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 'Mercy & the Degradation of Earth'

Valda Dickinson rsm is hosting online zoom meetings on Friday May22.  This is an opportunity to discuss the resources made available to us on the current theme of Mercy Global Presence
Mercy and the Degradation of Earth.

To register, email 
valda.rsm@gmail.com or call 0411 786 549. All are welcome. 

To view the resources on this theme.
Go to Mercy Global Presence here: https://www.mercyworld.org/about/our-initiatives/mercy-global-presence/

Click on the yellow button labelled 'Click here for Current Resources'
Click on the words 'View Resources' on the theme  'Mercy and the Degradation of Earth'
Choose what you would like to view from the resources listed 

Let's Talk: COVID 19-Mercy Global Presence

Charles Dickens in a Tale of Two Cities opens the story with these powerful words,

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.
It was the epoch of belief, it was epoch of incredulity.

For us, living with the effects of COVID-19, we have the possibility of it being the best or worst of times, a time of wisdom or foolishness, a time of belief or incredulity.

Each person’s response may well depend on his/her situation, temperament and age. I suspect it will be different for someone struck by the virus, a homeless person, a business owner, a parent out of work and supervising children learning at home, a nurse or doctor, an aged resident in a home, an asylum seeker, a street cleaner, people living in underdeveloped countries with limited medical facilities, an extravert, an introvert etc. etc…

The images that come to mind are kaleidoscopic somewhat like a stain glass window in which the big picture contains many parts with different colours and images. Each section is an essential part of a bigger whole or like an evolving narrative.

As well as being a time of challenge to us all to survive this pandemic, this is a time brimming with creative energy. Anyone writing a novel entitled A Tale of Earth during Covid 19 will surely be able to view the situation from many different perspectives.

We will know in time to come, whether this event was as paradigm changing for individuals, society, culture and the natural world as the French Revolution.
We will know in time to come how profound an impression is being made on our lives and on modern history. 

You might like to ponder the following questions:

  • What changes or green shoots are emerging in my life, society and the natural world because of this pandemic?
  • How does the Easter message of death and new life, darkness and light, reflect what I am experiencing right now?

You might like to read some reflections from Elizabeth Davis rsm on Mercy Global Presence.
Click here to read these.

A ZOOM ROOM will be available on WEDNESDAY APRIL 22 to share your reflections on Elizabeth’s article, the above questions and any other concerns you would like considered.

If you are interested, contact Valda at Email: valda.rsm@gmail.com or at Mobile 0411786549 for time, directions and code to join the conversation.

Join in a Discussion about Mercy Global Presence Theme 'Faith Traditions and Mercy'

Valda Dickinson is holding an online meeting on 29 April at 4pm using Zoom to discuss the resources made available to us on the first theme of Mercy Global Presence Segment Two: 'Faith Traditions and Mercy'.
To register, email valda.rsm@gmail.com or call 0411 786 549.

Join Our Circle of Prayer

The Sisters of Mercy Parramatta ‘aiming to encircle our world with our prayer, light, spirit of Mercy and care at this time', invite all members of the Mercy network to light a lamp and join with us at 6:30 pm your local time each evening using the Praise Song for the Pandemic (text version) and concluding with the Suscipe.

 

Post your prayer or reflection in our prayer space