Judith Weir

On Monday we held the Opening School Mass, which included the Investiture of the Year 12 Student Leaders and the official blessing and opening of our new facilities. The students of OLMC are to be congratulated for the manner in which they represented the College and participated in the Mass. It was a privilege and honour to welcome our official guests:

  • Sr Eveline Crotty - Institute Leader - Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea - (ISMAPNG)
  • Professor Gabrielle McMullen - Trustee Director - Mercy Ministry Companions (MMC)
  • Sr Eileen Ann Daffy - Past principal and Member of the College Advisory Council
  • Professor Anne Hunt - Director - Mercy Education Limited (MEL)
  • Mr Christopher Houlihan - Chief Executive - (MEL)
  • Mr Chris Bence - Head of School Engagement - (MEL)
  • Dr Chris Conroy - Chair of the College Advisory Council
  • Ms Marwin Austerberry - Regional General Manager - Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) Eastern Region
  • Ms Vicki Myers- Regional Leadership Consultant - MACS Eastern Region Colleague Principals
  • Mr Simon Le Nepveu and Ms Jennifer Rodezno - Clarke Hopkins Clarke Architects
  • Ms Julie Ryan - Past Principal
  • Past staff of MEL and OLMC

The blessing was an opportunity to celebrate our new facilities and to acknowledge why we chose to name the buildings as we did. The Frayne Design Art and Technology Centre was named in honour of Sr Ursula Frayne who first arrived in Perth and established Mercedes College and later travelled to Melbourne to establish the Academy of Mary Immaculate in Fitzroy. We know that Ursula Frayne was passionate about education, and that the early convent schools that she and the sisters founded for young women in Melbourne featured ‘courses of instruction in English education, the French language, drawing, use of the globes, and plain and ornamental needlework’, as well as extras such as ‘pianoforte, harp, singing, painting, German, Italian and dancing’ (Walsh, 1996).

The Frayne Design Art Technology Building provides a unique view to the Mercy Cross that sits atop the Mercy Hospital. It seems fitting to pay homage to Ursula Frayne in our space as Mercy sits at the top and bottom of the hill in Heidelberg.

Our Lady of Mercy College has a long tradition of connection to Mary and a devotion to her. In 1954 the College motto changed from Labor Omnia Vincit to Duce Maria (with Mary as our leader). For OLMC, this motto reminds us of the ideal of womanhood – to be proud, humble and courageous, and to live as Mary did, in the love of God, committed to a love that serves all of God’s people and creation.

We therefore believe it fitting to name the indoor seating space adjacent to the canteen the Marian Centre as it provides a space for students to come together and share with each other as they eat, study and recreate to form and build community in our tradition.

On Thursday last week we celebrated the Year 7 Welcome Mass with students and their families. Each Year 7 student was presented with a candle and a bookmark. Catherine McAuley called upon her sisters to ‘be shining lamps for all around’. We hope that this candle symbolises the sharing of our light, as Catherine McAuley asked of the sisters.

Ash Wednesday liturgies were led so ably by students this week. Lent is a time of invitation and hope as we await the Resurrection of Jesus. It is also a time when we are called to go beyond ourselves and to think of others. This year we especially include all those who live with war or devastation from natural disasters and keep them in our prayers. We pray for peace, just outcomes and unending generosity and support for all who need it both near and far. As is the case every year, OLMC will focus on the work of Caritas and Project Compassion throughout this season of Lent.

We have now concluded the major events that celebrate our return, the excellent achievement of our students, the induction of school leaders and the welcome of our Year 7 students; we are ready to settle into the steady rhythm of the school year. I would like to congratulate all of our students on a wonderful start to the year. They have shown real enthusiasm and commitment.