Home Australasian Mercy Secondary Schools Association Fostering Mercy Spirituality and Ethos

All Hallows’ School, Brisbane

Mercy Celebrations


The Inaugural mass at the beginning of the year includes the induction of school leaders and commitment of all staff and students to our mercy values. The Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Mercy, Brisbane is invited to present badges.

The All Hallows’ Day Mass (on November 1) celebrates all the saints, both past and present, who have been part of our story. There is a strong emphasis on women leaders and on multicultural inclusivity.

Mercy elements include

  • procession of large picture of our Lady of Mercy/statue of Our Lady brought to school by early sisters.
  • singing of “Mercy” hymns eg. the Suscipe, The Circle of Mercy, Mercy Alive, God’s Mercy is from Age to Age, Mother of Mercy.
  • reading out of selection of names from the school registrar since 1861.
  • readings and prayers in languages other than English to emphasize inclusion.



Mass: voluntary mass before school, prepared by students and staff

  • story of the foundation included on mass leaflet.
  • reproduction of painting of arrival of first sisters.
  • distribution of sayings by Catherine McAuley to individuals or representatives of Home Groups, to be displayed in classrooms.
  • ritual tolling of the bell brought by the first Sisters, echoing the pronouncement of their names.

Assembly: full school assembly with extended prayer reflection

  • students dressed as Sisters; re-enactment of parts of story.
  • readings from letters of founding Sisters.
  • powerpoint presentation of contemporary mercy ministries.
  • Foundation Open Air Dance around the flagpole; lunch-time celebrations organised by student leaders, celebrating Catherine McAuley’s sense of community fun.


  1. MERCY DAY MASS: held on closest Wednesday morning to Mercy Day, which generally falls in school holidays.
  • Readings (usually Sirah 27:1-3, 7-9; John 2: 1-11) presented in dialogue, with mime.
  • recently celebrated in conjunction with Grandparents’ Day: theme of Mercy throughout the generations.
  • symbols include water jars, coloured fabrics.
  • Use of picture of Our Lady of Mercy.
  • distribution of Mercy prayer cards.


  1. DEATH OF CATHERINE McAULEY: mid week mass
  • introduction includes narration of last hours of Catherine’s life, including reflections on her Mercy life.
  • distribution of bookmarks including quote “a comfortable cup of tea”, with tea-bag attached.


Our Houses have direct links with our Mercy story eg. Coolock House, Mercedes House, Whitty House. Each House organises its own “Day” and includes a mass/prayer service relevant to its story.

Margery Jackman
Deputy Principal – Mission