Historic Change to Governance of OLMC Parramatta
Canonical Sponsorship Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta from the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta to Mercy Partners
At a special ceremony on Sunday 13 March, 2022, the process of transferring the Canonical Sponsorship Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta from the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta to Mercy Partners was completed. Attended by Sisters of Mercy, current College Board members, staff and students, and members of the Mercy Partners Stewards, Council and Executive, the ceremony followed six months after the official signing of documents on 18 October, 2021.
Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Partners Stewards, Council and Executive, Principal Lucy Farrugia and Staff representatives at the Transfer of Governance ceremony
The event marked a very important milestone in the College’s long, rich history. Since establishing the College in 1889, the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta have provided oversight and guidance as Canonical Sponsors. OLMC Board Chair, Kerrie Walshaw said the College was founded by brave sisters who travelled from Callan in Ireland; “Since that time, for 133 years, OLMC has been on its own journey. Now in, 2022, we are reaching another major milestone with the canonical sponsorship of OLMC transferring from our beloved Sisters to Mercy Partners.”
In her reflection, Sister Mary-Louise Petro rsm, Congregation Leader of the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta, said that there were many emotions experienced on the day of the Transfer ceremony: “There was a sense of anticipation for a vibrant new life for the future of Our Lady of Mercy College and pride that after 133 years of Mercy education we had a College ready and able to fly in new and unknown ways. There were tinges of sadness as the mothering Congregation was taking a step back from such a precious and long-standing ministry.”
For Sister Mary-Louise, some of the most memorable and touching moments of the day were the cleansing ceremony conducted by Darug women, Shanaya Donavan and Aunty Julie Webb: “their beautiful movements re-instated the Darug heritage and paved the way for this new journey of OLMC. To sit with Catherine McAuley, sense her presence, hear our Mercy story and feel the thread of Catherine’s dream woven with ours over the years was a powerful reminder of the strength of charism. A very poignant moment came with the reflection by student, Katherine Baker, who brought tears to many eyes with her deep appreciation of her Mercy education, her commitment to the Mercy values and assurance that the Sisters would not be forgotten..."