News & Events

Mercy Formation Program for Staff Members Benefits Students

As students returned to schooling on site after their time doing remote learning they were all given a bookmark to remind them both of the Mercy value of ‘Hospitality’ and to follow in Venerable Catherine McAuley’s words to ‘Strive to do ordinary things extraordinarily well”.

The bookmarks were designed by teachers Ms Allen and Ms Nakhoul as part of their project for the Mercy Formation Program. This program sees two staff members from each of the six Mercy schools in Sydney (Catherine McAuley, Westmead; Mercy College, Chatswood; Monte Sant' Angelo, North Sydney; Our Lady of Mercy College, Parramatta; Our Lady of Mercy College, Burraneer and Emmaus College, Kemps Creek) participate after being nominated by their school principal. The staff involved chose a project to work on which will deepen staff understanding of the Mercy charism.

As part of the project undertaken by Ms Allen and Ms Nakhoul, they also designed tea cups and postcards to be gifted to Year 12 students as a graduation gift and to new staff members.

Sr Rebecca Returns to the Water - No Stranger to Pain

Today, on a beautiful Sydney Sunday morning, Sr Rebecca joined thousands of other swimmers as they took part in a Sydney Institution, the Cole Classic Ocean Swim in Manly. Over 30 years ago, at the age of 15yrs, Sr Rebecca won the race. Today she was satisfied with completing it, after many years out of the water.

Sr Rebecca, a member of the Parramatta Sisters of Mercy, is a former Australian Champion Swimmer, and after a number of years of success at the national level, was selected for the 1984 Olympic Team, before suffering a career-ending injury to her shoulder through over-training.

This experience of physical pain and deep personal disappointment, has provided Sr Rebecca with both empathy and a powerful motivation to help others, in her ministry as a physiotherapist working in the area of Chronic Pain Management and research. 

Sr Rebecca, one of the co-authors of "The Pain Book"  and "The Spinal Cord Injury Pain Book" , draws on her personal experience in bringing hope to those under her care, in her physiotherapy ministry. She has a keen interest in the relationship between the experience of Chronic Pain and spirituality in bringing hope and healing.

As a former winner of the Cole Classic, media interest in Sr Rebecca's return to the open waters has been high. To read more of the media coverage of Sr Rebecca's story on the Archdiocese of Sydney web site click here; in the Parramatta Diocese Catholic Outlook magazine click here (and go to page 16); in The Sydney Morning Herald click here; or to see her interview on the Channel Nine Sunday Today Show, click here.

Mercy Sisters Provide a Home for Jesuit Refugee Service Shelter Project in Parramatta

The Sisters of Mercy Parramatta are delighted to be able to provide a cottage to Jesuit Refugee Service for use as a Drop In Centre for Refugees and Asylum Seekers who live in the Western Suburbs.

The work of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is to accompany, serve and advocate for Refugees and Asylum Seekers and persons who have been forcibly displaced in over 50 countries.

The Shelter Project, was established in 2007, by Jesuit Refugee Service in partnership with the Sisters of Charity and the Good Samaritan Sisters, to assist Asylum seekers and refugees who were at risk of  financial destitution and homelessness while living in the community. The service continues to provide temporary accommodation, financial support and casework services to  refugees and asylum seekers.

Recognising that many refugees and asylum seekers in the community are located in the Western Suburbs of Sydney, and that access to and the costs of, transport can impact on their ability to access services, JRS with the assistance of the Sisters of Charity, the Good Samaritan Sisters and the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta have established a new Shelter Project Drop in Centre - Arrupe Place - at 4 Victoria Rd, Parramatta.

The Centre will be open Monday to Thursday from 10am - 4.00pm. Fridays will be reserved for free legal services provided by RACS.

For full information on the services available through the centre, please click here.

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.