News & Events

CCJP Seminar Uluru Statement from the Heart

This CCJP Seminar (Catholics in Coalition for Justice and Peace) was held on Sunday, 17 February 2019 at the Catherine McAuley room, Sisters of Mercy Parramatta.

We began outside at the Ground Painting, The Journey by Ngemba artist Danny Eastwood. The Uluru Statement from the Heart was read by guest speaker Wiradjuri woman Jennifer Newman, followed by an acknowledgement of the Barramattagal of the Darug nation and a commitment statement by the assembly.

The crux of Ms Newman’s talk was as follows:
"The form of constitutional amendment presently under consideration is confined to an act of recognition exercised by Australia, to which the responsive role available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is silent and passive." Through indigenist discourse analysis, with a strong narrative turn, Jennifer Newman gently (and admits herself she accompanies herself with "a lot of arm flapping") proposed an idea of engagement on the strength of reciprocal principles rather than compromising adversarial powers.

During Jennifer's warm, heartfelt and inspiring address to the CCJP seminar group on Sunday, we asked ourselves:
Was this the first time some of us felt that the concept of 'sovereignty' was not so complex?

Read: Jennifer's document for quotes that ask for changed thinking in Australia today can be found here.
Be inspired: by Judith Durham (The Seekers) singing new words for our national anthem (below) 
Read the text: of Noel Pearson's Declaration for Australia, a proposed Preamble for Australia's Constitution here.


 Australians let us all be one, with peace and harmony.
 Our precious water, soil and sun, grant life for you and me.
 Our land abounds in nature’s gifts to love, respect and share,
 And honouring the Dreaming, advance Australia fair.
 With joyful hearts then let us sing, advance Australia fair. ...

Australians let us stand as one, upon this sacred land
 A new day dawns, we’re moving on to trust and understand.
Combine our ancient history and cultures everywhere,
To bond together for all time, advance Australia fair.
With joyful hearts then let us sing, advance Australia fair. ...

Australians let us strive as one, to work with willing hands.
Our Southern Cross will guide us on, as friends with other lands.
While we embrace tomorrow’s world with courage, truth and care,
And all our actions prove the words, advance Australia fair,
With joyful hearts then let us sing, advance Australia fair. ...

And when this special land of ours is in our children’s care,
From shore to shore forever more, advance Australia fair.
With joyful hearts then let us sing, advance . . Australia . . fair.

Wishing All a Happy Easter

The Sisters of Mercy Parramatta rejoice as we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus.

May the love of Jesus permeate the hearts of all around the world bringing hope where there is despair, peace where there is conflict, and light where there is darkness.

Mercies Raise their Voices for Those Without a Voice

The Annual Palm Sunday Peace Rally, which is held in multiple cities around Australia, took the theme of “Declaring Peace on Refugees”, and drew support from a great variety of organisations and individuals. Many Women’s and Men’s Religious Orders were represented, along with representatives of other Christian and non-Christian Faith Traditions, Trade Unions, and Refugee Advocacy Groups, to name a few.

The Rally was addressed by a number of speakers. Mr Phil Glendenning of the Refugee Council of Australia and the Edmund Rice Centre, called on all present to provide the leadership on this issue, that our political leaders lack. He highlighted the many areas in which Australia’s current policies are at odds with our obligations under the United Nations Convention on Refugees, including the current detention of over 1,000 children.

Sr Susan Connelly, of the Sisters of St Joseph, also addressed the rally with passion and wisdom. She called for an end to the scapegoating of refugees and asylum seekers, and for all sides of politics to work together to stop the punishment of innocent victims seeking safety and security in Australia.

Following the address by speakers, the Sisters joined the thousands of others in attendance as they marched through the main streets of Sydney, raising their voices as they called “Say it loud, Say it Clear, Refugees are Welcome Here!”

Despite being drenched by the driving rain, the Sisters were determined to see the March through to the finish. The Sisters stand in solidarity with, and support of, those who have committed no crime but are detained in dehumanising conditions, having fled their homelands in search of safety and protection in Australia.

Declare Peace on Refugees - Palm Sunday March and Rally, April 13, 2014

Everyone has the right to live in peace, with justice and equality and that includes all asylum seekers. By declaring war on refugees, the Australian Government is alienating and dehumanising people who come to our country seeking the help we promised sixty years ago when the Menzies Coalition Government signed the United Nations Refugee Convention.

If you feel disturbed by Australia's response to Refugees and Asylum Seekers, join Sisters of Mercy and other concerned Australians in being a voice for those who have no voice. Be a part of the Palm Sunday March and Rally, Sunday, April 13th, 2014, beginning at 1.00pm, Hyde Park North, (near the fountain), Sydney.

Stella Maris Cronulla Celebrates New Era

The Sisters of Mercy Parramatta were joined by the staff, volunteers, ministry partners, residents, friends and supporters of Stella Maris Aged Care Facility as they gathered to celebrate the successful completion of the refurbishment of the facility and grounds, and to mark the beginning of the next stage in the long history of compassionate and professional care to the frail and aged in this place.

The site upon which the present Stella Maris ("Star of the Sea") stands, has long been a place of compassion and mercy. Initially purchased by the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta in the 1920's as a convent for sisters working in local schools, the site has been home to a number of the sisters' ministries including a primary school, a girls high school (the original OLMC Cronulla before it relocated to Burraneer Bay), and a convalescent home for sisters, before the present purpose built residential aged care facility was opened in 1987.

In 2011, Stella Maris was incorporated and a Board appointed, a short time later, the Board entered into a management agreement with St Vincent's Health Australia to provide the day-to-day management of the facility.

In September 2012, works commenced on the complete refurbishment of the facility, including the conversion of the top floor to increase the number of available beds from 55 to 72, and the installation of sprinkler systems and other fire and safety upgrades throughout the facility.

In her address at the commencement of yesterday's ritual, Sr Catherine Ryan, Congregation Leader, acknowledged the extraordinary efforts of the staff, especially Ms Melanie Grace, Facility manager, in continuing to provide care of the highest quality to residents throughout the refurbishment process. Residents and their families were also thanked for their patience and resilience in living through the building process.

Representatives of St Vincent's Health Australia, including Ms Helen Millar, General Manager St Vincent's Care Services NSW, participated in the ritual along with representatives of the Project Managers Midson group and Builders, Stephen Edwards Constructions.

Chair of the Board, Mr William Walker, spoke with enthusiasm of the important mission and ministry of Stella Maris. The completion of the refurbishment marks the beginning, not the end, of the Board's vision for the future of Stella Maris in which compassionate, professional care respecting the dignity of each individual is provided in a distinctly Christian environment.

Following the blessing of various sections of the buildings, guest were invited to move to the activities room for refreshments and the cutting of the cake by Facility Manager Ms Melanie Grace and Sr Claire Coyle, former Inaugural Administrator and continuing pastoral carer for the sisters in residence. 

Learn more about Stella Maris