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.

CRA Supports an Increase in Newstart Payments and Urges No Delay

'We will open our hearts to the cries of the poor...' (Chapter Statement) 

Catholic Religious Australia (CRA), of which Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Congregation is a member, urges the Government to heed the research findings from a wide range of social service specialists, peak bodies and industry associations, in relation to the shortcomings of Newstart and the Payment Integrity Bill.

CRA commends the ­research released this month by the Australian National University’s Centre for Social ­Research which was joined by over 20 Catholic social service providers from across Australia. It identified that levels of poverty and financial stress have increased significantly among Newstart recipients over the past 25 years.

The Australian Council of Social Service’s 2019 submission to the Senate Community Affairs Committee identifies $75 per week with indexation, as an urgent ‘catch-up increase’ to the base rate of Newstart – an extra $10.71 a day.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ figures show that the cost of essentials such as housing, utilities and food have increased much more rapidly than CPI.

The Business Council of Australia’s 2012 submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Adequacy of the Allowance Payment System for Jobseekers, stated that ‘The rate of the Newstart Allowance for jobseekers …may now be so low as to represent a barrier to employment.’

CRA supports an increase of at least $75 per week for all recipients of Newstart; that payments be indexed against wages and price increases commensurate with community standards and the cost of living; and that the Government not delay Newstart payments, as this may force people to exhaust modest savings during the wait-time for Newstart payments.

“CRA’s commitment to human dignity means we are concerned for the wellbeing of all people who rely on Newstart and believe that the requests for a weekly increase of $75 and a more appropriate indexing system for payments, are vital to reduce poverty and enable people who receive income support to live with dignity,” said CRA President, Peter Carroll FMS.

CRA strongly supports the National Council of St Vincent de Paul Society’s concerns over the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Payment Integrity) Bill 2017 which will exacerbate the conditions in which people enter into poverty and long-term unemployment. National Council CEO, Mr Toby O’Connor, recently said, ”The longer people are on Newstart, the more entrenched their poverty becomes. The Payment Integrity Bill is going to make things even tougher.

“In light of the federal budget surplus announced earlier this month, we urge the Government to use the research findings and submissions of various experts to inform their decision-making for the long-term benefit of citizens and the preservation of human dignity.” said Br Peter.

Media Enquiries: Sylvia MacRitchie-Hook | E: | M: 0410 644 356

Download a copy of this media release

Protecting Our Oceans: September Prayer Intention of Pope Francis

We the Sisters of Mercy of the Parramatta Congregation acknowledge gratefully that we are co-creators with the Divine, in an evolving ‘sacrament of communion’ which includes everything that exists.(Chapter Statement)

We are all invited to join with Pope Francis and his worldwide prayer network in praying this month's intention: Protecting Our Oceans

Let us pray this month that politicians, scientists and economists work together to protect the world’s seas and oceans.

Text of the video:

Oceans contain the bulk of our planet’s water supply, and also most of the immense variety of living creatures, many of them are threatened for various reasons.
Creation is a project of love given by God to humanity.
Our solidarity with the “common home” is born from our faith.
Let us pray this month that politicians, scientists and economists work together to protect the world’s seas and oceans.

-Pope Francis, September 2019

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

Mercy Futures: Mercy and Kindness

Introducing Maryanne Kolkia rsm

Maryanne has been a Sister of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea for 22 years.

Maryanne has brought her strong background as a teacher to her work at Mercy Works. She was the founding Director of Mercy Works in Papua New Guinea which began in Goroka in 2006.

As a Simbu woman, Maryanne has a strong sense of advocacy, working on behalf of those who are disenfranchised.

Through her work, many people have received many acts of kindness.

Date: Tuesday, 3 September, 2019
Time: 6.30-8 pm (Refreshments served from 630pm)
Venue: 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, please let us know and we will reserve a parking spot for you. There is street parking in Ross and Villiers streets.
RSVP: By Thursday, 29 August 2019. Email: or call the Congregation Office on 9683 2555

We do hope you will be able to join us.
Mercy Futures Team
- Carol Harding, Kerrie Walshaw, Gabby Scanlon, Christine Pace, Patricia Bolster rsm, Mary-Louise Petro rsm