Religious education and formation at OLMC involves the community (students, staff and parents) understanding the Mercy values and the charism of Catherine McAuley which underpins the curricular and cocurricular life at the college.
Religious Education, Social Justice, Liturgy, Retreats and Reflection days are formal and informal ways the College upholds a Mercy Education and assist students to develop a personal relationship with God.
At OLMC theological and spiritual formation and immersion in the Mercy charism are provided for staff to enable them to foster the College’s Catholic ethos.
Mission at OLMC also supports young adult faith development initiatives and experiences aimed at enhancing Mercy identity by working with pastors and other agencies, including Mercy organisations.
One way this is done is through Religious Education classes. The subject provides students with the opportunity to seek clarification on relevant religious topics and learn how the Catholic Church and the Sisters of Mercy help those in need. They gain an understanding of the influence of the Catholic faith (and practices) in contemporary Australian society.
Years 7-10 students are taught the Diocese of Parramatta Religious syllabus called ‘Sharing Our Story’. This syllabus provides students with the opportunity to learn a range of topics to help develop an understanding of the Catholic faith and traditions. In Years 11 and 12, we uphold the commitment to the NSW Board of Studies by offering students the opportunity to complete Studies of Religion 1 and 2 unit courses.
As a faculty we believe Religious Education to be an important feature here at OLMC, as students gain an understanding of Mercy history, but are also provided with practical examples of how values and faith are put into action. Through learning these values, it is our hope that the students will then involve themselves in the Social Justice life of OLMC.
Students are encouraged to participate in all aspects of liturgy, including the planning process. There are many different opportunities for students to become involved in liturgies. Student leaders meet regularly to plan and discuss vibrant, engaging liturgies which connect the OLMC community to Christ.
Retreats and Reflection Days are planned to enhance each individual student’s sense of spirituality. These off site days are often seen as an opportunity to gain insight into themselves, each other and their God. Each program is designed to reflect the Mercy story and the respective faith development of the student.
It involves charity work, but moves beyond charity. It is about advocacy and working towards changing the structures of society so the human rights of all people are addressed. It includes issues such as indigenous rights, homelessness, ecological sustainability, poverty, fair trade, refugees and asylum seekers.
Through systemic change, mutuality, networking and solidarity we strive to bring justice to all members of the human family, particularly the most disadvantaged. At OLMC, social justice is central to our Mercy Spirit and because of this, we often refer to social justice as ‘Mercy Action’. There are two elected Mercy Action Leaders in Year 12. There is also a Mercy Action Representative in each Homeroom for Years 7 to 12.