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The community of Our Lady of Good Counsel School, Gatton, celebrated its centenary the last weekend in August. The Sisters of Mercy opened the school in 1917 and continued in this Parish almost 70 years. Celebrations included a Centenary Parish Mass on the Saturday evening and a grand fete on the Sunday both of which were attended by many former and present staff, students and families. A significant feature was the display of photographs and memorabilia across the ten decades. Pictured are former teacher and Principal, Sr Joan Morrissy and former teacher and parish worker Sr Mary Teresa Mullins enjoying the displays set out in the Daniel Walsh building.
Parish Priest Fr Noyichan Mamoottil MCBS and Principal, Nathan Haley, paid tribute to all who had gone before them, on whose shoulders the school community now stands. The Sisters of Mercy were acknowledged for their leadership and dedication to school and parish for more than 70 years.
“I lift my eyes to the mountains – where is my help to come from? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth…….”
Psalm 121 - A Song of Ascents.
How many times in the last twenty years have we lifted our eyes to the mountain, climbed the mountain to rest beside the well and drink deeply from its waters of mercy, kindness, compassion, justice, support, and love - waters that flow from the nourishment of word and worship that we feast on in scripture, in Catherine’s words and the words of those who follow this same path – looking for the stillness. “ - Opening words from the address given by Robyn Hunt at the celebration to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Mercy Associates within the Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation.
Pictured are Judith Seery, one of the original group of Mercy Associates and Brigid Frawley rsm, who has journeyed with the group over the twenty years.
With praise and thanksgiving the Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation celebrated the life and religious commitment of eleven Jubilarians – Sr Germaine Greathead (70 years) Srs Carmen Coffey, Anna Donovan, Joan Lynch, Elizabeth O’Connell, Mary O’Donoghue, Elizabeth Pointing and Roseanne Quinn (60 years), Srs Brigid Frawley and Pauline Smoothy (50 years) and Sr Maria Sullivan (40 years). Very Rev Dr David Pascoe was celebrant of the Eucharist in All Hallows’ Chapel on Sunday 21 May. Following the Jubilarians renewal of their vows, those present proclaimed “Jubilarians, encouraged by the witness of your life of commitment, together may we continue the work of the Gospel courageously, compassionately and without reserve”. The celebration of the Liturgy was enhanced by the beautiful singing led by Anne O’Farrell rsm as organist and Peta Goldburg rsm as conductor.
ACU honoured Sr Angela Mary Doyle AO through the conferment of the Award Honorary Doctorate at the ACU Brisbane Graduation Ceremony on Friday 5 May 2017.
Associate Vice-Chancellor Queensland, Professor Jim Nyland in the ACU staff bulletin referred to her as “a truly remarkable woman who, for those who may be struggling with the term, is the embodiment of ‘impact through empathy.’”
These words of Catherine McAuley were the theme of the Liturgy when the community of St Ignatius School Toowong assembled in the Parish Church to celebrate the work and the contributions of the Sisters of Mercy over the past one hundred and fourteen years. The Sisters took up residence in Toowong in Mount St Mary’s Convent in 1903. Sisters staffed the school until the early 1980s when the first lay Principal was appointed. Sisters of Mercy have continued to be a valued presence in the school community until February this year, when Sr Anna Ventura moved away from the large building now known as Goldicott (the name given by the original owners). During the Liturgy symbols were brought forward which represented the life of service of the Sisters as they were seen to have lived out God’s mission of Mercy in St Ignatius School and Parish. Addresses of acknowledgement were given by the Principal Mrs Roycelyn Wilden and Miss Pam Betts, Executive Director, Brisbane Catholic Education.
In a very meaningful ceremony to conclude the Liturgy, staff and students symbolically committed to “strive to live out the teachings and work of the Sisters of Mercy” and to be “a shining light for others”. Sr Anna Ventura presented a student from each year level with a lamp. Sr Anna, carrying a lamp, had led the Sisters of Mercy into the Church, and at the conclusion all processed out to the words of the school song, as the student representatives proudly carried their lamps.