News & Events

Celebrating Australian Citizenship

The City of Sydney holds regular citizenship ceremonies to welcome new Australians.

Janet Woods rsm attended two citizenship ceremonies this week, on 19th June and on World Refugee Day (20th June). The ceremonies were held at University of Technology Sydney (UTS) near Central Station Sydney. The two women who got their Australian citizenship are refugees, one from Sudan and one from South Sudan. They both attend English classes at Mamre House and have attended our Citizenship classes which helped them prepare for the citizenship test.

L-r: Janet Woods rsm with Achol Deng at conclusion of the ceremony

We have been conducting these Citizenship classes at Mamre House since 2007 and to date 53 women have passed the test and gained their Australian citizenship. This is quite amazing considering that most of the women spoke no English when they arrived in Australia and the majority had never been to school because of the 20 years war in Sudan.

Mamre House in St Marys was set up by the Parramatta Sisters of Mercy through Mary Louise Petro rsm and continued under our care for many years. It is now a work of Catholic Care Social Services.

"It has been a great joy and privilege for me to have been able to assist all these women to gain their citizenship and to rejoice with them at the Citizenship ceremonies", said Sr Janet.

Act for Earth Day, 22 April

'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 Sunday, 22 April is Earth Day. Each year Earth Day has a theme. The focus of this year's celebration is to end plastic pollution, now considered amongst the greatest of environmental threats, because it is literally found everywhere.

Plastic pollution is attacking Australia’s beaches, waterways and oceans, and the animals that live there which this video from Guardian Australia shows.

How can we reduce plastic in our day-to-day life?

One possibility is to enact the 4Rs:
Refuse disposable plastic...
Reduce your plastic footprint...
Reuse durable, non-toxic containers...
Recycle what you can’t refuse, reduce or reuse...

The Earth day network is focussed on ending plastic pollution. More information, suggestions and resources can be found in this kit.

For Those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters: April Prayer Intention of Pope Francis

'We will open our hearts to the cries of the poor using our energies, gifts and resources...' (Chapter Statement)

We are all invited to join with Pope Francis and his worldwide prayer network in praying this month's intention: For Those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters.

Text of the April video:

'The economy cannot attempt only to increase profits by reducing the work force and thereby adding to the ranks of the excluded. It must follow the path marked out by business leaders, politicians, thinkers, and leaders in society who place the human person in first place, and do everything possible to ensure that there are opportunities of dignified work.

Let us say “no” to an economy of exclusion, an economy that kills. And let us fight to achieve a “yes” to an economy that lets live because it shares, includes the poor, and uses profits to create communion.

Let us raise our voices together, asking that economists may have the courage to reject an economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.'

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

Holy Week and Easter 2018

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

We have now entered the holiest of weeks in our Christian calendar. Today, Thursday, is Holy Thursday, a day of profound meaning. It will be followed by the solemnity, sorrow and extraordinary sacrifice of Good Friday, the anxious anticipation of Holy Saturday and the unbridled  joy of Easter Sunday.

We, Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Congregation, invite you to join us in prayer, thought or reflection on the significance of these days for ourselves, for each other, for the wider community and for the needs of the world in which we live.

You might like to watch this video, Come and witness first light with its contemporary portrayal of the significance of the journey with the cross to resurrection


Come and witness first light from KAIROS Canada on Vimeo.

'In our world it is so hard to believe and yet we hold to that promise... that new life, genuine transformation, come to these first: the oppressed, the grieving, those violated by indifference, those harmed by inaction, those showing risky solidarity. Let these be the first to glimpse first light, impossible hope made possible in tangible, incredible change.'

Easter blessings

World Water Day 2018

'We will live simply, in a way that takes into account the fragility of Mother Earth by using her resources more sparingly and, where possible, living with less.'
(Chapter Statement)

This year’s theme for World Water Day– Nature for Water – explores how we can use nature to overcome the water challenges of the 21st century.

Environmental damage, we are told, together with climate change, is driving the water-related crises we see around the world. Floods, drought and water pollution are all made worse by degraded vegetation, soil, rivers and lakes. (United Nations).

Today, the President of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák is launching the International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2028.

Clean, accessible water is critical for sustainable development and the eradication of poverty and hunger, and it is indispensable for human development, health and well-being, as this video reminds us

  • For reflection

How do I understand water? How do I value water? How do I manage my water useage?

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