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Wednesday, 20 March 2013 22:26

Students are part of an ongoing Mercy story: Sister

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More than 120 Year 7 students from Ursula Frayne Catholic College visited Perth’s Mercy Heritage Centre last week.

The students were led through a variety of activities and given a tour of the historic convent building by Sister Joan Smith rsm.

Sr Joan said it was a delight to have the students visit during the week.

“Ursula Frayne Catholic College is a very important part of the Mercy story,” she said.

“It’s good for the young people to see the history here.”

The school’s campus ministry coordinator, Veronica Parker, said by visiting the Mercy Heritage Centre, students learnt to appreciate the heritage of which they are a part.

“It’s our way of inducting them into the charism of Mercy that richly permeates our college community,” she said.

“They are entrusted with the Mercy story and it becomes their responsibility to continue the legacy of Mercy, both in their years at school and into their lives in the future.

“It’s a way of them coming to know and love God through the values of justice, respect, hospitality, compassion and respect which are imbued in the Mercy charism.”

The Sisters of Mercy have been hosting similar school excursions for the past three years. In that time, they have hosted students from numerous year levels from schools around the state, as well as many other visitors.

“Often, just the staff come beforehand for a staff day, and we have had parents here from the schools as well,” Sr Joan said.

The Mercy Heritage Centre’s stated aim is to “encourage within the community an appreciation of the Mercy story by acquiring, preserving, researching and maintaining collections of the Sisters of Mercy”.

“We really want to open the stories to the community,” Sr Joan said.

“You can’t really know your future or our present if you don’t know your history.”

The Sisters of Mercy arrived in Western Australia in 1846, and the Heritage Centre was the first purpose-built convent erected in Perth in 1871.

The Mercy Heritage Centre is open to the public on Tuesdays, and provides tours for schools by appointment.

This story by Matthew Biddle was first published in The Record.