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.

Celebrating Christ’s Coming at Christmas

May we all know the love, joy and peace of God With Us, always

Dedication, optimism and resilience leads to outstanding HSC Results for Class of 2020

Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta Class of 2020 has achieved outstanding HSC results, demonstrating their dedication, optimism and resilience in what was a challenging year.

  • • OLMC Parramatta ranked 81 in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Top 100 Schools List
  • • Highest ATAR 99.05 – Josie Wehbe
  • • 20 students achieved an ATAR of 95.00 or above with 3 students achieving an ATAR of 99.00 or above
  • • 8th in the State in Studies of Religion II - Chloe D’Lima
  • • Four students on the All-Rounders List
  • • 65 Distinguished Achievers with 150 mentions on the Distinguished Achievers List
  • • In 6 subjects, 100% of candidates achieved Band 5 or 6
  • • Every HSC course was above the State Average
  • • Four students were nominated for creative showcases including Encore (Music) Onstage (Drama)

Principal (Acting) Marie Wood said the OLMC community congratulates the HSC Class of 2020 for their outstanding results: “Their dedication, optimism and resilience, supported by their teachers and families, enabled this success. This year, more than any other, the HSC class lived the motto ‘expanding beyond what we know we can be’ through their unwavering commitment to each other and their pursuit of personal excellence. I have complete confidence in the Class of 2020’s capacity to make a difference in the world and we look forward to sharing their journey with them, as they move beyond College life.”

“Their HSC results reflect more than just their academic success. They are also sportswomen, artists, advocates for social justice, musicians, designers and speechmakers. They are sisters, daughters, friends and companions. They are young women of integrity, and their success is a result of their Mercy spirit.” Said Marie Wood.

College Dux Josie Wehbe achieved an ATAR of 99.05 and was also the Clare House Leader for 2019/2020. She said the teachers at OLMC and the students played a major role in her achieving such wonderful results: “The students here at OLMC are all like-minded – we all have the same goals. We study together at lunchtime and are supportive of each other.” Josie is planning to study Optometry at UNSW next year.

Established in 1889, OLMC Parramatta is a leading independent Catholic girls’ school which provides contemporary and innovative learning in the rich Mercy tradition. As one of the oldest Catholic Girls’ schools in NSW, our rich history of excellence inspires our young Mercy women to expand beyond what they know they can be and to lead with courage and act justly, making a difference in an ever-changing world.

For a Life of Prayer: Pope's Prayer Intention for December 2020

Join with Pope Francis and his worldwide prayer network in praying this month's intention: For a Life of Prayer

The heart of the Church’s mission is prayer.
Prayer is the key for us to be able to enter into dialogue with the Father.
Every time we read a short passage from the Gospel we hear Jesus speaking to us.
We have a conversation with Jesus.
We listen to Jesus and we reply.
And this is prayer.
By praying, we change reality.
And we change our hearts.
Our heart changes when we pray.
We can do many things, but without prayer, it does not work.
We pray that our personal relationship with Jesus Christ be nourished by the Word of God and a life of prayer.
In silence, everyone, each one in heartfelt prayer.

—Pope Francis – December 2020

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

Catholic Educator appointed as OLMC Parramatta Principal

Highly qualified and extensively experienced Catholic educator, Lucie Farrugia, has been appointed as the eleventh Principal of Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta.

“Ms Farrugia was selected because of her strong values and beliefs that align so well to the Mercy Values and their role in contemporary education. Secondly, her broad experience and success in leadership roles will deliver benefits for our staff, students and our community,” said Chair of the College Board, Ms Kerrie Walshaw.

“It is with great excitement that we announce her appointment to take our school into the next era of our 130 year history,” said Ms Walshaw.

Lucie Farrugia has more than 35 years’ experience in Catholic education and is currently serving as the Acting Principal of Christian Brothers’ High School Lewisham. She previously held leadership positions in curriculum, pastoral care, communications and development, and identity and mission at St Patrick’s College in Campbelltown and MLC Sydney.

She holds a Master of Educational Leadership, a Bachelor of Education, a Diploma of Teaching and Certificate of Religious Education from the Australian Catholic University. She also holds a Certificate in School Management and Leadership from the Harvard Business School.

“Ms Farrugia’s appointment follows an independent recruitment process that was a very competitive, with numerous high-calibre candidates, reflecting the current strength and potential of OLMC Parramatta,” said Ms Walshaw.

Ms Farrugia, who will commence in January 2021, welcomed the appointment and thanked the College Board. “I see learning as a vibrant and life-long enterprise and, as Principal of OLMC, I will focus on ensuring the best academic outcomes for our students, coupled with many and varied opportunities and support for their growth as

individuals of faith,” said Principal appointee, Ms Lucie Farrugia.

“I am honoured to take up this appointment in this much loved College and look forward to working with the College Leadership Team and the entire staff, as we continue to enhance and empower this learning community, for the benefit of all.”