Mercy Sisters Share Their Stories
Santa Maria College is a Mercy School, built on the foundations of Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy. Our strong Mercy heritage is built into everything we do.
The Year 10 Religious Education classes have been studying vocations and were invited to research a religious order of interest. The class felt the obvious choice would be to research the Sisters of Mercy. So, it was a great honour for the girls to hear some of the Sisters share their stories this week.
Below, Year 10 students reflect on the project.
Whilst it is rewarding to find out about the Sisters’ history and foundation around the world, what I have found particularly interesting is finding out a little more about the Sisters and their work in society today. Positioning ourselves with a global perspective to their many ministries has been fascinating. The Sisters have made wonderful contributions by advocating for refugees, those incarcerated, indigenous people and women who have been trafficked. They have offered insight into the impact of global poverty, the necessary stewardship of the environment, the importance of the education of girls and their encouragement of youth empowerment and advocacy. What is most exciting is that part of our research involves getting to meet some of the Perth Sisters and sharing our research with them and hearing about their passions and interests.
We thoroughly enjoyed researching the Sister’s ministries to further explore the religious community of women that founded our school. Learning about the work the Sisters have done in the local community and globally, and their efforts to contribute to waving the banner of social justice has been positively inspiring. Our research has been carried out by following the Sisters on Facebook and Instagram for a number of weeks and reading recent media releases and news articles from various websites. This attentive following has gained us an insight into the incredible service provided by the Sisters and given us a very contemporary look at their endeavours in Mercy. The project has filled us with further questions about their amazing lives and ministry, we are very much looking forward to meeting them to discuss our research.
We had the pleasure of having a panel discussion with Sisters of Mercy who live locally in Perth. For the past few weeks we have been gathering information about the Sisters from Facebook and Instagram and today we were able to ask them about their work and ministries, the Sisters spoke about their focus on education, pastoral care in hospitals, missionary work overseas, care for the environment, work with aboriginal people and the homeless. What impressed me most was their involvement in current issues in society such as supporting the Black Lives Matter march and Palm Sunday Refugee rallies in the city. We shared a cup of tea and cookies with them while we asked the Sisters a few questions regarding our research. It was a very enjoyable discussion and we learnt so much about the Sisters of Mercy and their inspiring works.
I had not ever heard life stories of the Sisters of Mercy. We have spent a lot of time researching and following the Sisters on Social Media. It was inspirational hearing their stories and experiences and I came to appreciate where they are now. It was especially good hearing from the Sisters at this time, as we are looking to our futures and deciding on subject selections for Year 11, future studies at university or TAFE and career aspirations. I think we all learnt something important from this time with the Sisters and really enjoyed the experience.
The sisters who presented across two sessions throughout the day were:
Sr Breda O’Reilly
Sr Flo O’Sullivan
Sr Jo Dillon
Sr Maura Kelleher
Sr Ali Roach
Sr Joan Buckham
Sr Janina Pascoe
Sr Emma Llewellyn
Sr Elizabeth Nichols