Mt Alvernia College transferred to Mercy Partners


Transfer of Mt Alvernia College

We carry a tinge of sadness, and a spark of excitement within our hearts this evening. We carry a sense of completion, and pride that we did what was ours to do, and a prayer of blessing and gratitude for this new sponsorship which can carry Mt Alvernia College into the future that is not ours to shape. Mt Alvernia will always be a part of our journey, and we commit ourselves to enduring support and nurture for as long as we are able, and with the words of our father Francis, we pray that having done what was ours to do, Christ will teach you what is yours to do.

When the MFIC Sisters came to Australia in 1930 to establish a parish school in Kedron, they were like new seed planted in a fallow field. Nurture came to them in the garb of the Sisters of Mercy who reached out in friendship, and guided them into fruitfulness. When young Australian women entered the Institute, it was often to the Sisters of Mercy that they were sent to learn to be teachers; the Mercy Sisters followed us to Papua New Guinea and forged strong bonds that remain today.

The connections which are too many to enumerate have been based on the values that Mercy Partners hold as today – compassion, trust, respect, and hope. As we are united in this journey to a new future, we know that a seed must let go, fall, and die for the new harvest to be born.  Ministry for Franciscans is to build communities where humans flourish. Our own mission statement calls us to build circles of communion – ever widening.

Many decades ago when I walked in the doors of Mt Alvernia as a child I entered a community in which I flourished. The nurturing embrace, willingness to accept or perhaps tolerate difference, compassion, hospitality, genuine care, and lots of laughs – these were the stones that built communities were humans flourished.

Tonight I pay tribute to the builders – Sr Crea; Sr Josephine (Josephus); Sr Patricia Treacy (Josephine) Sr Margaret Costello; Sr Mary Clara; Sr Karen; Sr Carmel; and Sr M Helen who served longest I think, and Sr Pauline. Each had a heart that loved this place of growth and learning. And there were so many more Sisters who loved us and helped us to flourish.

I love the poem Song of the Builders by Mary Oliver, particularly this line. Let us hope it will always be like this, each of us going on in our inexplicable ways building the universe. Each of us going our inexplicable ways to build the universe. I use to today because not only the Sisters who build a universe here in Kedron, but the men and women who came to join us – teachers, secretaries, groundsmen, tuckshop ladies – all building the universe. And the thousands and thousands of young women who learnt how to be nurtured and how to flourish have pours out these gates to build a new world, a new universe.

This is the work of God that was ours to do. Tonight we entrust it to Mercy partners – that it will continue to nourish and flourish, to nurture and to enrich. Building humbly and with effort and with hope, each one building the universe.  Sr Catherine White mfic, Australian Leader.