We hope to provide you with the latest news and information relating to the Brisbane Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy. Read more on the pages listed below.
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.
There is one day of the Australian calender that resonates particularly with Nora Fitzgibbon. Sister with Roma’s All Saints Catholic Parish, Sr Nora was born in Ireland and has been eagerly preparing for tonight’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations. “It’s a great day for the Irish or anybody who has Irish ancestry and for everyone who wishes they were Irish,” she said.
Recently McAuley College, Beaudesert (the newest secondary school in the Brisbane Archdiocese) celebrated its inaugural Opening Mass. The Mass was held in ‘The Oakland Shed’ in the grounds of the school with buildings still under construction. The setting of the open shed provided a panoramic view across to the mountains. The Principal, Mrs Deidre Young proudly welcomed staff, students, parents and the wider community of parishioners and invited guests. In its first year, the College has approximately forty year seven students and they were acknowledged as the inaugural student group. Students and staff participated in the Liturgy with much enthusiasm.
Mercy Community Services staff at Wooloowin and Nudgee have united this Christmas to reach out to those in need within our communities. Staff and clients have donated hamper items and presents to ensure those with little resources celebrate Christmas with hope and joy. This year, staff reached out to their network of friends and family to also make a difference through collecting items for our Christmas Giving initiative.
‘A time to be filled with gratitude and thanksgiving’ MV
On Saturday 10 December eighty-five Sisters gathered at ‘Mercy Place’ for the celebration of our annual Advent Prayer Ritual and the sharing of an early Christmas meal.
The time of reflection focussed on three themes. It affirmed our experience of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. It acknowledged our journey through Advent to Christmas and invited Sisters to engage with the living of the eight Corporal and Spiritual Work of Mercy. Time was spent in communal prayer, quiet individual reflection, table conversation, song and listening to the Word of God.
For the past nineteen years, Brisbane Sister of Mercy, Josephine Dooly (Sr. Jo) has used her creative skills to raise funds to support those in need. For the past two weeks, Sr Jo sold the work of her hands to residents, staff and visitors at Bethesda and Emmaus at Mercy Aged Care Services, Nudgee.
Mercy Aged Care Services at Nudgee is blessed to have a number of Volunteers and Pastoral Companions who assist, support and companion residents. Sister Pastoral Companions are members of the Sisters of Mercy and Sisters of St Joseph whose particular role is to be a support person to a Sister resident from within their own Congregation. Shanelle Bennett, the Pastoral Care and Volunteer Co-ordinator at Mercy Aged Care Services extended an invitation to all to share a Christmas Lunch to thank and acknowledge these women and men for the many hours they give of their time regularly
Sr Maria Teresa Shanahan died at Bethesda, Nudgee on 25 September 2016 aged 101 years and ten months.
Born in Castletownbere, Co Cork, Ireland on 27 November 1914 Julia Shanahan left her homeland, with twenty seven young Irish women to follow God’s call to serve Him as a Sister of Mercy in the Brisbane Congregation. That was in January 1937. In December of that year, she began her Canonical year in the Novitiate of the Sisters of Mercy. Julia was professed on 14 January 1941 and throughout her seventy-five years of Religious Life, she was known as Sr Maria Teresa. The motto on her Profession ring was “Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee”. With faith and trust in her God, Teresa’s early ministries were in the Convents at Maryborough, Roma, All Hallows, Rosalie, Bowen Hills and Bundaberg. During these appointments between 1939 and 1966, she was either Housekeeper or Cook, and in some places, both.