Rahamim was thrilled to celebrate spring with some 76 Year 3 student visitors from St Matthew’s, Mudgee recently! The students learnt about their Mercy heritage and our Mercy ministry for Earth by joining in a range of rotating activities throughout the day.
Activities were integrated from a range of areas of study and included damper making in the wood-fired oven (including wheat grinding and learning about where flour comes from), Eco Art leaf embroidery, reflective time in nature, the Mercy story and foundations of their school, and a geography adventure - mapping and scavenger hunt in the Rahamim grounds.
During the program, students learned that In 1866, the Bathurst Sisters of Mercy were founded after they travelled from Charleville Convent of Mercy in Ireland. The Sisters, led by foundress Mother M Ignatius Croke, came to an Australian summer from a freezing Ireland, each wearing the 7 metres of woollen serge fabric of their black habits, complete with covered heads with bonnets and bibs of starched linen and a veil on top of that!
The Parish Priest in Mudgee requested a Convent of Mercy for his parish in 1869 and the Sisters from Bathurst established one in 1874. They would have travelled by train from Bathurst to Wallerawang and from there driven in horse-drawn carriage to Mudgee on rough roads. This first convent cottage served as both a convent and school. A second convent was built near the Church where it is today but with alterations and additions to accommodate extra Sisters and boarders.
The school was named “St Matthew’s College” in 1890 and continued to grow with an excellent academic reputation. After a devastating fire in 1992, St Matthew’s was rebuilt and expanded. In 2016 it became the first K-12 school in the Diocese of Bathurst.