“A religious charism is simply a gift given for the upbuilding of the kingdom.” (Joan Chittister)
When Bishop Bill Wright officially unveiled a foundation stone and plaque to reveal the new school name on Friday 28 October 2016, the Year of Mercy, he stated: “We are building on the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy in their educational work in the area when we bestow on this newest Catholic College in our Diocese, the name of Catherine McAuley Catholic College.”
Ray Collins, director at the time, acknowledged “the great contributions the Sisters of Mercy have made in our Diocese” and continued to say: “It is a wonderful tribute to the Sisters of Mercy and recognising the important role that women have played in the Catholic Church … it is a very significant step that one of our newest schools is named after one of the pioneering women in education, not only in Australia but across the world.”
The Sisters of Mercy was founded in post-penal Dublin, Ireland, in 1831 by an heiress Catherine McAuley. Catherine was a woman of bold vision and courage, immense practicality, heartfelt compassion, humour and exceptional hospitality and a person of deep faith.
“Together with the women who eventually joined her … she sheltered homeless women, taught them employable skills, opened a school for the daughters of the very poor, and visited the sick and dying in the slums.” (Mary Sullivan, The Path of Mercy). Since then, there have been more than 55,000 Sisters of Mercy serve the poor and needy throughout the world.