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Our Mercy Charism

We are learning about the Charism of our school.

Charism is a gift from God and is the special way we approach life. At St Patrick’s the charism of the Mercy Sisters, founded by Catherine McAuley, is very special to us.

The sisters of Mercy look after the poor, giving them clothing, food and shelter. They visit and nurse the sick, the dying and their families.

They visit people in prison and comfort them for their wrong doings. Catherine and her Sisters taught hundreds of poor children and housed distressed women.

Sisters of Mercy were the first religious sisters to come to Aotearoa New Zealand arriving in Auckland from Ireland on 9 April 1850.

In 1909 some Sisters of Mercy decided to come to Wellington to help carry on Catherine’s mission. They came on a boat from Ireland, it was a long and dangerous journey. When they arrived they set up a school in a church in Kilbirnie, it had to be cleared out on Fridays ready for Mass in the weekend. The Sisters had large numbers of students in their classes and as well as this they had to visit the sick, visit the poor and needy, prepare people for burial and look after the Church. They worked very hard.

In 1925 enough money was saved to build a 3 storey building in the same place our school is today. It went to year 8 for girls and year 5 for boys.

In 1981 it was pulled down because it was not earthquake safe and our school was built.

Sister John Bosco was the last Mercy nun to teach here. We remember her each year when we award a cup to a student who best shows the Mercy values of our school.

Catherine McAuley was a woman of daring vision this means she saw what needed to be done and did it with courage as often she was going against values of the time.

She was very practical –which means she was clever at solving problems. She showed heartfelt compassion – which means she felt deeply for others and wanted to help them.  She used humour (fun and laughter) to help her get through tough times and was very hospitable (made people feel welcome) and we remember her as a woman of deep faith in God.

At St Patrick’s Primary School, we try our hardest to carry on the values and mission of the Mercy sisters. To keep our charism alive, we need to live and practise these values.