News & Events

104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees: 14th January 2018

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

In his message for the celebration of the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis once again makes clear his deep concern for the situation of migrants and refugees, stressing the need to create a welcoming environment for these most vulnerable persons.

According to figures released by the United Nations in 2016, over 65 million people have been globally displaced. Wars and persecution have driven more people from their homes than at any time since UNHCR records began. Twenty-four people are displaced every minute and one in every 113 people on the planet is now either an asylum-seeker, internally displaced or a refugee.

The Pope’s message to people and nations is a call for decisive action and he proposes and then describes 4 steps which give the message its title: “Welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants and refugees”.

We, the Sisters of Mercy of the Parramatta Congregation, are committed to addressing the concerns of migrants and refugees in a spirit of justice, hospitality and compassion.

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

Tenth Anniversary of the Australian Parliament's Apology to the Stolen Generations

"We will open our hearts to the cries of the poor using our energies, gifts and resources to address violence and discrimination especially for women and children, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples..."
(Chapter Statement)

This month marks the tenth anniversary of the Australian Parliament's Apology to the Stolen Generations of Australia's Indigenous Peoples for past laws, policies and practices that have impacted on Australia's Indigenous Peoples.

In the House of Representatives Canberra at 9.09 am on the morning of 13th February 2008, the then Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, said "The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia’s history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future." And he proceeded to do so.

The Apology was received with great emotion, with empathy, with solidarity, with applause by those who heard it, as shown in this clip. Many members of the Stolen Generations were present in the Chamber to hear the Apology and thousands more filled the Great Hall of Parliament House and flowed out onto the lawns to watch it on big screens. The Apology was broadcast across Australia.


The Bringing them home report, the Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families, tabled in Parliament almost 11 years before the Apology, pointed out that those who had suffered under these policies "endured gross violations of their human rights".

Key anniversaries such as this one are opportunities not to be wasted and a chance to reinvigorate momentum. The Sisters of Mercy of Parramatta Congregation welcome the interest this anniversary will evoke and the opportunity it provides  us all for reflection on how well we have written "this new chapter in our nation's story together". One means for that reflection can be found in reading the text of the Apology

Say 'No' to Corruption: February Prayer Intention of Pope Francis

We are all invited to join with Pope Francis and his worldwide prayer network in praying this month's intention: Say 'No' to Corruption.

Text of the February video:

'What is at the root of slavery, unemployment, and disregard for nature and goods held in common? Corruption, a process of death that feeds the culture of death. Because the thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. Corruption is not countered with silence. We must speak about it, denounce its evils, and try to understand it so as to show our resolve to make mercy reign over meanness, beauty over nothingness. Let us pray that those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.'

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

OLMC Parramatta Introduces Four New Houses in 2018

In 2018, Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta will introduce four new Houses as part of a move to the Vertical House Pastoral Care System.

College Principal Stephen Walsh says this is a momentous occasion in the College’s long history as it is the first time in 25 years that a new House has been introduced: “It is exciting to be creating the four new Houses of Callaghan, Callan, Doyle and Kavanagh in the lead up to our 130 year anniversary in 2019.”

The Houses at OLMC Parramatta are named after people and places associated with Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, and the Sisters from Callan, Ireland who established the College in 1889. Each House has a crest, colour and motto and the Houses have been paired, such that Sister Houses have been created: Stanley has been paired with Kavangah, McAuley with Doyle, Clare with Callan and Mercedes with Callaghan.

Director of Pastoral Care, Anne-Maree Donnelly says research shows, overwhelmingly, that the Vertical House structure establishes strong links between girls, teachers and parents/carers: “Students will be grouped in Houses rather than Year Groups for Pastoral Care. For example, Homeroom Groups will be House based and will include girls from Year 7 through to Year 12. The Homeroom Group provides a sense of belonging to a ‘small family unit’ within a larger House family and bonds are created between peers of all ages. Students will have the same teacher and House Mentor throughout their OLMC journey.”

 “Mercy Girls forming the new Houses of Callaghan, Callan, Doyle and Kavanagh are literally making history. While some girls may initially be reluctant to leave their current House, there is also energy and excitement around starting something new. The girls remaining in the current Houses of Clare, McAuley, Mercedes and Stanley now have a duty to renew their House spirit and work with their new Sister House. There are exciting times ahead as girls will also have new lockers in their House colour in 2018, as well as new House shirts. There will be House events, formal and informal functions as well as inter-House competitions,” said Anne-Maree Donnelly.

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