News & Events

World Day of the Poor

On Sunday, 19 November,  we shall be commemorating the first World Day of the Poor, announced by Pope Francis at the end of his 2015-16 Jubilee Year of Mercy in the document Misericordia et Misera (#MM 21).

His purpose for creating this day, Pope Francis said in his message for the first World Day of the Poor, 'Let us love, not with words but with deeds' is to give witness: "so that throughout the world Christian communities can become an ever greater sign of Christ’s charity for the least and those most in need".

Across the globe, in the 40+ countries where Sisters of Mercy minister, we have been preparing for this day by praying Catherine McAuley's prayer for the poor that we might continue to respond to need.

We invite you, wherever you are, to join us on 19 November in praying this prayer, for those in your neighbourhood and in our world who are experiencing poverty in one of its many forms: financial, spiritual, emotional, political, material.

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

OLMC Parramatta hosts Inaugural Women in Leadership Forum

Four inspirational forum speakers challenged women to embrace all opportunities and to back themselves at the inaugural OLMC Women in Leadership Forum on Wednesday August 23, 2017 in the Ailsa Mackinnon Community Centre at Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta.

Linda Burney MP, Shadow Minister for Human Services and Labor Member for Barton, and Samantha Armytage, Media Personality and co-host of Channel Seven’s Sunrise, were joined by Author Felicity Castagna and Dr Yijiao Jiang, Senior Lecturer at MQ Energy and Environmental Contaminants Research Centre, on a panel that explored the challenges and opportunities faced by women today.

Mercy Girls and their families, representatives from the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta, students and staff from seven other Sydney schools and staff and friends of OLMC listened to the speakers’ addresses before joining in the conversation through a Q&A session and a live Twitter and SMS Feed.

Principal Stephen Walsh says that, in many ways, this event goes to the heart of what OLMC Parramatta is about; “For almost 130 years, OLMC has been equipping women to push the boundaries and at the forum, we heard personal experiences and insights from four outstanding women who do this well in their respective fields. We are passionate about giving our girls access to strong female role models and this is one of the reasons we initiated the annual OLMC Women in Leadership Forum. Every day at the College, through events like this, but also through smaller conversations, it is made abundantly clear that the OLMC story is about strong women of Mercy making an impact.”

The Forum speakers shared heartfelt advice, both from a practical and big picture perspective. Linda Burney MP told the audience that we all have something remarkable to share as women and it is important to remind yourself of what makes you who you are. She shared her seven ‘Ls’ of advice to Listen, Learn, Lose well, have Limits, demonstrate Loyalty, Live well and to think of life as a journey, a Long game. Samantha Armytage encouraged girls to identify and hold onto their values and to get to know themselves and treat themselves kindly. She challenged girls to be open to opportunities, brave, resilient, to work hard and seek out mentors.

A key theme that came through from each speaker, according to OLMC Deputy Principal Marie Wood, was the importance of being true to yourself – of being authentic; “Their wonderful stories were funny and inspiring and reminded us all to never give up believing in yourself and to live your life with courage and confidence.”

We will continue
educating ourselves and others to
further awareness of the
challenges and needs of our time.
Chapter Statement

Report on 'Our Climate Future' Seminar

Professor Tim Flannery was a compelling speaker on Our Climate Future at the CCJP Sunday Seminar on 16 July 2017 at the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta.

He spoke of the damage to the planet and the wilfulness that dismisses the science and data that underpin climate change targets.

Professor Flannery also provided hopeful information on the development of carbon negative technologies and their role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to halt global warming.

The transcript of the address and discussion can be downloaded from the Catholics in Coalition for Justice and Peace  (CCJP) website here

103rd World Day of Migrants and Refugees

Pope Francis has chosen the theme, “Child Migrants, the Vulnerable and the Voiceless”, for the 103rd World Day of Migrants and Refugees, commemorated in Australia on the last Sunday of August 2017, part of Migrant and Refugee week (21-27 August).

According to figures released by the UNICEF twelve months ago, across the globe nearly 50 million children have been uprooted – 28 million of them driven from their homes by conflicts not of their making, and millions more migrating in the hope of finding a better, safer life, including 10 million child refugees; 1 million asylum-seekers whose refugee status has not yet been determined; and an estimated 17 million children displaced within their own countries – children in dire need of humanitarian assistance and access to critical services.

More and more children are crossing borders on their own. In 2015, over 100,000 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in 78 countries – triple the number in 2014. Unaccompanied children are among those at the highest risk of exploitation and abuse, including by smugglers and raffickers. UNICEF's May 2017 report reveals the number of refugee and migrant children travelling alone has reached a record high.The number of unaccompanied children has increased by nearly five times since 2010 to at least three hundred thousand.

On Migrant and Refugee Sunday, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, who himself arrived in Australia as a "boat person" will launch a year-long Diocesan campaign “Walking with Refugees and People Seeking Protection”. The aim of the Journey is to galvanise a Diocesan-wide, faith-filled urge to bring about a community and political culture that values fair and compassionate treatment of people seeking refuge and protection in Australia.

Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Congregation welcome the opportunity to join this journey.


Preparing for the Season of Creation (1 September - 4 October)

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)

In 2015 Pope Francis designated 1 September as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation in the Catholic Church, encouraging all members of the Catholic community to 'rediscover in our own rich spiritual patrimony [heritage] the deepest motivations for our concern for the care of creation'.

The Season of Creation was a significant period during the Mercy International Reflection Process (2016) where we heard 'the cry of Earth and the cry of the Poor' in a new way. Members of the Mercy network are encouraged to participate once again in the Season of Creation which offers us all a time for prayer and reflection and an opportunity for commitment and action.

Mercy International Association (MIA) of which Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Congregation is a member, has developed a number of resources, including a calendar and posters, that can be used to mark the Season of Creation. Access these here.

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