Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Congregation

Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Congregation
We the Sisters of Mercy of the Parramatta Congregation acknowledge gratefully that we are co-creators with the Divine, in an evolving ‘sacrament of communion’ which includes everything that exists. (Laudato Si' #9)

About Us

Chapter Statement

The first group of Sisters of Mercy to come to Australia arrived in Perth in 1846.

From then on, there was a succession of foundations of the Sisters of Mercy in Australia; Parramatta in 1888 was among the last. Parramatta was founded from Callan in Kilkenny, Ireland.

The foundation from Callan to Parramatta was a direct result of the close relationship between Cardinal Moran and the Sisters for Mercy in Callan. Cardinal Moran had a strong sense of mission and this spirit was shared by the Sisters at Callan. Mother Clare Dunphy was the leader of a group of nine sisters who responded to the Cardinal’s invitation.

Over the next 20 years, the Sisters established a further 11 schools from Woolloomooloo to North Parramatta, in addition to opening St Michael's boy's orphanage in Baulkham Hills and St Brigid's girl's orphanage in Ryde. This extraordinary response to need was replicated in each of the decades that followed with a further 33 schools opened and/or extended between 1908 and 1988.

The Sisters' ministry efforts were not limited to primary and secondary education. The Visitation of the sick, commenced on the first day after the Sisters arrived, continues to the present day and now incorporates residential aged care, nursing, physiotherapy, counselling, and pastoral care roles in various health and aged care facilities.

As ministry horizons of the Congregation began to change with increased lay teaching and leadership positions within the Catholic school system, there was greater freedom for Sisters to choose a ministry that suited their skills and gifts.

The Sisters became engaged in different roles in educational facilities and parishes; spirituality and retreat centres; adult education and faith formation ministries; advocacy and social justice groups and agencies; and in neighbouring developing countries such as Papua New Guinea.

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