Spring and Pilgrimages
With spring just around the corner it’s time for annual pilgrimages to begin. At the Mercy Heritage Centre Perth we have already welcomed two schools to the convent steps to visit our sculpture of Ursula Frayne and to chat about what life was really like in colonial Perth.
Holy Cross College Year Fives from Ellenbrook with Mr Harry Muller Coordinator of Ministry were our first group through on Friday 24th and what an enthusiastic and engaged group they were! It was clear that they had been listening and doing their research on the Sisters of Mercy and especially Ursula Frayne. I was earnestly asked by one boy “What was Ursula Frayne like?” Students engaged with the photographic PowerPoint in the Community room showing images from our collection of “the old days”. They enjoyed objects like the pedal sewing machine, a great favourite with the boys, and the wash basin and jug was a total mystery with no one knowing what it was!
Student Joshua was a good sport and modelled a belt once worn by a Sister of Mercy; as well as becoming an instant star for photo opportunities this handling of the belt and rosary beads opened up conversations with the children. Holy Cross Catholic College Mission is to “Empower our students to have Life to the Full”. (John 10:10) We saw this in full evidence during their visit with us.
On Monday August 27th we were again visited by another group of students, this time Year Fives from Ursula Frayne Catholic College, with head of Junior School Mr Andy Dalton and Theresa Davis,
Campus Minister. They had a very particular mission. Each student had written a response to a letter they had read out at school from Mother Ursula part of which is reproduced below;
“Sometimes you have to be silent and just listen more. Jesus did that even when he was accused of being wrong. One of my life mottos was “Jesus was silent” which is a good example for all of us when perhaps we are being misunderstood but have to wait for the understanding of others.
If you really want to build a community of love in your college that is named after me make sure you are a person who is willing to forgive your friends, your teachers and your family. Forgiving is the beginning of healing and new beginnings for all of us.
Please write back to me soon, or drop by to see me on the convent veranda.”
Each letter to Mother Ursula was read out and “posted” in the letter box brought from the college. The mission of the college is to empower all students in the pursuit of excellence in their lifelong learning journey. It was evident in this activity that each child was given the opportunity to engage in the letter writing and to share their particular spirit and individuality.
A visit to the Community Room then followed with the reproduction habits a particular favourite, with both girls and boys, Julia and Liam, modelling them and comparing them with the habit worn by Mother Ursula. This time was over too soon for all involved and we look forward to more students visiting Mother Ursula on the convent verandah.
Messages to: Annie Medley, Mercy Heritage Centre