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.

Protecting Our Oceans: September Prayer Intention of Pope Francis

We the Sisters of Mercy of the Parramatta Congregation acknowledge gratefully that we are co-creators with the Divine, in an evolving ‘sacrament of communion’ which includes everything that exists.(Chapter Statement)


We are all invited to join with Pope Francis and his worldwide prayer network in praying this month's intention: Protecting Our Oceans

Let us pray this month that politicians, scientists and economists work together to protect the world’s seas and oceans.



Text of the video:

Oceans contain the bulk of our planet’s water supply, and also most of the immense variety of living creatures, many of them are threatened for various reasons.
Creation is a project of love given by God to humanity.
Our solidarity with the “common home” is born from our faith.
Let us pray this month that politicians, scientists and economists work together to protect the world’s seas and oceans.

-Pope Francis, September 2019


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

Mercy Futures: Mercy and Kindness

Introducing Maryanne Kolkia rsm


Maryanne has been a Sister of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea for 22 years.

Maryanne has brought her strong background as a teacher to her work at Mercy Works. She was the founding Director of Mercy Works in Papua New Guinea which began in Goroka in 2006.

As a Simbu woman, Maryanne has a strong sense of advocacy, working on behalf of those who are disenfranchised.

Through her work, many people have received many acts of kindness.

Date: Tuesday, 3 September, 2019
Time: 6.30-8 pm (Refreshments served from 630pm)
Venue: Catherine McAuley Rooms, 6 Victoria Road, Parramatta
Parking: There is limited parking in the Convent car park. If you require parking close to the venue, please let us know and we will reserve a parking spot for you. There is street parking in Ross and Villiers streets.
RSVP: By Thursday, 29 August 2019. Email: mercyfuture@parrasom.org.au or call the Congregation Office on 9683 2555

We do hope you will be able to join us.
Mercy Futures Team
- Carol Harding, Kerrie Walshaw, Gabby Scanlon, Christine Pace, Patricia Bolster rsm, Mary-Louise Petro rsm









Families, Schools of Human Development: August 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: Families, Schools of Human Development


Let us pray that families, through their life of prayer and love, become ever more clearly “schools of true human development”.

Text of the August video
What kind of world do we want to leave for the future?
Let us leave a world with families.
Let us care for our families, because they are true schools for the future, spaces of freedom, and centers of humanity.
And let us reserve a special place in our families for individual and communal prayer.
Let us pray that families, through their life of prayer and love, become ever more clearly “schools of true human development”.

-Pope Francis, August 2019




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