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.

Join in a Discussion about Mercy Global Presence Theme 'Cosmos'

Valda Dickinson is holding an online meeting using Zoom to discuss the resources made available to us on the September theme: 'Cosmos/Cosmology'.

The meeting will take place at 5pm on Wednesday December 4.

All are welcome!

To join:
Go to: https://zoom.us/j/5339386598 and follow the prompts

Topic: Mercy Global Presence 'Cosmos/Cosmology' Resources (September 2019)

After reflecting on the various resources...

  • What affirms your point of view?
  • What is moving or challenging you ? 
  • What do you disagree with?
  • Anything else you wish to raise.

Dialogue and Reconciliation in the Middle East

We are all invited to join with Pope Francis and his worldwide prayer network in praying this month's intention: Dialogue and Reconciliation in the Middle East

Let us pray that a spirit of dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation emerge in the Middle East, where diverse religious communities share their lives together.



In the Middle East, concord and dialogue among the three monotheistic religions is based on spiritual and historic bonds.
The Good News of Jesus, risen out of love, came to us from these lands. Today, many Christian communities, together with Jewish and Muslim communities, work here for peace, reconciliation, and forgiveness.
Let us pray that a spirit of dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation emerge in the Middle East.

- Pope Francis, November 2019

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


National Drought Prayer Campaign

'Mindful that we are called by the world and the church at this particular time in history to hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, we will continue to respond mercifully to both.' (Chapter Statement)


The Catholic Church in Australia is dedicating the month of November 2019 as a time to pray for those affected by crippling drought conditions and to pray for the gift of rain.

Parishes, schools, families and other Catholic communities across the country are being encouraged to participate in the National Prayer Campaign for Drought, which also invites people to provide assistance to those most in need.


Join  us this month in prayer for all farming families and affected communities  facing hardship due to drought:

Eternal God

In wisdom and love
you created our earth
to sustain us and give us life.

We turn to you now
in faith, hope and love,
asking you to look with favour
on our drought-stricken land,
on our starving animals.
on our failing crops.

Strengthen, sustain and give new heart
to our farmers
and to all who are affected by drought;
be with those who support them.

In your loving providence,
send abundant rain
and restore our parched earth.

Father of all compassion,
hear our prayer
through Jesus Christ your Son,
in whom the promise of new life
has dawned, and
through the power
of the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life:
Renew your faithful people;
Renew the face of the earth.

Our Lady of the Southern Cross,
Mary, help of Christians -
Pray for us.

St Mary of the Cross Mckillop -
Pray for us.

Missionary Spring in the Church: 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: Missionary Spring in the Church

In this extraordinary mission month, let us pray that the Holy Spirit engenders a new missionary spring in the Church.



Today, a new impulse to the Church’s missionary activity is needed to face the challenge of proclaiming Jesus and his death and resurrection.
Reaching the peripheries—the human, cultural, and religious settings still foreign to the Gospel: this is what we call the missio ad gentes.
We must also remember that the soul of the Church’s mission is prayer.
In this extraordinary missionary month, let us pray that the Holy Spirit may engender a new missionary spring for all those baptized and sent by Christ’s Church.


Message of Pope Francis for World Mission Day 2019

Read - Baptized and sent: the Church of Christ on mission in the world