St Catherine’s House of Hospitality renovations draws community together

17 Nov 2022

By Contributor

By the St Catherines Reference Committee

A group of ladies
St Catherine’s House of Hospitality Reference Committee with Sr Elizabeth Nicholls RSM – Current Mngr. Photo: Supplied.

Recent renovations were completed, new furnishings had arrived, invitations sent out.

It was time for Open House celebrations for the Mercy Community as St Catherine’s House of Hospitality in Tuart Hill opened its doors to display the new space acquired for retreats, conferences, meetings, staff development days, individual hire and counselling.

This was possible because of a generous grant from Lotterywest.

People who have previously used the facilities were excited to come and see the new rooms and those who had not been aware of St Catherine’s came to check out possibilities for their various groups to meet, meditate, work and socialise in a quiet place.

It is common for the volunteers at St Catherine’s who work in the kitchen/dining area to regularly be asked “what is the background of this place? it has a special sense of tranquillity”. This is true. 

Those who work for St Catherine’s believe that the work of the Mercy Sisters in the early years is the reason for the peaceful environment enjoyed today.

St Catherine’s was originally built in 1966 as a Convent for the Sisters who worked in the community. From 1992 St Catherine’s became a “House of Hospitality” as the Sisters moved into smaller accommodation.

Two Sisters remained at the House, Sr Mary Berry RSM and Sr Teresa Daley RSM, offering support to the surrounding community with retreats, workshops, prayer groups, counselling and sometimes accommodation if needed.

Sr Elizabeth Nicholls RSM presenting at St Catherine’s House of Hospitality. Photo: Supplied.

Speaking at the Open Day, current Manager Sr Elizabeth Nicholls RSM, paid credit to the work of the many volunteers who help in the House and in the garden.

There are also a number of businesses who support St Catherine’s with consideration and kindness when something needs to be fixed or installed.

Sr Elizabeth herself is very capable with a hammer or spanner in her hand and often seeks advice from professionals in order to fix things herself.

Open House was a great opportunity for many from the early years of the Committee to come and listen to familiar stories and enjoy the new environment and of course catch up with each other.

St Catherine’s House of Hospitality previous manager, Sr Clare Rafferty RSM. Photo: Supplied.

Previous House Manager, Sr Clare Rafferty RSM was also in attendance for the Open Day and continues to provide assistance when needed.

Therese Olow from the City of Stirling also attended to check it out for groups from the Council who may like to hire a room for meetings.

Many enjoyed strolling through the beautiful garden which had been lovingly created by the volunteers with assistance from Sr Elizabeth and free mulch from a generous donor.

Sr Carmel Daley RSM, Community Leader for WA Sisters of Mercy was in attendance and thoroughly enjoyed the storytelling and camaraderie.

The renovation that was carried out was to the existing Dining Room and enclosure of the outdoor patio area which makes the overall Dining space twice the size.

It is now a wonderful accessible space with Disability Access both indoors and outdoors.

Everyone enjoyed a cuppa and some finger food and talked about the extra room that will make more gatherings possible. It is a privilege to work through the Committee with St Catherine’s and we thank MML (McAuley Ministries Ltd) Sydney for their encouragement and support with this venture.

St Catherine’s offers a “Rural Environment in the Suburbs” for groups to gather. Several different size rooms are available for hire for up to 40 people. Catering is offered if required or groups are encouraged to BYO if preferred. Technology facilities and Wi Fi are installed in the Conference Room. Reasonable prices available.

Past Committee Members and Volunteers catching up. Photo: Supplied.

For more information, contact 08 9443 9020 or visit or email