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On Friday 22 April, the sod was turned for McAuley College, Beaudesert, the newest Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Brisbane. Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane blessed the new site assisted by Father Michael McKeaton, Parish Priest of St Mary’s Parish. Foundation Principal of McAuley College is Mrs Deidre Young, formerly Principal of St Marys College, Ipswich. Pam Betts, Executive Director of Brisbane Catholic Education acknowledged the presence of the Sisters of Mercy saying “Just a few years ago All Hallows' and then St Mary’s College Ipswich celebrated 150 years and today our newest secondary college carries the name of their founder.“
Last Thursday, a small group of All Hallows’ students and staff members attended the Schools Vigil outside the Lady Cilento Hospital in support of the action taken to advocate for baby Asha not to be sent back to Nauru. Many Religious Institute schools sent representatives which was chaired by students from Brigidine College and supported by the students themselves speaking about why they were there. The students joined hundreds of people who in some way participated in an eight day round the clock vigil advocating for better treatment for people who are refugees or who are seeking asylum in Australia. The very simple message conveyed, beyond advocating for baby Asha and her family, was that the detention centres on Nauru and Manus are not safe, and are not a humane response to a situation facing countries around the world, and should be shut down. There has to be a better way to stop an already traumatised people experiencing further physical and mental suffering.
Students, staff and families of St Mary’s College, Ipswich gathered in St Marys Church Ipswich on Friday 5 February to celebrate Eucharist and pray together for a blessing on this year ahead, to commission the Student Leaders and each Year 12 student to her leadership role within the community during 2016. Celebrant was college Chaplain, Fr. Chukwudi Chinaka. In this Jubilee Year of Mercy the College has taken as its Theme “Blessed are the merciful; for they shall receive mercy.” Below is the address given by Principal, Judith Finan.
On 5 December, 92 Sisters from the Brisbane Congregation gathered at Mercy Place, Bardon for the annual Advent Ritual.
This year our ritual included 'Opening the Door' for the year of Mercy and accepting the invitation to participate in the Mercy International Reflection Process. The front cover of the ritual booklet featured many doors including the red door of Baggot Street and All Hallows Convent door – our foundation house.
Thirty five years ago Pedro Arrupe sj, a man of great spiritual depth and committed to justice, founded the Jesuit Refugee Service as a response to boat people fleeing Vietnam and Cambodia. To mark the anniversary, JRS USA has chosen to have an award dinner and honour three JRS team members. Denise Coghlan, a member of the Sisters of Mercy, Brisbane Congregation is one of those being recognized. In Denise’s own words, “amazingly I am one of them and will travel with Srun Sony, our wonderful social worker for 20 years, to New York for an award dinner on 1 December”. Sr. Denise has served the displaced in Cambodia for the past 25 years, being one of the founding members of JRS Cambodia. She serves asylum seekers and refugees who seek protection in Cambodia, including the Montagnard who are not yet registered for the refugee status determination procedure, and stateless Rohigya and ethnic Vietnamese people.