Sisters Celebrate 75 years since Memorial Chapel Opening

On Saturday, March 1st, 2014 the Sisters gathered in Parramatta for a Mass of Thanksgiving and a celebratory lunch to mark the passage of 75 years since of the opening of our Memorial Chapel. Located in the Grounds of the Convent, the Chapel honours our Pioneer Sisters, who came to Parramatta from Callan, Ireland, in December 1888. The event was part of the broader celebration of 125 years of Service by the Sisters in Parramatta and beyond.

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Memorial Chapel in the Grounds of the Convent

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.

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