News & Events

Mercy Formation Program for Staff Members Benefits Students

As students returned to schooling on site after their time doing remote learning they were all given a bookmark to remind them both of the Mercy value of ‘Hospitality’ and to follow in Venerable Catherine McAuley’s words to ‘Strive to do ordinary things extraordinarily well”.

The bookmarks were designed by teachers Ms Allen and Ms Nakhoul as part of their project for the Mercy Formation Program. This program sees two staff members from each of the six Mercy schools in Sydney (Catherine McAuley, Westmead; Mercy College, Chatswood; Monte Sant' Angelo, North Sydney; Our Lady of Mercy College, Parramatta; Our Lady of Mercy College, Burraneer and Emmaus College, Kemps Creek) participate after being nominated by their school principal. The staff involved chose a project to work on which will deepen staff understanding of the Mercy charism.

As part of the project undertaken by Ms Allen and Ms Nakhoul, they also designed tea cups and postcards to be gifted to Year 12 students as a graduation gift and to new staff members.

Celebrating World Environment Day, 5 June

5 June is World Environment day, the United Nations principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment.
World Environment day this year invites us all to 'reconnect with nature and celebrate the places that matter most to you'.



We, Sisters of Mercy of the Parramatta Congregation, in our Chapter Statement recognise and commit to respect and care for Earth:

'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.'

Celebrating International Women's Day

The women who pack The Big Issue for distribution to subscribers have now dispatched 500,000 copies of the magazine through the Women’s Subscription Enterprise (WSE).

The theme of this International Women’s Day is Be Bold for Change and we are proud to support the WSE and help provide opportunities for women to positively change their lives.

We have just begun supporting the WSE  with 59 subscriptions across the year, as Birthday gifts to our sisters.



The initiative is designed to offer a safe and viable work opportunity for vulnerable women, as an alternative to selling The Big Issue on
the street.

WSE employees hand-pack subscription copies of the magazine, giving them an income and helping them gain new skills and career pathways for the future.

Some of you may already be familiar with the fortnightly magazine, which is sold on the streets around the country. Since 1996, more than 6500 people have sold the magazine, putting more than $24 million into the pockets of homeless and disadvantaged men and women.

If you would like to find out more about The Big Issue or subscribe for $12.40 per month, visit www.thebigissue.org.au.

We hope you enjoy the magazine!

City of Parramatta shows strong leadership and welcomes refugees

A few weeks ago, the Jesuit Refugee Service, the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta, and the Refugee Council of Australia, together approached the City of Parramatta to propose that the council become a Refugee Welcome Zone, a national initiative recognising local government areas that make a commitment in spirit to welcoming refugees into the community and acknowledging the positive contribution refugees make to society.

On the 10th October, 2016, the City of Parramatta, led by Administrator, Amanda Chadwick, formally endorsed this recommendation and at a ceremony planned for later this year, Parramatta will become a Refugee Welcome Zone.

Maeve Brown, Manager of Jesuit Refugee Service’s Arrupe Project, which provides casework support, emergency relief, legal assistance and social and educational support to people seeking asylum said, “The City of Parramatta has a long history of welcoming many thousands of refugees and people seeking asylum. Becoming a Refugee Welcome Zone recognises council’s ongoing commitment and support for refugees.”

The Sisters of Mercy Parramatta also welcomed the endorsement by the City of Parramatta. “The Council’s decision demonstrates a commitment in spirit to welcoming refugees into our local community, upholding the human rights of refugees and demonstrating both compassion and an understanding of the suffering and traumas many of these people have endured,” said Sister Catherine Ryan, Congregation Leader.

Sr Catherine also acknowledged that becoming a Refugee Welcome Zone is an important recognition of the tremendous contribution refugees have made over the years to enhancing the religious and cultural diversity of the Australian community.

The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) Acting Chief Executive Officer, Tim O’Connor, said the Refugee Welcome Zone initiative was a simple and effective way local councils could exercise positive leadership on refugee issues.

“Since Federation, Australia has welcomed more than 840,000 refugees and local councils have a proud history of helping support the settlement of refugees who have gone on to make a profound contribution to our economic, cultural and social life.”

Recent research from RCOA across the 143 Refugee Welcome Zone signatory councils found those with large numbers of humanitarian arrivals, like Parramatta, have developed extensive services and activities.

However, Refugee Welcome Zones with smaller refugee populations are also active in implementing support and assistance to the increasing diversity of their community.

“Activities and initiatives introduced by local councils in Australia include local partnerships with community groups and service providers, Refugee Week and Harmony Week events, public forums, living libraries and community-based projects.”

Mr O’Connor encouraged more local councils to consider becoming a Refugee Welcome Zone.

“The process for becoming a Refugee Welcome Zone is straightforward. Councils simply sign a declaration to welcome refugees, uphold their human rights, demonstrate compassion for new arrivals and enhance cultural and religious diversity. How councils implement the pledge is entirely up to them.”

The Refugee Welcome Zone report is available here http://refugeecouncil.org.au/g/131219_RWZ.pdf.

For further information about Refugee Welcome Zones http://refugeecouncil.org.au/g/rwz.php

For further information

Oliver White
Jesuit Refugee Service Australia
Tel: +61 2 9356 3888
Email: oliver.white@jrs.org.au
Twitter: @JRS_Aus

Source: This article in its entirety is sourced from the JRS Website and can be accessed here: http://www.jrs.org.au/city-parramatta-shows-strong-leadership-welcomes-refugees/


Responding to the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor

The Statement from the 2016 Chapter can be viewed here.

To download and read a pdf copy of the Statement, please click on the document below.

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