I hope Mercy Girls thoroughly spoilt their mums and grandmothers last Sunday for Mother’s Day. As you know, the month of May is where we focus our attention on Mary - Mother of Jesus. It is a month where we focus on women here at the College too.
A number of key events this month celebrate the achievements, courage and leadership of women in our community.
Mother Daughter Mass
The Mother Daughter Mass celebrated on Monday afternoon in the Edith Angel Hall was a beautiful ceremony. Over 450 people attended the Mass and afternoon tea. Each mother, grandmother or significant female in the lives of the girls, received a beautiful rose to take home - a sign of our appreciation of motherhood!
I would like to share with you the inspirational speech given by Mrs Amanda Connolly at Monday’s Mother Daughter Mass:
My name is Amanda Connelly and I am an OLMC mother of Josie in Year 11 and Claudia who graduated in the Year 12 class of 2018. It is pleasure to be able to speak with you this afternoon at our beautiful Mother/Daughter Mass.
In the year that celebrates 130 years of OLMC education, I wonder what the mothers of the girls enrolled in a Mercy education all that time ago wanted for their daughters. I wonder about their expectations, and aspirations and about how they saw the future panning out for their girls. That time like now, was a period of rapid change in NSW. Whilst the lens of motherhood would have been very different the heart of motherhood would not have been.
I believe that for mothers then and for mothers in 2019 our desires are the same. First and foremost we want our daughters to be healthy in mind and body, we want our girls to be happy and full filled in terms of relationships, connections, a strong mental health, a career or work placement that is well matched to her. Personally, I want every girl in this room to find her passion and follow it. Girls your passion, doesn’t necessarily need to be your paid employment of the future but if it is – you are very lucky.
I want Claudia and Josie to recognise that when we look at our world in its entirety that they are most privileged and I want them to pay this forward.
When I reflect on the 8 mercy values espoused by OLMC three of them resonate with me. Those are the values of Compassion, justice and dignity. I believe these three values are shared with mothers across the globe and I also trust they would have resonated with the mothers who enrolled their daughters into a Mercy school in 1889.
Personally, I think motherhood is a journey, not a destination, we never really get there we just simply LIVE IT.
I do believe the journey is categorised into increments. My most favourite time thus far was as a young mother. I rejoiced in bringing my daughter’s home from hospital, I was on maternity leave and it was the first time in my adult life that I didn’t have to go to a place of paid employment on a daily basis. I loved the time when it was just us. I can remember, like every mother in this chapel, the years like it was yesterday, first steps, first words, early conversations, (oh that’s what your voice sounds like) books, the wiggles, Santa, the Easter Bunny, bath times, family celebrations and all things early gloriously early childhood. I recall the first days at primary school and as a primary school educator, I had sound knowledge of what I wanted education to be like in Primary school, I yearned for teachers who would love and know my girls as individuals first and learners second.
Secondary education led us all here at a school that keeps in the forefront of their mind that young women of today must be recognised as future contributors to our global world. As a parent it is imperative to me that the Mercy Values are to become entrenched.
I would like to articulate a sentiment that is most probably shared by all of us, a recognition that for the millennials seated here today a connection to school and family is of paramount importance. You see connections are what anchor us. I know that OLMC will produce, Scientists, engineers, coders, doctors and teachers. They will also produce writers, poets, environmental warriors, musicians, and artists.
To the OLMC staff please know, that we value the fact that you recognise our daughters as individuals who will contribute to the world in many ways, we ask that the education and care of our daughters continues to be individualised, thoughtful and differentiated.
As a mother I acknowledge the sacrifice that many mothers make – often a very personal sacrifice in order to centre our children, keeping them upright and strong so that they can thrive in this beautiful complicated world. I have been very lucky with my journey in that my daughters have been surrounded by women who cherish them, their grandmother is in this hall, sitting with them now. My journey would have been far more arduous without the support of grandparents, Godparents, true friends and all that makes up a family unit.
To the mothers and the grandmothers listening to me now, let us quietly celebrate our contributions to the future generation, a generation of whom I have great faith.
Please let go of any motherhood guilt that often keeps us awake at night and enjoy the journey of motherhood, because a bed of roses, it is often not, so let’s relax and have some faith that for most of the time we get it right.”