Good Cup of Tea Day

‘Will you tell the Sisters to get a good cup of tea ...when I am gone and to comfort one another.’

Letter of Mary Vincent Whitty to Cecilia Marmion in Sullivan, ‘Catherine McAuley and the Tradition of Mercy’ , p. 243

As we gathered for the International Good Cup of Tea Day, we were aware that we were sharing this experience with Sisters and Mercy friends all across the world. We chose to make this event one of our celebration points of the 125th anniversary of the arrival of the Sisters of Mercy in Parramatta.

We gathered in the Catherine McAuley Rooms for afternoon tea, which became a beautiful, bountiful High Tea prepared by the young women of the OLMC Parramatta Year 11 Hospitality Group under the guidance of their teacher, Marcia James.

Board members, staff and friends from Mercy-founded schools, ex-students of these schools, friends of the Sisters and a great number of the Parramatta Sisters as well as Mercy Sister friends from ISMAPNG were greeted on arrival with beautiful music from the Chamber Ensemble of OLMC, under the leadership of Paul Witney.

During the High Tea, Sr Catherine Ryan spoke to us about the arrival of the early Sisters and their links with the House of Mercy in Dublin, where Catherine had recently spent some time. Catherine also spoke of the ancient story of Mercy. Later in the afternoon, Sr Ailsa Mackinnon spoke about the various aspects of Mercy Works – Mercy in Action.

All present were invited to take part in the raffles and games that helped to raise funds for Mercy International Association and Mercy Works. Prizes were awarded to the winners of the raffle as well as to lucky door winners. There was a palpable spirit of joy all day at Parramatta as we remembered the start of the journey of Mercy in Parramatta and reflected on Mercy as it is being lived today.