Archived News Item

A Busy Year Planned at the Mercy Hub

The windows at the Mercy Hub displaying information about ‘Cookhouses N Tanks A Lot’


After pivoting to a busy online schedule last year due to COVID-19, the Mercy Hub has reopened on Nicholson Street, Carlton North. It means they will be able to offer an enhanced program of events and increased focus on providing support and outreach to vulnerable communities in Melbourne’s inner-city.


Mercy Hub Coordinator, Margaret Moore RSM said the provision of outreach is an important part of the Hub’s activities.


“The many vulnerable communities in the local area, particularly those in the nearby public housing towers, have suffered during this pandemic more than most. The supports and gatherings that are usually available to them have had to be done differently or in some cases not at all.


“It has meant that people who already experience an increased level of social isolation have had this social remoteness compounded,” she said.


One of the sisters who undertakes her ministry from the Hub, Sr Rosemary Patterson RSM has begun to re-engage with some of the migrant families in the area. Rosemary visits the area and has come to know a number of the African families whose children attend the local school nearby.


“With a group of volunteers, Rosemary has collected children’s books and is offering opportunities for the parents to gather at the Hub where they can learn to read the children’s books.


“It is therefore a win-win for both the parents and the children and over a cuppa and chat are breaking down some of the isolation and so are one step closer to being able to be more active in the wider community,” said Sr Margaret.



Another important activity based at the Hub is the ‘Cookhouses n Tanks a Lot’ project, facilitated by Sr Margaret Ryan RSM.


With the return to the Hub earlier this year, the windows have been adorned with a vibrant display showcasing the work of the Cookhouses N Tanks a Lot Team, providing a great opportunity to educate the local community who regularly walk past the Hub.


“The Cookhouse project provides a wonderful connection between the people of Papua New Guinea and the local area.


“In harnessing support for the project, which partners with people in Papua New Guinea to provide clean drinking water and communal cookhouses, Sr Margaret Ryan literally knocked on the doors of local businesses.


“An example of the support received from local businesses is Angelucci Architects, who have been integral to the success of the project through their provision of pro-bono support,” she said.


The Sibling Café, a not-for-profit café which seeks to combat social exclusion, is a wonderful neighbour to the Hub.


The Mercy Hub is also ‘home’ to Mercy Eco-Communications, led by Sr Adele Howard RSM.


Mercy Eco-Communications provides resources and opportunities to share in the good news of the Gospel by responding to the challenging words of Pope Francis in Laudato Si’.


In addition to its focus on mission and outreach, the Mercy Hub continues to be a place of spirituality and gathering.


Each Wednesday for the past two years, the Hub has been running the Comfortable Cuppa both physically and online.


This year the first Comfortable Cuppa Prayer gathering will be online on Wednesday February 24 at 10.30am AEDT.


Following that, Sisters from various communities of the Institute are facilitating the prayer each Wednesday morning throughout Lent.


In Holy Week (Wednesday) Sr Liz Dowling RSM has kindly agreed to prepare a special prayer/scriptural input and reflection to lead into Holy Thursday and Good Friday as we approach Easter.


In addition to the Comfortable Cuppa, the Hub has events planned to mark significant upcoming days such as International Women’s Day which is on Monday March 8,


On Thursday March 11 at 4.30pm AEDT, they are inviting all interested to join them for afternoon tea to celebrate International Women’s Day and Sacred People Sacred Earth Day.


Two fantastic speakers are lined up for the event:


Sr Angela Reed RSM – Mercy Global Action, New York. Angela will share some of the stories from the Mercy Global Action Emerging Leaders Program.


Ayya Yeshe, a Buddist nun and the founder of the Bodhicitta Foundation. Ayya will speak on eco-spirituality, climate change and compassion.


The current COVID restrictions means the Hub can accommodate up to 30 people for events.


A flyer for this event with booking details will be circulated soon.


Other activities planned include a return of the popular Poetry Days with Sr Ursula Gilbert RSM and Young Mercy Links will be having their Orientation Days on March 6 and 7.


The activities described here, merely touch the surface of what is either being planned or currently happening at the Hub in 2021.


“The Hub can best be described as a wheel, which has many spokes. The Hub is the centre of the wheel, with the spokes being the many activities. Like on a wheel, the Hub is where the spokes all meet in the middle.


Like a wheel it cannot turn without a hub, many of our activities would not happen without the Hub and the connection between the two,” Sr Margaret said.


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