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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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    Formation in Spiritual Discernment: March 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: Formation in Spiritual Discernment

    Text of the March video:

    'The Church today needs to grow in the ability of spiritual discernment.

    There are many ways of living life well, using it for serving human and Christian ideals.

    We were created by God out of love and to love. Every Christian ought to grow in the ability to “read within” his or her life, and to understand where and to what he or she is being called by the Lord, in order to carry on his mission.

    The times in which we live demand that we develop a profound capacity of discernment… To discern, from among all the voices we hear, which is the Lord’s voice, which is the voice of Him who guides us to the Resurrection, to Life, and the voice that frees us from falling into the “culture of death.

    Let us pray together that the Church may appreciate the urgency of formation in spiritual discernment, both on the personal and communitarian levels.'

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

    OLMC Parramatta celebrates dawn of new era at Open Day

    On Sunday March 11, 2018, visitors will have the chance to step through the gates of one of the oldest girls’ schools in Western Sydney at the Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta Open Day.

    Throughout its long history, OLMC Parramatta has been a leading independent school, educating girls in the rich Mercy Tradition for almost 130 years. In 2018, the College made the historic move to the Vertical Pastoral Care System and introduced four new Houses.

    Principal Stephen Walsh says this is truly an historic moment for OLMC: “It is the first time in 25 years that a new House has been introduced. It’s very 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.”

    Open Day is a chance to hear from Mercy Girls, staff, parents and ex-students about how a 21st century Mercy Education continues the tradition of excellence established well over a century ago. Visitors will have the opportunity to join student led buildings tours, see subject displays and student work showcases, visit key learning facilities and hear the stories behind the buildings and the inspirational Parramatta Sisters of Mercy after which they are named.

    Discover the array of opportunities available to students, both inside and outside the classroom, from the range of subject offerings and scholarships for academic and music excellence to the many co-curricular activities available. Be entertained by musicians and performers and whet your appetite with Mercy hospitality with barista-made coffee on offer as well as a host of other food and beverage options from the P&F BBQ and the OLMC Cafe.

    Over 20 ex-students will be on hand as Alumnae Ambassadors, ready to share their stories of a Mercy Education at OLMC. Christine Robertson, President of the Alumnae Association says it’s wonderful that so many alumnae volunteer to share their insights: “OLMC has a strong alumnae tradition which dates all the way back to 1922. Alumnae members enjoy attending the annual Open Day to share their experiences of the rich educational journey that is on offer to young women enrolled at OLMC Parramatta.”

    As part of a newly established tradition, each year the College chooses to focus on one of its eight key Mercy Values and in 2018, that value is Hospitality: Principal Stephen Walsh says Open Day in the Year of Hospitality takes on an extra special meaning: “In many ways, Hospitality is about welcoming all people, engaging meaningfully and sharing. This is one of our College values because we believe it was core to the ministries of both Jesus Christ and the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, Catherine McAuley.

    Established in 1889, OLMC Parramatta is a leading independent Catholic girls’ school which provides contemporary and innovative learning excellence in the rich Mercy tradition. Our heritage inspires our young Mercy women to expand beyond what they know they can be, to lead with courage and act justly to make a difference in an ever-changing world.

    The OLMC Parramatta Open Day is on Sunday March 11, 2018 from 10am – 2pm.

    Register your interest in attending our open Day

    History Made as Two Ex-Students Awarded 2017 OLMC Alumnae Award

    For the first time in the history of Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta, two women have been awarded the Annual Catherine McAuley Alumnae Award.

    Jenny Da Rin and Jacquie Scott accepted their awards at a special College assembly on Tuesday February 20 in the Ailsa Mackinnon Community Centre. They delivered speeches to the students and staff present and participated in a short Q&A session, before being presented with their awards.

    Jenny Da Rin (Class of 1981) is currently the Australian High Commissioner to the Republic of Vanuatu. She commenced her three-year term in January 2017 and manages Australia’s diplomatic, trade and development cooperation activities. Jenny has recently been leading Australia’s response to the volcanic eruption on Ambae Island, which has necessitated a full evacuation of the island and displacement of over 11,000 people.

    Jacquie Scott (Class of 1975) is a registered nurse whose career in England led her to eventually become Chair of the RCN London Society of Orthopaedics. She has worked with the British Council and supported Palestinian nurses with orthopaedic developments in Bethlehem and Jerusalem. She was responsible for establishing the first Dip HE in Ortho and Trauma at Oxford University and also for setting up the first Bone Infection Unit in the UK. Jacquie has worked in a number of management roles in the NHS such as Director of Nursing, Director of Strategy and Planning and Chief Executive.

    Principal Stephen Walsh said the winners were a testament to the quality of a Mercy Education at OLMC Parramatta: “Both women have pursued excellence in their own ways and are brilliant examples of living a life inspired by the Mercy Values and Sisters of Mercy Founder, Catherine McAuley!”

    Jenny Da Rin said that she feels there were no glass ceilings at OLMC: “Women of vision like Catherine McAuley, and those who have come after her, are wonderful examples to us all of what one woman with guts and determination can do to change the lives of others. Their stories inspire us to contribute in our own way to make the world a better place. As OLMC prepares to celebrate its 130th anniversary, I am confident that it will continue to strive for excellence and to promote the values that have served us so well. These values have also shaped us and the way we see the world: they have guided me in my work as a diplomat and humanitarian. I am very proud to be an alumnus of OLMC – a Mercy Girl - and to walk in the footsteps of Catherine McAuley.”

    Jacquie Scott recalled a strong culture of encouragement at OLMC: “I remember always being encouraged, despite your ability. We were all treated as equals. The school taught me to be kind, thoughtful and to respect everyone.” Jacquie shared some of her life lessons: “Aim to achieve your dreams. Live well – the things we don’t do are what we often regret. Success does not come to you; you have to go and get it. If I am told that I cannot do something it makes me more determined to ensure I can: it’s about building resilience.”

    OLMC Parramatta Alumnae President Christine Robertson said the 2017 Catherine McAuley Alumnae Award celebrates two women who have lived the Mercy tradition through service, stewardship, compassion and excellence: “Both women have utilised their fields of employment to develop new programs to empower others.”

    Introduced in 2009, the Catherine McAuley OLMC Parramatta Alumnae Award celebrates and acknowledges the great achievements of the OLMC Alumnae community. Nominees are chosen based on a number of criteria such as commitment to social justice activities, personal, academic and professional achievement, leadership, innovation and creativity, community involvement and contribution to Mercy/Christian based activities. Catherine McAuley was the Irish founder of the Sisters of Mercy.

    Second Sunday in Lent

    The focus of today’s gospel reading (Mark 9:2-10) is a mountain. In scripture mountains are places in which sacred encounters and revelations of God occur.

    Jesus takes Peter, James and John up a mountain. There they experience him in a new way and are in awe as Moses and Elijah appear before them in conversation with Jesus. Peter's reaction is to want stay in the moment of glory. But that is not the way of discipleship.

    For your Reflection this week

    • We cannot stay on the mountain, we must immerse ourselves in the world

    You might like to post a thought, reflection or prayer in our prayer space

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