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Frequently Asked Questions

For those seeking information on Mercy Partners and its ministries we have compiled a list of commonly asked questions.

Mercy Partners was established by the Queensland Sisters of Mercy to ensure their ministries were preserved and remained true to their charism, and they continue to serve God’s mission into the future.

Across Australia, Mercy Partners’ ministries work in the fields of:

  • Education
  • Health
  • Aged Care and Community Services
  • Family and Disability Services and Commercial Services

To view a timeline of the history of Mercy Partners, please visit our History page.

A Public Juridic Person (PJP) is an entity (or group of persons) approved and established by the Church, who come together under Canon Law to function in the name of the Catholic Church. As a Ministerial PJP Mercy Partners can ensure the continuity of the ministries founded by religious congregations. The role of a Ministerial PJP is to provide governance, support and oversight of the ministries entrusted to it, ensuring proper administration in accordance with Canon and Civil law. A PJP is also responsible for ensuring the Catholic identity is maintained through relevant and engaging formation programs. Mercy Partners is a Ministerial and Pontifical PJP, and consequently provides an annual report to the Holy See.

The role of the PJP is to provide canonical sponsorship to its ministries ensuring the leaders of the ministries are well informed in the Charisms of the founding Congregations.  Each ministry is a work of the Catholic Church and has the responsibility to ensure its Catholic identity remains at the forefront of its operation.

Mercy Partners is the civil owner and canonical sponsor of its ministries. The Mercy Partners Stewards and Board work together to provide this canonical sponsorship and civil oversight. The Board meets monthly, and the Mercy Partners Stewards and Board meet regularly.

The role of Board is to manage the operation of Mercy Partners and to ensure that it fulfils its canonical responsibilities and honours the stewardship agreement with its ministries.

Mercy Partners Board Directors are appointed by the Stewards or the Board itself based on skills, background, and expertise. Mercy Partners Board Directors represent diverse industry, corporate, governance and Church experience.

A ministry is defined as a work of the Church whose key activities forward God’s mission.

The current ministries of Mercy Partners are in:


  • All Hallows’ School (Brisbane)
  • Mount Alvernia College (Brisbane)
  • Our Lady of Mercy College (Parramatta)
  • St Patrick’s College (Townsville)
  • St Rita’s College (Brisbane)
  • St Ursula’s College (Yeppoon)


  • Mater Misericordiae
    • Mater Children's Private Hospital (Brisbane)
    • Mater Hospital Brisbane (Brisbane)
    • Mater Mothers' Hospital (Brisbane)
    • Mater Mothers' Private Hospital (Brisbane)
    • Mater Mothers' Private Mackay (Mackay)
    • Mater Mothers' Private Redland (Redland)
    • Mater Mothers' Private Rockhampton (Rockhampton)
    • Mater Mothers' Private Townsville (Townsville)
    • Mater Private Hospital Brisbane (Brisbane)
    • Mater Private Hospital Bundaberg (Bundaberg)
    • Mater Private Hospital Mackay (Mackay)
    • Mater Private Hospital Redland (Redland)
    • Mater Private Hospital Rockhampton (Rockhampton)
    • Mater Private Hospital Springfield (Springfield)
    • Mater Private Hospital Townsville (Townsville)

Aged Care and Community Services

  • Mercy Community Services South East Queensland
  • Mercy Community Services North Queensland
  • Mercy Health and Aged Care Central Queensland

Family and Disability Services

  • Mercy Community Services

Social Enterprise

  • Holy Cross Services
  • Mercy Community Services

Mercy Partners is open to religious congregations who are seeking security for their ministries within a PJP in the Catholic Church. Religious congregations can apply to transfer a ministry to Mercy Partners, and with approval from the Board and Stewards, the partnership is formalised with Mercy Partners becoming a canonical sponsor and civil owner. Please visit our Join the PJP page.

A Charism is a gift of God, given to individuals to serve the good of humankind.  A Charism is grounded in the Gospel and Jesus' call to act with compassion, justice and mercy. To learn more, please visit our Heritage Charisms page.

This question is complex, as each ministry is situated in a different social and cultural context with varying connections to the founder's story, local congregations and organisational structures.

The culture is a lens on the Gospel and a way of enacting God’s mission inspired by the work and charism of the founder, and the congregation who work tirelessly for God’s mission across the world.

A ministry must be authentically Catholic, focused on living out the values and teachings of the Gospel, work tirelessly, as founding congregations did, for God’s mission and be always attentive and responsive to the call of those made poor and the marginalised.

The following must be the constant focus of staff formation, witness, messaging, rituals and celebrations, connections with Church life, retreats and reflection time:

  • understand the charism of the founder,
  • appreciate the ways in which the founding congregations engaged with God’s mission,
  • observe the ongoing culture revealed in the work of each ministry and
  • discern the ways in which the charism continues to serve God’s mission in response to new challenges.

Preserving, nurturing and reimagining a charism is a constant role of leadership in any Catholic ministry.

On 12 December 2011, the Sisters of Mercy congregations of Adelaide, Ballarat East, Bathurst, Cairns, Goulburn, Grafton, Gunnedah, Melbourne, Perth, Rockhampton, Singleton, Townsville, West Perth, Wilcannia–Forbes, as well as the autonomous region of PNG, held the First Chapter of the new congregation known as Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG). In Australia today there are four Congregations of the Sisters of Mercy:
  • Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG)
  • Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation
  • Sisters of Mercy North Sydney Congregation
  • Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Congregation

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