Community Services

“Catherine McAuley recognised that the poor needed shelter, education, health care and jobs. As she looked at the realities, she determined to do what she could, to relieve suffering and to build new possibilities.”

Joanna Regan RSM and Isabelle Keiss RSM,
Tender Courage. p 7

Community and social services are an integral part of the mission and ministry of the Sisters of Mercy. In the earliest days it was carried out by the “walking nuns” who visited, comforted, fed and nursed the poor in their own homes.

Today, Sisters and lay people through the ministries of ISMAPNG collaborate with, and empower, those who are disadvantaged and have been pushed to the fringes of society.

We are engaged in a range of ministries to assist families, children, those with disabilities, victims of domestic violence, those affected by drug and alcohol abuse, women and children who are homeless, those who are disabled and the elderly. Activities undertaken in the area of Community Services include providing crisis accommodation for women and children, helping to secure long term accommodation, employment programs, transport programs, visiting gaols and detention centres, teaching life skills, supporting people living at home, community development programs, counselling and advocacy support.

Community Services ministries include:

Mercy Connect Ltd (NSW)

Offers a range of services to people (children and adults) with intellectual disabilities and acquired brain damage, some of whom also have physical disabilities or psychiatric conditions.

St Joseph’s Cowper Ltd (NSW)

St Joseph’s Cowper is an out-of-home care agency providing residential and foster care services for children and young people from across the state, who are unable to live with their families. Situated in Grafton in Northern NSW, St Joseph’s also offers a range of support services for vulnerable and disadvantaged children, young people and their families.

Mercy Services (NSW)

Mercy Services provides holistic and integrated care within the community setting to the aged, people with a disability, individuals affected by drug and alcohol abuse, the socially disadvantaged, and families.

MacKillop Family Services (Services in VIC, NSW and WA)

MacKillop Family Services is a provider of services for children, young people and families, providing programs which include foster care and residential care, disability services, refugee services, youth support education and training, family support and heritage and information services. The ministry is co-sponsored by ISMAPNG, The Sisters of St Joseph and the Christian Brothers.

Featured Ministry

McAuley Community Services for Women

McAuley Community Services for Women (McAuley) provides much needed services for women and their children who are escaping family violence, and for women who are homeless.

Following in the footsteps of Catherine McAuley they offer welcoming crisis and longer term accommodation, vital employment services, social and recreational support and children’s services. Their safe house for women and their children escaping domestic violence is Victoria’s only accessible 24/7 crisis accommodation.

Each year McAuley Community Services for Women helps approximately 650 women and children to rebuild their lives, supporting them on their journey towards independence and safer futures.

For more information please visit:
  • “Catherine McAuley brought her heart to misery. By courageous, contagious concern for the poor, the sick and the ignorant, she broke through the impossibilities of her time. She animated many to walk with her. She animated others at the centre of wealth, power and influence to share in heroic efforts. She connected the rich to the poor, the healthy to the sick, the educated and skilled to the uninstructed, the influential to those of no consequence, powerful to the weak to do the work of God on earth”

    Joanna Regan RSM, Isabelle Keiss RSM, Tender Courage, viii
  • “Above all maintain constant love for one another…serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received”

    1 Peter 4:8-10
  • “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you not look to your own interests, but to the interests of others”

    Phil 2:4