From The Principal: Staff Formation Day
On Monday, staff from the College participated in a workshop with Carmel Ross, a former Director of Catholic Education in Cairns and Trustee of Mercy Care. The theme for the day was the ‘Enduring Presence of Mercy’.
Carmel commenced by discussing that mercy did not begin with Catherine McAuley but goes back to the time of Jesus and to all those holy men and women of mercy. Catherine then founded the Mercy Sisters, which Ursula Frayne established in Western Australia. Today the tradition of Mercy is carried on by the staff of Santa Maria College.
The meaning of mercy was discussed and included terms such as empathy, compassion, self-compassion and forgiveness. Mercy is about the heart, being open-hearted and understanding the heart of others and their story so we can walk alongside them.
We also discussed that mercy is about every interaction we have with others every day. In a school of 1280 students and 170 staff, we each have hundreds of interactions with different members of our community, every day. Mercy is a choice in our relationships and our responses to conversations can be enhanced by mercy. It is an action or a way of being in the world.
We also shared our thoughts on the need for each person to have individual time in our lives, and that overexposure to people is not always beneficial. Staff were given some personal time to reflect and to be still.
We also talked about what mercy will look in 50 years, when there will be a limited presence of the Sisters of Mercy at Santa Maria College and a limited knowledge of the history of the Sisters who have played such an important role in the history of the College. Our role as staff is to ensure the history and very importantly, our Mercy values continue to be central to all we do in the coming decades.