The World Congress on Pain, conducted by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), is a biannual, international event which focusses on pain research and treatment. Drawing up to 6,000 attendees from around the world, the Congress allows participants and presenters the opportunity to engage in education, information sharing and networking, to further their work in various areas related to pain research and treatment. Over the course of the Congress, 2,000 posters will be displayed.

Sr Rebecca, is associated with the display of two Poster Presentations of Research Abstracts which you can view by clicking the links below:

Both areas of research seek to identify the levels of spiritual distress in those who experience chronic pain, the relationship between these variables, and the implications for treatment programmes.

Members of the Greenwich Pain Programme team (Pictured below at the book launch in August 2012), Pain Specialist Professor Phillip Siddall, Sr Rebecca, and Psychologist Dr Robin Murray Co-Authored The Pain Book, a highly successful “handbook” for those who suffer pain. The book provides the reader with an understanding of pain, its causes, mechanisms and processes as well as helpful information on treatments and exercises.

To read more about The Pain Book or to purchase a copy online, click here.

Third Mercy Gathering Shines Spotlight on the Horror of Human Trafficking

The ritual was deeply moving and shocking in highlighting the global crime of Human Trafficking and its tragic human consequences, particularly for women and children. Some of the stories of survivors of this horror were shared within the ritual.

Also highlighted within the prayer, was the connection between demand in developed countries and trafficking in developing countries in areas such as clothing and footwear, chocolate, coffee, electronics and other consumables. We were challenged to ask questions about where, and how, the products we buy are made, and what the conditions are for the workers involved in production. 

After participating in the ritual, the gathered group was able to share their feelings and reactions and also discuss some of the ways we can contribute to bringing Trafficking to an end.

The Sisters of Mercy act locally and globally in the fight against Human Trafficking through our support of Mercy Global Action and ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Human Trafficking). Click on the links to find out more about Human Trafficking and what you can do to help stop it.



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