News & Events

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


Staff and students farewell a teacher and friend

Parramatta Sister of Mercy, Carmelita Cassar's 20 years of service at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Wentworthville, represents less than half of her 55 years of dedicated service in Catholic Education in Sydney, yet she is somewhat of an institution with OLMC staff and students alike.

Sr Carmelita's ministry in Catholic Infants and Primary Education has come full circle, having served as a teacher, Principal, and finally Reading Recovery Teacher, during her many years in the classroom and playground.

At the 2014 Year 6 Graduation and End of Year Mass for Our Lady Of Mt Carmel Wentworthville, Sr Carmelita was honoured by Principal Steven Jones for her many years of service, not only at Wentworthville, but across many schools, and her contribution to the reading development of so many children under her care.

Following Mass, Sr Carmelita was the guest of honour at an afternoon tea provided by all the staff. Many memories and humorous stories were shared, with Sr Carmelita honoured as a gifted teacher, mentor, friend, and "One of their favourite  things". Several young teachers shared memories of how they had marvelled at her ability to subdue exuberant young students with ease.

Sr Carmelita may no longer be ensconced in the school, unravelling the mysteries of reading to those finding it difficult, but she will forever remain in the hearts of those with whom she shared her long ministry in education.

45 Years Teaching and Still Passionate About Learning

In a teaching ministry that has spanned 45 years as a Sister of Mercy, Sr Marie has dedicated her life and ministry to the education of infants and primary school children in numerous schools across metropolitan Sydney. From St Anne's in Bondi Beach to Blacktown, North Parramatta and Quakers Hill, and many places in between, Sr Marie's commitment and enthusiasm have never waned.

Sr Marie has ministered at all levels within the school system as a classroom teacher, Principal and in more intensive work with students who need extra support.

An innovative educator, Sr Marie is always keen to embrace new and emerging approaches to teaching and learning, including technological innovations such as web based learning programs and tablet computers. In her various appointments, Sr Marie has championed innovation and change wherever this will assist students to learn.

Sr Marie's passion for education is not limited to the traditional areas of reading, writing and mathematics, but is holistic in raising student's awareness of issues of social justice, where Mercy and compassion are most needed.

Despite have been in the field of education for over 45 years, Sr Marie is showing no signs of losing her passion or commitment
 to the education of children, particularly those who benefit from extra support.

Promise, Fulfilment and Future Possibilities....

In a joint media statement, the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta and the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta have said:

The legacy of the Parramatta Sisters of Mercy at the historic Mamre House, built during Australia’s colonial era, will house a range of CatholicCare services to benefit the people of St Marys and Western Sydney. The accompanying 200 acres of land is rich in biodiversity and will be a focal point for the Church’s commitment to protecting our environment and supporting sustainability.

Exciting plans for the future use and protection of the property will be announced at a special Celebration event on November 18th.

We have great hope that Mamre will continue to serve the people of Western Sydney under the umbrella of CatholicCare Social Services Parramatta for many years to come

Sister Mary-Louise said.

The Catholic Diocese of Parramatta and the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta are pleased to announce a new chapter in the life of historic Mamre House, with Mamre now being integrated into CatholicCare Social Services.

The Mamre ministry began nearly 30 years ago when youth unemployment was at an all- time high. The Sisters of Mercy Parramatta turned the nearly derelict former home of Samuel Marsden into an essential part of the community, with training and support for disadvantaged young people in the Western Suburbs.

The driving force behind Mamre has been Sister Mary Louise Petro and Sister Joyce Vella. The Sisters have built Mamre into the thriving community resource it is today.
Sister Mary Louise says the continued growth of Mamre is essential: ‘Mamre plays such an important role in the lives of the poor and disadvantaged in Western Sydney and it’s essential that its survival is assured,’ Sister Mary Louise said.

‘Recent social and political changes have meant that smaller organisations can struggle to keep afloat and so the Board of Mamre Plains Ltd and the Sisters of Mercy have decided to integrate with a bigger organisation to ensure Mamre’s future,’ Sister Mary Louise continued. ‘We have determined that CatholicCare Social Services Parramatta is closely aligned with the values of Mamre and are now proud to announce that talks have reached a positive conclusion.’

Mamre will keep its name, and will now be fully integrated into CatholicCare Social Services.

Sister Mary Louise says she is grateful to have been part of Mamre’s past and also of protecting its future.

Event: Tuesday November 18th, 2014 Time: 10.00am Venue: Mamre House - 181 Mamre Road, Orchard Hills Enquiries: (02) 9683 2555 

Finding Hope When It Hurts - Mercy Sister Shares Research at World Congress on Pain

The World Congress on Pain, conducted by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), is a biannual, international event which focusses on pain research and treatment. Drawing up to 6,000 attendees from around the world, the Congress allows participants and presenters the opportunity to engage in education, information sharing and networking, to further their work in various areas related to pain research and treatment. Over the course of the Congress, 2,000 posters will be displayed.

Sr Rebecca, is associated with the display of two Poster Presentations of Research Abstracts which you can view by clicking the links below:

Both areas of research seek to identify the levels of spiritual distress in those who experience chronic pain, the relationship between these variables, and the implications for treatment programmes.

Members of the Greenwich Pain Programme team (Pictured below at the book launch in August 2012), Pain Specialist Professor Phillip Siddall, Sr Rebecca, and Psychologist Dr Robin Murray Co-Authored The Pain Book, a highly successful “handbook” for those who suffer pain. The book provides the reader with an understanding of pain, its causes, mechanisms and processes as well as helpful information on treatments and exercises.

To read more about The Pain Book or to purchase a copy online, click here.