Oh, Mercy

Maureen Rak and Helene O’Neill initiated the Mercy Works program for Year 4 students in the Central region Mercy schools six years ago.

Sally Stanbridge was Assistant Principal at St Therese’s Primary School, New Lambton at that time and following her promotion to Principal at Rosary Park Catholic School, Branxton, she contacted Maureen and Helene with a view to duplicating the program in Mercy schools in the All Saints Cluster.

A meeting of principals and/or RECs from St Paul’s Primary School, Rutherford, Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, Tarro, St Aloysius Catholic Primary School, Chisholm, Rosary Park Catholic School, Branxton and St Catherine’s Catholic College, Singleton agreed the concept would further the Mercy charism in their schools and believed Year 4 students would benefit as a follow-on from the sacramental program.

St Aloysius Principal Grant Diggins also sang the praises of the program as a former Principal in the Central region. He put his hand up to host the schools on the November 11 anniversary of Venerable Catherine McAuley.

About 300 Year 4 students from the schools gathered for a liturgy followed by tabloid activities expertly delivered by St Aloysius Year 6 students. Accompanying teachers enjoyed the hospitality of St Aloysius.

Mercy Works Chief Executive Kingsley Edwards drove up from Sydney to personally thank the students for their dedication to the program and for their fundraising efforts. Mercy Sisters Pat and Faith also joined in on the occasion.

The feedback from the schools told of the great day the students had, as well as what they learnt about fundraising for those less fortunate.

Hopefully the All Saints Cluster Day will now be a regular feature on the calendar as is the Central region day.

Hands up who wants to host the day in 2020?

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Helene O'Neill Image
Helene O'Neill

Helene O'Neill is the Parish-Family Liaison Officer for the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.