Archived News Item

Celebrating 175, 160 and 110 years of Mercy

When the Librarian at the Catholic Education Centre, Vicki, heard that the Sisters of Mercy were celebrating 175 years of foundation in Ireland,  160  years of foundation in Australia and  110  years of foundation in West Perth, she invited the Sisters to provide her with materials to “showcase” the Mercies in the Library.  The Library offers this to a Religious Order 2-3 times a year.                        

The Library Staff also played host to the Sisters and ex students who worked in the building, to a scrumptious morning tea at the official opening.  Laughter and memories filled the room as “forgotten” experiences surfaced through cuttings from papers, photos on a slideshow, and banners from previous events.

Talents of the Sisters were also on display.  Oil paintings by Flo O’Sullivan, pottery by Joan Lynch,  poetry and reflections from Marcella Blake, art from Pauline Masters,  framed stitching by Maryrose Dolan, Music composed by Maureen Mohen, a display book of sacred space settings and power point presentations of Joan Smith to mention a few.

A section on Catherine McAuley and Ursula Frayne offered visitors the opportunity to see a pictorial overview of these two great women.  20 Panels set out chronologically, titled “The  Perth Story”  named significant events of the 160 years.  There were pictures of present and past ministries and of Sisters “recreating”.

There was a great array of photo memorabilia from West Perth – the pottery version of Conroy’s Cottage was of particular interest,  as well as the story of  Conroy’s association with Mother Berchmans Deane and the Sisters before he was hung.

A story well worth reading!

During the morning tea a member of the Catholic Education Centre Executive, Michael King,  shared the story of his experience of discovering an illuminated prayer,   “Beatitudes of the Aged” in his 94 year old mother’s belongings when she died just before Christmas.  Although quite tattered, he recognised her artistic talent in the script and illumination.  Michael had reproductions made by a local artist and presented a beautifully framed copy to Joan Kelleher on behalf of his family in recognition of the service the Sisters have given in the Aged Care Ministry. 

It was planned that this display would be available at the Catholic Library for 2 ½ weeks.  However so many people are already calling to take time to “catch up on the Mercy Story”  Vicki has asked if we will leave the materials for a longer period.  Even after the display preparation had concluded,  an ex-student called back with some photos she had at home of a section of the school that had been demolished at the Square…..