Mercy Week, culminating on Sunday, 24 September, commemorates the anniversary of the establishment of the first “House of Mercy” in Dublin, Ireland, in 1827. Catherine McAuley, the visionary founder of the Sisters of Mercy, dedicated her life to serving the less fortunate, and her legacy of compassion lives on through the work of MercyCare.
As we mark the 21st year since the Sisters of Mercy entrusted MercyCare to lay leadership, we remain steadfast in honouring their legacy and reimagining new ways to embody the Mercy charism, working towards our vision of ‘People and Communities to Thrive.’ Join us as we journey through a week filled with meaningful events celebrating our heritage and our ever-evolving story.
Celebrating our Heritage
Our Mercy Week festivities started with a soul-stirring morning Mass at Our Lady of Mercy Chapel, nestled beside our Wembley Residential Aged Care facility. The Most Rev Timothy Costelloe SBD, Archbishop of Perth, led the Mass, with the esteemed retired Archbishop Barry Hickey also concelebrating over the Mass.
Children from MercyCare’s Wembley Early Learning Centre presented the Sisters of Mercy with heartwarming gifts. After the Mass, the congregation moved to the Sister Martin Kelly Centre for a delightful morning tea, where stories and laughter flowed like the tea itself.
“Mercy Week is a celebration of Catherine McAuley’s founding of the first ‘House of Mercy’ in Dublin in 1827. She later formed the Sisters of Mercy, who brought their mission to Perth in 1846. Joining MercyCare means becoming part of this ongoing story, upholding the values and mission of our founders.” – Vicky Gonzalez Burrows, Executive Director of Mission and Ethos
To wrap up the wonderful start to the week, our attendees were treated to a Heritage Tour, expertly guided by Nigel Hayward. The tour took us through the historic Wembley site, visiting key landmarks such as the Cemetery, Stables, Sister Martin Kelly Centre, Olive Trees, and St Vincent’s Foundling Home. Each location shared a unique story, a testament to the enduring commitment of MercyCare to care for our community throughout history.
For a deeper dive into our rich history, visit Our History page.
Celebrating our Values
During the morning tea, amidst delicious scones with jam and cream, guests were treated to an exclusive first look at MercyCare’s Values Artwork. This artwork, which officially debuted at our Staff and Volunteer Day, emphasises the profound connection between living Mercy and embodying our core values in all that we do.
Core values are the compass that guides an organisation’s beliefs and principles, shaping its culture and reflecting its most cherished ideals. At MercyCare, our dedicated staff, including front-line, executive, and Aboriginal representatives, collaborated with local Noongar artist Peter Farmer. Together, they delved deep into the essence of MercyCare’s six core values, commissioning a stunning artwork series that captures the spirit of our mission.
For a closer look at our values and the artwork, visit Our Values page.
Celebrating our Community
The grand finale of Mercy Week was our Staff & Volunteer Day, a gathering of over 400 dedicated individuals. We celebrated the immense value of collaboration and the transformative power of our collective efforts. Staff had the unique opportunity to gain insight into the diverse work carried out across the organisation, fostering connections and shared knowledge.
Our inspiring keynote speakers, Brooke Blurton and Dr. Chadden Hunter, enriched the day. We also took a moment to recognise and applaud the achievements of our colleagues who earned Excellence Awards for their outstanding contributions.
Anthony Smith, Chief Executive Officer, aptly summed up the significance of the day, saying, “The day created a fantastic space for our staff and volunteers that showcased who we are as an organisation and provided an important connection opportunity for everyone from right across our organisation.”
In conclusion, Mercy Week is a precious time for MercyCare to celebrate our dedicated staff, volunteers, and mission while staying true to our core values of Courage, Integrity, Respect, Justice, Compassion, and Excellence. This is the space where we grow, transform, and lay strong foundations, enabling us to continue penning the next inspiring chapter of the MercyCare story.