September 25, 2016

Mercy Day Celebrations at Mercy Schools

Editor: Three Mercy schools: Damascus College Ballarat, Sacred Heart College Kyneton, both in Victoria and Mercedes College in South Australia, share with us how they each celebrated Mercy Day in 2016.

Damascus College Celebrates Mercy

On Tuesday, 30 August, Damascus College celebrated Catherine McAuley Day. The students re-enacted a scene from Baggot Street, Dublin involving numerous students acting as Sisters of Mercy, including as Catherine McAuley herself.

Carrying in the Aboriginal Message Stick
Carrying in the Book of the Gospels

The values of Justice, Wisdom, Strength, Faith and Compassion and a prayer were presented to the College. There were many musical performances where students played an instrument or sang a song in celebration of McAuley Day.

On Wednesday, 14 September, all Damascus students and staff celebrated Damascus Day and the Year of Mercy. Celebrations begun with a whole of school Mass, where mercy and being merciful was at the centre of the homily. The Damascus school choir led us beautifully in celebration through song and prayer. Mass was followed by a Festival of activities where the campus was buzzing with positive energy and excitement. Students took part in an Amazing Race Challenge where they had to visit all the activities, including: jumping castle, movie mural, rowing challenge, dance off, inflatable twister and much much more. Students and staff then enjoyed a Performance Showcase of the many musical talents of Damascus students, where students played instruments, sung songs and danced in celebration of Damascus and the Year of Mercy.

Messages to: Sarah Boswell - Leader of School Development


Mercy Day Celebrations – Sacred Heart College Kyneton

Craig Holmes, Principal, with senior students in front of the Sacred Heart Kyneton Baggot Street Doors!

Celebrating Mercy Day is a wonderful way to finish off the term. We began with a whole school assembly whereby we celebrated all the wonderful works and outreach programs that our students and school community are involved in. Students reported on the Seeds of Justice conferences and the work done with the Sacred Earth group. We presented a gift of appreciation to two senior students for their work in Camp Campaspe; a holiday program which is growing each year. We were blessed with a presentation by Sr Therese Power rsm as she spoke of the Corporal Works of Mercy. It was a treat to have one of the Sisters of Mercy spend some time with us and have a comfortable cup of tea.

Like best laid plans we intended to have a cross country run and a colour run, but as the heavens have been open for the last couple of weeks, the creeks and rivers are flooded in Kyneton and this part of our celebration has been postponed for a sunny day.

However, we still managed to enjoy the Mission Mart and the various activities that each year level organised. Our Mercy Day was heaps of fun as well as raising money for McAuley Women’s Services. Next year we will pray for sun.

Messages to: Annie O’Shannessy - Director of Catholic Identity


Mercedes College South Australia: Everybody Needs a Little Bit of Mercy

In this Jubilee Year of Mercy Year 10 students at Mercedes College, Springfield, SA, are advocating for those in need. In Term 3 the Year 10 students usually work on a unit called ‘Challenging the Status Quo’. It is an excellent topic that allows the students to re-think and reflect upon the messages our society and media give us against the backdrop of the Gospel message and how God calls us to live. It is challenging for both students and teachers. The topic usually culminates in the students writing an essay looking at specific questions based on the content taught.

This year the unit has been re-worked to allow the students to take action during Mercy Week at Mercedes College. The essay has been changed to a stall or activity that needs to be planned and set up during Mercy Week on the College grounds at lunchtime. The purpose of the stalls/activities is to advocate for ‘Catholic Charities’ sharing information and statistics about those in need ‘in our own backyard’.

L-r: Ruby & Sofia holding the book
‘Beautiful Mercy’
and both wearing the
Catholic Charities Campaign badges – me4u

Catholic Charities has launched a me4u website that highlights and celebrates the fundraising work done in schools to help those in need 'in our own backyard.' The main focus of the campaign is to reinforce Saint Mary MacKillop's message - ‘Never see a need without doing something about it.’
The Year 10 students and the website aim to show how everyone can make a difference even if it seems small.

Giving and receiving mercy is central to living a life of passion and purpose. At Mercedes College we have made an important decision to utilise a resource to help us infuse Mercy into our curriculum. The resource is a book called Beautiful Mercy. It is written by bestselling author Matthew Kelly who has enlisted the help of 24 incredible authors who witness to the power of God's mercy, provide simple practical tips on how to be an instrument of that mercy and bring hope to anyone searching for deeper meaning in their life. This book was used in our Year 10 Religious Education curriculum and has proven to be an outstanding resource. 

Beautiful Mercy is an invitation to rediscover God's unconditional love so that we can share it with others
This book is an excellent resource and I highly recommend it. We have copies available to purchase. If you are interested please feel free to contact me a

Messages to: Fernando Farrugia - Middle Years Religious Education Coordinator

Thumbnail Image: Sacred Heart College Kyneton

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