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Promotion of World Peace: 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: Promotion of World Peace.

We pray that Christians, followers of other religions, and all people of goodwill may promote together peace and justice in the world.

Text of the video:

In a divided and fragmented world, I want to invite all believers, and also all people of good will, to reconciliation and fraternity.
Our faith leads us to spread the values of peace and mutual understanding, of the common good.
We pray that Christians, followers of other religions, and all people of goodwill may promote together peace and justice in the world.
Thank you.

Pope Francis, January 2020

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

Stella Maris Cronulla Celebrates New Era

The Sisters of Mercy Parramatta were joined by the staff, volunteers, ministry partners, residents, friends and supporters of Stella Maris Aged Care Facility as they gathered to celebrate the successful completion of the refurbishment of the facility and grounds, and to mark the beginning of the next stage in the long history of compassionate and professional care to the frail and aged in this place.

The site upon which the present Stella Maris ("Star of the Sea") stands, has long been a place of compassion and mercy. Initially purchased by the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta in the 1920's as a convent for sisters working in local schools, the site has been home to a number of the sisters' ministries including a primary school, a girls high school (the original OLMC Cronulla before it relocated to Burraneer Bay), and a convalescent home for sisters, before the present purpose built residential aged care facility was opened in 1987.

In 2011, Stella Maris was incorporated and a Board appointed, a short time later, the Board entered into a management agreement with St Vincent's Health Australia to provide the day-to-day management of the facility.

In September 2012, works commenced on the complete refurbishment of the facility, including the conversion of the top floor to increase the number of available beds from 55 to 72, and the installation of sprinkler systems and other fire and safety upgrades throughout the facility.

In her address at the commencement of yesterday's ritual, Sr Catherine Ryan, Congregation Leader, acknowledged the extraordinary efforts of the staff, especially Ms Melanie Grace, Facility manager, in continuing to provide care of the highest quality to residents throughout the refurbishment process. Residents and their families were also thanked for their patience and resilience in living through the building process.

Representatives of St Vincent's Health Australia, including Ms Helen Millar, General Manager St Vincent's Care Services NSW, participated in the ritual along with representatives of the Project Managers Midson group and Builders, Stephen Edwards Constructions.

Chair of the Board, Mr William Walker, spoke with enthusiasm of the important mission and ministry of Stella Maris. The completion of the refurbishment marks the beginning, not the end, of the Board's vision for the future of Stella Maris in which compassionate, professional care respecting the dignity of each individual is provided in a distinctly Christian environment.

Following the blessing of various sections of the buildings, guest were invited to move to the activities room for refreshments and the cutting of the cake by Facility Manager Ms Melanie Grace and Sr Claire Coyle, former Inaugural Administrator and continuing pastoral carer for the sisters in residence. 

Learn more about Stella Maris

"Mercy World" visits Parramatta

Mary, who currently has the role of Mercy International Association Director Development-Fundraising, visited Australia to address a number of conferences and gatherings on the topic of Courageous Leadership for the Future of Religious Life.

Mary spent a few days at Marymount Mercy Centre, a retreat and conference centre set in beautiful grounds in Castle Hill, NSW, where she had a brief rest amidst her busy schedule of meetings and travel.

Mary also visited the Congregation Centre in Parramatta for an informal lunch with the Leadership Team, where she shared the vision and plan for Mercy International Association and Mercy International Centre. A vision for the future of Mercy in our world, building on, but beyond, the lives and ministries of the Sisters of Mercy around the world. Mary Also Visited OLMC Parramatta where she met newly appointed Principal, Mr Stephen Walsh, and shared her experiences of Mercy secondary education in the United States.

Sr Mary Reynolds, Executive Director of Mercy International Association, also visited Australia during March to address a number of Gatherings. Mary visited the Parramatta Congregation Centre on the evening of March 25th for a dinner with Leadership teams from the Mercy Congregations of Australia and PNG, and others in positions of leadership in Mercy ministries.

In addressing the gathering in Parramatta, Mary gave a foretaste of the presentation "Living Mercy: Shaping Tomorrow's Future" which she was to deliver the following day to a large gathering of Sisters, Mercy Associates and Ministry colleagues and partners. On both occasions Mary highlighted the correlation between Catherine's vision of Mercy and her response to need in her time, and the response of Mercy today to the needs of this time.

The visit of both Sisters highlights the closeness of the Mercy Family across the globe and our shared commitment to, and vision of, Mercy for our world.

Sisters Celebrate 75 years since Memorial Chapel Opening

This was a significant event in acknowledging not only the 125 year history of the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta, but the very beginnings of Religious Life in Australia. The current Convent of Mercy Site is the site of the first Convent in Australia, originally inhabited by the Sisters of Charity.

The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Anthony Fisher, Bishop of the Parramatta Diocese. The celebration was also attended by representatives of the three “pioneering” women’s religious orders who have served the people of Parramatta and surrounding areas since 1839: The Sisters of Charity, The Sisters of the Good Samaritan, and the Sisters of Mercy North Sydney.

The history, beauty and creativity of this sacred place, dedicated to the memory of our Pioneer Sisters, and erected by the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta 50 years after their arrival in Parramatta, has been captured in a magnificent concertina guide to the Chapel produced by Sr Rosemary Crumlin, rsm, for the event, and launched on the day.

Sr Rosemary has produced several books, and curated a number of exhibitions which have explored Art and Spirituality.  In producing this concertina guide, Sr Rosemary worked with Photographer Hamilton Lund to deliver a stunning guide not only to the artist design and application within the Chapel, but to the history and spirituality housed within its windows and walls.

Over 45 years of Mercy Principalship gathered in one room

Collectively, the four Principals account for over 45 years of Principalship of the College’s 125 year history.

There have only been 9 principals of the College since its opening in 1889. The first 7 Principals covering 115 years, were Sisters of Mercy. In 2004, Mrs Kitty Guerin was appointed as the first Lay Principal of the College. Following the retirement of Kitty at the end of 2013, Mr Stephen Walsh was appointed as the 9th and first male Principal of the College.

The lunch was hosted by Congregation Leader Sr Catherine Ryan, and members of the Congregation Leadership team. Apart from representing a significant moment in the history of the College and the Congregation, the lunch provided an opportunity for the past Principalship to share their reflections on their time as Principal with Stephen. Each of the former Principals recalled a significant memory, some humorous stories, and shared their hopes for the future of the College and Mercy Education.

The Past Principals present were:

  • Sr Edith Angel, Principal 1966 - 1977
  • Sr Janet Woods, Principal 1978 – 1989
  • Sr Ailsa Mackinnon, Principal 1990 – 2004
  • Mrs Kitty Guerin, Principal, 2004 - 2013