The foundation for everything we do is our Catholic faith, which we express through our Mercy charism.
Villa Maria College aims to offer spiritual formation and pastoral care in the tradition of Catherine McAuley, and the Sisters of Mercy who founded the College in 1918.
We empower each young woman to determine, live Gospel values, confidently embrace life-long learning, and as a Mercy woman be inspired to make a difference.
Catherine McAuley chose certain Gospel values that were important to her to help her make decisions and live her life. She also asked her Sisters of Mercy to use these values to help them make decisions. These values are listed below.
Ut Probetis Potiora, Learn to Prize what is of Value, comes from the Latin version of the scriptures. It was chosen by Sister Pauline O’Regan in the 1960s (then Sister Jerome, Principal of Villa Maria College). The scripture text is from St Paul’s Letter to the Philippians: (1:3-6, 9-10a,11. New Revised Standard Version)
- Social Justice
When she founded the Sisters of Mercy, Catherine McAuley designed an ivory cross upon an ebony one, or a ‘cross upon a cross’ for them to wear with their Rosary.
In Catherine McAuley’s time, it was difficult for the Sisters to wear a crucifix, a Catholic symbol, in Protestant-governed Ireland. So Catherine introduced the idea of a cross upon a cross.
She told the Sisters that they were to imagine that it is themselves who are placed in the white inner cross, through their acts of Mercy and love. The black cross and surrounding silver cross recall the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, while the central cross reminds today’s Sisters of the transformation of self to which all are called and to which vowed members dedicate themselves.
The Mercy Cross is only worn by the Sisters of Mercy.