Honouring our Heritage

Mercy Day

What is Mercy Day?

Honouring our heritage and legacy is a major component of the St Aloysius College Mercy Day celebrations of our College being founded by the Sisters of Mercy and its foundress Catherine McAuley.

Mercy Day is official commemorated on the 24th of September, which is the anniversary of the opening of the first ‘House of Mercy’ in Dublin Ireland in 1827 by Catherine McAuley and her two companions, Anna Maria Doyle and Catherine Byrn.

Catherine McAuley devoted her life to the service of the poor and needy in her community and established the Sisters of Mercy to assist in her efforts, expanding their endeavours to various places around Ireland and England, then around the world. It was in 1846 when a group of Sisters of Mercy started in Perth, Western Australia and led by Sr Ursula Frayne. From there, the order of the Sisters of Mercy continued to grow across Australia, establishing schools and hospitals in Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne, including our school, St Aloysius College, North Melbourne in 1887.

It is in the spirit of Mercy, founded by the teaching of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church, that we continue the work of the Sisters in not only educating future generations but also attending to the human needs for evangelisation, education, health care, welfare services and assisting the vulnerable and deprived members of our community.

As Mercy Day usually falls for us during the term holidays in Australia, all Mercy schools select a day towards the end of term 3 where members of their school community come together in celebration.

The Sisters of Mercy were not only social reformers but principally women of Gospel faith, believing that we are all in the image of God, who is the source of human dignity. They were aware that no-one is unworthy of God’s love, which was self-evident in Jesus. That no individual need be rejected from nurturing open doors.

In our Mercy and Catholic school tradition over 135 years, we continue to commemorate the day, celebrating a Liturgical Mass together and highlighting the charism Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy handed down to us.

As part of the Mercy Day celebrations this year, students will participate in a formal School Assembly and Mass celebrated by Fr Thang Vu. Student will also participate in House activities that focus on “bringing light” towards our local and extended Mercy community by creating awareness and supporting McAuley Community Services For Women (McAuley House), Mercy Works - Indigenous Communities (Fallon House), Catholic Mission – and local parishes (Scully House), and Catholic EarthCare Australia (Verdon House). In addition to this, students will have an opportunity to purchase food and beverages and be involved in other activities to raise funds for the various charities/organisations.

We are looking forward to celebrating Mercy Day with the College Community and thank all members of our wider community, including parents, alumni and organisations in advance for their support.

Michael Chesser
Director of Catholic Mission & Mercy Ethos