Mercy Sisters withdraw from community support centre

Ageing religious sisters and diminished financial resources have forced a Sisters of Mercy Parramatta decision to cease funding and operation of St Mary's House, a community support centre in Campsie, NSW leaving the facility on the brink of closure.

"It is with much regret that we will have to withdraw from St Mary's House," said Sister Ailsa MacKinnon, Head of the Congregation, in a media release. "The fact is that with the ageing of our sisters and our financial constraints, we no longer have the capacity to continue overseeing its operation."

The order's management and funding of the centre will cease next year.

Sr MacKinnon hopes other agencies may take over the role and avert a closure.

The order said that for almost two decades, women and families of Campsie have been turning to St Mary's House as a safe haven with community outreach services such as playgroups, adult English classes, referral assistance, and accommodation for victims of domestic violence.

"Our Congregation intends, however, to maintain the Housing Outreach service at Campsie," Sr MacKinnon said. "It offers accommodation and support for women and their children who have escaped domestic violence or who are in special need of housing."

"We are currently exploring the possibility of another agency taking over the management of St Mary's House. Every day we see how the services it offers are widely utilised and valued by the community. We would hate to see it come to an end now."

SOURCE

Media release (Sisters of Mercy)

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