News & Events

Congregation Celebrates 125 years

On that day in 1888, a small band of Sisters of Mercy newly arrived from Ireland, gathered around a simple altar and prayed for God’s blessing on their mission to Parramatta.Dr O'Haran celebrated this first Mass and blessed their Convent under the invocation of the Immaculate Conception.

125 years later about 400 people, including Sisters, past students, colleagues and friends gathered to celebrate and to reflect on the theme of ‘Weaving the Threads of Mercy’.

The first thread woven was an i-movie that told of Catherine McAuley who began the Sisters of Mercy; it traced the Parramatta founding story through to today. This segment was introduced by students from OLMC Burraneer singing Sub Tuum Praesidium (Under Your Protection).

We heard from an Eritrean refugee woman about her life, with her focus on the hope she holds rather than the atrocities she has suffered. She told of the Mercy she had experienced in her life and the commitment she has made to share that Mercy with others.

A thread that was woven all through the day was the announcement of 125 Women and Men of Mercy.  These lay women and men, coming from a wide range of backgrounds, had been nominated for exemplifying the spirit of Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, though their commitment to ‘Mercy in action’ and the living of Mercy values.

The thread of our young people was woven by students from OLMC Parramatta, Catherine McAuley Westmead, OLMC Burraneer and Our Lady of the Rosary School Kellyville. Through singing, chamber orchestra, dancing, works of art and sharing with the audience, they identified numerous examples of how Mercy is alive in their school communities. Their youthful enthusiasm and spirit of joy was inspirational.

Sisters Margaret Sheppard and Valda Dickinson shared their experiences of working with refugees and asylum seekers in detention centres. This justice thread led participants to reflect on the question: From what you have heard, how has your heart been stirred? 

Over the years, close bonds have been established among Sisters and lay women and men who are committed to Mercy and want to have a deeper involvement. The Mercy Futures group comprises of Sisters and lay women who have been reflecting on ‘Where to from here for mercy?’ Recognising that the Congregation is aging, the group is motivated to work towards the keeping the flame of the mercy charism alive for another 125 years.All present were invited to be involved in taking Mercy forward. They were asked: How can we continue Catherine's mercy vision in the future?

The concept of a Mercy Place was formed. Mercy Place will empower people reach out to the world in action for mercy and justice. It provide peer support for those in Mercy ministries, skills formation for young leaders and mentoring for women in leadership.

Woven into Mercy Place will be threads representing the dedication and commitment of every Sister both present and past; and all who have worked and still work for the many ministries of Mercy. Those present were invited to respond as to how they might be involved in a Mercy Place.

The day concluded with a presentation to the Sisters of Mercy, a time of Prayer focussed on Threads of Mercy, followed by a Devonshire afternoon tea.

Click here to view the Photo Gallery of the day.

Christmas Greetings & Blessings

May Christmas awaken in you
the Wonder and Beauty of our Cosmos,
revealing the indwelling of Mystery
and the oneness of God in you and you in God.

May you embrace the New Year
filled with the Presence of the New Born
bringing to our world
Extravagant Love, Heartfelt Kindness and Courageous Action.

In the Service of the Transmission of Faith: December 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: In the Service of the Transmission of Faith.

Let us pray that people, who are involved in the service and transmission of faith, may find, in their dialogue with culture, a language suited to the conditions of the present time.

Text of the video:
If you want to share your faith through the word, you have to listen much and carefully.
Let us imitate the style of Jesus, who adapted himself to the people He had in front of Him so as to bring God’s love to them.
Let us pray that people, who are involved in the service and transmission of faith, may find, in their dialogue with culture, a language suited to the conditions of the present time, in their dialogue with people’s hearts, and above all, by listening much.

- Pope Francis, December 2018

                   

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

OLMC Parramatta Class of 2018 Achieves HSC Excellence

The OLMC community proudly celebrates the outstanding achievements of the Class of 2018

• 80th school in the State in the Sydney Morning Herald's Top 100 Schools List
• 8th top Catholic Independent Girls' School in the State
 • 6th in State for Community and Family Studies
 • 28% of cohort achieved an ATAR above 90
• 53 Distinguished Achievers

 Principal Stephen Walsh said that the OLMC community is very proud that, as a non-selective school, the College ranked in the top 100 schools in the Sydney Morning Herald: “At OLMC the growth mindset is central to all learning and this is undeniably reflected in this great result. Learning at OLMC is characterised by high expectations, motivation and a growth mindset. Students embrace challenge as an opportunity to learn in a well-supported environment. The 2018 cohort's outstanding HSC results reflect the growth these young women have made over six years at OLMC.”

Cassidy Kealy-Ashby came sixth in the State in Community and Family Studies, achieved an ATAR of 99.15 and was named on the All Rounders List. Cassidy says she learned early that she needed to work very hard to achieve her goals: “I feel hard work beats talent. I handed in practice papers and essays to my teachers almost every day because seeking feedback is really important.” Cassidy plans to study a Bachelor of Health and Physical Education in order to become a high school PDHPE teacher. Her advice to Mercy Girls about to undertake the HSC is to be consistent with study and to schedule time accordingly. “The HSC is not a test of your intelligence but of your work ethic. For this reason I would advise those in the junior years to extend themselves where possible in order to really test their capability.”

National Day of Sorrow and Promise.

Members of the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta, our Staff and Partners in Ministry, gathered at our Congregation Centre on Sunday December 2nd, to participate in the National Day of Sorrow and Promise which has emerged through Catholic Religious Australia to acknowledge survivors of abuse within the Catholic Church and all those who have been hurt by that abuse. 

The liturgy, which included the testimony of survivors and their family members, acknowledged the tragedy of Institutional child sexual abuse, its devastating and life long effects on survivors and their family and friends, and was underpinned by a promise to ensure such crimes can never happen again, and that the safety of all children and vulnerable adults under the care of the Catholic Church, Catholic Religious Congregations and out ministries, is ensured.

The Liturgy concluded with the following Statement of Promise, made by all Sisters of Mercy who were present or who participated in smaller gatherings in local communities:

As Catholic Religious of Australia, we are stirred by sorrow for the failings of the past. We encounter the depth of pain endured within our midst.
WE promise to listen to and support those who have been harmed by abuse
WE promise to act to prevent abuse, respond with compassion and justice and put the protection of children and the vulnerable at the heart of all our ministries
WE promise to support all those walking courageously with the abused and those working fearlessly for the prevention of abuse
WE promise to work tirelessly and humbly to build a culture in our Church which is loving and answerable to the wider community
WE promise to partner with those who have been abused, with governments, civil agencies and society at large to continue to learn and work towards a safer, more respectful and accountable Church
WE promise to be people of action, to embed prevention and safeguarding practices and governance reforms throughout our Church
WE promise to remember and to be forever changed


2 December 2018

Statements by the Leaders of many Religious Congregations can be found here