Archived News Item

Sisters Acknowledged in Celebration at McAuley Catholic College Grafton

Jennifer Hartley RSM and David Ogg


Jennifer Hartley RSM, joined in a celebration at McAuley Catholic College, Grafton. The day known as ‘McAuley Day’ is the annual feast day where the college acknowledges our history and celebrates who we are.


The many games and events are a celebration of the Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, Venerable Catherine McAuley. Sister Jennifer  joined us for the liturgy and traditional morning tea afterwards. We thanked her for the continued support and involvement in the mission of the College. It was great to see the whole College community come together to celebrate our heritage, whilst also building the future. This was accomplished through lots of student activities and fundraising, which included; Zorb Ball Soccer, Colour Run, face painting and many more. All funds from the day were donated to Mercy Works.



As part of our McAuley Day celebration, Mr David Ogg created a beautiful painting which he presented to the College. As David describes it, “the painting is incomplete because God has not finished with us yet”. Inspired by his connection with McAuley Catholic College and his time working at our College, David wanted to create a painting that was rich in scriptural themes and rich in our College narrative.


David explained the significance of the work by drawing our attention to various aspects within the painting. In the middle of the painting is the Cross, the centrality of our belief and faith. The chalice has a cup inside the bowl which represents the hospitality shown by Catherine McAuley and by the Sisters of Mercy to extend a ‘comfortable cup of tea’ to all. The Sisters of Mercy have 3 curved crosses as their motif. In this case there are two at the top of the painting, overlapping but side by side. The third cross is the one we carry for Christ.


The dove represents the Holy Spirit. The blue waters are symbolic from scripture, “out of him will flow streams of living water” (John 7:38) but also represents our local Clarence river. The level of the water on the left is lower than that on the right which represents our walk of faith, as at times our faith can be low and at other times in our lives quite high just as the tidal waters move in and out. The birds reflect the fowls of the air, some steal the good seeds of the sower that are planted by people of faith within our College, the staff, the priests, the Sisters.


Jennifer Hartley RSM with painting


The painting is created in four quarters, the four colours of the tabernacle that represent the four colours of the Gospels. The top right hand section of the painting represents the Gospel of Mark, it has more white to symbolise the Son of Man. The top left section has more blue to represent John’s Gospel, referring to Christ as the Son of God. The bottom left section has more purple to indicate the Gospel of Matthew, who always refers to Jesus as the King and the bottom right hand side has scarlet, representing Luke’s Gospel as he refers to Christ as Saviour.


In the painting there are two hands. The one on the left is the one of Christ as seen on the cross, as he now sits on the right hand of God. A hand of service, praise and surrender. The hand on the right is our hand, a little confused yet willing to help others even when we make mistakes but with good intentions. Christ’s hand is able to make good our intentions even when we get it wrong.

Throughout the day students and staff were invited to paint their fingerprint on the artwork. This represented the unique characteristics of each person in the community of McAuley Catholic College,  as well as our connection with Jesus Christ who is at the centre of all we do.


We are extremely grateful for the time and effort that David has placed into this beautiful artwork and we will proudly hang this in our foyer. Thank you Mr Ogg for continuing to contribute to the life and mission of our College.


McAuley Day was celebrated once again and we are very proud to have a long tradition with the Sisters of Mercy and continue to share their story with our College community.


Messages to: Kathryn Warby, Catholic Schools Office Diocese of Lismore