Archived News Item

Celebrating St Patrick’s Day at Tighes Hill

L to R seated – Therese Lawler rsm, Pat McGinty rsm, Mary Guy rsm, Val O’Hara rsm, Pat Adams rsm, Therese Wilkinson. L to R standing – Mark Noonan, Petra Hennessey, Eileen Tobin rsm, Patricia Whitten rsm, David Payne, Kath Williams rsm, Michelle Thompson, Tony Bidstrup (Mercy Services), Tina Grant, Mary O’Hearn rsm, Janys Bortolotto, Helen Baguley rsm, Pauline Murray rsm, and Pauline Burg rsm


Sisters and Staff working from the Mercy Centre, Tighes Hill, New South Wales came together on Friday, 17 March to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with a reflection centred on the theme of displacement.


The torrential rain and howling wind certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of those gathered for the reflection and morning tea to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Although many noted the wet weather was reminiscent of that of Ireland, the gloomy outlook outside was overshadowed by the good spirits, warmth and conversation that bubbled about the room as those gathered enjoyed each other’s company and sampled specially made St Patrick’s Day delights, most notably a resplendent platter of bright green scones.


The group were warmly welcomed by Community Leader, Mary Geason rsm, who acknowledged the great connections between Ireland and Australia, throughout Australian history, in migration of families, and particularly in the founding of congregations of Sisters of Mercy by courageous women who had left Irish shores to bring their mission of Mercy to this far-off land, so different from their own.


The gathering then included a time of reflection centred on the theme of displacement – firstly acknowledging the displacement of Australia’s First Peoples, and then looking at the resonance in the story of St Patrick and his experiences of displacement with the experiences of the over 65 million displaced people across the world today. The group then took a few moments to pause to stand in solidarity with people displaced and with the International Mercy Community to the sounds of the pealing of Catherine’s Baggot St bell, a bell that had been rung as a means to bring together the community of Mercy from its earliest days.


In addition to the reflection and prayers offered for those displaced the morning tea also offered an opportunity to offer practical support with $1,040 being raised for the work of Caritas  to assist those effected by the conflict in Syria. As the morning drew to a close, the Sisters raised their voice in song with an impromptu version of Hail Glorious St Patrick. The voices of the Sisters united seemed a fitting way to end a time of community and solidarity.


Messages to Natalie Acton


29 March 2017