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Mercy’s farewelled from Toowong

BCE Executive Director Pam Betts, Principal Roycelyn Wilden, Mercy Sr Sister
Anna Ventura and BCE Area Supervisor Peter Stower at the farewell to the
Sisters of Mercy from Toowong

MORE than 114 years of service to Catholic education was commemorated when St Ignatius School community farewelled the Sisters of Mercy from Toowong.

Guests including BCE Executive Director Pam Betts, Fathers Stan Lim and Gaetan Pereira, students, staff, parents, parishioners and friends attended the special liturgy to the sisters in St Ignatius Church followed by a morning tea.

The Sisters of Mercy purchased “Goldicott” for their convent on July 22, 1902 and the foundation block for the new school was blessed in November by Archbishop Robert Dunne.

On January 19, 1903 Archbishop James Duhig came to the parish to bless and officially open the Convent School & Sisters of Mercy Convent

Guest of honour for the celebrations was Mercy Sr Anna Ventura, who was the last sister living at Goldicott, and representatives from the Mercy Sisters.

As part of the celebration, each family received a cross to stick to a mirror or a window in their home as a gift to celebrate the ongoing good work of the Sisters of Mercy. 

Principal Roycelyn Wilden said the visible symbol of the cross would remind them of the power of the cross that was the door to Heaven. 

“The cross reminds us of the power of life over death, joy over despair and love over evil,” she said.

“We too, like Catherine McAuley (founder of the Sisters of Mercy) are called to be witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to all who live on the face of the earth.”

Mrs Wilden said the celebration was an opportunity for the school community to honour to give thanks and praise for the presence of the Sisters in the school community for more than 114 years. 

“When Archbishop Dunne was laying the foundation stone for Toowong Catholic School, now known as St Ignatius School, he exhorted the people to cherish the school as their own, ‘cuddle it to your hearts, make it the apple of your eye’. 

“Archbishop Dunne said at the time: ‘There is nothing in the world that will reward you so well’.

“Those rewards are most apparent in the children sitting in the church today and the 1000’s of students who had gone before them. 

“They have certainly been graced by the Circle of Mercy and we are indebted to the many Sisters of Mercy who through their remarkable service and

education have touched the hearts of many generations of students.

“They have lifted us in hope, given us roots in a strong faith, reminded us of the joy in living and even when not physically present, their spirit accompanies us on the journey.”

She said throughout their time at St Ignatius School, the sisters had truly aligned with the prayer of St Ignatius – to serve, to fight for what is right, to be generous, and to do all of this without seeking reward. 

Brisbane Catholic Education Office

243 Gladstone Road, Dutton Park Q 4102

GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia

Phone: (07) 3033 7000

Fax: (07) 3844 5101