Opening of Adderton: house & heart of mercy

Answering Catherine McAuley’s call to ‘animate all around you’


Adderton: house & heart of mercy an initiative of the Sisters of Mercy, Brisbane Congregation was officially opened at All Hallows’ Convent, Brisbane on Friday 23 August, 2019.


It was a very joyous occasion to mark; a new beginning in the All Hallows’ Convent, the conclusion of a three-year restoration and rejuvenation project for the building and the opening of the works of 13 exhibiting artists.

The event was attended by over 130 people, including over 30 Sisters of Mercy, professionals involved in the redevelopment and building project, representatives of numerous Mercy Ministries and the exhibiting artists.

Sr Catherine Reuter, Congregation Leader, addressed attendees at the opening and explained that All Hallows’ Convent is the foundation house of the Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation, a community of Catholic women religious inspired by the call of the Gospel ‘to live mercy and justice’ and the charism and works of Mercy as expressed by foundress, Catherine McAuley.”

All Hallows’ Convent continues to be Brisbane’s ‘house & heart of mercy’ through the Adderton initiative.  The purpose of Adderton is to engage the community with social issues such as isolation, mental illness, human trafficking and just wages through art, education, community and reflection spaces.  Hopefully the art installations, workshops and information panels and videos will inspire Adderton’s visitors to take a small active step to change attitudes and address some of the causes of injustice.

Sr Catherine Reuter, expanded on Adderton’s purpose in her opening address “Catherine McAuley calls us to ‘animate all around you’ and through creative works such as art, design, photography, sculpture, construction, music and writing the Adderton: house & heart of mercy initiative seeks to animate - that is to give expression to and invite participation in an unfolding vision for today’s world of God’s love, mercy and justice. So, Art and our work for justice do not just come alongside one another but they are part of the same impulse toward hope, healing and wholeness.”

Linda Philips, Adderton’s Curator, described Adderton: house & heart of mercy as ‘inspired’, “Firstly, (Adderton) is an inspired idea and a unique offering ….  Secondly, the story of Catherine McAuley, that begins to unfold in our first exhibition Catherine, Ellen, Florence, Jane is inspirational …  Catherine’s story leads the way to learn about some more remarkable women through the early history of the Sisters of Mercy in Queensland and to engage with their work both past and present.

“My third reason for the word “inspired” is the work of the organisations and social enterprises we highlight through contemporary art, in our key-note exhibition, A Fierce Hope.

“And finally, we hope that Adderton inspires all our visitors to act for social change – not just to come and see the exhibitions and participate in workshops or attend discussion panels but to actively help change the social structures that lead to oppression and disadvantage.  We’ve kicked things off with a ‘Call to Action’ in A Fierce Hope but we hope, that as our journey continues and Adderton unfolds that we can become a place and voice for social change to help create a more just future.”

Linda Philips concluded, with “heartfelt thanks to the Sisters for the kind words and warm wishes that we’ve received from many of you along the way; and to the Trustees and the Congregation Leadership Team, thank you for your continued guidance and support.”

Adderton: house & heart of mercy welcomes all people into the heart of mercy to explore the tradition and legacy of mercy, experience mercy’s presence and hospitality and shape its future.  Adderton is open to the community six days a week.  We encourage anyone with a connection to the charism.