News & Events

Reconciliation Week, 27 May - 3 June

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) in Australia (27 May - 3 June) is held to celebrate Indigenous history and culture and to celebrate and promote respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.

This year during National Reconciliation Week, Reconciliation Australia invites all Australians to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories, to share that knowledge and help us grow as a nation. The theme chosen for this year is: Don’t Keep History A Mystery.

We, Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Congregation, came to this area in 1888. For over 60,000 years, this area comprising present day Parramatta has been occupied by the Burramattagal people, a clan of the Darug, who first settled along the upper reaches of the Parramatta River. Burramattagal is thought to be derived from the Aboriginal word for 'place where the eels lie down' to breed (within the Parramatta River).

As we prepare to move forward together, this week offers us and all non-Indigenous Australians a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture. More information about the traditional owners of this land, the Darug people, can be learned here

Other sites to visit include:
National Indigenous Television (NITV) and the ABC will screen special programs

World Refugee Day, 20 June 2018

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

The theme for Refugee Week (17-23 June 2018) #WithRefugees emphasises the need for the safety and rights of all refugees to be protected.

The international campaign continues until a global compact on refugees is signed later this year. UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, is asking us all of us to help them send a clear message to governments that they must act with solidarity and shared responsibility by signing the #With Refugees Petition.

Join Sisters of Mercy and people across the globe on World Refugee Day in praying this prayer 'A Moment for Grace' composed by Catholic Relief Services USA.

God of our Wandering Ancestors,
Long have we known
That your heart is with the refugee:
That you were born into time
In a family of refugees
Fleeing violence in their homeland,
Who then gathered up their hungry child
And fled into alien country.

Their cry, your cry, resounds through the ages: “Will you let me in?”
Give us hearts that break open

When our brothers and sisters turn to us
          with that same cry.
Then surely all these things will follow:
     Ears will no longer turn deaf to their voices.
     Eyes will see a moment for grace instead of a threat.
    Tongues will not be silenced but will instead advocate.
And hands will reach out—
working for peace in their homeland,
working for justice in the lands where they seek safe haven.
Lord, protect all refugees in their travels.
May they find a friend in me
And so make me worthy
Of the refuge I have found in you.


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    Join Us and the Mercy World in 9 Days of Prayer & Reflection

    'We will enjoy and celebrate Earth’s beauty and bounty and her many species. We will honour our duty to love and care for her and add to her well-being wherever possible.'
    (Chapter Statement)

    To mark the third anniversary of the release by Pope Francis of his encyclical letter Laudato Si’, Sisters of Mercy across the globe have committed to 9 Days of Prayer and Reflection using the Prayer for our Earth. The 9 Days will commence on Monday, 18 June and conclude on Tuesday, 26 June.

    We, Sisters of Mercy of the Parramatta Congregation, are committed to protecting the rights of the natural world and to stemming the hurtful effects of climate change, pollution and the ‘throw away’ mentality, all of which concerns are addressed by Pope Francis in Laudato Si’.

    We invite you to join us and the Mercy world in both marking the anniversary in prayer and in reflecting on the ways in which you can act to respect and protect the rights of Earth and the Earth community.

    Some ways to become involved in living Laudato Si':

    • Take the Laudato Si' pledge here
    • Join Global Campaigns here
    • Sign up to the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) weekly blog digest here
    • Volunteer Opportunities are listed here

    Social Networks: June 2018 Prayer intention of Pope Francis

    We will encourage understanding and practice of our faith, informed by new knowledge and the interaction of science, theology and spirituality.(Chapter Statement)

    We are all invited to join with Pope Francis and his worldwide prayer network in praying this month's intention: Social Networks

    That social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences.

    Text of the June 2018 video:

    'The Internet is a gift of God, but it is also a great responsibility.
    Communication technology, its places, its instruments have brought with it a lengthening of horizons, a widening, for so many people.
    It can offer immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity.
    May the digital network not be a place of alienation. May it be a concrete place, a place rich in humanity.
    Let us pray together that social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences.'

    We invite you to post a prayer or reflection in our prayer space

    Addressing Plastic Pollution

    We will enjoy and celebrate Earth’s beauty and bounty and her many species. We will honour our duty to love and care for her and add to her well-being wherever possible.(Chapter Statement)

    This year, both World Environment Day (5 June) and World Oceans Day (8 June) invite and encourage us to reduce our plastic consumption for the sake of our natural places, our wildlife and our health. Plastic pollution on land and in the seas and oceans is now considered one of the great environmental challenges of our time. The facts are staggering:

    •  80% of all pollution in the ocean comes from people on land (United Nations)
    • Nearly 700 species, including endangered ones, are known to have been affected by ocean plastic (National Geographic)
    • 19 billion pounds of plastic waste ends up in our oceans each year (Science)
    •  Each cycle of a washing machine could release more than 700,000 microscopic plastic fibres into the environment (The Guardian)

    • This short video clip demonstrates the reliance people -us- have on plastic goods (01:58).

    This week (4-10 June), when the environmental focus is on plastic pollution, a simple ‘mantra’ we could each adopt is: Use less plastic and recycle the plastic you must use.
    The Clean Seas campaign offers us a number of tips & tricks we can each use to cut down on our plastic use. Visit the site here and consider taking the pledge

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