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.
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.
On Friday 22 April, the sod was turned for McAuley College, Beaudesert, the newest Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Brisbane. Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane blessed the new site assisted by Father Michael McKeaton, Parish Priest of St Mary’s Parish. Foundation Principal of McAuley College is Mrs Deidre Young, formerly Principal of St Marys College, Ipswich. Pam Betts, Executive Director of Brisbane Catholic Education acknowledged the presence of the Sisters of Mercy saying “Just a few years ago All Hallows' and then St Mary’s College Ipswich celebrated 150 years and today our newest secondary college carries the name of their founder.“
Last Thursday, a small group of All Hallows’ students and staff members attended the Schools Vigil outside the Lady Cilento Hospital in support of the action taken to advocate for baby Asha not to be sent back to Nauru. Many Religious Institute schools sent representatives which was chaired by students from Brigidine College and supported by the students themselves speaking about why they were there. The students joined hundreds of people who in some way participated in an eight day round the clock vigil advocating for better treatment for people who are refugees or who are seeking asylum in Australia. The very simple message conveyed, beyond advocating for baby Asha and her family, was that the detention centres on Nauru and Manus are not safe, and are not a humane response to a situation facing countries around the world, and should be shut down. There has to be a better way to stop an already traumatised people experiencing further physical and mental suffering.
Students, staff and families of St Mary’s College, Ipswich gathered in St Marys Church Ipswich on Friday 5 February to celebrate Eucharist and pray together for a blessing on this year ahead, to commission the Student Leaders and each Year 12 student to her leadership role within the community during 2016. Celebrant was college Chaplain, Fr. Chukwudi Chinaka. In this Jubilee Year of Mercy the College has taken as its Theme “Blessed are the merciful; for they shall receive mercy.” Below is the address given by Principal, Judith Finan.