End of an era for Cootamundra Sisters of Mercy

It signaled the end of an era on the weekend when the Mercy Sisters officially farewelled their convent in Cootamundra.

While the Mercy Sisters have recently vacated the convent, two sisters remain but located elsewhere.

Still it signals a new phase for their involvement in the town which began 136 years ago. The Mercy Sisters have been present in the convent for the last 92 years and an estimated 250 nuns have spent time as part of the Cootamundra mission in that time.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse, in his homily at Cootamundra, urged that the legacy of the Sisters of Mercy continues in Cootamundra.

“Although it is quite clear the Sisters of Mercy are progressively leaving this area due to age and retirement and are unlikely to be replaced, their charism of mercy must continue on in this parish,” he said.

“This parish must always be a “mercy parish” regardless of whether the Mercy Sisters themselves are here or not.”

A large number of Mercy Sisters, former students and friends of the order gathered for the formal farewell to the convent.

Parish of Mercy

In his homily, Archbishop Prowse drew attention to the original meaning of the word mercy and the need for the ideals of the Sisters of Mercy to continue.

“Once again we are drawn to the genius of the mercy charism,” he said. 

“It gives a real soul to our service to neighbour.  Indeed, the word MERCY in its original biblical language means “Hospitable womb.” 

“Over the 130 plus years, the Mercy Sisters have given such hospitality to their works of justice here in this parish.  Mercy is always the soul of justice.  You cannot talk about works of justice without, in the very same breath, talking about its animating force…mercy.

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 “May this parish always be known as a parish of mercy.  May it always seek out the three “L’s” in any society…the Lost, the Last, the Least.  May we accompany them on the road of life and may that accompaniment always be fragranced with the Lord’s gift of mercy.”

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