News & Events

Addressing Climate Justice

'We will protect the rights of the natural world and make practical efforts to stem the hurtful effects of climate change, pollution and the ‘throw away’ mentality.' (Chapter Statement)

Once a month, at Flemington NSW, representatives of Religious Congregations meet to discuss issues around Climate Change especially how it affects the Pacific Islands. In the past few years we have been working on developing a monograph, to help tell the story. The monograph written by Johanna Larkin from the Edmund Rice Centre working in solidarity with Pacific Island nations and Congregational representatives addresses the injustice of climate change. It calls on our leaders to pursue ambitious and effective climate action. Other actions the group has taken can be found on their website.

Download the monograph 'Rising Tides Raising Voices'

Mercy Connect Melbourne Shopping Spree

It’s not often that the students at the Mercy Connect Dandenong Library Adult Literacy Class are surprised with something new. However, one Thursday afternoon in February this is exactly what happened. As the refugee students filtered into the library for their weekly class they were each given a number. There were puzzled looks on their faces. This was just one part of the surprise our Mercy Connect Melbourne Coordinator, Sr Mary Lewis, had in store for them...

Read the complete story here

Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Take Action on Climate

'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.' (Chapter Statement)

The Sisters of Mercy Parramatta, colleagues, friends and students held a symbolic action on 11th March at 11am where they ‘sounded the alarm’ for the Earth’s climate.

The group did this by ringing the Convent bell, reflecting and praying as part of a global multi-faith Day of Action in which hundreds of faith communities across Australia and overseas called for more ambitious action on climate change. The lead local organisation is the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC), part of GreenFaith International.

The Day of Action centred on a Sacred People, Sacred Earth Statement signed by prominent religious leaders such as the Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and the senior Vatican spokesperson, Cardinal Turkson. Domestically, signatories include Bishop Philip Huggins, President of the National Council of Churches, as well as senior Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, Hindu and Muslim leaders.

Climate scientists are urging the strongest action possible to mitigate climate change, hence GreenFaith International’s call for wealthy countries to reduce their emissions to net zero by2030. Governments like Australia’s need to wake up out of their complacency.

The Leader of the Sisters of Mercy, Sister Mary Louise said, following Pope Francis’ thoughts, “as Christians we are called to accept the world aa a sacrament of communion. It is our humble conviction that the divine and the human meet in the slightest detail in the seamless garment of creation, in the last speck of dust of our planet.”

ARRCC is calling for higher emissions reduction targets to be submitted under the Paris Accord, in line with a net zero target by 2030. The organisation wants post-COVID recovery spending to be centred on low carbon jobs rather than fossil fuels such as gas, and for finance to be provided to the Green Climate Fund for developing countries.

For further information contact:
Margaret Hinchey RSM
040 770 8232

Thinking Big

As Mercy Works begins to wind down in Goroka and Mt.Hagen in the Papua New Guinea highlands, Sr Maryanne Kolkia, the PNG In-Country Coordinator for Mercy Works, reflects on her experience in the programs and projects she has started there.

Mercy Works has been working tirelessly in the Goroka/Mt.Hagen region for just over fourteen years now.

In that time, Maryanne has become the driving force behind various instruments of change such as the life and skills training programs. In addition to training in practical skills like farming and sewing, Maryanne also identified the need for training in Small to Medium Enterprise (SME). Her experience taught her that this was necessary to enhance the prospects for the trainees to start-up and successfully run their own businesses to sell the goods they produce.

Reflecting on what she has gained from this training program Maryanne says, ‘the training has given me the opportunity to find a way forward’, with plans to now buy shares in LNB Savings and Loans Society. She goes onto say that ‘the team behind her is the reason for the strength and hope she carries every day.’...

Read the complete article here

Hearing the Cries of Persons who are Poor

'We will open our hearts to the cries of the poor…especially for … those suffering hardship because of poverty...' (Chapter Statement)

The National Council of St Vincent de Paul Society released the following statement in response to the Federal Government's decision to slash unemployment benefits to barely more than the old Newstart payment.

"The National Council of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia has condemned the Federal Government’s decision today to slash unemployment benefits to a rate barely more than the old Newstart.
National President, Claire Victory said the Society is dumbfounded by the Government’s continued inability to increase a rate that has been condemned by business leaders, social services groups, union leaders and indeed members of its own government. ‘Twenty-five dollars a week is an inadequate response to the poverty experienced by the people forced survive on unemployment benefits. It’s an afront to human dignity,’ Ms Victory said. ‘Twenty-five dollars a day would have been closer to the mark and would have brought income support in line with other pensions..."

Read the Statement in full here