News & Events

Step back to the future at OLMC Parramatta Open Day

Open Day at Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta on Sunday 10 March is a chance for visitors to step back to the future as the College celebrates 130 years of Mercy education and marks the dawn of a new era.

For the first time in over 20 years, OLMC Parramatta has a new College uniform, heralding a change from red and green to blue, a colour that has featured prominently not only in past College uniforms, but also in the habits of the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta.

Principal Stephen Walsh says the change symbolically coincides with the College’s 130th anniversary and is an opportunity to connect with OLMC’s rich Mercy heritage: "Blue is recognised globally as a colour associated with the Mercy charism. Many past uniforms of the College featured blue and the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta also wore blue habits that were a very close shade to our new Mercy Blue colour. In the Catholic tradition, blue is also widely considered a Marian colour. Our two primary colours, two shades of blue, therefore tell the story both of Our Lady and of the Mercy Charism; they visually signify Our Lady of Mercy!"

The new uniform symbolically honours the College's long and rich tradition: "In the Crest, we increased the size of the Mercy Cross to emphasise that we are deeply anchored in the Mercy tradition. The Seven Bars represent the seven spiritual and corporal works of Mercy. They also signify the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, embodying the College's Catholic identity in the Mercy tradition. Continuing the Marian theme, the College motto remains, Sub Tuum Praesidium, which means under your (Our Lady's) protection," says Principal Stephen Walsh.

Visitors will have the chance to view past uniforms in a display in the historic Stanley Rooms and also speak with Alumnae about their time at the College. Christine Robertson, President of the Alumnae Association says it's wonderful that so many alumnae volunteer to share their insights: "OLMC has a strong alumnae tradition which dates all the way back to 1922. Alumnae members enjoy attending the annual Open Day to share their experiences of the rich educational journey that is on offer to young women at OLMC Parramatta."

Hear the stories behind the buildings and the inspirational Parramatta Sisters of Mercy after which they are named by joining student-led tours which will guide visitors through the historic corridors of the College and through the newest facilities, the latest of which is the Ailsa Mackinnon Community Centre which opened in 2017. Discover how a 21st century Mercy Education continues the tradition of excellence established well over a century ago by hearing from Mercy Girls, staff, parents and ex-students, viewing subject displays and student work showcases and participating in an Archaeological Dig conducted by the History Department.

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.

The College Open Day for 2019 is taking place on Sunday 10 March from 10am-2pm

Moving from Denial to Sustainability via Wonder

Environmental scientist and writer Haydn Washington believes that we will not solve the environmental crisis unless we change our worldview and ethics, and to do so we must rejuvenate our sense of wonder at nature.

Our goal should be to look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted.
Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; to be spiritual is to be constantly amazed
Rabbi Abraham Herschel

About Haydn

Haydn has degrees in Ecology, Eco-toxicology (MSc) and Social Ecology (PhD).
He has worked as an Investigations Scientist in the CSIRO, as Director of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW and as an environmental consultant.
Haydn has conducted many flora surveys as plant ecologist (e.g. in the Gardens of Stone and Wollemi National Parks).
He has been a councillor on the Australian Conservation Foundation and a media officer for the Wilderness Society.
Haydn was Director of Sustainability at Willoughby City Council from 2007 to 2009, and wrote the first Sustainability Charter of any Council in Australia.

Date: Saturday May 25, 2019
Time: 9.30am-12.30pm.
Place: Catherine McAuley Room 6 Victoria Road, Parramatta, NSW, 2150
Parking: In grounds or church parking area opposite

Everyday I see or hear something which kills me with delight
- Mary Oliver

Recognition of the Right of Christian Communities: March Prayer Intention of Pope Francis

We are all invited to join with Pope Francis and his worldwide prayer network in praying this month's intention: Recognition of the Right of Christian Communities

Text of the March 2019 video:

“It might be hard for us to believe, but there are more martyrs today than in the first centuries.

They are persecuted because they speak the truth and proclaim Jesus Christ to this society.

This happens particularly where religious freedom is not yet guaranteed.

However, it also happens in countries where, in theory and on paper, they protect freedom and human rights.

Let us pray that Christian communities, especially those who are persecuted, feel that they are close to Christ and have their rights respected.”

- Pope Francis, March 2019

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

New Film About Catherine McAuley, Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy

Sponsored by the St Louis Mercy Health System, this latest telling of Catherine McAuley's life, a 23 minute docudrama, features re-enactments of actual events in the life of Catherine McAuley, from her childhood to her last days (1778-1841).

Filmed mainly on location in Ireland with Irish actors, the film makes for compelling viewing.

The film was made for Mercy International Association and is available online in order to reach the widest possible audience.

We invite you to view Catherine's story. Watch it here

Statement on National Redress Scheme Participation

We are currently awaiting the processing of our submitted documentation to the Department of Social Services (DSS), in order for the Minister to make the declaration of the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta as both a Participating Institution and a Group Representative.

Having commenced the process of entering the Redress Scheme in October 2018, the lodgement of all documentation and data for the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta, and all our past and present ministries, was completed in February 2019. We are hopeful the DSS processing timeframe to enable the Minister to make the declaration is brief.

Mindful of the significant and enduring effects of child sexual abuse, we re-affirm our commitment to respond with compassion to those who have experienced these abhorrent crimes, and to ensuring all of our ministries and institutions are child-safe organisations.

At this time of great pain throughout our nation, we call on Leaders at all levels within the Church, and other institutions, to learn from the lessons of past failures and change those cultures and attitudes which created an environment in which such abuse was able to occur.

The Sisters of Mercy Parramatta now await the processing work of the Department of Social Services in order to finalise our entry into the National Redress Scheme.