A Pilgrimage of Mercy

Over the next two weeks, Year 9 students will have the opportunity to retrace the footsteps of Ursula Frayne and her companions who came to Perth on 7 January 1846 and founded the first Mercy community in Australia.

The journey

Students will begin the pilgrimage in Fremantle, the town where Ursula and her companions first landed. At Bathers Beach, where the Sisters first set foot on Australian soil after 133 days on board, they will commence the pilgrim’s ritual and in prayerful reflection give thanks to God for the arrival of these remarkable women. Next, they will visit the places where the sisters spent their first night before traveling up the Swan River by boat, just as Ursula did.

On landing at Elisabeth Quay, the girls will move through the city, stopping at places where the Sisters did, as they make their way to St John’s Pro-Cathedral. Here, the Sisters gave thanks to God for a safe journey and arrival.

The pilgrimage will conclude at Mercedes College, the first Mercy School in Australia, where some of the pioneer Sisters are now buried.

Why go on pilgrimage?

Pilgrimage is a meaningful journey to a place of significance for many people of faith. It is a ritual journey where stories are shared, challenges encountered, and transformation is possible. It is also a highly sociable activity, allowing us to enjoy the company of others we meet on the road. It gives us the opportunity to re-energise mentally, physically, and spiritually. But most importantly, it allows us to reconnect with our cultural legacy and refresh our faith.

What do we hope for our students?

We take our students on this very special pilgrimage of Mercy hoping they might gain insights into the life and experiences of these remarkable women after whom some of their Houses are names. On return from this pilgrimage, we hope that our students will appreciate, even more, the wonderful legacy left by these remarkable women and recognise anew what they have been gifted with.

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