Sisters of Mercy North Sydney

Sisters of Mercy North Sydney
May we be wise in our discernment, balanced in our judgement, fair in our decisions and visionary in our planning

About Us

In 1846 the Sisters of Mercy came to Australia and settled in Perth, but it wasn't until 1865 that the North Sydney Mercies established a presence in Sydney under the leadership of Elizabeth McQuoin, who was called Mother Mary Ignatius. Elizabeth McQuoin was born in London in 1819 and entered the Sisters of Mercy, Liverpool in 1848.

Originally, Elizabeth and her companions were to go to Bathurst, New South Wales, but whilst they were on their voyage to Australia, Bathurst was made a separate diocese and the Bishop already had Sisters to minister there. Elizabeth was invited by Bishop Bede Polding to make a foundation in his diocese of Sydney

In 1865, Church Hill was the part of Sydney where the Sisters eventually settled. They soon began teaching children, and operating a residence for servant girls. Their first 'school' was the crypt under St Patrick's church.

The convent and school were established in Sydney's historic Rocks area with a history reaching back to the very beginnings of Catholic life in Australia. A parish hall and girls' school were opened in 1918. The buildings stand on what was the original site of the cottage owned by William Davis. His home had become a centre of Catholic prayer where the Blessed Eucharist was preserved in Australia's first tabernacle between 1818-1820. The Sisters regarded themselves privileged to have lived there.

Today the Sisters, although fewer in number, continue to spread the charism of Catherine McAuley by ministering in various fields - some in the ministry of prayer and others in executive positions, areas of leadership, administration, consultation and supervision, education, formation and retreat work, social welfare, pastoral care, health and aged care, liturgy and other church related services, information technology, areas of social justice, as volunteers and on various Committees and Boards. They are ably assisted by their Mercy co-workers.

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