News & Events

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...

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A Journey I Will Not Forget

Hi! My name is Alphonse Gende and I would like to share with you my life story and the environment Mercy Works Mt Hagen had created for me to cultivate. Honestly, I am emotional. When I write this story, I write with tears. But don’t worry. I am not asking you to cry. Let’s start the story!

I had been through difficult times in my life. I lost my previous job with Triniti FM Catholic radio as an announcer and producer, then, two of my kids had been taken away by nature, my second boy, Joe Gende, was covered by landslide in the settlement where we live on a rainy day in 2014 and in the following year, 2015, my first daughter, Rita Gende, was drowned in the Whagi river. In that same year, my wife, Regina Paias, in her third month of pregnancy, was taken away from me by her family. All that was left for me was not even a sunset, but, emptiness.

It was hard for me to think of hope because I was embraced with total darkness. The world became unfriendly and bitter. My friends did not come around to chat with me. I was left alone with my dad in our house. Everyday asked myself, “Why do terrible things happen to me?”

One day I decided to travel up to Mt Hagen from Simbu to get my books. I thought books would help me. Actually, I went back to the settlement where my son was buried. Also I was hoping to see my wife but her family did not want me to see her. When I left, I could see her from afar. I experienced hot tears but I had no choice. Slowly I walked away.

It was already afternoon and I walked down, aiming for the main bus stop, passing through the middle street of Mt Hagen city. I never knew that I would meet Mercy Works. However, right in front of Ross Manga building, at the main entrance to the street, I met Sr Mariska Kua rsm. We shook hands and she mentioned, “I heard about your problem.” I said, “that’s true. Is there anything I can help with, like driving or the media program?” Sister said, “Give me your papers.”

In October 2015, I began working with Mercy Works Mt Hagen and I met the lovely team under the leadership of Sr Mariska Kua, RSM, then the team in Goroka and finally the team in Australia. It has been a great opportunity for me to meet the entire team when we come together for report writing. I learned a lot from the report writing workshop especially the development of the application, the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) methods and the compilation of the entire report.

I love the team and I always thought to myself how can I contribute effectively to the program of Mercy Works.

Sometimes I tried to use my imaginative skills to do things, but, then I started learning smaller things effectively. Daily morning prayer, discussing ideas at the table, putting things in the right place, reporting immediately if things go wrong in your possession, tell the truth, respect others, flexibility amongst the team are all very important basics. I am grateful that MWs has given me the opportunity to grow as a person and become better and meaningful in a life of service.

This year in September, I changed jobs. I am now the Family Life Coordinator of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mt Hagen. I am already using some of the skills I learned from Mercy Works to design program activity for the Catholic Family Life in the Diocese.

On behalf of my family, I especially want to say thank you to Mercy Works, Mt Hagen, Mercy Works, Goroka and the Board of Directors in Australia, not forgetting Sr Ailsa Mackinnon RSM and her successor, Sr Sally Bradley RSM and Mercy Works PNG & Australia Program Coordinators, Sr Gaye Lennon RSM and her successor, Sr Anne Foale RSM.

Thank you so much for your support. May God richly bless you all and give you renewed health.

Women in Leadership Roles in the Church: October 2020 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: Women in Leadership Roles in the Church.

 

No one has been baptized a priest or a bishop. We have all been baptized as lay people.
Lay people are protagonists of the Church.
Today, it is especially necessary to create broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church.
 And we must emphasize the feminine lay presence because women tend to be left aside.
We must promote the integration of women, especially where important decisions are made.
 We pray that by the virtue of baptism, the laity, especially women, may participate more in areas of responsibility in the Church, without falling into forms of clericalism that diminish the lay charism.

 —Pope Francis, October 2020

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



New College Principal Announced

It is with great pleasure that the Board of OLMC announces the appointment of the highly qualified and extensively experienced Catholic educator, Lucie Farrugia, as our next Principal.

Lucie has more than 35 years’ experience in Catholic education and is currently serving as the Acting Principal of Christian Brothers’ High School Lewisham. She previously held leadership positions in curriculum, pastoral care, communications and development, and identity and mission at St Patrick’s College in Campbelltown and MLC Sydney.

She holds a Master of Educational Leadership, a Bachelor of Education, a Diploma of Teaching and Certificate of Religious Education from the Australian Catholic University. She also holds a Certificate in School Management and Leadership from the Harvard Business School.

Lucie’s appointment follows an independent recruitment process that was very competitive with numerous high-calibre candidates reflecting the current strength and potential of OLMC.

Ultimately, the Board selected Lucie for a number of reasons including her strong values and beliefs that align so well to the Mercy Values and their role in contemporary education, her broad experience and success in leadership and her vision for community engagement within the school community.

The focus moving forward will be to continue to enhance our school, our academic and vocational offerings, our community and most importantly, our faith.

Lucie will be ‘on deck’ from January 2021 and we look forward to welcoming her in the new year.

In the meantime, Marie Wood will continue as Acting Principal. Marie’s service continues to be exceptional and from next year she will move into a revamped Deputy Principal position which reflects her growth, capacity and ongoing contribution to OLMC.

This is an exciting next era for OLMC. As we enter the last term of what has been a very challenging year for all, this appointment will inspire us to continue our mission for the benefit of the girls now and into the future.

Thank you for your support as we have worked through this process. I am sure you will agree that we have secured a first-rate outcome and transition.

Ms Kerrie Walshaw
Chair of OLMC Parramatta Board

Mercy Works: Sharing Screens & Stories

Monday mornings can be the most mundane part of the new week but sometimes there is a feeling of excitement about something new. On Monday the 14th of September, this particular feeling was swirling around the Mercy Works’ offices as we prepared for a first: delivering a presentation to primary school students via Zoom.

The month of September is an important month in the world of Mercy. This month is where we celebrate the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, Catherine McAuley, and the reason why Mercy is still at the forefront of schools and organisations around the world.

Mercy Day is celebrated on the 24th of September and the Mercy community comes together to celebrate the beginnings of what we know Mercy to be today. This year, it will look vastly different. With Mercy Day around the corner and restrictions on gatherings still in place, schools have had to become even more creative as they celebrate this important day.

The clock ticked over 9:30am and sure enough, right on time, a room full of cheery year 6 students from St. Anthony’s Girraween, appeared on the screen inside the Board Room. One click of a button and the sharing started. Our pre-recorded video began to play and told the story of Mercy Works.

After a short video, the students jumped right in question mode. What started out as a planned fifteen minute zoom meeting turned into half an hour of many great questions. Our hardest decision wasn't choosing the next question but choosing which would be our last one.

Each year, the year 6 students at St. Anthony’s host a ‘Mercy Market’ day where the students come up with different ideas for stalls to raise money for Mercy Works. Ranging from sideshow games all the way to bake sales, the students come up with the most creative and engaging ways to raise awareness about Mercy Works whilst also have a tonne of fun.

Technology has bridged many gaps in its existence but for the better part of this year it has been keeping all of us connected when we couldn’t physically see each other.

This meeting would not have been possible without the incredible support of the teaching staff at St. Anthony’s and for that, we thank them very much. The community at St. Anthony’s has been supporting Mercy Works for many years and we are incredibly grateful for all the fundraising they do.

Their efforts have helped Mercy Works support and fund projects focused on education and health both here in Australia and overseas in Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea.

Check out our Facebook page for more photos!