News & Events

Participate in the Season of Creation, 1 September - 4 October 2018

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)

In 2015 Pope Francis designated 1 September as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation in the Catholic Church, encouraging all members of the Catholic community to 'rediscover in our own rich spiritual patrimony [heritage] the deepest motivations for our concern for the care of creation'.

The Season of Creation offers us all a time for enjoyment of the beauty of our world and all its inhabitants, human and other-than-human.

Mercy International Association (MIA) of which Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Congregation is a member, has developed a number of resources, including a calendar and posters, that can be used to mark the Season of Creation. Access these here.

Mercy Futures - Responding in Mercy to the Cry of the Earth Program

The Mercy Futures Group invites you to our second session for 2018 in our Responding in Mercy to the Cry of the Earth Program.

Grace Borger and Claudia Connelly will be leading this gathering, speaking on the topic Climate we can Change.
The Stewardship Portfolio was introduced in 2018 and reflects OLMC Parramatta’s commitment to promoting sustainability, both within and beyond the College. Grace and Claudia will be sharing their passion for responding to the challenge of sustainability from a Mercy perspective. They will discuss their experiences of leading the OLMC community in this area including through various campaigns and initiatives such as EcOLMC and also their involvement in wider community in raising awareness and taking action which has included working with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.

Wednesday June 6, 2018: 6.30pm - 8pm (Refreshments served from 6.30pm)
Where: Catherine McAuley Rooms, 6 Victoria Road, Parramatta
Parking: There is limited parking in the Convent car park. If you require parking close to the venue let us know and we will reserve a parking spot for you. There is street parking in Ross and Villiers streets.

RSVP: By Monday, June 4, 2018. Email or call the Congregation Office on 9683 2555.

Download the flyer:
  • (166 KB)

  • We do hope that you will be able to join us.
    Mercy Futures Team

    The Mission of the Laity: May Prayer Intention of Pope Francis

    'We will share with others, including people of different faiths and no religious faith, the joys and struggles of this spiritual journey.' (Chapter Statement)

    We are all invited to join with Pope Francis and his worldwide prayer network in praying this month's intention: The Mission of the Laity

    That the lay faithful may fulfil their specific mission, by responding with creativity to the challenges that face the world today.

    Text of the May 2018 video:
    'Lay people are on the front line of the life of the Church.
    We need their testimony regarding the truth of the Gospel and their example of expressing their faith by practicing solidarity.
    Let us give thanks for the lay people who take risks, who are not afraid and who offer reasons for hope to the poorest, to the excluded, to the marginalized.
    Let us pray together this month that the lay faithful may fulfill their specific mission, the mission that they received in Baptism, putting their creativity at the service of the challenges of today's world.' 

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

    Hope Found in Persistent Pain and Suffering

    One in five people live with chronic pain, that is, pain that can’t be cured. This figure rises to one in four people over the age of 65. Chronic pain is both a complex health issue, in part because it's invisible, and a costly one—socially and economically— for our society. In 2012, the cost to the Australian economy exceeded $55 billion. Yet, despite its prevalence and its economic impact, chronic pain management is one of the most neglected aspects of health care. “Our failure to adequately address chronic pain is a major driver of its economic and social cost,” says Rebecca McCabe rsm.

    Sr Rebecca is no stranger to pain. Ranked in the top ten swimmers in the world as a teenager, her promising swimming career, with the opportunity to represent Australia in the Olympics in 1984 ended as a result of injury. While training to become a physiotherapist she became intrigued by the area of persistent pain and suffering. "I began asking myself - what contribution could I make to this 'hidden epidemic' in our society?"

    Today Rebecca works in private practice and in pain research in the Department of Pain Management, HammondCare Greenwich Hospital, Greenwich, NSW, as part of a multidisciplinary team of health professionals, including medical specialists, physiotherapists, clinical psychologists, nursing and administrative staff and researchers. Dedicated to improving the quality of life of her clients and to understanding how pain works, she has co-authored two books on persisting pain and presented her research at many world and national conferences.

    Her current area of research is the exploration of spiritual and existential factors in the assessment and treatment of chronic pain.

    There has been increasing interest in addressing spiritual and existential aspects as a component of health care. Despite widespread acceptance in related fields such as palliative care, these aspects receive comparatively little attention in the pain community. "Recent findings that we presented at the World Pain Conference in Milan in 2014 demonstrated that people with chronic pain have levels of spiritual distress that are equal to or higher than people with cancer or HIV/AIDS," said Rebecca.

    "We are now looking at the subject of post traumatic growth (PTG). There have been patients who make us sit back and ask 'why is it that some people are able to take on such extraordinary suffering yet able to grow subsequently?'

    It is not the opposite of post-traumatic stress. We are observing something different here.

    Current research is this area would suggest that PTG seems to be the result of reprioritising the important things in life after traumas such as retrenchment, injury, burns, cancer, domestic and personal abuse.

    We believe that some people living with chronic pain fit here too!

    I work with a team that wants to do something about it. We hope to develop other treatments to ease people’s suffering. We are designing a new program with four elements: exercise, medication, supportive relationships and connection with the spiritual. We are hoping to implement and research this program this year."

    Working with a team is critical says Rebecca. "The subject of pain is so complex that in order to treat it more effectively we need to see the problem through many different professional and personal lenses. Unfortunately, it’s estimated that less than 20% of people with chronic pain receive coordinated multidisciplinary care.

    For me post traumatic growth resonates with my faith framework. My faith acts like an undercurrent that carries me through the tough times; the possibility that through suffering our lives can be reshaped; that hope and love can emerge through despair and isolation - the Paschal Mystery in action."

    Download: Spiritual and existential factors predict pain relief in a pain management program with a meaning-based component (2018)

  • (238 KB)
  • Act for Earth Day, 22 April

    '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)

    This Sunday, 22 April is Earth Day. Each year Earth Day has a theme. The focus of this year's celebration is to end plastic pollution, now considered amongst the greatest of environmental threats, because it is literally found everywhere.

    Plastic pollution is attacking Australia’s beaches, waterways and oceans, and the animals that live there which this video from Guardian Australia shows.

    How can we reduce plastic in our day-to-day life?

    One possibility is to enact the 4Rs:
    Refuse disposable plastic...
    Reduce your plastic footprint...
    Reuse durable, non-toxic containers...
    Recycle what you can’t refuse, reduce or reuse...

    The Earth day network is focussed on ending plastic pollution. More information, suggestions and resources can be found in this kit.