Year 9 Reflection Days: The Amazing Race of Mercy

Walking in the steps of our founders gives us a profound connection to our roots, a sense of continuity that threads our past into our present. It’s like weaving the strands of history into the tapestry of our school, recognising not just where we’ve come from but the paths it took to get here.

Our Year 9 Reflection Day began at the place where Mother Ursula Frayne, and her companions, the first Sisters of Mercy, came ashore in 1846, 177 years ago, at Bathers Beach, in Fremantle. Much of the day allowed students to learn more about these early pioneer sisters, the places that were significant to them and the legacy they have left us.

Beginning with an acknowledgement of the land we were gathered on, students learnt about the significance of this land for the Aboriginal people. Students shared some Dreamtime stories, the history of this land, and what the pioneer Sisters of Mercy would have experienced when they first stepped ashore.

As students walked this journey of remembrance, they were reminded to focus on their own personal journey through life. On a physical level, we come from all walks of life, departing from different points and making different types of journeys. Some of us walk slowly, others challenge ourselves by walking fast and giving ourselves goals. On a spiritual level, we are all undertaking our own unique journeys, governed by the lessons that we need to learn, and the people that we are evolving into. No two journeys are alike, and though we sometimes walk the same roads on the outside, our inner pathways wind through very different emotional landscapes.

Whilst in Fremantle, students visited the Welcome Walls, acknowledging the thousands of men and women who arrived on the shores of Western Australia via the sea. Students then travelled to The Orient Hotel, the site where Mother Ursula and her fellow sisters rested before travelling to Perth. The bus journey then saw students arrive at Barrack Street Jetty in the Perth CBD. The race bought students many a challenge with various clues that took them to the Pro-Cathedral and the Mercy Heritage Centre at Victoria Square, whilst stopping at significant landmarks along the way, in order to recount the beginnings of the religious sisters in Australia.

We look forward to our second opportunity next Tuesday, where we will share the experience again with the other half of our Year 9 cohort.

Melissa Trolio | Director of Mission

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