News & Events

Participate in the Season of Creation, 1 September - 4 October 2018

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 offers us all a time for enjoyment of the beauty of our world and all its inhabitants, human and other-than-human.

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.

Women share pathway to success

On August 29, Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta hosted its annual Women in Leadership Forum. A panel of inspiring women shared their experiences of the challenges they faced along their pathway to success. Mercy Girls and their families, Sisters of Mercy Parramatta, students from other schools and OLMC staff listened to addresses by speakers: Marina Go (Chair of Wests Tigers NRL Club), Justice Julia Lonergan (NSW Supreme Court Judge), Amanda Farrugia (Captain of the AFLW GWS Giants) and Carol Salloum (Restaurateur – Almond Bar, Darlinghurst).

Mrs Marie Wood, Principal (Acting) sees the importance in events such as these to “remind us all to take risks, be confident and learn from challenges”.
Read the complete story in Catholic Outlook

Changing Landscapes

A significant historical event in the history of St. Michael’s Baulkham Hills took place for our Congregation on Saturday, 16th June. A fresh ‘landscape’ was celebrated in the form of a moving ritual which marked the formation of a formal partnership between ourselves and Women’s Community Shelters (WCS), an organisation which provides Shelters for women and children escaping domestic violence.

The ritual, marking the formal ‘moment’ started with a photo story which captured in images the 116 years of St. Michael’s and showed how St. Michael’s Orphanage had creatively adapted and embraced the changing faces of social welfare.

Sr Mary-Louise Petro signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

Transforming across the years, the Orphanage, founded in 1902, had become a Children’s Centre and finally a Family Centre which offered on site Family Day Care, Long Day care, Occasional Day Care and crisis accommodation for women and children escaping domestic violence on-site and in five houses off-site. Following its closure an initiative titled St. Michael’s Fund had been established in 2016, and continues to fund organisations which mirror the mission of St. Michael’s.

As part of the ritual, and flowing from the photo story, the lighting of four candles recognising each major step of St. Michael’s history, was followed by the reflective reading of a section from our Chapter Statement which highlighted a section: “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”.

Annabelle Daniel, Chief Executive Officer of WCS, then spoke touchingly about WCS’s deep connection with St. Michael’s and the Parramatta Sisters of Mercy, especially recognising the Congregation’s connection with one of WCS’s Shelters – The Sanctuary – which, together with some other similar organisations, have been filling a much-needed gap in services in the Hills Area following the formal closing of St. Michael’s. It was this connection and other networking that led the Congregation to formally welcome WCS as a partner – in spirit, in participation and in financial support.

L-R: Annabelle Daniel (CEO WCS), Kris Neil (Board Chair WCS)

To conclude the ritual, an exchange of symbols and words which recognised the establishment of the partnership took place between our Congregation Leader, Mary-Louise Petro, our Vicar, Maria Lawton, Annabelle (CEO WCS) and Kris Neill, Chair of the WCS Board. The formalisation of the partnership came with the gifting of a cheque to WCS, the signing of an MoU, and acceptance of Congregation members and/or their representative as members of the WCS Parent Board and Boards of several other Shelters, especially the Nepean, Blacktown and proposed Parramatta Shelters.
Hence June 16th, 2018, remains an unforgettable moment in St Michael’s long history of protection and care for women and children at risk.

The Treasure of Families: August Prayer Intention of Pope Francis

We will nurture relations that are kind, just, respectful and inclusive among each other and those with whom we share our Mercy ministries. (Chapter Statement)

We are all invited to join with Pope Francis and his worldwide prayer network in praying this month's intention: The Treasure of Families

Together, let us ask Jesus that any far-reaching decisions of economists and politicians may protect the family as one of the treasures of humanity.

Text of the August prayer:
'When speaking of families, often the image of a treasure comes to my mind. Today's rhythm of life, stress, pressure at work, and also the little attention paid by institutions, could put them in danger. It's not enough to talk about their importance: it's necessary to promote concrete means and to develop their role in society with a good family policy. Together, let us ask Jesus that any far-reaching decisions of economists and politicians may protect the family as one of the treasures of humanity.'

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

2018 Women in Leadership Forum

Four inspirational forum speakers have been announced as panellists at the second annual OLMC Women in Leadership Forum on Wednesday August 29, 2018 in the Ailsa Mackinnon Community Centre at Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta.

Marina Go, Chair of Wests Tigers NRL Club and New South Wales Supreme Court Judge Justice Julia Lonergan will be joined by the Captain of the AFL GWS Giants Amanda Farrugia and Restaurateur Carol Salloum on a panel which will explore perspectives on women in leadership and discuss how each of us can boldly expand beyond what we know we can be.

Mercy Girls and their families will be joined by alumnae of the College, current students, staff and the broader community for this special event which will see speakers each share their stories before joining the conversation through a Q&A session.

Principal (Acting) Marie Wood says she is looking forward to hearing the stories of such diverse women, and hearing how they have recognised opportunities and grown from them: “My hope is that, in sharing these stories, it will inspire our young women to be confident and positive in their engagement with the world.”

Panellist Amanda Farrugia, who is also an OLMC ex-student and current PDHPE teacher, is looking forward to sharing insights about her leadership journey: “I want to enable students and all attendees to gain an insight into the demands and expectations of leadership in the broader world, the challenges of leading a team in a new sporting venture (particularly in a traditionally male dominated sport) and the challenges women face in balancing sport, work and other commitments.”

Newly appointed Head Girl for 2018/2019 Sophie Brown says the Forum is a wonderful initiative that provides young women with lots of insightful information: “Hearing the stories of strong, confident women ignites in us the courage and belief that we can all be woman of leadership in our own way.”

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.